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 1-5 funded openings for Spring 2023 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

2023 GRA openings


Photo of Professor Carolin Fink

Carolin Fink

Contact: View Dr. Fink's Bio

  • Assistant Professor (Dr.-Ing., Otto-von-Guericke University, 2016); Weldability and welding metallurgy of metallic materials; Fundamentals of degradation and cracking phenomena in welds; Metallurgical challenges in dissimilar materials welding and additive manufacturing.

[OPEN] 1 PhD, WE or MSE, funding confirmed for Spring 2023

Topic: Investigation of work hardening effects on weld mechanical properties

Description: Please contact Dr. Fink for information on this project.



Aeriel Leonard

Contact: link to bio page 

  • Assistant Professor (Ph.D., Un of Michigan, 2019); microstructural and deformation evolution in magnesium alloys using advanced characterization techniques such high energy diffraction microscopy and electron back scatter diffraction.

1 PhD position [MSE], funding Spring 2023

Topic: The Role of Microstructure on Fatigue Behavior in Wire Arc Additive Manufactured (WAAM) Nickel-Aluminum-Bronze

Description: The project will investigate the role of interfaces (precipitates, grain boundaries) in crack initiation, short crack growth, and fatigue lifetime of WAAM Nickel-Aluminum-Bronze. The project will combine in-situ loading with electron microscopy and digital image correlation (DIC) to understand the role of microstructure on strain accumulation and crack initiation behavior during cyclic loading. Experiments involving high-cycle and ultrasonic fatigue will be used to understand short crack growth behavior in these alloys. 



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!



Siddharth Rajan

Contact: web & email

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

 [OPEN] 1 MS or PhD, MSE, funding confirmed for SP23

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.


Professor Wei Zhang Ohio State Welding Engineering

Wei Zhang

Contact: web & email

  • Professor; Ph.D. Pennsylvania State University, 2004. Additive manufacturing; Light-metal and dissimilar-metal joining; Creep-resistance steels and alloys; Inertia and linear friction welding; Modeling of welding and additive manufacturing processes and materials 

 [OPEN] 2 MS or PhD, MSE or WE, funding confirmed for Spring 2023


  1. Numerical analysis of sintering of aluminum parts printed by binder jetting additive manufacturing
  2. Fatigue testing and numerical analysis of welded steels

Description: Please contact Prof. Wei Zhang for information on each 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 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.