A graduate assistantship is a paid student position for graduate students. Graduate assistants work a set number of hours per week in exchange for a tuition waiver and, in some cases, a monthly living stipend.
In a graduate research assistantship GRA, Students can assigned to their own programme to work. e.g., a Chemistry graduate student will work in the organic chemistry laboratory.
When a student is assigned a Graduate Research Assistantship in the United States, they are expected to assist the professor with their research and are expected to work.
On the other hand, graduate teaching assistants (GTA) assist in the delivery of courses contents, laboratory sections, and recitation sections or tutorials.
Graduate studies, (called Postgraduate in Nigeria and UK) abroad can be funded in two ways: through scholarships or through Graduate Assistantships.
Unlike scholarships that depends solely on grades, Graduate Research or Teaching Assistantship on the other hand depends on a lot more factors.
A brilliant academic mentor, Moses Udoisoh wrote a comprehensive article on the above subject. Excerpt of his article is posted below.
𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗶𝘀 𝗚𝗿𝗮𝗱𝘂𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗥𝗲𝘀𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗰𝗵/𝗧𝗲𝗮𝗰𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗔𝘀𝘀𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗻𝘁𝘀𝗵𝗶𝗽?
A form of Graduate School funding made available by a Laboratory, a Principal Investigator (PI), a Department or College, that provides tuition fee waiver for the successful candidate, pays monthly stipends and get Assistantship service from the student while studying for Masters or PhD.
Put simply, in funding via GTA or GRA you are expected to barter your service in exchange for payment of your tuition fee and monthly allowance ranging from $18,000 – 25,000 per annum.
GTA/GRA is the easiest route to getting funding because, every Graduate is qualify for it irrespective of CGPA or bias of learning. An HND/2.2/3rd class can get a GRA with mouth watering stipends.
– In most cases, you are added a GRA/GTA after you have been admitted into the department
𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗱𝗼 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗻𝗲𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗯𝗲 𝗲𝗹𝗶𝗴𝗶𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗮 𝗚𝗧𝗔/𝗚𝗥𝗔 𝗽𝗼𝘀𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻?
1. Unofficial transcript
2. Academic CV
3. Research/Teaching experience
4. GRE (some schools)
5. Data analysis ability (STEM)
6. Writing samples (SOP, Diversity statement, Research statement, Letter of Intent)
𝗛𝗼𝘄 𝘁𝗼 𝗴𝗲𝘁 𝗮 𝗚𝗥𝗔 𝗽𝗼𝘀𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻
– Get a research interest and have funding for research
-Search for Universities/Departments that have funding via GRA/GTA
– Search for Professors in your research interest
– Send out a cold mail requesting to join there research group
– sell your abilities with your Academic CV
𝗛𝗼𝘄 𝗲𝗮𝘀𝘆 𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝘄𝗵𝗼𝗹𝗲 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗰𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗯𝗲?
It is quite easy if you have a guide and know where to look. You must also be ready to work the walk.