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. You can learn more about SLAC by reading the SLAC Grant proposal

You are a SLAC Trainee; now what?

Fellowship         

  • Your Fellowship payments will begin in September, each installment payment is disbursed from the Financial Aid Office (FAO) on the first Tuesday of the first full week of each month;
    • Tuesday Nov 5th
    • Tuesday Dec 3rd
    • Tuesday Jan 7th
    • Tuesday Feb 4th
    • Tuesday Mar 3rd
    • Tuesday Apr 7th
    • Tuesday May 5th
  • Sign up for Direct Deposit so as to avoid having to come to the Bursar’s Office to pick up checks
  • Fellowship tax implications – this application is used to order non-compensatory fellowship payments. These payments will result in the issuance of a 1098-T

Fee Bill

  • Your Fall and Spring bill will be paid prior to the due date, please make sure to send final fee bill to charlotte.nelson@uconn.edu 1 week prior to due date. If any changes are made to fee bill please notify Charlotte Nelson immediately and send pdf of updated bill, please also notify Charlotte of any late fees that occur as they will be waived
  • Initial fee bills will show health insurance. This is the basic student insurance that you want to waive in PeopleSoft Student Permissions.  You will receive information from Human Resources about enrolling in United Healthcare employee/fellows insurance.  This amount will post to your fee bill in September.  The Grant Fiscal Officer will pay the employer portion and let you know the employee portion for you to pay.  Depending on the coverage you elect here are the rates: https://hr.uconn.edu/ct-partnership-health-benefits/
  • After you have elected coverage in the CTPP United Healthcare GA/Fellows insurance, HR will post the full cost to your fee bills in mid-September.  CLAS Grant Management Services will submit a grant advice for the amount of the total cost less the fellows premium.

Trainee, first month

  • Attend SLAC classes you are registered for (see below if not yet registered)
  • Attend the SLAC Fall Orientation for your cohort
  • SLAC website is your main source of information about the program and the people – refer to it and review your information to ensure it is correct
  • Click here to learn How to acknowledge SLAC Support
  • Set up Github for storing your research/codes
  • Your research interests – email them to charlotte.nelson@uconn.edu for SLAC website people page
  • Listservs – You will be added to the SLAC listservs.  Sign up for others to stay informed about events happening in and around your home program and SLAC. We strongly urge you to sign up for the following listservs; PSYCH: BNS, PSYCH: DEV, PSYCH: L&C, LING, SLHS, ESPY, GGS, IBACS, CogSci
  • Professional head shot (required)

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
  • PSYC 5570 SLAC Seminar
  • LING 5010 or PSYC 5500 Research Seminar in Language and Cognition, Talk-Shop, Mondays 12:20-1:10 BOUS A 106

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 BOUS A 106

Each academic year until graduation

  • J-Term Primers (last week of winter break)
  • Interdisciplinary research – participate in at least one of the Challenge Team research group
  • Join at least 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

Curriculum:

See SLAC Curriculum for detailed information

Talk Shop:

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

Committees:

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
  • OH/events/speaker series
  • Science Communication and Evaluation

Travel Award Funds:

See Travel Awards for detailed information on applying for a travel award and booking 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.

Fellowship Tax Implications and Resources:

  • 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 at: https://tax.uconn.edu/student-tax-faqs/.
  • The IRS’s published guidance regarding student tax matters is “Publication 970 – Tax Benefits for Education.”  This document can be found at: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p970.pdf
  • 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 at: https://accounting.business.uconn.edu/undergraduate/vita-program/.
  • 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.

Questions:

For questions, comments and/or suggestions related to the content herein, please contact the Program Coordinator, Charlotte Nelson; charlotte.nelson@uconn.edu or 860-486-2350