Funding Information for Mentors & Students

Funding FAQs

What is the current PIBS graduate student stipend rate?
The current rate, effective August 30, 2021 - is $34,794/year. This rate usually increases at the end of each August.
 
Who should be contacted if a student's funding changes?
It is critically important that if the funding being used to support a student's tuition, stipend, fees, or benefits changes in any way, that you contact both your mentor's primary department admin, as well as CMB (cmbgrad@umich.edu). This allows us to track and coordinate the student's funding, and ensure that there are no gaps or issues transitioning from one funding source to the next. It is the mentor's responsibility to inform administrators about changes to their funding if it affects a CMB student. There is unfortunately no automatic system that alerts admin to these changes.
 
When do the department and CMB administrators need to be contacted about funding?
  • When the student receives a new award - It is best to forward the award notice to CMB and your department admin - especially the amount awarded, what the award covers, and the effective date(s)

  • When a new university shortcode, project/grant number, etc. needs to be used for either the student's stipend, tuition, benefits, or registration/mandatory fees - Keep in mind, if the account is federal/sponsored, usually we need to put the student on a Graduate Student Research Assistantship (GSRA), which may affect their pay date and have tax implications. As university employees, their wages will be subject to payroll tax withholding. More information about this can be found HERE under "Tax Information."

  • When the student has not been using an award, but now wants to start using it (such as claiming usage of a Rackham Merit Fellowship)

  • When the student/mentor receives notice about accepting or declining an award

  • When a student is defending, to wrap up the last months of their funding

  • When a student is transitioning to CMB from PIBS or MSTP or vice versa

 
When does a student need to be appointed as a GSRA (Graduate Student Research Assistant)?
Many federal/sponsored accounts (shortcodes) the mentor may want to use to fund a student will require the student to be put on a GSRA. This includes R01s and other funding sources that require the stipend to be disbursed as "wages." As a GSRA, the student's monthly stipend is disbursed by HR as payroll wages, and is subject to payroll taxes. More tax information can be found here.
 
When does a student need to be appointed as a GSI (Graduate Student Instructor)?
CMB students are required to complete at least one term of teaching to fulfill their requirements for the Ph.D. degree. The student will need to be appointed as a GSI. GSIs are considered university employees, so their wages will be disbursed by HR/payroll, and will be subject to payroll taxes. More tax information can be found here. The student should always let CMB know before accepting a GSI position, as GSIs usually provide tuition, benefits and a stipend, and this will need to be coordinated with the student's other/current funding. Per guidelines by the GEO (Graduate Employee Organization) - students should not teach without a GSI appointment.
 
When does a mentor need to supplement a student's funding?
The mentor is responsible for the student's funding in CMB until the student completes their degree (stipend, tuition, registration and mandatory fees, and Gradcare benefits). This can be through ensuring that the student receives an award that covers these expenses, or by funding or supplementing through through the mentor's own funding sources. Additionally, mentors should be aware of the following:
  • GSRAs/GSIs do not cover all registration/mandatory fees, so the mentor will need to provide a non-sponsored shortcode to supplement this each semester the student is appointed to a GSRA/GSI and registered for credit. (I.e. a mentor cannot use a sponsored account such as an R01 to fund a student without also providing a non-sponsored account to cover the fees.)

  • For students on training grants and other funding mechanisms that do not fund the full PIBS/university stipend rate, the mentor is expected to supplement the rest.

When does the student get paid?

This depends on the student's funding source. Some federal/sponsored funding, such as R01s, require the student to be appointed as a GSRA. If the student is either a GSRA or a GSI, they are considered university employees and will be paid through the university payroll system (monthly, at the end of each month). For other funding sources, such as fellowships, they receive a paycheck monthly (mid-month), through the financial aid system. If the student switches from one type of appointment to another (such as a fellowship, e.g. F31 or Rackham Predoc, to a R01/GSRA), this may impact their pay date. See the "cheat sheet by award type" above for more details.
 
How does the student get a copy of their pay stub if they need to provide income verification?
This depends on the student's funding source. If the student is a GSRA/GSI, they are being paid by HR payroll, and can access their pay stubs through Wolverine Access in the "Faculty & Staff"/"Employee Self-Service" section. For other types of awards and appointments, the student is being paid through Financial Aid, so there are no pay stubs available. However, they can print a summary of their payments by going to Wolverine Access, then "Student Business." From there, they should click "Financial Aid Information," select the year, and then click "Award Summary," which shows the total stipend amount. From there, the student can print the "Account Inquiry" page to see payments by month.
 
How is the student taxed on their funding?
Click HERE for more tax information from Rackham Graduate School.
 
 What is an EBSA award and how do I qualify for it?

The Excellence in Basic Science Award (EBSA) rewards each eligible doctoral student enrolled in a Medical School Basic Science graduate program.  Eligibility is determined using the following criteria:

  • the student's grant/fellowship must have been awarded after review by a scientific panel and competitively awarded,
  • the award must provide an annual stipend that is at least 2/3 of the official PIBS graduate student stipend
  • the student must be in good standing with the Rackham Graduate School and their specific graduate program
  • the student is expected to observe the Rackham Academic and Professionalism Integrity Policy

The award, in the amount of $416.67 per month ($5,000 per year if awarded for a full year), will be added to the student’s stipend for the duration of the fellowship and is subject to the continued availability of EBS funds. This will include MSTP students, but only during the student’s years of PhD training. Awards that have qualified in the past: F31/F30, NSF, HHMI Gilliam, DoD NDSEG. Please contact CMB if you think you may be eligible.

 
What is Rackham Cost Sharing?
When a source of funding only provides part of a student's tuition or Gradcare, Rackham sometimes will pay part or all of the remaining cost. Students' mentors are responsible for these requests, which typically have to be made when the award application is first submitted. Click here for more information, or contact Rackham Finance & Fellowships at RackhamFF@umich.edu.