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Is income during the PhD years fixed?

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DeadCactus

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Maybe a dumb question, but I was curious about how stipends work both in general for PhDs and in regards to the MD/PhD program.

Can PhDs (and MD/PhDs) increase their income through things like fellowships and other awards? This question might now even make any sense, I'm not sure I have the right terminology.
 

solumanculver

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I think that you can win a fellowship, but you won't personally get any of the money. My wife won a fellowship of like $15,000, but now her graduate department is just giving her $15,000 less that year. The award goes on her CV, though, which will hopefully help her out in the long term.

If you're being payed off of your PIs grant, it seems like any fellowship that you received would likewise just replace that income with a different funding source, not augment it.

If you were awarded more than your stipend, though, I guess you might get to keep the difference... It would be cool, at least.
 

Maxprime

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You can definitely apply for fellowships and grants. Check out the F30 thread:
http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=192375

The rules on this, from what I understand, differ by school - from the perspective of what you're allowed to keep as income and what goes to your adviser.
(Not a dumb question by any measure.)
 

Towel

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Typically, outside funding will not increase your take-home pay. You have to be satisfied with that line on your CV, and the thanks of your PI. Even if you win a fellowship that exceeds your stipend, the excess usually then helps defray the cost of your benefits (health insurance, etc.) and tuition. Hard as it is to believe, a grad student is quite pricey for a PI to support. However, there are some institutions that will give you an income bonus just as a "thank you" - Wash U, for example, gives all PhDs who win outside funding a $5000/year bonus to whatever their stipend was. But I think this is exceptional.
 

pseudoknot

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Caltech supplements the stipends of grad students who get outside funding, or at least they did recently (in Biology). I thought this was pretty standard. I'm sure it depends on your department and school.

Part-time employment is also very effective, although your advisor might get mad if he finds out.
 

DeadCactus

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I figured you wouldn't exactly get to roll in the dough if you got some outside money. Nice to hear that at least some schools will toss you a little bonus.

Part-time job, though? Is there really work to be found that is worth doing rather than just being in the lab, working to try and get out sooner? Examples?
 

Neuronix

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Yeah, we don't get squat here in the way of bonuses when we get external funding. I don't know what the norm is though.

Some people work part-time in consulting, teaching college courses, use your imagination... You have to get approval for this or just not tell anyone. Whether you consider this wise IMO is up to you.
 

xanthines

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Yeah, CWRU give you a bonus for getting outside funding too.

-X

Caltech supplements the stipends of grad students who get outside funding, or at least they did recently (in Biology). I thought this was pretty standard. I'm sure it depends on your department and school.
 

pseudoknot

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I was partly kidding about the part-time job thing, although I did work overnights at a suicide hotline for the last year or two in grad school. I started out just doing it for the experience and because they needed people, but the hourly rate was pretty high and since it was nights the odds of my advisor finding out were pretty low.

However, at some places they can and will kick you out of school for doing that, and I think it's a bit unusual to find a job that is worth it...best to be fully committed to science going in at least.
 

Ariodant

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Isn't private MCAT/SAT tutoring a fairly safe way to earn some extra cash? Don't tutor your PI's children, of course.
 

Maxprime

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Isn't private MCAT/SAT tutoring a fairly safe way to earn some extra cash? Don't tutor your PI's children, of course.

I haven't done it, but it seems like a pretty good candidate for a PT job. Especially private tutoring.
 
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