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 reached candidacy.
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
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 announced.
If you have questions about this, please contact me or Kim
Goodwin-Slater ([log in to unmask]) for more
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