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Fellowships

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by August2008, Aug 10, 2011.

  1. August2008

    2+ Year Member

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    Hello everyone, I have an important question regarding fellowships/awards. Please help me understand something. Lets say you are a psych PhD student at a funded program. Your supervisor pays you about $6,000 a year for research, you earn about $7,000 per year for TA work, and since your program is funded, your university pays about $7,500 for your yearly tuition. In the fall, you apply for a research grant such as the SSHRC or NSERC or CIHR. Your application is great and you are awarded one of these grants worth $10,000. Is this extra money that you get to keep, or is your supervisor now not required to pay you the $6,000? If so, do you get to keep the extra $4,000 or does your university now not have to pay for your full tuition? Please clarify how this works. What is the point of working hard to get these competitive awards if then you end up with the same amount of money as if you never received an award?
    Now, what if the award you received is NOT a research grant award, but an award of $10,000 based on financial need. Is this money you get to keep or does it work the same way as the research grant awards? If someone could clarify, that would be very helpful!
     
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  3. thewesternsky

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    I'm a Canadian student too. This varies widely by university. Most schools 'pull' some or all of your department funding if you get an external scholarship like NSERC/SSHRC/CIHR/OGS. Sometimes, this occurs such that you don't have to do TA work anymore (more time for research!). Other times, they stop paying you out of your supervisor's grant. Usually, you end up making more after the scholarship, but not the full $10 000 more.

    It may not seem fair to you, but budgets are limited and doing this allows the schools to pay students without scholarships a more liveable wage (e.g., the 13 000 you're making now, on top of paid tuition, would be much lower if the school paid their budget out equally to everyone with or without external funding).

    I have no idea what would happen with the financial need award... It would likely depend on the specific award and your department. I'd suggest consulting your graduate secretary.
     
  4. Ollie123

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    I'm not familiar with the particular fellowships you mention (I'm guessing you are in Canada?) but for the major ones it typically is meant to replace departmental funding, not supplement it. Often the rationale is that the stipend you receive from the grant is supposed to cover your time so you can focus your efforts on that rather than on TAing/doing someone else's research/etc. For financial need, I have no idea but I imagine the rationale would be the same....if someone is earning as much as other graduate students I think a case for retaining the other funds based on financial need would be hard to argue.
     
  5. August2008

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    Thanks for your input. The award I received is for financial aid, so I am hoping that the department will not pull my funding because it is not a research grant. When I applied for the award, I had to give a breakdown of exactly how much funding I get. Based on that and my household expenses, the awards committee decided to give me this fellowship. I am a bit hesitant to tell my supervisor or ask my department because I don't know whether they will pull my funding. What do you think I should do?
     
  6. futureapppsy2

    futureapppsy2 Assistant professor
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    Not really the same thing, but FWIW, I received a large ($25k) university-sponsored fellowship my first year and was still allowed to keep my already awarded GA stipend and tuition waiver.
     

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