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Summer Support for Doctoral and MFA Students

March 17, 2021

Dear Doctoral and MFA Students,

Our community continues to face challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The University recognizes that the ongoing impacts of the pandemic will limit research, travel, professional development, and employment opportunities that students typically rely on in the summers. For some students, the funding associated with those opportunities plays an important role in minimizing the difference between their monthly stipend rates for June, July, and August and the monthly stipend rate during the academic year.  In response, we are pleased to announce the following initiatives, which build on the success of similar initiatives piloted last summer:

  1. Summer 2021 Proctorships: Summer proctorships are part-time project-based, internship-style experiences offered through offices across campus. The goal of these positions is to provide graduate students whose research and study have been impacted by COVID with new professional and career development opportunities to enhance their experience and skills. Recipients commit to 100 hours over the summer and receive an additional stipend to bring their June, July, and August stipends to the level of the standard monthly PhD stipend rate during the academic year.

    Eligibility: All stipended PhD students (excluding those on COVID Appointment Extensions) whose stipends for June, July, and August total less than $9,126 are eligible to apply. This amount is based on three times the standard monthly PhD stipend rate during the academic year.

    Apply: Applications for Summer Proctorship positions will be available in UFunds under “Graduate School COVID-19 Summer Positions” on April 5.

  2. Summer 2021 COVID Fellowships: These fellowships will provide $2,000 to any PhD or MFA student whose stipends for June, July, and August total less than $9,126. The fellowships are intended to support continued progress toward completion of the degree and can be used to support research or conference travel, as long as that travel is approved by the University.

    Eligibility: All stipended PhD and MFA students, including those on COVID Appointment Extensions, whose stipend for June, July, and August totals less than $9,126.

    Apply: A brief application will be available in UFunds under “Graduate School COVID-19 Summer Positions” on March 22.

  3. Extended Health Insurance Benefit for Graduating Students: All PhD and MFA students graduating in May will be eligible to extend health insurance coverage for up to three additional months paid for by Brown. Dependents of PhD and MFA students will be eligible for the 75% subsidy of the cost to extend health insurance coverage for up to three additional months. This will allow eligible students and dependents to extend coverage from August 15, 2021 up to November 15, 2021.

    Enrollment: Students seeking this extension should submit a request to [email protected] by July 1.

In addition, we are pleased to announce that applications for COVID Appointment Extensions for PhD students who require additional support beginning this summer have already been approved. Sixty-eight students applied, and all sixty-eight were approved. At the beginning of July there will be another application cycle for students whose funding would otherwise conclude in August. Any questions regarding extended funding should be sent to [email protected].

As a reminder, emergency funding is available to support students facing immediate financial hardships. The application is available in UFunds, under “Graduate School E-Gap Funds.” (More details.)

Any students seeking approval for research travel should review current Travel Policies and complete a Safety Plan Proposal and Request for Essential Travel form at least three weeks prior to travel. Approvals for field research also require an additional application available on the Resuming Research website.

We are committed to the health and well-being of our graduate students, and to working collaboratively to support you in your educational and research endeavors. Please continue to use our Healthy Brown FAQs for Graduate Students as a resource and if you have any questions about these initiatives, please contact [email protected].

Sincerely,

Richard M. Locke
Provost

Andrew G. Campbell
Dean of the Graduate School