Stepping up Stipends for Graduate Students

By Greg Rienzi

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The School of Arts and Sciences will significantly augment the resources devoted to graduate student stipends, thanks to an investment of more than $5 million from the President’s Office over the next five years.

The extra funds will be put to good use in a variety of ways. For example, the George E. Owen Fellowships, which the university awards to exceptionally qualified students, will be increased by $1,000, notes Katherine Newman, the James B. Knapp Dean of the Krieger School. "The presidential contribution is a very substantial addition for which we are immensely grateful," says Newman. "It will help us make our Owen Fellowships on par with the awards offered by our toughest competitors."

Combining funds from the President’s Office and those drawn from the budget of the Krieger School, the basic stipend for all students will be increased by $1,000 a year for each of the next four years. "All of our doctoral students are outstanding and deserving of our support," Newman says. "These colleagues represent the future of the academy and many professions, and it takes years of hard work and devotion to be able to do high-quality independent scholarship."

The School of Arts and Sciences currently enrolls 987 graduate students (not counting those enrolled in Advanced Academic Programs). Newman says that it is exceedingly difficult to find sources of philanthropic support for doctoral students, with some notable exceptions, including Johns Hopkins alumni and institutions such as the Andrew Mellon Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Soros Foundation for New Americans, the National Institutes of Health, and a set of foundations that provide research funding for dissertations.

The lion’s share of responsibility for graduate support, she says, comes from within the university for the humanities and social sciences, as well as from research grants, primarily in the natural and social sciences.