Currently (2017-2018) there are 7 funded openings in my group for new PhD students. However, I do NOT offer funding to foreign students until they have arrived at UF and been involved with the research group for a semester or two. On average, I receive about 3-5 foreign applications per day and about 10 application per day between September and January! Since I do not have time to respond to everyone's questions, I leave it up to you to see if you fit the criteria or not. This information is provided to help you in your decision process. The process for joining my group is as follows:
- Apply for admission to the department (ECE or MAE), meet all the deadlines, and submit a "full" application. The admission committee will go through your application and make an admission decision based on your credentials. I do not play a big role at this stage. You could mention in your application that you are interested in my group; however, that does not guarantee your admission or financial support.
- Much higher qualifications are necessary to receive funding as a research assistant (RA) than for admission, so please be mindful that admission does not guarantee you RA funding. RA positions are decided and paid for directly by professors out of research funds which they must aquire externally through an extremely competitive grant proposal process. These positions are limited and are very competitive.
- For top US applicants, the department offers a limited number of teaching assistant positions. Only the best-qualified incoming students typically receive these positions and they are not usually offered to incoming international students. If you are offered such a position, this is a good way to initially fund your studies while you look for a suitable research group. Many students do research while also serving as teaching assistants.
- All students who wish to join my group must have already met the UF admission requirements. Like you, most of them were top students in their undergraduate schools and have excellent test scores and GPAs. A few ways to make yourself stand out include: experience with software, hardware, analysis, or programming techniques that are specifically relevant to our research focuses; demonstrated successful past research experience; high quality journal publications.
- After you are admitted and have arrived at UF, I am happy to talk with you and evaluate your interests with the current activities in my group. If we both see a fit, I may define a small project for a trial period in my group (1-2 semesters). The objective during this period is to learn about your research capabilities, communication, teamwork, and professional writing skills. You will also have the chance to evaluate my group to see if it aligns with your interests. You should join a group that clearly fits your interest and capabilities. You will receive a Ph.D. after a certain level of independent scholarly work is achieved. If you join a group that does not fit your true interest or does not fit your reseach skills, both you and the group will be delayed in meeting their objectives.
- Students who meet expectations during the trial period can immediately be added as funded Ph.D. students. Unfortunately, I cannot add students to a funded project until we are sure that it is in both our interests. Depending on your abilities and interests, the trial period may be very short. I have had several cases in recent years where I accepted a student in the group just after 3-4 months trial period. A good measure of success for the trial period is to produce enough new material for a publication. Please pay attention to the recent publication list on my website, if you see a "close" connection between that and your past work, you might have a better chance of succeeding during the trial period.
- I've found out that students who already have an M.S. degree with research experience and publications are more successful in the trial period.
Thank you for your interest in my group.