Trainee On-boarding

Congratulations and welcome to Science of Learning & Art of Communication (SLAC), a National Science Foundation grant funded interdisciplinary NRT for PhD students at UConn.  We are excited that you have decided to join us and look forward to a fun and stimulating year ahead. Learn more in the SLAC Grant proposal

You are a SLAC Trainee; now what?

New Updates regarding in-person classes and parking permits

Fellowship         

  • You are a graduate trainee on a federal award.  This means that you will be receiving monthly stipends that are disbursed from the Fellowship Workflow. The disbursement will be shown on your fee bill and is not classified as payroll. You do not need to enroll in anything except enrolling for Direct Deposit to avoid having to come to the Bursar’s Office to pick up checks.
  • Fellowship payments for the fall and Spring semesters will begin in September, each monthly installment payment is processed by the Financial Aid Office (FAO) on the first Tuesday of the first full week of each month and will be distributed up to 2-3 business days after.
  • Fellowship payments for the Summer will be distributed as monthly installments for June and July and then your final payment in your traineeship will be disbursed at the end of August, when the new fall semester begins. 
  • Fellowship tax implications – Pre-docs that are receiving funds via the Bursar’s Office/Fellowship Workflow will have a 1098-T. Trainees can go to Student Admin (Peoplesoft) — Bursar Services — View 1098T.  See below ‘Fellowship Tax Implications and Resources’ for more information.

Fee Bills

  • Fall and Spring bill will be paid prior to the due date, please make sure to send the final fee bill to charlotte.nelson@uconn.edu BY AUGUST 23rdIf any changes are made to fee bill or any late fees occur, please notify Charlotte Nelson immediately and send pdf of updated bill.
  • In August, fee bills will show SHIP (Student Health Insurance Plan). This is the basic student insurance that you may waive in PeopleSoft Student Permissions. 
    • Health Insurance Information:
    1) The Human Resources Benefits Specialist sends an email out to the fellows in August that includes CT Partnership Plan (CTPP) coverage information and instructions to submit their election to enroll/waive.
    2) Human Resources posts the insurance bill to the fellow’s account in September/October. 98% of the medical insurance will be covered by the grant, however, there may be a small balance (approximately $200) remaining for you to pay out of pocket if you choose to have the medical and dental coverage.
    3) CLAS Grant Management Services (francesca.d’antonio@uconn.edu) then submits a grant advice for the total cost less the fellow’s premium.
    4) Health insurance will be active as of September 1st of the year in which you enroll.
    5) There is no need to re-enroll annually if your appointment is continued. Coverage will automatically continue with the elections you have from the previous semester, unless you submit a change during the annual Grad Open Enrollment period, or submit changes due to a qualifying Life Event.
    6) Contact Anthem for temporary ids until you receive yours in the mail by going to www.anthem.com/statect or by calling 1-800-922-2232.
    7) For additional information review the CT Partnership Plan FAQ and Medical And Dental Coverage through CTPP for Graduate Fellows
    8) Benefits specialist, Joanna Smith, Joanna.Smith@uconn.edu (P) 860-486-3034.

    Trainee, first month

    • Attend SLAC classes you are registered for.
    • SLAC website is your main source of information about the program
    • Professional headshot (required). 
      • Click http://s.uconn.edu/portraits to schedule a time to have your free photo taken. Most weeks it is on a Wednesday afternoon and/or Thursday morning.
      • Please email it to charlotte.nelson@uconn.edu.
      • Email your research interests and headshot (see below) to charlotte.nelson@uconn.edu
      • Check your profile to ensure all information is correct
    • How to acknowledge SLAC Support
    • Github for storing your research/codes

    Listservs

    You will be added to the SLAC trainee, personnel and community listservs.  Sign up for others to stay informed about events happening in and around your home program. We strongly urge you to sign up for the following listservs by; 

    1. Sending a “SUBSCRIBE FULL NAME OF LISTSERV firstname lastname ” command in the body of an email to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.UCONN.EDU (do not add a subject in subject line), or
    2. Go to http://listserv.uconn.edu and click on the relevant link and follow the instructions to join. 
      • IBACS: CT_IBACS-L@listserv.uconn.edu 
      • CogSci: COGSCI-DL@LISTSERV.UCONN.EDU 
      • L&C: language_and_cognition-l@listserv.uconn.edu 
      • PsyGR-L@listserv.uconn.edufor psych graduate students 
      • BIRC: mri_center-l@listserv.uconn.edu 

    To unsubscribe from a listserv

    • Send “UNSUB FULL NAME OF LISTSERV ” command in the body of an email to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.UCONN.EDU (do not add a subject in subject line)

      SLAC Trainee Benefits

      Financial

      • Fellows get one year of full support
      • Incentive funds, travel support, training opportunities available to fellows & associates during the fellowship year and beyond, given your participation in SLAC events.

