The vast majority of doctoral students at Brown receive financial support during their course of study. As of 2006-07, most incoming doctoral students are guaranteed five years of support, which includes a stipend, tuition remission, and a health-insurance subsidy. All promises of student support are subject to students' making satisfactory academic progress.
Please review the Graduate School's information regarding funding. http://gradschool.brown.edu/go/support
Continuing students must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and return it to the financial aid office in the Graduate School each year. This is now required of all students. The Graduate Council has ruled that holders of fellowships granted by the University will not be permitted to hold any other working appointment within or outside of the University, with the following exception: a small amount of extra work (usually no more than 10 hours per week) can be taken on with the permission of the Graduate School. Permission for each individual case results from a formal memo of support sent by the DGS to the Graduate School, so students in this situation should consult first with the DGS before accepting any extra appointments.
The most common forms of financial aid are:
1. University Fellowships / Internal Dissertation Fellowships
University fellowships also called Internal Dissertation Fellowships are awarded by the Graduate School through a departmental nomination process. Fellowships are primarily available for first-year and dissertation-level doctoral students. The Department has decided that priority in allocating fellowships for the latter category of students should be given to those engaged in the research and writing of their dissertations (i.e. post-prospectus fourth and fifth year students).
First-year fellows receive full tuition, health insurance, the health services fee, and a stipend; dissertation fellows receive the enrollment fee, health insurance, the health services fee, and a stipend. All fellowships are awarded competitively, based on departmental recommendations. (All other funded students usually have Teaching Assistantships or Research Assistantships.)
Students who have been awarded fellowships are expected to devote themselves to research, scholarship, or the completion of their dissertations. Fellowship recipients are not allowed to hold other work appointments, either inside or outside the University. Any exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Graduate School.
All fellowships include a stipend to cover living expenses. The University does not withhold taxes from fellowship awards. The portion of the fellowship that is used to cover tuition, fees, and required books and supplies is not taxable. However, funds used to cover room, board, travel, and research are considered a form of taxable income. Students who receive fellowships are responsible for reporting their income accordingly.
Application Procedure - If you are interested in applying and are currently in your third or fourth year in the program, submit the following to the Graduate Program Coordinator by the deadline. The deadline is April 1 for fellowship in the following academic year. The Graduate Affairs Committee will review the applications.
1. A personal statement describing how exactly the dissertation fellowship will be used, why it is crucial to your research, and why you need one semester or two to accomplish it.
2. A one-page maximum abstract.
3. A copy of your (draft) prospectus. Please note that a defended prospectus is no longer required; however, awardees must have defended their prospectus by the time the award goes into effect or forfeit the award.
4. A letter of evaluation (not recommendation) from your advisor indicating the strengths and weaknesses of the proposed project and your ability to carry it out, preparedness to start the research and likelihood it will be completed within the proposed time frame.
5. An up-to-date vitae
6. An unofficial transcript
2. Methods Tuition Scholarship
There are two summer programs available to all students to enhance your methods training outside the Brown Curriculum: 1) The CQRM at Arizona State University http://www.maxwell.syr.edu/moynihan/cqrm/The_Institute_for_Qualitative_and_Multi-Method_Research and 2) the ICPSR program at the University of Michigan http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/icpsrweb/sumprog.
The GAC will likely award (on a competitive basis) tuition fellowships for a minimum of two students to attend either of these programs. The application process is open to everyone not just third and fourth year students. However, you should be aware that the CQRM program welcomes independent applications and offers some tuition scholarships. CQRM’s deadline for direct/open applications is November 20th. You can apply directly to ICPSR as well, but they don’t offer tuition scholarships. Check their websites for more information.
For CQRM, the Department pays the registration fee ($1,995 for 2013) which includes housing. For ICPSR, the Department pays for one 4-week session ($2,300 in 2013) which does NOT include housing.
If you are interested in applying for Department funds for methods training, submit the following to the Graduate Program Coordinator by the deadline. The deadline is February 1. The Graduate Affairs Committee will review the applications.
- An up-to-date curriculum vitae
- A list of any courses you have taken in qualitative or other methodology at Brown or elsewhere (e.g. in an MA program)
- A short (approx 300 word) personal statement briefly summarizing your main current research project and reasons for wanting to attend either of these methods training programs – BE SURE TO INDICATE FOR WHICH PROGRAM YOU ARE APPLYING
- A longer version (approx. 5 pages) outlining the topic/main question of your dissertation, its significance, the methods that will be used, and your progress to date – OR a copy of your prospectus (if you have already defended)
- A reference letter from your committee chair OR someone who is familiar with your training and research
3. External Fellowships
Students are encouraged to apply for external funding whenever possible; sources include the research institutes at Brown as well as national and international foundations. The Graduate School maintains a web site listing several hundred fellowship opportunities. The Office of Research Administration maintains a much larger database (SPIN); students should call 3-1803 to schedule an appt. Career Planning also has useful information.
4. Teaching Assistantships (TAs)
Teaching is an integral part of the graduate experience at Brown. Typically, doctoral students will work as teaching assistants (TAs) at some point in their graduate careers and will be responsible for assisting faculty members both inside and outside the classroom on all work related to the instruction of a particular course. TAs do not bear primary responsibility for the course; rather, their role is to assist faculty as necessary.
The duties of a TA vary across courses and departments and may include some classroom experience, the presentation of occasional lectures, leading discussion sections, preparing and supervising labs, conducting tutorials, holding office hours, and grading papers, problem sets, quizzes, and examinations. Departments make every effort to assign graduate students to courses according to their interests, broadly defined; however, the need to cover courses and to broaden student teaching experiences may also affect teaching assignments. A full appointment usually requires fifteen to eighteen hours of work per week, but should not exceed an average of twenty hours per week over the course of the term.
A TA’s financial award includes tuition, health insurance, the health services fee, and a stipend. Appointments are made on an annual or semester basis on the recommendation of the department. Double work appointments are not allowed.
5. Research Assistantships (RAs)
Research assistants (RAs) work with faculty on academic and research projects, both at the University and in the field. These positions are awarded to new as well as continuing students. More than any other type of support, RAs are tied to grant-related funding and are thus administered independently by each department. For more information, students should contact their department’s director of graduate study.
The time devoted to being a RA should not generally exceed an average of twenty hours per week, unless the research being conducted is integral to an RA’s research. In such cases, the twenty-hour limit does not apply. In departments where the workload varies significantly between research projects, every attempt is made to balance out the workload among available RAs.
An RA’s financial award includes a stipend, tuition, health insurance, and health services fee. Appointments are made on an annual or semester basis on the recommendation of the department. Double work appointments are not allowed.
Instructors not assigned TAs will often obtain Department funds to hire a grader, who is responsible for grading the written work in the course. Pay for the semester is $15/undergraduate. At the beginning of each semester, instructors make requests for graders to the DGS, who forwards these to the Chair of the Department. In some cases, the instructor lines up a grader in advance; in other cases, the DGS assists in finding a grader once a formal request has been submitted by the instructor.
7. Summer Teaching
The Office of Summer Studies offers a wide variety of courses at the undergraduate and pre-college levels. Courses vary in length from three weeks to seven weeks. Teaching summer courses can provide you with valuable experience; it can also be very time consuming and slow down your progress on the dissertation. You should consult with the DGS before submitting a formal application to teach, since the OSS requires Department approval. Summer Studies also requires that most graduate students receive Center for Advancement of College Teaching certification. The appropriate application forms can be obtained directly from the Office of Summer Studies.
If you have questions about any of these forms of financial aid, please consult the Director of Admissions and Financial Aid in the Department