Skip over navigation

Academic Policies

14. Financial Support of Graduate Research

i.  University support:  First year fellowships are currently awarded to all students to support their stipends during the first year.  Other fellowships may be available on a competitive basis from the graduate school and students are encouraged to apply for them.  In addition, the graduate school may have special funds for travel and meetings, and the student is encouraged to take advantage of those opportunities (http://gradschool.princeton.edu/financial/).

ii.  Departmental Support:  After the first year, graduate students may be supported as Assistants in Research (AR) or Assistants in Instruction (AI).  AR support generally derives from individual faculty member external grant funds.  AI support is allocated by the department according to the guidelines outlined below (Section 16). Graduate student expenditures for laboratory work and thesis preparation are generally supported on research grants and plans should be discussed and agreed between the student and advisor.  Such expenditures must have the written approval of the student's thesis research advisor before the money is spent, as this should be paid by research accounts.  Bills from the U-Store, Princeton Photo Service, etc. will not be paid by the Department if the item has not been approved by a faculty advisor and registered with the Department Manager. Graduate students are not permitted to charge items on the Departmental U-Store Account.

Iii.  Summer Studies and Field Work:  Project grants normally cover the summer stipend.  If summer salary is provided, the student is expected to take no more than 4 weeks vacation per year.  Project grants normally also defray minimum living expenses and transportation associated with field work. Each student whose summer research is not supported by a project grant should attempt to secure funds from an outside agency (e.g., the Geological Society of America or Sigma Xi). Each faculty member advising thesis work that has no project support will assume responsibility for helping the graduate student to secure outside funds. A graduate student will, in general, NOT be denied worthwhile thesis work for lack of a sponsored project. However, funding for such projects will be very limited and is at the discretion of the DGS and Department Chair.

iv.  Attendance at Scientific Meetings:  The department encourages attendance of graduate students at scientific meetings. Department vehicles will be made available whenever possible for transportation of student groups (normally at least four students) to meetings reasonably close to Princeton (within 1,000 miles). The Department will pay vehicle running costs, but students are expected to pay for their food and lodging. Expenses may also be defrayed from research grants.

Students seeking departmental financial support to enable them to attend scientific meetings at which they are scheduled to present papers should make formal application (including a budget) through their faculty advisor or advisory committee. The Department, in general, places a limit, currently $1000 per student, for the amount of money available to cover travel expenses to meetings during the course of his/her graduate career. We place responsibility on the student (and advisor) to decide priorities for which meetings are worth attending.