External Fellowships

Responsible Office
Graduate School - Finance and Administration
Executive
Scott McGoldrick, Senior Associate Dean for Finance and Administration
Contact
Scott McGoldrick
Policy

I. Policy Statement

External fellowships are awarded by non-university entities and may provide for tuition only, stipend only, or a combination of both. This policy describes how external fellowships that are individually applied for and won by a student are coordinated with University funding.  The coordination of University funding with external fellowship funding varies by division and by the value of the award.

II. Who is Affected by this Policy

This policy applies to all Ph.D. students who receive external fellowships within their regular program length.

III. Definitions

Regular Enrollment
A student within the defined program length who is in residence and is pursuing degree-related work, completing requirements, and making sufficient academic and/or research progress as specified by the department or program and the Graduate School.  

In Absentia Enrollment
A student within the defined program length who is pursuing degree-related work, but is NOT in residence for greater than half the term.

External Fellowships
External fellowships are awarded on a competitive or merit basis by non-university entities and are sponsored by both public and private agencies.   They typically consist of a tuition component and/or a stipend component. The funds may be paid directly to the student or to the University to be administered on behalf of the student. External fellowship awards vary considerably in terms of amount, duration and restrictions.

Tuition and Fees
The University sets a standard tuition rate for the academic year, and it is applicable to all graduate students in regular enrollment status. All graduate students are required to enroll in the Student Health Plan (SHP).  The SHP fee is included in the required tuition and fees.

Stipend
Financial support includes a cost of living component referred to as a stipend, which is intended to cover the estimated living expenses of a single graduate student.  A stipend may be paid over 10 months or 12 months, depending upon a student’s division and/or type of support.  Students are provided summer funding if they are actively engaged in research.

University Fellowship
A University Fellowship is a fellowship awarded to new and continuing students in the humanities and social sciences departments.  A University Fellowship provides full tuition and a stipend for a 12-month period.

First Year Fellowship
A First Year Fellowship is a fellowship awarded to new students in the natural sciences and engineering departments. A First Year Fellowship includes full tuition and a stipend for the 10-month academic year.

Assistantship in Research (AR)
An AR is an appointment granted by a department in which a graduate student performs research in return for a tuition and stipend (paid as salary) contribution.

Assistantship in Instruction (AI)
An AI is an appointment in which a graduate student provides teaching in return for a tuition and stipend (paid as salary) contribution.  An AI appointment may include some combination of classroom teaching, laboratory supervision, and grading in undergraduate courses.

IV. Policy

Graduate students may receive funding from external fellowships, many of which confer valuable distinction and prestige on the recipient. The funding policy regarding external fellowships varies by division and by the value of the award.

Coordination of University Funding with External Fellowships

This policy applies to external fellowship awards held by Ph.D. students within their regular enrollment period. Outlined below are the details of the policy by division: 

Humanities and Social Sciences

Regular Enrollment Status

For students with external fellowship that provides stipend equal to or greater than 75% of the 12-month University Fellowship stipend, the student is allowed EITHER to defer one year of University Fellowship funding for use in the first year of DCE status, OR to receive a $5,000 supplement in each year of the external award, per the following guidelines:

  1. Defer a Year of University Fellowship
  • Students retain the full external fellowship funding for the duration of the external award. The external funding will replace the standard University funding that would have been provided. The student will defer one year of full University Fellowship funding for use in the first year of DCE status.
  • If the stipend support provided by external fellowship is less than the standard university rate, University Fellowship will provide the difference.
  • The deferred University funding will provide full DCE tuition and stipend at the standard university rate. It may only be used in the first year of DCE status.
  • Eligibility criteria and benefits will be prorated for 10-month awards.
  1. Receive a $5,000 Supplement in Each Year of Award
  • Students retain the full external fellowship funding and receive additional funding from the University up to the standard University Fellowship stipend plus $5,000.
  • Eligibility criteria and benefits will be prorated for 10-month awards.

For students with an external fellowship that provides less than 75% of the 12-month University Fellowship stipend, the following applies:

  • Students retain the full external fellowship funding and receive additional funding from the University up to the total of the standard University Fellowship stipend plus $5,000. (If the stipend provided by the external fellowship is less than $5,000, the supplement would be equal to the external stipend.)
  • If the external award period does not cover the standard 12-month award period, the student’s combined stipend will be determined by prorating the combined award over the period of overlap between the external and University awards.

For regularly enrolled students in the Humanities and Social Sciences who receive a multi-year fellowship that provides an annual stipend that is at least 50% of the standard University Fellowship stipend rate and includes a minimum annual contribution towards tuition of 25%, the student is allowed EITHER to defer one year of University Fellowship funding for use in the first year of DCE status, OR to receive the $5,000 supplement in each year of the external award (per the conditions described above).

In all instances described above (regardless of the value of the award), if the external fellowship provides less than full tuition, the University will supplement the external tuition with University Fellowship tuition to cover the full tuition rate.

In Absentia Status During Regular Program Length

Students in in absentia status who have an external award (regardless of the value of the award) may opt to EITHER to defer one year of University Fellowship funding for use in the first year of DCE status, OR to receive a $5,000 supplement, per the following guidelines:

  1. Defer a Year of University Fellowship
  • Students retain the full external fellowship funding for the duration of the external award. The external funding will replace the standard University funding that would have been provided, with no supplementation of stipend. The student will defer one year of full University Fellowship funding for use in the first year of DCE status.
  1. Receive a $5,000 Supplement
  • Students retain the full external fellowship and receive additional funding from the University up to the standard University Fellowship stipend plus $5,000.

