What do NSF Fellowships do to a student's income?

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What do NSF Fellowships do to a student's income?

Post by InquilineKea » Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:55 pm

And how does policies vary from school to school? In many cases, it means that the school feels free to reuse the funding for other uses.

I know that Brown allows the student's salary to increase by 25% of the normal Brown stipend though.

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Re: What do NSF Fellowships do to a student's income?

Post by bfollinprm » Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:28 pm

As far as I know, the school in general stops funding you, and you just get the 30k the NSF gives you (in general this is higher than the normal stipend, and for places where it isn't, the school normally makes up the difference).

The advantage to the NSF lies in your ability to bring your own funding with you, and not worry about things like whether or not your adviser has money to pay you or not.

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Re: What do NSF Fellowships do to a student's income?

Post by TakeruK » Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:14 am

I've seen many different funding schemes due to external grants/fellowships. Here are some possibilities, but it seems to depend on the school! I put the department name in case it might vary by that too! Maybe this thread could be useful info for prospective students!

Caltech (GPS): I was told that every student gets paid $29k/year, no matter what fellowships you bring in. The only exception is if you have a *private* fellowship that is paid directly to you instead of through the school, then you keep all of the extra money since Caltech is not involved. I don't know what happens if your fellowship is >$29k (e.g. NSF), but it might be like Cornell, see below. My admission letter offered a fellowship for the first year, but if I were to get an external one, I can defer that fellowship to a later year, thus extending my years of guaranteed funding by one.

Cornell (Astro & Space Sciences): Every student has an upper limit on funding. If you have more funding than this limit, they actually REDUCE the amount of your tuition award and apply your NSF towards tuition instead, so you don't see any extra money. Boo!

U. Arizona (LPL): They don't make concrete statements except that "every student with a fellowship will have a stipend equal to or greater than what they would have gotten without a fellowship".

Canadian schools: There is usually a multi-tiered funding level, where you get different stipend amounts based on your fellowship status. You usually get the same or more money while TAing less. See an example: http://www.phas.ubc.ca/graduate-program ... al-support

And as said above, the advantage is not having to worry about your funding, and not having to spend time working as a TA! Your TA work load will probably be reduced or eliminated, so that instead of earning your stipend through TA-ing, your fellowship "pays you" to do research/course work.

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Re: What do NSF Fellowships do to a student's income?

Post by King Vitamin » Fri Mar 30, 2012 11:38 am

Yeah, I've gotten a lot of info about this at different universities. At a lot of the universities I've talked to with fairly high stipends (Berkeley, Harvard) I've heard that they give you the (small) amount higher than what they offer, and at Stanford (very high stipend since Palo Alto is expensive) you literally don't get any extra money. However, at all institutions, it can usually get you out of a lot of TAing and makes your choice of an advisor independent of funding for at least the duration of the fellowship's tenure. It looks good on a resume too!

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