Search found 59 matches

by Sisyphus
Thu Oct 22, 2020 1:42 am
Forum: General Questions and the Application
Topic: Don't Be Discouraged
Replies: 2
Views: 264

Re: Don't Be Discouraged

You would be a fool though to ignore all the horror stories and engage in Pollyanna-ish "well THAT won't happen to ME"-ism. Fact is, approximately 5-10% (closer to 10%) of participants, by the USDR&E's own admission in a response letter to me over a year ago, wind up owing SMART money in the end for...
by Sisyphus
Thu Oct 22, 2020 1:37 am
Forum: General Questions and the Application
Topic: PhDs - How to find a SF with research relavent to you?
Replies: 2
Views: 200

Re: PhDs - How to find a SF with research relavent to you?

It is very much a random crapshoot most of the time. Also don't forget, even if your SF is currently well funded to do research in your area...unless they have really long funding horizons/stable mission areas, it could easily be the case that by the time you actually get out with your PhD (if you g...
by Sisyphus
Thu Oct 22, 2020 1:33 am
Forum: Recipients
Topic: How Do We Initiate an IG Investigation Into SMART?
Replies: 24
Views: 14624

Re: How Do We Initiate an IG Investigation Into SMART?

Some of the SFs are kind of... a source of trouble.... Talk to the facility SMART coordinator maybe. I told mine I expected to get worse treatment and she said, "We can burn you out in 3 years or aim for you to retire with us, we prefer the latter." I am disappointed all SFs are not handling this e...
by Sisyphus
Wed Oct 07, 2020 10:16 pm
Forum: Recipients
Topic: Leaving SMART
Replies: 1
Views: 157

Re: Leaving SMART

No. As much as SMART might wish it they don't literally own you as a slave. If you're able/willing to pay it back when they come for it for leaving without cause, they just have to eat it. It will not affect your security clearance, either existing or in the future, so don't listen if SMART tries to...
by Sisyphus
Mon Aug 10, 2020 4:50 pm
Forum: Recipients
Topic: Interview about SMART Scholarship experience
Replies: 8
Views: 804

Re: Interview about SMART Scholarship experience

Don't let them realize it's a standard forum with DM's...

Shhhhhhhhhh
by Sisyphus
Fri Aug 07, 2020 2:38 pm
Forum: Recipients
Topic: Interview about SMART Scholarship experience
Replies: 8
Views: 804

Re: Interview about SMART Scholarship experience

I'd be GLAD to share stories about both my experience: - Being trapped in a dysfunctional PhD program with no way out and ultimately tossed aside from the program with no warning despite continued progress on my degree, which anyone who knows anything about academia knows PhDs don't have consistent ...
by Sisyphus
Thu May 14, 2020 1:52 am
Forum: Recipients
Topic: Job placement for a job not told about
Replies: 1
Views: 515

Re: Job placement for a job not told about

... do I have any legal authority to challenge my sf if they don't hold up on their promises. What legal action can I pursue? Honestly, nothing in all likelihood. Numerous defaulted participants have consulted lawyers and often they are met with a [more prettily phrased] "This is such an elastic, s...
by Sisyphus
Wed May 13, 2020 6:04 pm
Forum: Recipients
Topic: Quitting Smart Scholarship
Replies: 4
Views: 892

Re: Quitting Smart Scholarship

https://discord.gg/MEhgRRC

Copied from older post for visibility.
by Sisyphus
Wed May 13, 2020 6:02 pm
Forum: Recipients
Topic: Accpeting the award or not?
Replies: 2
Views: 653

Re: Accpeting the award or not?

If you're in a PhD I'd be vary wary of accepting this award (you can search my post history as to how I speak from experience). SMART will IN NO WAY help you actually finish your PhD. It will in fact actively hinder your due to the internship requirements. They don't help you with funding. You are a...
by Sisyphus
Wed May 13, 2020 5:53 pm
Forum: Recipients
Topic: Quitting Smart Scholarship
Replies: 4
Views: 892

Re: Quitting Smart Scholarship

That process could potentially be in a bit of flux, but it's far too soon to tell (and I probably won't have data until 2021 on my end...). But here is the overall nominal repayment context for people who quit (there are some that have been worse, usually due to SMART having not properly notified th...
by Sisyphus
Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:31 pm
Forum: Recipients
Topic: Should I accept a job offer?
Replies: 8
Views: 1495

Re: Should I accept a job offer?

Just for one data point to imply that if your clearances are taking that long there is SOMETHING weird going on somewhere (might have to do with the bureaucracy, and not you) and backup plans might be advisable: I was extended an offer by one of the major national defense contractors and submitted m...
by Sisyphus
Sun Mar 29, 2020 9:16 pm
Forum: Recipients
Topic: Semi-Annual Debtor's Discord Refresh Post
Replies: 1
Views: 616

Semi-Annual Debtor's Discord Refresh Post

Just doing the regular reminder of/easy link access to the "Debtor's Discord" for SMART that I run that specializes in materials related to consequences of/fighting against dismissal from the SMART program. https://discord.gg/MEhgRRC It is also a good resource to ask participants who left the progra...
by Sisyphus
Sat Mar 21, 2020 6:59 pm
Forum: Recipients
Topic: Sponsoring facility not able to hire
Replies: 4
Views: 2719

