CONNECT Frequently Asked Questions - Graduate Students

Who is eligible to apply?

The CONNECT program is open to any graduate student currently enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin.  

When can I apply to be matched with a project?

Each year, there are three opportunities to be matched to a project - Fall semester, Spring semester and Summer. The profile form submission window (process to apply) opens up a few months prior to each matching opportunity. See below for profile form submission windows for the upcoming opportunities:

Spring 2020 Semester: November 8 - December 6

Summer 2020:  March 23 - April 10

What is the timeline for a typical project engagement?

Click the upcoming project cohorts to view timeline details: Spring 2020 Cohort, and Summer 2020 Cohort.

Can I fulfill an internship requirement through CONNECT?

The CONNECT program does not take responsibility for specifically sourcing project opportunities that will fulfill internship requirements; however, if you indicate that you are interested in fulfilling an internship requirement and are matched with a project, CONNECT will work with you and the organization to make the necessary arrangements. CONNECT will only work to facilitate hourly requirements with the organization you have been matched with. It is your responsibility to get the CONNECT project approved by your graduate advisor as your internship requirement.  

Can I receive University credits through CONNECT?

No. University credits cannot be acquired through your participation in a CONNECT project engagement.

How does the matching process work?

Step 1: Organizations submit their project requests via an online form.

Step 2: Students tell us about themselves via a short, online form. The form generally takes between 5 - 10 minutes to complete.

Step 3: Matches are then determined based on project requirements and students’ availability, skillset, experience, and interests.

Step 4: Contingency notifications are sent out via email to all students who have matched with a project. The purpose of the contingency notification is to verify that each matched student is still interested and able to work on the project them have been matched to. Students have a short window to respond to the contingency match notification - either accepting or denying the match.

Step 5: Organization notifications are sent out via email to all matched organizations. Organizations receive information on the student they have been matched to and have the choice to accept or deny their match.

Step 6: Official match notifications are then sent out to the students who both accepted their contingency match and were accepted by their match organization. CONNECT then begins coordinating the initial project kick-off meeting at this time.

What does a typical project look like?

To view summaries for past projects, visit the project library. To date, most projects have had a duration of 3 months, required 8-12 hours of work per week,  and allowed for the ability to work remotely.

Is this a paid opportunity?

Yes! CONNECT fellowships are stipends issued to all participating students to recognize program participation. For additional information regarding CONNECT fellowships, please reach out to Alyssa Studer.

Please note:

Funds disbursed to students are applied to bars and outstanding cash and tuition loans (whether they are currently due or not) because these are considered demand notes.  For students with financial aid that includes cash and tuition loans, the funds from the CONNECT fellowship may be applied toward these loans, rather than received as cash. 

Please be aware that there is a mandatory 14 percent tax withholding on any scholarship/fellowship payment to a nonresident, including students.

If you have questions about how receiving your CONNECT fellowship could affect your financial aid, please contact the UT Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid at 512-475-6282 or ask@finaid.utexas.edu. Remember to include your UT EID in correspondence.

If you have not received CONNECT fellowship funds as expected, you may wish to contact Scholarship and Fellowship Services at scholarshipservices@austin.utexas.edu. Remember to include your UT EID in correspondence.

Will I be working by myself on a project or with a partner/in a group?

Most CONNECT projects are scoped to be worked on by just one individual. Occasionally, under special circumstances, two students are assigned to the same project to work as a team. You will be notified if this circumstance applies to your project.

Am I eligible to participate in the CONNECT program if I am also working as a Teaching Assistant/Graduate Research Assistant?

Yes - Participation in the CONNECT program is voluntary and the project-related stipend (administered in the form of a fellowship) should not have any impact on student employment opportunities. Please be aware that the fellowship/stipend is considered taxable income and may affect your personal tax reporting situation. For additional resources on this matter, please see Tax Considerations for Graduate Students, including the Tax Seminar presentation materials.