Program Details

Rutgers University (Physics and Astronomy)

Updated: August 15, 2018

How many tenure-track or tenured faculty -- male/female?

The Graduate Program in Physics and Astronomy includes 71 tenured or tenure-track faculty, 12 women and 59 men. Of these, 56 faculty (9 women and 47 men) are based in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, while 15 faculty (3 women and 12 men) are based in other units of Rutgers.

How many graduate students-- male/female?

During the spring 2018 term, we had 116 graduate students enrolled - 22 women and 94 men.

How many post doctoral associates - male/female?

Currently there are 51 Postdoctoral associates - 5 women and 46 men.

Is there a family leave policy for graduate students? If so, describe.

All TAs/GAs are by contract entitled to parental leave. There is a 6-week paid leave policy for birth mothers, to be taken consecutively at the time of birth. There is an additional 8-week parental leave policy for new parents, including new parents of adopted children. The 8 weeks do not have to be consecutive, and can be taken within 12 months of birth or adoption.

Is there family health insurance for graduate students? If so, is it included in the stipend?

All enrolled students are required to have health insurance. There are three different health plans depending on whether the student has a TA/GA appointment, is a Fellow, or has no appointment or Fellowship.
The 86 graduate students with TA/GA appointments in AY 17-18 had the same health insurance as other university employees including the faculty. The cost of health insurance is partly covered by the appointment, but all employees are required to cover some portion of their insurance premium. There is an option for family coverage.
Fellows have a separate insurance program. Although it has not been contractually guaranteed, the Graduate School has paid the health insurance fees of students with Fellowships in recent years. There were 13 Fellows in AY 17-18.
The 17 unsupported students had to pay for their own insurance out of pocket. Unless they can demonstrate other coverage, they have to purchase the University Student Health Insurance.

Please describe why someone applying to graduate school who is interested in a female-friendly department should choose your department.

The Rutgers Physics and Astronomy Department has a long and deep commitment to
engaging and fostering the success of women in physics starting with the hiring of
Professor Noémie Benczer-Koller in 1960, the first woman hired by Rutgers College in
any discipline. Professor Koller received the 2010 APS Dwight Nicholson Medal for
Outreach "for unselfish commitment to advocating the freedom of scientists around the world
and for leadership in fostering equal opportunities for women in science." Today there are 9
women faculty members in the Department, holding ranks from Assistant to
Distinguished Professor to endowed Chair, many of whom are joined by their partner
who holds a faculty position in the Physics and Astronomy or other departments at
Rutgers. Rutgers is the State University of New Jersey, the most diverse state in the US,
and therefore our undergraduate students reflect this diversity; about 30% of our
undergraduate physics and astronomy majors are female and the department has a
vibrant community of women engaging in a number of activities. Rutgers hosted a 2015
Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP), was a co-host of the 2017
CUWiP at Princeton and participates annually in CUWiPs at other venues. Every month
all of the women in the department (from undergraduate students to emerita
professors) get together for tea and coffee and every semester for a luncheon hosted by
senior women faculty members. Some of our students are founding members of the
"Women in Mathematical Sciences" club, which aims to assist undergraduate women in
these areas with activities such as keeping them informed of scholarships and
internships, as well as teaching coding to middle school girls. The number of women in
the graduate program has been generally increasing in recent years, with women taking
leadership roles in the department's Graduate Students Organization. The Department
and Graduate Program in Physics and Astronomy continue to enhance our commitment
to the success of women in physics and astronomy and realizing a student and family
friendly climate.

Has the institution had a Climate for Women in Physics Site Visit or Gender Equity Conversation?


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