      Unique elements of graduate training

      • Training in science communication
      • Problem-based approach
      • “Challenge teams” – Interdisciplinary research and collaboration
      • Preparation for academic as well as non-academic career paths
        • Internship/summer rotations with industry and non-profit partners
      • Extend our intellectual community in interesting directions

      SLAC Trainee Requirements

      During the year of traineeship 

      Fall

      • PSYC 5170 SLAC Prof Development Seminar I, Mondays 11-12, Rm:  142 Gentry – Dr. Coppola & Dr. McCoach
      • PSYC 5570 SLAC Seminar, Fridays 9-12, virtual – Dr. Myers & Dr. Fitch
      • LING 5010 or PSYC 5500 Research Seminar in Language and Cognition, Talk-Shop, Mondays 12:20-1:10, virtual – Dr. Theodore and Dr. Snyder
      • Outreach (1 credit) either in the fall or spring (Recommended – EEB 5482 Science Communication II: Writing for Public Audiences (3 credits) )

      Spring

      • PSYC 5171 Special Topics in Cognitive Science (SLAC Practicum)
      • PSYCH 5170 Special Topics, 1 credit, Outreach
      • LING 5010 or PSYC 5500 Research Seminar in Language and Cognition, Talk-Shop, Mondays 12:20-1:10, Virtual
      • Outreach (1 credit) either in the fall or spring (option; ask a brain scientist with Dr. Fumiko Hoeft see information on the SLAC website here.

      Each academic year until graduation, trainees are expected to attend/join

      • J-Term Primers (last week of winter break)
      • Interdisciplinary research – participate in at least one of the Challenge Team research group
      • Join at least one, preferably two committees each year
      • Stay actively involved in the program throughout your time at UConn
      • Continue to make good progress toward your degree completion in your home Ph.D program
      • Diversity Events (The attendance at 3 events are required for faculty and students)
        • Attend Talk Shop sessions on diversity (one per semester)
        • Attend a J-Term primer workshop on diversity / antiracism
        • Attend at least one other event sponsored by the DEI Committee (likely offerings this summer/fall: a reading group that will hold multiple discussions of Ibram X. Kendi’s “How to Be an Antiracist” [https://www.ibramxkendi.com/how-to-be-an-antiracist-1])

      Curriculum

      See SLAC Curriculum for detailed information

      Talkshop

      Trainees are expected to attend and participate in a weekly gathering where students/faculty share their research, etc. See the current Talk Shop schedule here

      Committtees

      Trainees are expected to join at least two committees each year-sign ups will be in September;

      • Internship
      • curriculum
      • diversity
      • outreach
      • J Term (at least once in your SLAC tenure)
      • publicity/social media
      • Events/speaker series
      • Science Communication and Evaluation

      Travel Award

      See Travel Reopening for detailed information on travel FAQs and Travel Awards  for how to apply for a travel funds and book travel.

      Innovation Funds 

      See Innovation Funds for detailed information on the award application process

      Events

      • Orientation meeting for new SLAC Trainees each year early fall semester
      • SLAC monthly themed socials
      • SLAC sponsored speaker events
      • J Term workshops organized by the trainees on topics of their interest.
      • SLAC themed workshop/symposium

      Guidelines for remaining active

      Active participation for trainees includes

      • Attending Talk Shop every semester (or proactively notifying the executive committee via Charlotte Nelson of a valid reason for not being able to attend, if you will miss more than a few weeks)
      • Attending J-Term Primers every year (or proactively notifying the executive committee via Charlotte Nelson of a valid reason for not being able to attend)
      • Serving on at least one committee each year
      • Attending SLAC-supported events (including diversity and work climate sessions)
      • Participating in semi-annual trainee check-ins.
      • Participate in at least 3 diversity related events

      Fellowship Tax Implications and Resources

      Fellowship payments are subject to federal and state income taxes unless the payment is used to pay for qualified tuition and required enrollment fees. Fellows will be personally responsible for any income taxes resulting from the receipt of this fellowship payment. You should be advised that fellowship payments used to pay for travel, supplies or equipment used in your independent research are not exempt from taxation. Consistent with IRS guidance, fellowship payments, although taxable, are not subject to income tax withholding if paid to a U.S. citizen or resident alien. It is the sole responsibility of the student to report and pay taxes on the taxable portion of any fellowship, stipend, award or grant that he/she receives. Fellowship recipients may wish to consider making estimated federal and state income tax payments.

      • Additional details, and answers to many frequently asked questions, may be found here
      • The Office of Tax and Compliance at UConn has published a “Student Tax FAQ” document that will answer many personal income tax questions UConn students encounter.  This document can be found here
      • The IRS’s published guidance regarding student tax matters is “Publication 970 – Tax Benefits for Education.”  This document can be found at: here
      • The University operates a “Volunteer Income Tax Assistance” program, which may be able to provide free personal income tax preparation services.  Additional information can be found here
      • Topic No. 421 Scholarships, Fellowship Grants, and Other Grants – Internal Revenue Service
      • Helpful information from Hannah Morrow, SLAC Trainee:  This google folder currently has a document that explains how to file your income taxes (to the best of my understanding).  As I say in the document, this is by no means expert advice. I specifically use TurboTax because of their services to help you if you are audited, but I think the general assumption is that we make so little that auditing is unlikely. The advice I write in those google docs is purely based on what I heard from a previous Director of Taxation and Compliance, and lots of googling. Thankfully, there are now youtube videos, some reddit channels, and several articles on how to deal with taxes while on a GRFP, and more resources are coming out all the time.

      Publications

      Email a pdf of your publications and the citation in APA format to charlotte.nelson@uconn.edu for display on the publication bulletin board outside Arjona 323 and here

      NSF NRT Annual Report

      Each spring you will be asked to submit citations in APA format of all your publications to date, any funding you have received related to the SLAC program and any interdisciplinary collaborations with faculty and students you have been a part of.

      Questions/Suggestions

      Contact the Program Coordinator, charlotte.nelson@uconn.edu or (c) 860-480-5154