Trainee Onboarding (last updated: May 22, 2024)

**This page is written by Charlotte Nelson and supported by SLAC; edited by Celine Li for TRANSCEND**

Fellowship (applicable to all NSF fellows)        

  • 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 August*, 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. You will receive a stipend each month through April.
  • Fellowship payments for the Summer 2024 will be distributed as monthly installments for May, and June and then your final payment in your traineeship will be disbursed at the end of July, when the grant comes to a close. 
  • 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 transcend@uconn.edu BY AUGUST 23rdIf any changes are made to fee bill or any late fees occur, please notify Celine Li 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 or re-apply annually if your appointment is continued even, if it changes from GA/TA to fellow or the next year from fellow to GA/TA. 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. If you have any questions regarding coverage or if you have any issues with coverage please contact  Benefits@uconn.edu.
      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.pdf and Medical And Dental Coverage through CTPP for Graduate Fellows.pdf
      8. Benefits specialist, Joanna SmithJoanna.Smith@uconn.edu (P) 860-486-3034.

      Trainee, first month

      • Parking fees
        • All Fellows will have GA parking status. Fellows will need to log into the Parking Portal on this link and their parking access and price will be the same as GA’s.
      • Attend TRANSCEND classes you are registered for.
      • TRANSCEND 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 transcend@uconn.edu.
        • Email your research interests and headshot (see below) to transcend@uconn.edu
        • Check your profile to ensure all information is correct
      • Understand how to acknowledge program Support
        • In cases where the PI is supposed to be specified:
          “This work was supported in part by National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) grant #2152202, Fumiko Hoeft, PI.”
          Otherwise:
          “This work was supported in part by National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) grant #2152202.”
      • Github for storing your research/codes

      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.edu – for 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)

        Parking permits

        TRANSCEND Trainee Benefits

        Financial

        • NSF fellows get one year of full support (~$34k stipend/ year)
        • Below are benefits available to fellows & associates during the fellowship year (1st year) and beyond, given your participation in TRANSCEND events.
          • $1k of Research funds (incentive funds) per year
          • $1k of travel support per year

        Unique elements of graduate training

        • Training in team-science
        • “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

        TRANSCEND Trainee Requirements

        During the year of traineeship 

        Fall 2024

        • PSYC 5570 PENS I Seminar (date & time TBD)
        • LING 5010 or PSYC 5500 Research Seminar in Language and Cognition, Rachel Theodore & William Snyder,  Talk-Shop

        Spring 2025

        • PSYC 5570 PENS II Seminar (date & time TBD)
        • LING 5010 or PSYC 5500 Research Seminar in Language and Cognition, Rachel Theodore & William Snyder,  Talk-Shop

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

        • J-Term Primers (last week of winter break/ January)
        • 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

        TRANSCEND Program Elements

        Talkshop

        Trainees are expected to attend and participate in a weekly gathering where students/faculty share their research, etc. 

        Committtees

        Trainees are expected to join at least two committees each year. Sign ups will be in September.

        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 (Research Funds)

        See Innovation Funds for detailed information on the award application process

        Events

        • To be updated.

        Guidelines for remaining active

        • Active participation for trainees includes
          • Attending Talk Shop every semester (or proactively notifying the executive committee via Celine Li 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 Celine Li of a valid reason for not being able to attend)
          • Serving on at least one committee each year
          • Attending TRANSCEND-supported events (including diversity and work climate sessions)
          • Participating in semi-annual trainee check-ins.

        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.  

        Consistent with IRS guidance, the University does not withhold taxes on the taxable portion of fellowships, stipends, awards or grants except in limited circumstances involving nonresident aliens. If you are a nonresident alien, federal income taxes may be required to be withheld from your payment unless you qualify for exemption by way of an income tax treaty between the United States and your country of tax residence. Fellowship recipients may wish to consider making estimated federal and state income tax payments.

        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 transcend@uconn.edu for display on the publication bulletin board outside Arjona 323

        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 TRANSCEND program and any interdisciplinary collaborations with faculty and students you have been a part of.

        Questions/Suggestions

        Contact the Program Coordinator (Celine Li), transcend@uconn.edu