Getting Financial Support

About Financial Support

Most students do not know how universities operate in terms of finance. As a result, they think professors magically have unlimited funds to support as many students as the professors decide. Before you ask Dr. Lu to provide financial support, please be aware of the following facts:

  • Dr. Lu does not print money. Research fund does not fall from sky like rain drops.

  • Purdue University does not give students’ tuition to professors for doing research. The tuition goes to facilities such as networks, buildings, furniture, electricity, staff, administration, cleaning …

  • For every $100 Dr. Lu spends on research (including machines, travel to conferences, salary for students …), Purdue takes $55 for facilities such as networks, buildings, furniture, electricity, cleaning … Thus, Dr. Lu has to request $155 from project sponsors.

  • Purdue does not give research money to professors because the professors have a lot of students.

  • Dr. Lu works with many students because he wants to give more students research experience. He enjoys the intellectual interactions with many excellent students. He also thinks the interactions among students help them succeed. The size of his research team has no effect on how much Purdue gives for research (always $0).

  • Dr. Lu has zero influence about how Purdue spends tuition. Please talk to Purdue President if you have any suggestions.

  • Dr. Lu has zero influence on other professors’ decisions. Dr. Lu cannot tell any other professor to provide any student financial support.

  • Dr. Lu obtains research funding by writing proposals.

  • Financial supports are divided into three types: fellowship, teaching assistantship, and research assistantship. Dr. Lu has no control of fellowship or teaching assistantship.

  • Research assistantship is a type of employment: a research assistant is an employee of Purdue University for conducting research described in the corresponding research proposal.

Common Mistakes by Students

  • Some students think “doing research” means disappearing for five years and coming back with world-changing discovery or invention.

  • Financial support is free money and students have complete freedom doing whatever they want.

  • Some students go to professors and say, “Give me money.” They do not know that, in a bank office, this is called robbery and is a crime.

  • Some students think sending emails to professors and money will be transferred to the students’ bank accounts the next day.

How to Get Financial Support from Dr. Lu?

  • Understand that Dr. Lu has no obligation giving you financial support. You have to earn it.

  • Getting financial support from Dr. Lu will take you a lot of efforts.

  • Read at least five of his papers published in the last three years. Do not initiate any conversation before you finish reading the papers.

  • Prepare to have multiple, long, and deep technical discussions.

  • Dr. Lu has a large established research program. You must do what the research program needs.

  • Dr. Lu can support only Purdue students.

  • Dr. Lu emphasizes teamwork greatly. You have to work with a team. You must have good communication skills.