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Dissertation Completion Proposal

All doctoral students in good standing are guaranteed five years of support, in keeping with the very best institutions. Completing the dissertation can, however, require more than five years with circumstances often differing by discipline. The Graduate School provides sixth-year doctoral students in the Humanities and Social Sciences who are in good standing tuition scholarships and support for health insurance and health services. Through the Dissertation Completion Proposal (DCP) process, rising sixth-year students in the Humanities and Social Sciences are able to request stipend support. Rising seventh-year or later students seeking tuition scholarships and health insurance may apply through the Dissertation Extension Proposal (DEP) process. See application details below.

The Graduate School, through the DCP process, strives to provide stipend funding for all sixth-year students in good standing and recommended by their programs. For full details and FAQ, see the Information for Graduate Students.

Match Option
For programs in the Humanities and Social Sciences, the Graduate School will match a program commitment for 50% stipend support for a rising sixth-year student with an equal commitment. The Graduate School match applies to any funding option, including summer-only funding, summer and one-semester-only funding, or summer and two semesters funding. For 2016-17, all programs will be expected to contribute 50% stipend support for students in good standing who are in need of up to an additional year and who are not otherwise funded.

Most students receive Teaching Assistant appointments in their sixth year. Programs may decide to appoint students to a University Fellowship or a previously approved Proctorship for any semester fully supported by the program. Graduate School-supported semesters continue to be in the form of teaching assistantships.

Programs are expected to issue to each doctoral student a written summary of the students’ standing after the first semester of year five. 

Internal Fellowships 
Students who are applying for sixth-year stipend funding are encouraged to apply for internal fellowship support at Brown open to rising sixth-year students, including distinctive interdisciplinary opportunities through participating Brown Institutes and Centers, Deans’ Faculty Fellowship, and other fellowships. The applications for these opportunities are separate from the DCP application.

External Fellowships
Students who have won an external fellowship during their five year guarantee period are guaranteed a sixth year of stipend support (for details, see the incentive program guidelines.) Programs are required to support the fellowship recipient in year six using the savings accrued as a result of these earlier, external fellowships. The Graduate School will cover the tuition scholarship, health services fee, and health insurance. Such students will still be asked to submit a DCP.

Please note that institutional graduate student support at Brown in the form of fellowships or assistantships, including support through institutes or centers, does not result in a sixth-year support guarantee.

Students submit their DCP forms directly to their programs for review by February 26. See the timeline for full details.

The DCP application form will be updated and posted in November 2015.

Dissertation Extension Proposal
Each year there are a small number of graduate students who may need additional support in their seventh year or later. After consultation with the DGS in their program, students will be asked to submit their Dissertation Extension Proposals (DEPs) to programs by February 26. Programs will be asked to submit these to the Graduate School with supporting materials on March 11. DEPs will be considered after this date. The Graduate School grants full and partial tuition scholarships and, when budget allows, grants health insurance. These students may also seek student employment on campus through the Student Employment Office. (The Graduate School does not provide stipend support to students beyond their sixth year.)

The DEP application form will be updated and posted in November 2015.