You are here

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. These fees total roughly $110 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

Provides number of openings, graduate program (MSE or WE), funding status, position description, and contact info for primary investigator(s).

Sheikh Akbar

Sheikh Akbar: web & email | Phone: 614-292-6725 | Office: 295 Watts Hall

  • Professor, (Ph.D., Purdue University, 1985); Ceramic materials, energy applications, sensors.

1 one-year GRA (MS), MSE, funding confirmed.--"Ultra-Harsh Environment YSZ Sensor for Hypersonic Testing Facilities" (in collaboration with industry partner)
The collaborating industry is developing novel ceramic sensors for hypersonic testing and test facilities.  These sensors will be utilized to test in very harsh environments up to 4000F and 2000psi.  The technology is based on well know performance of YSZ to determine gas temperature and oxygen concentrations in that test gas.  The industry and OSU will team to provide a solution that will not require advanced water cooling schemes and gas sampling probes.
US citizenship is required

Peter Anderson

Contact: web & email | Phone: 614-292-0176 | Office: 492 Watts Hall

  • Professor (Ph.D., Harvard University, 1986); Mechanical properties and underlying physics of deformation, with applications to metals, shape memory alloys, nanostructured materials, and tissue scaffolds. Computational methods for mechanical behavior.

1 PhD, MSE, funding confirmed--"Fundamental investigations of shape memory alloys for high temperature applications"
This project will involve computational modeling/simulations to understand how the properties of new high temperature shape memory alloys are derived from a microstructure that involves nanoscale precipitates and a defect structure that is "trained" into the material. The project involves a close collaboration with experimental studies in microscopy and offers the opportunity to work on experiments in mechanical testing to support the computational modeling. 
Background: open to various science/engineering backgrounds; available for US citizens or international students

Vicky Doan-Nguyen

Contact: web [Dr. Doan-Nguyen will join the MSE faculty in Fall of 2017]

  • Assistant Professor (Ph.D., Materials Science and Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, 2015); Synthesis, characterization, and functional testing of novel materials for electrochemical energy storage applications and heterogeneous catalysis

1 PhD, MSE, funding confirmed--Please contact Dr. Doan-Nguyen for details on this project.

Jinwoo Hwang

Contact: web & email | Phone: 614-643-3459 | Office: 111 CEMAS

  • Assistant Professor (Ph.D., Un of Wisconsin, 2011); Structure-property relationship in functional materials (oxide interfaces, semiconductors, solar cells); structure and deformation of disordered materials.

1 PhD, MSE, funding not yet confirmed--"Experimental and computational electron microscopy of functional materials"

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.

2 PhD, MSE, funding not yet confirmed--"Polymer-ceramic composites for smart paint applications"
Optical sensor materials providing positional information for automotive, aerospace and blind applications. Fabrication, optical and TEM characterization.
Background: polymer or ceramic background

David McComb

Contact: web & email | Phone: 614-292-6732 | Office: CEMAS Facility

  • Professor (Ph.D. Cambridge University, 1990); Electron microscopy characterization of structure, properties, and applications of advanced structural and functional materials.

1 PhD, MSE, funding not yet confirmed--"Skyrmions and Spin Textures in Chiral Magnetic Materials” 
The study of skyrmions in chiral magnetic materials is an exciting new research direction in magnetism that spans the range from fundamental science to potential device applications. A skyrmion is a topological spin texture, which can exist as an isolated object within a ferromagnetic (FM) material or form a periodic array, called a skyrmion crystal.
Real-space characterization of magnetic structure provides invaluable confirmation of predictions from theory, and complements topological Hall effect and momentum-space probes like neutron scattering. In this project you will develop and apply imaging methods in the aberration corrected scanning transmission electron microscope to investigate the structure and transport properties on skyrmion structures. In this multidisciplinary project you will work with other experimentalists and theorists to develop our understanding of the physics of skyrmions and potential applications. 
Background: UMSE or physics or solid state chemistry with interest in advanced characterization techniques. 

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.