VSE Faculty:

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 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 announced.

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

Stephen Nash

Stephen G. Nash
Senior Associate Dean
Volgenau School of Engineering
George Mason University
Nguyen Engineering Building, Room 2500
Mailstop 5C8
Fairfax, VA 22030

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Phone: (703) 993-1505
Fax: (703) 993-1633