Prospective graduate students eagerly awaiting word from schools about the size of their stipends for the next academic year will undoubtedly be pleased to learn that the median stipend paid to teaching and research assistants in university biological and physical sciences departments rose during the 1991-92 school year as compared with 1989-90, according to a recent study. The survey was conducted by the Office of Research and Graduate Studies at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

The good news, however, is tempered by another finding of the study--that the number of first-year teaching and research appointments declined in physical and biological sciences departments, as did these departments' share of the overall number of assistantships.

A total of 80 United States universities provided assistantship stipend data for first-year grad students in 2,892 science and nonscience departments. The study was conducted in cooperation with, and was partially supported by, the Council of Graduate...

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