GRA positions

A graduate student’s principal objective is to earn a graduate degree. Appointment as a Graduate Research Associate (GRA) contributes to that objective by providing an apprenticeship experience along with financial support. This apprenticeship complements formal instruction and gives the student practical, personal experience that can be gained only by performing research activities.

GRA positions provide a number of benefits to the student:

  • Full payment of tuition and academic fees,
  • A monthly stipend typically provided on a 12 month cycle,
  • 85% payment of OSU Student Health Insurance premiums for the student,
  • Payment of computer technology fee as well as laboratory fees,
  • Payment of research-related expenses,
  • Travel costs for conference and research-related expenses may also be provided,
  • Total value of this package can be over $80,000 per year.
  • Further information about GRA appointments and benefits.

[Students are responsible for 15% of health insurance premiums as well as student-related fees. These student-related fees total roughly $125 per month. This amount is payroll-deducted per monthly pay over the course of a four-month semester so that the student does not need to pay a large up-front fee each term.]

In exchange for these benefits the student serves on a research project available in the program. As part of the GRA agreement, the student agrees to assist his/her advisor with research work. This commitment comes to, on average, approximately 20 hours per week, though this may vary from time to time. The research project Principal Investigator will serve as the student's academic and research advisor. More about finding an advisor, below.

Please note: Since research carried out for a government and/or industrial organization is usually focused on a topic of concern to the funding source, we cannot guarantee that a student's area of interest will always match the available GRA positions for a given term.

The GRA position is our primary form of financial aid [more about financial aid in the MSE-WE department].

Current GRA openings

We anticipate 5-10 funded openings for the Spring in such areas as:

  • additive manufacturing
  • nanotechnology
  • electronic, optical, and magnetic materials
  • biomaterials
  • joining/welding technology
  • environmental and energy storage materials
  • emergent materials
  • advanced characterization
  • computational materials research
  • corrosion studies and corrosion prevention
  • membranes for chemical technology
  • sensor technology
  • materials manufacture
  • composites
  • processing and structure-property relationships in structural materials

Spring 2021 GRA openings

Last update: 9/23/20--GRA-funded projects will be posted here as they become available. Below, please find the positions currently available and the funding status of each.


photo of Joseph Heremans, Ohio State

Joseph Heremans

Contact: web & email | Phone: (614) 247-8869

  • Ohio Eminent Scholar, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; Professor, Materials Science and Engineering; Professor, Physics; (Ph.D., University of Louvain, Belgium, 1978); Experimental investigation of electron, phonon and spin transport properties, semiconductor, semimetals, topological and magnetic materials and nanostructures. 

1 PhD, MSE, funding confirmed for Spring 2021

TopicGoniopolar Materials

Description: These are materials that behave like n-type conductors in one direction and p-type conductors in another. They hold the promise to be able to construct electronic devices without extrinsic changes in composition or doping, and could thus work at extremely high frequencies. This class of materials is only recently discovered: the project is to search for new materials in this class. The prospective PhD candidate is to work with a team of students from Profs Windl's (modeling) and Goldberger's (chemistry, synthesis) groups. Our contribution will be hands-on experimental work: mount and measure the electronic and thermal properties of the new materials. The initial work was published in Nature. Materials. 18 568-72 (2019). See also Journal of the American Chemical Society 142(6):2812-2822 (2020).

Background: Interest in electronic materials and collaborative team work. Prior experience with laboratory work is not a requirement, but a can-do attitude, a lack of fear in front of the unknown, and a creative imagination are.

photo of Michael Sumption Ohio State

Michael Sumption

Contact: web & email | Phone: 614-688-3684 | 

Professor (Ph.D., Ohio University, 1992); Assistant Director, Center for Applied Superconductivity and Magnetism (CSMM); Superconductivity.

1-2 PhD, MSE, funding confirmed for Spring 2021

TopicDevelopment of MgB2 superconducting materials for advanced medical and aircraft-propulsion applications

Description: MgB2 superconductors are medium temperature superconductors with emerging applications in medical MRI and electric aircraft propulsion. Our group is a leader in the development of these materials. We are exploring further increases in performance for these conductors and materials, targeting increases in performance (limiting current density, critical fields, lower cyclic loss) by chemical substitution, formation route and microstructure, and composite design.

Background: It would be helpful if the undergraduate degree (materials, EE, physics) had elements of electronic materials.

Autumn 2021 GRA openings

Last update: 9/23/20--GRA-funded projects will be posted here as they become available. Below, please find the positions currently available and the funding status of each.



Roberto Myers

Contact: web & email | Phone: 614-292-8439 | Myers Group

  • Professor, (Ph.D., University of California Santa Barbara, 2006); Electronic materials, optical materials, wide bandgap semiconductors.

2 PhD, MSE, funding not yet confirmed--available for Autumn 2021


  • Molecular beam epitaxy of III-Nitride nanowires for photocatalysis
  • MBE of Fe2O3/Ga2O3 magnetic superlattices for ultra wide band gap spintronics

Description: Please contact Dr. Myers for details on these projects.

Finding an advisor

For newly admitted students:

The MSE dept. does not assign new students to an advisor; instead, we ask that you meet with each of the faculty who have openings. The professor you work with will act as your academic and research advisor during your graduate studies at Ohio State.

Above, please find the list of available funded research positions. Please meet first with faculty who have openings in your area(s) of interest. If, after meeting with these professors, you do not have an advisor, please meet with the remaining faculty on the list who have openings and come to an agreement to work with one of these faculty. Important: You are required to find an advisor from the funded openings available in the department. This should occur during your first term of enrollment.

You are strongly encouraged to contact any faculty member above who shares your field of interest. Contacting the faculty prior to your arrival on campus can help speed your placement on a research project.

Every effort is made to match you with a project in your field of interest. However, we have only a few positions, each of which has a narrow research focus. Therefore, you may find that the area of research you will be working in is not an exact match with your interests.

When you have found an advisor, inform the department Human Resources Officer and Mark Cooper.




Please contact Mark Cooper (email, 614-292-7280) with any questions you might have.

MSE-WE Faculty

To post a GRA position to this page, please complete this form.