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 15-25 funded openings for Autumn 2022 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

Autumn 2022 GRA openings

Additional openings to be posted.



Jinghua Li

Contact: Li Research Group web site

  • Assistant Professor (Ph.D., Duke University, 2016); Bioelectronics: thin-film materials and electronic devices that enable highly-sensitive, real-time and long-term monitoring.

1 PhD, MSE, funding confirmed for Autumn 2022

Topic: Development of bio-integrated electronics for advanced healthcare

Description: The human body, such as the brain, produces a wide range of biophysical and biochemical signals that contain important information about the health condition and the progression of various diseases. There are critical challenges, however, to efficiently capture the signals due to the rigid characteristics of conventional medical systems. To address this issue, the design of thin, soft and flexible electronics forms the basis of novel wearable and implantable biomedical devices for the diagnostics and treatment of brain injuries and other chronic neurodegenerative diseases with improved outcomes and reduced costs. Our research focuses on advanced thin-film materials and electronic tools to bring solutions to grand challenges in human health.


Xun Liu

Xun Liu

Contact: web & email | Liu Group

  • Assistant Professor (Ph.D. Un of Michigan, 2016); Hybrid manufacturing process development; Power ultrasound; Multiscale material characterization; Friction stir related manufacturing process; Physics-based computational modeling of manufacturing process.

1 MS or PhD, MSE or WE, funding confirmed

Topic: Ultrasonic compression on nutrient food bar manufacturing

Description: The project focuses on a new ultrasonic compression process to make nutrient food bars. The project involves mechanical design, temperature measurement, thermal analysis and modeling, and characterization.


photo of Jenifer Locke, Ohio State

Jenifer Locke

Contact: link to bio page 

  • Assistant Professor (Ph.D., Un of Virginia, 2010); corrosion and environment-assisted cracking; mitigation of environmental degradation.

1 MS or PhD GRA position [MSE], funding not yet confirmed for Autumn 2022

Topic: Investigation of environment assisted cracking susceptibility in metals

Please contact Dr. Locke for further details on this project.



Alan Luo

Contact: web & email | Phone: 614-292-5629 

  • Professor (Ph.D., University of Windsor, 1993); FEF Key Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and the Department of Integrated Systems Engineering (Manufacturing Group) at The Ohio State University. Director, Lightweight Materials and Manufacturing Research Laboratory.

1 PhD, MSE, funding confirmed for Autumn 2022 / Spring 2023

Topic: Light metals, advanced manufacturing, and Integrated computational materials engineering (ICME) for lightweight applications.

Background: US citizen preferred



Roberto Myers

Contact: web & email | Phone: 614-547-9771 

  • Professor (Ph.D., Un of California, Santa Barbara, 2006); Electronic materials; Optical materials; Wide bandgap semiconductors; Atomic layer-by-layer synthesis; Optoelectronic characterization; Nanostructures materials; Magnetic materials; Spintronics; Multiferroic materials.

1 MS or PhD GRA position [MSE], funding not yet confirmed for Autumn 2022

Topic: Molecular Beam Epitaxy of Low-symmetry Oxide Interfaces

Description: We have recently predicted and synthesized “mu-Fe2O3”, a new epitaxially-stabilized monoclinic form of Fe2O3, which is the first new crystal structure for stoichiometric iron oxides being brought forward in nearly a century! Our experiments and computational work have identified Fe/Ga selective site ordering at the interface accompanied by the emergence of a 2D interface ferromagnetic phase. We will explore which other elements could join Fe to form new crystal structures of low-symmetry oxides, site-ordered superstructures, interface ferromagnetism, spin-polarized high electron mobility 2D conducting channels, and directional dependence electrical properties.

Background: BS in Physics, Engineering Physics, Mech Eng, Chemistry, or MSE. Must be interested in learning how to operate state of the art epitaxial growth tools and exploring the functional properties (electro, opto, magneto) of new forms of matter. Must not be afraid of delving into the unknown and exploring what is possible!


photo of Heather Powell, Ohio State Professor

Heather Powell

Contact: web & email 

  • Professor, Materials Science and Engineering, Biomedical Engineering
    Ph.D., The Ohio State University 2004
    Biomaterials; Tissue engineering; Wound healing; Biomechanics

 2 PhD, MSE, funding CONFIRMED

Topic: Openings in in situ tissue regeneration and for examining the tissue-prosthetic interface
Please contact Dr. Powell for more information on this project.

1 GRA position could start in SP22 with the other two in AU22.

Background: MSE or BME background. Polymer science knowledge good. 



Siddharth Rajan

Contact: web & email

  • Professor; joint appointment in MSE and Electrical and Computer Engineering

 1-2 MS or PhD, MSE, funding confirmed

Topic: Wide bandgap semiconductors - epitaxial growth and device engineering, radiation effects in semiconductor devices

Description: We have ongoing projects on wide bandgap semiconductor growth, device engineering. Contact Dr. Rajan for more information.



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.