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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 12 month cycles,
  • 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 nearly $60,000 per year.
  • Further information about GRA appointments and benefits. Includes a basic description of benefits as well as a Benefit Overview Booklet for download.

[Students are responsible for 15% of health insurance premiums as well as student-related fees. This totals roughly $440 per term or $110 per month.]

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].


Please contact Mark Cooper (email, 614-292-7280, 143 Fontana Lab) with any questions you might have.

Current GRA openings

A note regarding GRA openings: Our faculty submit research funding proposals throughout the year. A number of such proposals are currently under review for approval. As new projects are funded the details concerning these openings will be posted here. Please check back for updated information.

Maryam Ghazisaeidi

Contact: web & email | Phone: 614-292-8474 | Office: 489 Watts Hall

Assistant Professor (Ph.D., University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 2011); Computational materials science, materials structure, first-principles calculations, and atomic-scale investigation of deformation mechanisms. Studies the field of computational Materials Science at the atomic-scale with an emphasis on understanding structure and chemistry of defects in structural materials to predict novel material behavior.

  • [NEW] 1 - 2 PhD positions (funding confirmed) in the area of computational materials science to understand the effects of alloying on Mg deformation mechanisms using first-principles techniques.

Tyler Grassman

Contact: web & email | Phone: 614-398-0420 | Office: 278 Watts Hall

Research Assistant Professor, dual standing in MSE and Electrical and Computer Engineering

  • [NEW] 1 PhD, funding confirmed, please contact Dr. Grassman for details concerning this position.

Jianjun Guan

Contact: web and email | Phone: 614-292-9743 | Office: 491 Watts Hall

Associate Professor (PhD, Zhejiang University, 2000); biomaterials, tissue engineering

  • [NEW] 1 PhD, funding confirmed, please contact Dr. Guan for details concerning this position.

John Lannutti

Contact: web & email | Phone: 614-292-3926 | Office: 448 MacQuigg Labs

Professor (Ph.D., University of Washington, 1990); Biomaterials for cancer research. Bio-nanosensing for disease detection. Smart tissue engineering scaffolds.

  • [NEW] 1 PhD position (funding confirmed)--please contact Dr. Lannutti for details about this biopolymers project.

Henk Verweij

Contact: web & email | Phone: 614-247-6987 | Office: 291 Watts Hall

  • [NEW] 2 PhD positions (funding confirmed)--please contact Dr. Verweij for details about these projects.

Wolfgang Windl

Contact: web & email | Phone: 614-247-6900 | Office: 490 Watts Hall

Professor (D.Sc., University of Regensburg, 1995); Computational Materials Science, Multiscale Modeling, Semiconductor Process Simulation

  • 1-2 PhD positions (funding confirmed) in the area of Computational modeling of defects in functional materials, using first-principles techniques--please contact Dr. Windl for details about this project.

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 in 176 Watts Hall and Mark Cooper in 143 Fontana Lab.