My adviser just informed me that summer funding for theoretical research in his department is unavailable for the coming summer. I trying to brainstorm many different ways to obtain summer funding. Anything from writing my own grants to finding part time jobs over the summer.

How do theorists obtain summer funding after the beginning of February?

Me personally: I am a first year physics graduate student in the United States. My theoretical discipline is a mix between cosmology and condensed matter.

  • 2
    What sort of person are you (postdoc, grad student, etc)? What sort of department is it? What country?
    – Bill Barth
    Feb 7, 2015 at 21:12
  • 4
    I don't know about the US, but as a general rule, the answer to the question "how do I secure funding for five months ahead" is "start looking seven months ago"
    – 410 gone
    Feb 7, 2015 at 21:27
  • 2
    Teaching assistant positions often become available at the last moment. A physics department that does not offer summer funding is a bit odd. Feb 8, 2015 at 3:20

1 Answer 1


It is difficult for a first-year graduate student in theoretical physics to obtain research funding for the first summer at most universities, as you have already learned. If your department offers courses during the summer, there might be TA positions available, though you presumably have inquired about those by now. Another possibility might be to look for a summer TA in the math department, though they will presumably give preference to their own students for any available positions. Other than that, I can only offer sympathy.

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