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Follow-up on Ph.D. Financial Resources

The following message was sent to all Ph.D. students on September 30, announcing a variety of additional support resources. An accompanying message was sent to master's students, outlining the resources that are open to them.

 

Dear Ph.D. students,

On September 14, Duke announced a number of actions to help you manage the rapid rise in the cost of living. These included stipend increases, reductions in parking costs, an increase in affordable housing, and a one-time infusion of $800,000 by The Graduate School (TGS) toward resources for graduate students. I am writing today to offer more details about the resources that will be supported by the $800,000 from TGS, and to provide an update on the parking cost reductions. Please see below for details.

I encourage you to explore and make use of these resources. If you have questions or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact TGS (gradschool@duke.edu). My Graduate School colleagues and I will continue to collaborate with our campus partners, your programs, and the Graduate and Professional Student Government to support you in your academic and research pursuits. 

Sincerely,

Suzanne Barbour
Dean of The Graduate School
Vice Provost for Graduate Education
 

Graduate School Resources

Drawing on its reserve funds, TGS is putting a one-time sum of $800,000 toward various resources for its students. These resources will help address financial, travel, professional development, and wellness needs.

Financial Assistance

  • Increased childcare subsidy: The annual maximum subsidy per recipient will increase to $7,000 (up from $5,000), and students will be eligible for the subsidy for up to five years (up from three years). 
     
  • Increased funding for medical expense/financial hardship assistance program: TGS will increase the funding pool for this resource, and the maximum level of aid for medical expense assistance will be raised to $10,000, up from $5,000. 
     

Travel Funds

  • TGS will increase the funding pool for its domestic and international dissertation research travel fellowships. Eligible students can apply for these and other Graduate School fellowships for the 2023-2024 academic year October 1–November 11.
     
  • TGS will offer a limited pool of one-time conference travel funding for Ph.D. students who have not yet advanced to the candidacy stage. TGS is developing the application process for this new resource and will update students when it is ready. This complements the school’s existing conference travel support, which is open to students who have advanced to the candidacy stage.
     

Professional Development

  • TGS will transfer funds into the Duke Career Center resource that provides up to $250 per student for the future purchase of professional or interview attire. TGS’s contributions will be earmarked for its Ph.D. and master’s students with demonstrated financial need.
     
  • TGS will put additional funds toward the pool for its Professional Development Grant, which supports department and student efforts to create discipline-specific programming.
     
  • TGS will offer a number of additional training opportunities for students, including:

    -- “Dress for Success” workshops on professional attire expectations

    -- Small-group workshops on oral communications, with opportunities for individualized coaching and feedback

    -- Workshops on time management, which will be in addition to the one already scheduled for spring so as to meet demand

    -- In-depth Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) training

    -- SciPhD certificate training to help STEM students become “business-ready”

    These training opportunities will be published on TGS’s events calendar and promoted on its communications channels (e.g., newsletters and social media) as they are scheduled.
     
  • TGS will offer several other professional development resources, including:

    -- A pilot program offering one-year subscriptions to Beyond the Professoriate, an online tool for Ph.D. student career development

    -- Free CliftonStrengths assessment and accompanying StrengthsFinder 2.0 e-books for 1,000 students
     
  • TGS will offer a pilot of the 1-credit course GS780S: Graduate Instructor of Record (IOR) Seminar to provide a learning community for up to 15 students who are serving as IORs.
     
  • TGS will expand its Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching to recognize students in all four academic divisions (humanities, social sciences, physical sciences and engineering, and biological and biomedical sciences).
     

Wellness Support

  • TGS is creating a Graduate Student Wellness Fund to help subsidize the costs for developing or implementing initiatives related to the promotion, awareness, or improvement of mental health and wellbeing for the Duke graduate student community. To apply for  funding, please contact grad-gsa@duke.edu.
     
  • TGS will provide funding on a first-come, first-serve basis to support graduate students who are interested in taking Koru Mindfulness Fundamentals, a five-week, live-session course. To request funding, please contact grad-gsa@duke.edu.
     

Additional Parking Savings

The September 14 announcement stated that effective for the spring semester, Duke will standardize graduate and professional student parking rates and reduce them to the level of undergraduate rates. That means savings of 12.5% to 23.5%, depending on where students park.

The Office of Parking and Transportation has implemented that change and more. Instead of taking effect in the spring, the new lower rate is now retroactive for the entire academic year. The credit for the savings was posted to the Bursar accounts of more than 3,300 graduate and professional students on September 26. We appreciate our partners in Parking and Transportation going above and beyond the original promise and providing more savings to our students.

If you have any questions about parking, please contact the Office of Parking and Transportation (tranpark@duke.edu).