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Graduate School Handbook: Update Overview

October 2, 2012

Dear graduate students,

The Graduate School Handbook has several new updates, stemming from Graduate Council votes and efforts to clarify Graduate School policy and procedures. Here is an overview of changes to the updated version, which was posted in September 2012 and discussed with Chairs and Directors of Graduate Study (DGSs) on September 27. 

Funding and Warning Status: The Graduate School tightened the language to indicate to programs that students who are put on warning status should not lose their funding. See page 21.

Admission Committees: At the discretion of each individual program, students may serve on admissions committees as non-voting members, according to a Graduate Council vote. See page 30.

Conference Travel: The Graduate School widened eligibility for conference travel grants to include Master’s students who present original work at academic conferences. Conference travel funds were previously available only to doctoral students. All graduate students can apply to the Graduate School for up to $500 to cover related travel expenses. See pages 42-43 of the Handbook.

Research Travel: The Graduate School has updated its research travel policies. The Joukowsky Summer Research Awards is a program providing funding for doctoral students to conduct scholarly activities outside of Brown during the summer months. The program supplements grants for research travel during the academic year. Students should file an application as soon as they know of a travel opportunity. The application itself will be considered in one of several cycles. See pages 67-69 for details, including a new application form for research travel.

Students Traveling Abroad:  The Graduate Council voted to require graduate students to register with International SOS prior to traveling abroad. Note that International SOS provides travel advice, services, and emergency evacuation services. Brown University pays the subscription costs. See page: 69

Filing of Dissertations and Policy on Public Access to Dissertations: The Graduate Council voted to add a section to address issues associated with public access. Dissertations will be subject to web searches and unrestricted downloads unless the student requests to opt out of that system and have her or his dissertation unavailable for download outside of the Brown community. A request to restrict download access to a dissertation has an initial two-year window from the time the degree is conferred. Restrictions on full text download may be renewed for two-year periods up to a total of ten years from the date of degree conferral. Requests for additional two-year restrictions should be made to the Graduate School. Any requests to extend the restriction beyond ten years must go to the Graduate Council for approval. See pages of 70-71 for details.

The above information is provided to enhance transparency.  If you have questions or comments, please feel free to contact me or to visit during  Dean Peter Weber’s Open Hours.

Sincere regards,

John Tyler
Associate Dean of the Graduate School