Re: Sponsoring facility not able to hire

I’m assuming that if they can’t place a scholar and they get dismissed at no fault of their own, they wouldn’t have to pay it back. I’d like to know how long they have to tell me where I’m going before they have to bite the bullet and dismiss me. While in theory that's how it's supposed to work, th...
by Sisyphus
Wed Nov 13, 2019 4:11 am
Forum: Recipients
Topic: Dilemma - Need Advice
Replies: 12
Views: 8326

Re: Dilemma - Need Advice

SMARTRegret wrote:Do they prorate what you owe based on time served?
Yes time served at your SF chops off a proportional amount of your debt repayment obligation...I think roughly to the month based on what I recall from other participants but they can correct me if I'm wrong.
by Sisyphus
Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:19 pm
Forum: Recipients
Topic: Looking for a phase 2 who finished negotiations
Replies: 5
Views: 3275

Re: Looking for a phase 2 who finished negotiations

They didn't talk about student loan repayment, continuing education, rate of step changes, or anything else? Did they give an offer letter or just tell you what the job was? Lack of at least an attempt to use longer term service agreements is unexpected. They'll tell you about all the other informa...
by Sisyphus
Tue Oct 29, 2019 12:25 pm
Forum: Recipients
Topic: Dilemma - Need Advice
Replies: 12
Views: 8326

Re: Dilemma - Need Advice

Are you sure you don't have to repay the summer internship stipends and health insurance? I thought you had to repay everything SMART had paid on your behalf. It would make sense if you didn't have to repay the ISPs, health insurance, and then that $2k for the site visit at the beginning of the pro...
by Sisyphus
Fri Oct 25, 2019 10:58 pm
Forum: Recipients
Topic: Advice for transferring facilities
Replies: 8
Views: 3618

Re: Advice for transferring facilities

Just transfer without their blessing. As long as you're employed by a federal agency you're fulfilling your end of the contract. If SMART says anything, tell them they were breaching the contract by having you do work that isn't related to Science, Math, Engineering, etc... I would not listen to th...
by Sisyphus
Fri Oct 25, 2019 10:55 pm
Forum: Recipients
Topic: Looking for a phase 2 who finished negotiations
Replies: 5
Views: 3275

Re: Looking for a phase 2 who finished negotiations

You don't "negotiate" coming in.

Barring a facility operating very differently from the norm, you come in at the GS pay level standard per your education with the corresponding salary + cost of living locality pay and that's it.
by Sisyphus
Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:32 am
Forum: Recipients
Topic: PhD Award Length Increase Request
Replies: 1
Views: 2128

Re: PhD Award Length Increase Request

Process can take an arbitrary amount of time to approve, as SMART is not known for being on the ball with paperwork. SMART basically has no understanding of what a PhD actually entails or how things can go wrong, see my post history and others who have done a PhD in this shitshow of a program. Just ...
by Sisyphus
Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:22 am
Forum: Recipients
Topic: Advice for transferring facilities
Replies: 8
Views: 3618

Re: Advice for transferring facilities

To hammer the point home: SMART views you as their, and your sponsoring SF's, property. You are an indentured servant in their eyes with no rights. You ***ONLY*** get to jump ship on their terms, which requires your original SF being actively for it most of the time (unless you can demonstrate signi...
by Sisyphus
Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:16 am
Forum: Recipients
Topic: Delay payback
Replies: 2
Views: 2167

Re: Delay payback

You cannot just 'delay' any payback, at least not on your terms. The best you can do is use the current dispute process. Once you get served notice (and that could take a long while, it took almost a year and a half for me to get my debt letter despite being kicked out for my PhD taking too long onl...
by Sisyphus
Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:05 am
Forum: Recipients
Topic: Federal Service Still Counts ?
Replies: 2
Views: 2206

Re: Federal Service Still Counts ?

If you do not go to your SF in particular, SMART will hold you in default and try to get you to repay everything regardless of where you're working even if it was with the DoD. Some participants who have disputed their debt DID continue to work for the DoD in some other capacity, but there is no out...
by Sisyphus
Sat Sep 21, 2019 4:25 am
Forum: Recipients
Topic: Abusive SF
Replies: 1
Views: 2407

Re: Abusive SF

So since you're pondering things I'd suggest first of all going to the Debtor's Discord I manage so you can ask questions of other exiles and read up on the current state of knowledge about what happens if you leave the program. As of now there actually is a process in place where after they say "pa...
by Sisyphus
Sun Sep 01, 2019 11:04 pm
Forum: Recipients
Topic: Dilemma - Need Advice
Replies: 12
Views: 8326

Re: Dilemma - Need Advice

Side note, is there a chance that if I submit the paperwork to leave, they can say “no”? As much as I'm sure they wish they could set it up to be otherwise, you are not a slave to the SMART program and can leave at any time and they can't do shit about it... but what you ARE is an indentured servan...
by Sisyphus
Fri Aug 02, 2019 12:54 am
Forum: Recipients
Topic: Way Too Much Spam
Replies: 14
Views: 4947

Re: Way Too Much Spam

Given I'll be checking this for the foreseeable future while maintaining the Debtor's Discord I might as well throw my hat in for moderator power as well.