Monday, June 30, 2008

Accepting the fellowship

Today I accepted the multidisciplinary fellowship I was offered. I'm going to be rich!
Instead of ~$21,000, I'll earn $30,000 for the next two years. I also get $1,500 towards a new computer, and they pay about $700 of fees every semester that I would otherwise have to pay myself. Furthermore, I get $3,000 of travel/research support every year for the next four years.

I don't have to teach for these two years, which I'm actually a little disappointed about. Chip told me he wanted me to be the TA for upper level undergrad class which would be awesome since he's one of the most amazing teachers I've ever had. I do have to take classes as part of the fellowship. The disadvantage of the classes is that they require me to be in Big City during different months than I otherwise would be for my fieldwork. This fellowship will probably delay the start of my long-term fieldwork by about 6 months, which might delay the completion of my Ph.D.

On the other hand, the extra money will give me more financial flexibility. This fellowship will support me for all of next summer so that I can be in Ukenzagapia without having to come back to teach like I did this year. So although this fellowship isn't quite as sweet as the no-strings-attached NSF GRF "grad student lottery," it's a great opportunity for me to broaden my perspective as a scientist with additional support to pursue my research. (oh, and did I mention I'm going to be rich?)