VSE has made it a strategic goal to improve significantly both the
quality and quantity of doctoral students as part of our broader
aspirations for significant research growth.
Last year we increased our stipends for doctoral students, increased the
number of tuition credits, and made multi-year offers to incoming
students, in order to make our offers more competitive. For Fall 2017 we
were successful in attracting 71 new PhD students to our programs (up
from 57 in Fall 2016, and 41 in Fall 2015).
Based on data gathered by the department chairs we have concluded that
our offers to new students are competitive with many of our peer
institutions. However many of our peer institutions offer additional
funding to more advanced students. For Fall 2018 we are going to
address this by offering larger stipends to PhD students who have
The full details on GTA/GRA funding for both PhD and MS students can be
found in the attachment.
Last year we instructed faculty making grant submissions to budget for a
stipend of $22,500 for Fall 2018. The revised guidance in the
attachment does not exceed this amount. Also, the increases proposed
for Fall 2019 and beyond are smaller than were suggested last year.
As was stated last year, if a sponsored project has GRAs who are
budgeted at a lower stipend, and the PI does not have project funds to
cover the difference, the PI may present a proposal to Kim
Goodwin-Slater, the School's Director of Finance, for financial support
from VSE. Similarly, if a GRA is supported by an existing grant, and if
the increase in tuition credits cannot be supported by the grant, the PI
can make a proposal to Kim Goodwin-Slater for financial support from
VSE. Kim will take into account the size of the indirect pool available
to the PI when evaluating the proposal. These comments apply to
proposals submitted in 2016 or earlier, before last year's guidance was
If you have questions about this, please contact me or Kim
Goodwin-Slater ([log in to unmask]) for more information.
Stephen G. Nash
Senior Associate Dean
Volgenau School of Engineering
George Mason University
Nguyen Engineering Building, Room 2500
Fairfax, VA 22030
[log in to unmask]
Phone: (703) 993-1505
Fax: (703) 993-1633