Q. The IGERT Fellowship awards 30 hours of tuition credit per calendar year (12 each semester and 6 for the summer). Do I have to use them all?

A. You are not required to use all 30 credit hours, but you should use as many as you need, keeping in mind that the doctoral program in which you are enrolled requires you to complete a total number of credit hours (the total number depends on the program). You may, for instance, want to sign up for Independent Study courses if your program allows it. You should consult with your advisor on how to make the best use of the awarded tuition credit each semester to reach the total required number of credit in a timely manner.

Q. Do I have an advisor before I join a research group?

A. Upon entering the doctoral program you will be assigned a faculty advisor within your department. In addition, you will be assigned an “IGERT Advisor’’, who will be a faculty member generally from a department other than your home department. You should meet with your IGERT Advisor at the beginning of the school year, and at least once every semester after that. Finally, Cristina Marchetti, IGERT Program Director (mcmarche@syr.edu) is available to arrange meetings with students at any time.

Q. Where do I go with questions about paychecks, course registration, or any other administrative matter?

A. For all administrative matters, course registration, etc., please consult Ms. Michelle Lissner, IGERT Program Coordinator (melissne@syr.edu) , 315.443.3467, Rm 235 Physics Building).

Q. Which courses does the IGERT program require me to take?

A. The IGERT Program requires you to take the following five courses:

  • Year 1, Fall Semester:  BEN/BIO/CEN/CHE/PHY 635 – Physical Cell Biology^
  • Year 1, Spring Semester:  BEN/BIO/CEN/CHE/PHY 638 – Open Problems in Soft Interfaces^
  • Year 1, Spring Semester: PAI 772 – Science, Technology, and Public Policy
  • Year 2, Fall Semester:  BEN 600* – Ethical Issues in Engineering & Research
  • Year 2, Spring : COM 600* – Communicating Science Multimedia Reporting: Climate Change

*Temporary course number
In some cases it may be possible to replace this with another science policy course taught by the Maxwell School. If you wish to do this, consult your advisor.
^When the course is cross-listed in several departments, you will register using the prefix belonging to your program of study.

Q. Will the required IGERT courses count towards my degree?

A. Yes, they will count towards the total number of credits required for your degree.

Q. What is the Lab Experience and must I do this?

A. To satisfy this requirement you must choose one of the following:

  1. The student works on a project in a research labs for 11-12 weeks, for a number of hours roughly corresponding to what expected for a 3-credit course. If allowed by departmental rules, students are asked to register for an Independent Study course (BIO/BEN/CEN/CHE/PHY 690) and get credit for their work.
  2. The student visits the group of 8 different faculty members who are IGERT participants (with at least half of these being in departments different from the student’s home department) to learn about their research. The student’s academic advisor must agree to supervise this activity and discuss the reading with the student, keep track of the labs visited and verify that the student has done the work. If allowed by departmental rules, students are asked to register for an Independent Study course (BIO/BEN/CEN/CHE/PHY 690) and get credit for their work.

More information can be found on the IGERT Program of Study.

Q. Do I need to satisfy the Lab Experience requirement if I join the IGERT program in my second year of graduate studies?

A. Students who become IGERT Trainees in their second year of graduate studies (or later) and are already involved in research may have this requirement waived. Such requests must be sent to the IGERT Program Director via email no later than the first day of the second week of classes.