Zzhuangzi Posted May 3, 2020 Share Posted May 3, 2020 Hey there, So I'm a first year PhD student at an R1 institution in the US. Last year, I was elated to find that I was accepted into my first choice program, but now I'm facing a problem that I didn't expect. When I received the admissions offer, it stated that I was provided a full tuition support and health insurance. On top of that, the offer stated that I would be receiving $25,000 per year as salary for a research assistant position. Sounds great right? Here is the problem, I thought I would be receiving a regular salary/stipend in the form of that $25,000 a year. But turns out, that $25,000 was tied to a $20/hr job for my supervisor and that "job" isn't very regular. Meaning that there would only be work when my supervisor actually needs my assistance, and the department is very strict with work reporting, so I can't just report that I've worked 8 hours a day when my supervisor hasnt given me any work at all. I take up every single piece of work that my supervisor sends my way but I've only managed to chalk up around $5000 for the past year. This is obviously not enough for my living expenses and rent. Any advice? I've been trying to look around for fellowships in the US but it doesn't help that (a) I'm an international student and (b) my research area is quite niche so there's very little funding and most of it as at the post-doc level. Don't get me wrong, I'm very grateful to have tuition support at least, I know lots of PhDs these days get offers without tuition. But I'm contemplating taking out a student loan to pay for rent, with my parents as guarantors. But there's a lot of advice that say you should never take out a loan for a PhD because the job market is so bad. Would it be so bad to take out a loan for this? I burned through my savings paying for rent in my first year. If rent is covered, I could probably live off the small amount of money from the work with my supervisor. TL;DR: Was expecting $25000 salary which turned out to be $5000. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Create an account or sign in to comment
You need to be a member in order to leave a comment
Create an account
Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!Register a new account
Already have an account? Sign in here.Sign In Now