Graduate Student Stipends1. The Graduate School awards competitive Graduate Research Assistantships to a limited number of Ph.D. students that provides financial support (stipend, health benefits and sponsorship of tuition and fees.) After their first two years of study, students are supported by their faculty advisors’ or another funding mechanism (such as training grants or external fellowship awards.)
2. Students who receive these competitive GSBS Assistantships are considered to be half-time (50%) employees of the State and their title is "Graduate Research Assistant" (GRA). The stipend level for 2012-2013 is $29,000 per annum; the stipend level at GSBS ranks in the top 5% nationally (when adjusted for the cost of living in Houston).
3. As part of the employee sign-up process, students must provide documentation from the “List of Acceptable Documents” on the back of the I-9 Form (http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-9.pdf): one from List A OR one each from List B and List C. This step is important and one which must be done in order for students to be paid. If you have questions about the employee sign-up process, please call the GSBS Financial Office (713-500-9866).
4. GSBS GRAs are paid bi-monthly. Pay days are the 1st and 16th of each month. (Students holding a GRA and being paid by MD Anderson Cancer Center are paid on the 5th and 20th of each month).
5. Following the first twenty-four months of enrollment, doctoral students are funded by fellowships, training grants, or their advisors' grants (for more information see http://www.uthouston.edu/gsbs/current-students/academics/policies/policies/faculty-advisors.htm). The Graduate School, working with advisors and departments, will make every effort to ensure that students continue to receive financial support throughout the course of their degree programs.
6. The stipends awarded to GSBS students are intended to contribute sufficiently to meeting educational and living costs so that students can devote full time to their studies. It is the expectation of the Graduate School that students holding Graduate Research Assistantships will not undertake activities, including employment of any kind, that will interfere with their educational program or delay their progress toward the degree. An exception to this policy will be made by the Dean only if the activity proposed by the student (1) can be justified as contributing in some fashion to his/her training as a researcher/teacher and (2) involves no more than 80 hours of effort over the course of an academic year. Students who participate in extracurricular activities which require a substantial involvement of time must obtain the approval of their advisor prior to initiating the activity.
7. Combined Award Policy.
Outside fellowships--A student who applies directly to a funding agency outside the University and is awarded a fellowship may hold that fellowship in combination with a Graduate Research Assistantship as long as the combined payments from the outside fellowship and the GRA do not exceed 130% of the standard GSBS stipend level. When combined awards of this sort exist, the advisor or department has the discretion of providing additional support such that the combination of payments equals the standard GSBS stipend level ($29,000) or up to 130% of that level. If the amount of the outside fellowship is, by itself, greater than the 130% limit, the student is permitted to accept and use the fellowship regardless of the amount provided. In such a case, the student may not hold a GRA nor may the outside fellowship be supplemented by other funds. (NOTE: This combined award policy does NOT apply to the competitive, internal GSBS fellowship awards).
International students—Students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents are restricted, by the terms of their visas, to salaried appointments that may not in total exceed 50% of a full-time equivalent position. Accordingly, if an international student holds a 50% GRA appointment and is eligible for additional support, that support must be in a form (such as a fellowship stipend) that does not increase the student’s salaried level of effort to more than 50%.
Health Insurance RequirementsThe
GSBS students who are appointed as Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs) will receive health insurance as part of their employee benefits as a GRA. However, there is a waiting period before these employee health benefits become effective (1-2 months), during which time student health insurance must be purchased (or waived if a student can provide evidence of other coverage). The health insurance plans offered to GRAs by the University of Texas System are described at www.utsystem.edu/egi/.
Questions regarding stipends or health benefits can be directed to the GSBS Financial Manager, Ms. Carol Helton (713-500-9866; Carol.E.Helton@uth.tmc.edu).