Stipend Reserve Fund

Stipend Reserve Fund

The GDBBS operates a Stipend Reserve Fund that provides flexibility in funding of graduate students. There are two types of accounts; savings and loans.

Savings

The investigator may want to deposit funds now to pay for a student in later years.

An individual can deposit in the Fund by supporting a student who would otherwise be the responsibility of the Division, or by transferring unrestricted funds to the Fund.

A PI may withdraw previously deposited funds for the support of a graduate student who would otherwise be the responsibility of the PI (including travel to scientific meetings) or to pay the enrollment fee for a graduate student. Under extenuating circumstances funds may be used for an undergraduate student conducting honors thesis research, or a postdoctoral fellow (no more than two years post-degree).

Loans

To be eligible for loans from the Fund to pay a student stipend, the faculty must be a member of a Program that makes mentor selection before the beginning of the second year. Those that don't select mentors before the beginning of the second year have many fewer ways to pay back the loan.

A faculty mentor may borrow money from the Fund to pay the stipend of a student that would otherwise be the mentors’ responsibility. This should be considered a last resort and only requested when all other alternatives have been exhausted (See Procedures below). Loans from the Fund are limited to 18 months of student stipend.

A faculty member can pay back a loan by supporting a student who would otherwise be the responsibility of the Division, or by transferring unrestricted funds to the bank.

A Program can pay the individual’s loan by forfeiting part of their administrative budget or an allocated slot for a new student.

A Department can pay the individual’s loan by transferring unrestricted money to the Fund.

Procedures

All savings transactions can be accomplished by completing the appropriate form.

All loan requests should be made in writing to the Program involved and should be screened and approved (or denied) by the Program and the Chair of the Department where the mentor derives their primary appointment. Upon recommendation of the Program and the Chair the request will be approved and funds disbursed by the Division. If a faculty member needs additional support, a new request must be filed. 

Any investigator with a debt to the Fund will be required to pay the stipend of any student(s) rotating in their laboratory. If the program involved fails to notify the GDBBS of such a rotation assignment the program will be responsible for any new debt incurred.

No faculty member with a debt to the Fund will be allowed to take a new student. An exception will be made if the investigator pays the second year stipend of that student and that payment retires the outstanding debt. Any payment in excess of the debt will be deposited to the Fund for the investigators later use.

If the Program feels it is important for an assignment to be made to a mentor in debt, they must pay the debt by giving up a slot for the next recruiting season. The amount of stipend for this lost slot will be assigned to retire the debt so that this assignment can be made.

Once an assignment is made, the GDBBS will provide up to 18 months of loans if the mentor cannot pay their students (this requires the recommendation of the Program and the Chair).

Subsequently, if the mentor needs additional funds, the Chairs will be responsible for debt in excess of 18 months. Since the Department may have to assume responsibility if reduced funding prevents the faculty member from paying their students, all mentor assignments must be approved by the Program and by the Chair of the Department where that mentor derives their primary appointment.

Reporting

All mentor assignments will be reported in a timely manner to the GDBBS to allow the updating of the GDBBS database and student files. The Program and the Chair of the Department where the prospective mentor derives their primary appointment will be required to approve the assignment. The attached form should be completed and forwarded to the GDBBS as soon as it is completed, but in no case later that June 1 of the student’s second year.

Appeals

Any appeals for exceptions to this policy must be submitted in writing to the Director of the Division and should be accompanied by a statement from the Chairman and Program involved. Appeals will be heard by the Executive Committee within 30 days of receipt in the GDBBS office.

In Summary

No new student assignments will be made to a faculty member in debt. The maximal amount of individual indebtedness to the Fund is limited to 18 months of stipend, an amount that most faculty members will be able to pay back when funding is regained.

The faculty member pays back their debt by supporting students that would otherwise be the responsibility of the GDBBS.

The Program pays if they do not report rotation assignments, or if they approve a mentor assignment, for a faculty member in debt to the Fund.

Once an assignment is made, the GDBBS will provide up to 18 months of loans if the mentor cannot pay their students.

Subsequently, if the mentor needs additional funds, the Chairs will be responsible for debt in excess of 18 months.