Funding Information for Mentors & Students

Funding FAQs

How often and how far in advance, should I let people know about updates to my funding (even minor ones like changes in shortcode)? 

Students and their mentors should meet and submit the above CMB Funding Updates form once every semester (the month or two before the start of Fall, Winter, and Sp/Su), even if the student's funding will remain the same. This minimizes the number of emails CMB has to send every 4 months to ensure funding continuity. CMB requests notice of at least 3-4 weeks before a funding update should go into effect, or 1-2 months before a teaching appointment (GSI) begins. Most changes need to go through multiple university systems and departments. Retroactive changes can be difficult to implement smoothly and may cause issues for the student’s pay, benefits, or taxes for the year. Additionally, they can cause past-due balances on the student's account, which could result in administrative holds that prevent the student from registering for classes or the withholding of their diploma until resolved.

What is the current PIBS graduate student stipend rate? 

The current minimum rate, effective August 28, 2023 - is $38,970/year, or $3247.50/month. This rate usually increases at the end of each August (effective first day of Fall classes).

How much is tuition and fees per semester?

 The current rates can be found on this page (search the current year, and put in "Medical School" for the division). SCROLL DOWN to "Rackham" costs. 

How much are GradCare benefits per month?

GradCare for students includes both health and dental. The current rates for 2023-2024 health care benefits can be found on this page (look under the first category, "Benefit-Eligible Fellowship Holders, GSIs, GSRAs and GSSAs"). Additionally, dental benefit rates can be found here (students receive Dental Option 1 unless they pay to upgrade to option 2 or 3 - note, these upgrades need to be paid either through the student account or by payroll deduction for those on a GSRA/GSI).

Who should be contacted if a student's funding changes?

It is 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 the faculty mentor's primary department admin, as well as CMB ([email protected]). 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. 

What kind of funding updates require letting CMB and the mentor's primary department know?

  • When the student receives a new award; OR receives an updated Notice of Award with updated stipend rate and/or terms - Please forward the NOA to CMB and your department - plus any other details regarding the amount awarded, how it should be spent, contact people, and effective date(s) (note, start should be the activation date when funding becomes available, not the awarded date).
  • When the faculty mentor receives new funding or their current funding expires, which requires a new shortcode to fund the student. 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 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 a student has gotten confirmation that they will receive a GSI, but before accepting the appointment (please coordinate all GSIs with CMB, as they affect your funding) 

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 of summer 2023, we are now putting all students on faculty funds (sponsored or not) on GSRAs, to minimize transitions between the HR and Financial Aid systems, which affects the student in various ways. 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. CMB student shoulds always get GSIs approved before accepting a position, as GSIs usually provide tuition, benefits and a stipend, and this will need to be coordinated with the student's other funding. Failure to coordinate teaching with CMB could cause problems with students' paychecks, benefits, tuition, and/or taxes. Per guidelines by the GEO (Graduate Employee Organization) - students should not teach without getting paid. Additionally, some funding awards do not allow, or they limit, the amount of teaching a student is allowed to complete while on the award. For example, NIH training grants and F awards (F31s/F30s) limit the student to 10 hours/week of teaching (this limits the student to GSIs appointed at no more than 25% effort). Please check any current funding awards for terms and conditions regarding teaching while on the award. 

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, which are between $90 and $170/semester)

  • 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. 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, then click "Account Inquiry" and "History." From there, the student can print the account history page - payments to the student are listed in the "refunds" column.

How is the student taxed on their funding?

CMB cannot provide tax advice; however, click HERE for more tax information from Rackham Graduate School. 1098-Ts for fellows/trainees, and W2s/paystubs (employees) are available in Wolverine Access (see the cheat sheet at the top of the page for specifics).

What is the EBS 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/F99, NSF, HHMI Gilliam, DoD NDSEG, American Heart Association (AHA) Fellowship. 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 [email protected].