Note that both options are calculated on either a 10-month or 12-month basis in conjunction with the duration of the external fellowship/s. In the case of multiple external awards, the supplement or months of banked support remain capped as described above.

Dissertation Completion Enrollment (DCE) Status

Students in DCE status awarded an external fellowship that provides a stipend that is at least 50% of the University Fellowship stipend rate (calculated on a 10-month basis), receive a tuition grant covering full DCE tuition and student health plan fees for the award period.

Natural Sciences and Engineering

First-Year Students

First-year students with external fellowship retain the full external fellowship funding plus a $4,000 supplement from the Graduate School, per the following guidelines:

  • If the external fellowship provides less than a full stipend, the student will be supplemented with a First Year Fellowship stipend up to the standard stipend rate plus $4,000.
  • For those first-year students who receive a University fellowship at admission that provides a stipend greater than the standard First Year Fellowship stipend (such as the Wu, Upton, or Centennial), the external fellowship stipend amount will be supplemented up to the standard First Year Fellowship stipend rate plus $4,000 or the stipend rate offered at admission, whichever is greater.
  • If the stipend provided by the external fellowship is less than $4,000, the supplement would be equal to the external stipend.

Continuing Students in Regular Enrollment Status

For students with an external fellowship that provides a stipend over the 10-month academic year that is equal to or greater than 75% of the standard assistantship in research rate, the following guidelines apply:

  • Students retain the external fellowship funding, plus a $4,000 supplement from the Graduate School. The supplement will be paid as a lump sum in August in each year the external fellowship is used.
  • If the external fellowship does not provide full stipend support, the external stipend amount will be supplemented by the department/adviser up to the standard assistantship in research rate. 

For continuing students in regular enrollment who receive an external fellowship that provides less than 75% of the full stipend amount over the 10-month academic year, the following guidelines apply:

  • The student will hold the full external fellowship funding, with the external stipend amount supplemented up to the standard assistantship in research rate by the department/adviser.

If an external fellowship provides less than full tuition, the difference will be covered by a First Year Fellowship for first-year students or by research, department fellowship, or teaching for continuing students. In addition, select external fellowships are eligible for shared tuition from the Graduate School. These include federally sponsored fellowships and those focused on diversity in the given field of study.

Dissertation Completion Enrollment (DCE) Status

Students in DCE status awarded external fellowship that provides a stipend that is at least 50% of the standard assistantship in research rate (calculated on a 10-month basis), receive a tuition grant covering full DCE tuition and student health plan fees for the award period.

Students in the natural sciences and engineering divisions who receive external fellowship that provides a stipend over the 10-month academic year that is equal to or greater than 75% of the Assistantship in Research rate and are also the beneficiaries of Centennial, Wu, or Upton Fellowships do not receive all of the incentives associated with both awards.  In these cases, students receive as a benefit the monetary value of the premium associated with the named Centennial, Wu, or Upton Fellowship.  This premium is the amount by which the named stipend amount exceeds the base stipend amount.  First year Wu and Upton recipients will continue to receive the $3,000 up-front award in their first year of study, as outlined in their offer of admission.

External Fellowships Combined with Assistantships in Instruction

Students whose fellowship award qualifies for the banked year (in Divisions I and II) or the $4,000 supplement (in Divisions III and IV) may undertake assignments for assistantships in instruction up to a total of six hours over the course of the academic year, with a maximum appointment of a three-hour AI in any given term (a three-hour AI is equivalent to a ½ AI appointment for one term).  Certain outside fellowships may have specific limitations on teaching or other remuneration.  It is the student’s responsibility to know and abide by the policy conditions of an outside funding source. 

Students with an external fellowship who hold an AI appointment receive the full value of the AI stipend on top of the funding received from the outside entity, with no adjustments. However, the tuition support allocated to the AI appointment may be adjusted to reflect the value of a tuition contribution from the external award. 

External Fellowship Requirements of Graduate Students

Graduate students who are recipients of external awards must comply with the following:

  • Students must accept the external award and provide a copy of the award letter to the Graduate School.
  • Students are responsible for understanding the terms of, and ensuring compliance with, the specific requirements and/or restrictions of their external award.

V. Procedures (if applicable)

Students provide the Graduate School a copy of the award letter for any external fellowship received and submit a completed External Fellowship Form with the specifics of the award. For multi-year awards, students should confirm the terms of the award annually with the Graduate School to ensure that the award is properly recorded and administered each year.

The External Fellowship Form can be found on the Graduate School website. The form includes a link to upload a copy of the award letter. Any questions relating to external fellowships can be forwarded to GSFinance@Princeton.edu.

VI. Related Documents/Pages/Forms (if applicable)

External Fellowship Form – a link to the form is found on the Graduate School website

VII. Roles and Responsibilities

Dean of the Graduate School
Oversees Graduate School policies and associated procedures.

Finance and Administration
Administers External Fellowship policy.

Graduate Student
Completes and submits the External Fellowship form and provides a copy of the award letter to the Graduate School. Responsible for complying with the terms of the individual award.