Graduate students with a faculty advisor at FRIB are in the MSU College of Engineering, the MSU Department of Chemistry, or the MSU Department of Physics and Astronomy. These departments have separate PhD requirements. Based on your background, the graduate advisors in each department will put together an individual curriculum for you.

In addition to the mentoring provided by your advisor and the staff of your department, the FRIB Associate Director (AD) for Education provides additional support and mentoring, based on a dedicated FRIB graduate student mentoring plan. This mentoring plan outlines a wide variety of processes and activities aimed at optimizing the support for graduate students at FRIB and help them to be successful. FRIB is very keen to ensure that you not only get the state-of-the-art education and guidance you deserve, but also that you become prepared for the next step in your career in a reasonable amount of time: the average time to PhD is about 5.4 years (counted from the moment students enter the graduate program), which is significantly below the national average.

Getting started

When you arrive as a graduate student at FRIB, the AD for Education and faculty at FRIB will work with you to discuss research opportunities. We offer all incoming students the opportunity to perform research in the summer prior to starting the regular PhD program, which is a great way to get a flying start. 

To help you get started, you’ll meet with the FRIB AD for Education shortly after your arrival at FRIB, in addition to meeting with representatives from the department you are enrolled in.

As a graduate student, you’ll form a guidance committee to guide your course and research work. In addition, through a variety of activities, we help you create an informal mentoring network of faculty and staff who will not only help you be successful in graduate school, but who can also provide information and contacts for next steps in your career. 

Assitantships and fellowships

FRIB realizes education is not cheap, which is why our PhD students receive sufficient support to allow them to complete the doctoral program without the need for other sources of income or loans, provided they make adequate progress on their PhD thesis. Usually, this support consists of half-time graduate teaching assistantships in the first year and half-time graduate research assistantships after advancement to PhD candidacy and in the summer months. Half-time assistantships include a waiver for tuition and matriculation fees for all recommended physics and chemistry courses in addition to health insurance. A higher stipend is provided after the graduate student advances to candidacy to the PhD degree.

Especially qualified incoming graduate students are considered and nominated for a limited number of honorific fellowships, e.g., the FRIB Fellowship, the MSU College of Natural Science Fellowship and MSU University Fellowships. FRIB guarantees the fellowship level of support provided the student makes good progress towards the completion of her or his doctoral degree and remains in good academic standing.

Office space at the laboratory

Graduate students are supplied with office space and the computers. Graduate student office assignments are managed by the graduate students. The laboratory has swell-developed business, purchasing, electronics, and mechanical engineering departments, as well as a state-of-the-art machine shop and detector lab. Professionals in these departments help students be successful in their research and make valuable contributions to the education of students.

Additional resources

The FRIB Wellness Office provides employees and students with resources to support care in work and personal life. The FRIB Wellness staff is available to discuss campus resources, community resources, and wellness activities being held at FRIB. 

If you are interested in teaching, you can consider pursuing a Certification in Teaching College Science and Mathematics. This is a voluntary comprehensive program to prepare graduate students in the MSU College of Natural Science for careers in post-secondary education, and it provides demonstrable evidence of your qualifications as a teacher.

The MSU Graduate School’s website is also the authority on dissertation and graduation information.

The MSU Writing Center offers a variety of services for graduate students when writing papers, journal articles, or dissertations.

MSU’s Counseling and Psychiatric Services offers consultation and assessment, time-limited professional counseling, self-help resources, and appropriate referrals to MSU students who are in pursuit of academic and personal goals.