Published June 11, 2021
As part of UB’s PhD Excellence Initiative, the university will support the cost of broad-based fees for PhD students who are full time and fully funded, starting in the 2021-22 academic year, Provost A. Scott Weber said this week.
The funding will cover UB’s Comprehensive Fee, which supports several university services; the Academic Excellence and Success Fee, which funds academics and research; the Student Activity Fee; and the International Student Fee, if applicable.
“The additional support for our PhD students and programs closely aligns with university goals, including providing students with exceptional educational experiences and being recognized among the Top 25 public research universities in the nation,” Weber said.
UB launched the PhD Excellence Initiative in 2019 to strengthen its PhD programs and address important and timely national issues related to student recruitment, diversity, improving retention and time to degree, and providing exceptional pedagogical and research training that ensure strong program outcomes.
As a first step, in 2019 the university raised the minimum stipend campuswide to $20,000 for full-time, fully funded PhD students on 10-month appointments as teaching, research or graduate assistants. The new minimum stipend levels placed UB’s annual PhD stipends among the top five of AAU public universities.
Since then, UB has continued to evaluate how it could further enhance and support PhD education, leading to this week’s announcement about support for fees.
As a next step, and to build on the progress made through the PhD Excellence Initiative, Weber has charged Graham Hammill, vice provost for academic affairs and dean of the Graduate School, with leading a collaborative process with the campus community to determine the future direction of PhD education at UB.
Does this cover PhD students who are certified as full-time students also? Many of my PhD students take fewer credits as they write their dissertation and get certified full time by the Graduate School. They are funded by the department or faculty grant. This will be a big savings for them.