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Provost establishes Doctoral Research Fellowship program
November 26, 2012Tweet
A new fellowship program to attract the very best PhD candidates to Binghamton has been established by Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Donald Nieman.
“Offering competitive stipends is critical to attracting the very best PhD students,” Nieman said. “Once here, these students contribute immeasurably to Binghamton University’s strength and reputation as a research university.
Though the University raised doctoral stipend levels in 2007, bringing them to the 75th percentile of peer institutions, they’ve remained flat since then. “Many departments now lose some of their best applicants to other institutions because our stipends are not competitive,” Nieman said.
Although NYSUNY 2020 will generate significant new resources, it will not allow Binghamton to make significant investment into raising stipends, so Nieman’s office has identified funds that can be used to enhance stipends for the best PhD students that Binghamton is currently losing to institutions with more competitive stipends.
“We will use the funds to create a new category of graduate assistantship — Provost’s Doctoral Research Fellows,” Nieman said. “Students awarded these fellowships will have normal assistantship responsibilities but will receive $4,000 summer fellowships in addition to their academic year assistantships.”
The fellowships, renewable for four years contingent on satisfactory performance, will allow PhD students to develop a research plan and pursue research related to their degree during the summer, when they will not have teaching or administrative responsibilities.
Using data provided by Academic Analytics, the Provost’s Office will provide programs that rank among the top 50 percent of doctoral programs in their discipline $3,000 each for 25 percent of their incoming doctoral students. Schools and departments receiving these awards will be required to contribute an additional $1,000 per student, bringing the fellowships to $4,000 per award.
Other programs will not be left out, Nieman said. His office will also support another 12 fellowships in programs that do not rank among the top 50 percent of doctoral programs in their discipline according to Academic Analytics. Programs will compete for these awards by submitting the names of candidates to the Graduate School (with a one-page statement supporting each candidate’s qualifications). Nominations will be considered on a rolling basis, beginning March 1, with programs being notified within two weeks. The Provost’s Office will provide $3,000 for each of these fellowships as well, and schools and programs will be expected to supplement each fellowship by $1,000.