Summer Support for TAs
Summer Reading Fellowships are reserved for first year unattached graduate students in conjunction with TA duties during the academic year. These funds are limited and reserved a year ahead. New admits originally awarded a 12 month GRA and then elect to switch to a TA upon arrival are not eligible for a summer reading fellowship and should seek out an advisor who can support them. Other than the above, you must be registered for 36 units of reading (Ph 171) or research with a faculty member and remain on campus over the summer.
Summer reading fellowships will not be available to any student with full fellowship funding from outside Caltech or if the total yearly fellowship stipend is already above our standard rates. Eligibility requirements will be determined on an individual basis for students beyond the first year. Beyond the first year TAs are expected to have an advisor to provide summer support as well as a supplemental GRA to the TA salary during the academic year.
If you find yourself without an advisor and in need of additional funding during your second academic year and summer, one alternative funding source might be to take on additional TA duties and postpone payment until the summer months, this works well for international students with hourly constraints during the academic year. Another alternative might be to take on additional TA duties with increased TA salary during the term in which you teach, and not be paid over the summer, this works well if you plan to be away doing an internship or have summer employment elsewhere (JPL) related to your research. Occasionally there are physics lab courses with preparation needs that are funded by TA stipends available over the summer. Jonas Zmuidzinas can let you know if this type of funding is available. You might also consider working for an experimental group that has a summer project. When you join a research group, ask your advisor about academic year and summer support.