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Ph.D. Stipend Increase and Other Cost-of-Living Measures

Duke announces a host of actions on financial support, hardship assistance, parking, housing, and dining

The following message was sent to all Ph.D. students on September 14, 2022.

Dear Ph.D. students,

Over the past few months, the university has been working closely with the Graduate and Professional Student Government on ways to help Ph.D. students manage the rapid rise in the cost of living. In June we announced a set of initial actions and stated that we were working on more, including a stipend increase. We are writing today to announce the results of that work:

  • All active Ph.D. students will receive a $1,000 one-time payment in October, doubling the $500 originally announced in June. Supported by funds from the Provost’s Office, this brings the 2022-2023 full-year Ph.D. stipend to $34,660, a 5% increase from last year.
  • The full-year Ph.D. stipend for the 2023-2024 academic year will be $38,600, an 11.4% increase from the $34,660 total this year. This increase will be supported by resources from the schools that house Ph.D. programs and The Graduate School.
  • The Graduate School will draw on its reserve funds to provide an additional, one-time $800,000 in support through hardship assistance, additional academic-year dissertation travel awards, and professional development resources. Students will receive more information on these resources in 1-2 weeks. [See September 30 follow-up message]
  • Effective for the spring semester, the university will both standardize graduate and professional student parking rates and reduce those rates to the level of undergraduate parking rates. This means that graduate and professional students will save 23.5% if they park in PG3 or 12.5% if they park in the Science Drive Garage or the Graduate Center Lot.
  • Effective Monday, September 19, the university will allow “night permit” parking access to the Circuit, Chemistry, GC and H parking lots starting at 4 p.m. instead of 6 p.m. This provides graduate and professional students more flexibility to park closer to the buildings where their training takes place.
  • The university is in the process of master leasing another 84 beds for graduate and professional students at Lancaster Commons, adding affordable housing capacity beyond the 250 beds offered to those student populations for the current academic year. The university will continue to work on increasing affordable housing options for graduate and professional students.
  • The university will explore developing dining plan options that suit graduate students’ needs to help manage food expenses.

In addition, the university will expand its fruitful collaboration with the GPSG in two meaningful ways:

  • To ensure that future stipends keep up with the cost of living, representatives from the GPSG, The Graduate School, and the schools that house Ph.D. programs will review stipend levels each year. This review will occur early enough in the budgeting process so that, if needed, adjustments beyond the standard annual increase can be made.
  • The university will have annual engagement with the GPSG to solicit feedback on parking and transit programs, review any planned changes in service, and discuss rates for the coming academic year.

The GPSG has been a strong advocate for Ph.D. students and a great partner in the university’s efforts to support this important segment of our student population. We are grateful to GPSG leaders for their service and will continue to build on this important collaboration to engage graduate students in decisions that affect them.

These actions are directly informed by the report and recommendations developed by a task force of representatives from The Graduate School, the GPSG, and the schools that house Ph.D. programs. We thank the task force members and outgoing Graduate School dean Paula D. McClain for their efforts and advocacy on behalf of Ph.D. students. We also appreciate our schools’ commitment of resources to support our students. Finally, thank you to our students for your patience while the university conducted the necessary work to deliver these enhancements.

Sally Kornbluth

Suzanne Barbour
Dean, The Graduate School

Daniel G. Ennis
Executive Vice President