What is guaranteed funding?
It is a guarantee from CSE that you will have funding to cover your tuition, health insurance, and a stipend for 5 years. The length of the guarantee changes to 4 years if you entered the PhD program with a relevant master’s degree, or 3 years if you entered the PhD program from the CSE master’s program. This is true for both domestic and international students.
Can your advisor take it away?
Departmental fellowship funding is typically for one year (other fellowships may have longer duration) and in most cases will not be discontinued as long as the terms of the fellowship award are being met. Faculty advisors, in most cases, cannot take away fellowship funding. This funding type is reserved for some first-year PhD students.
GSRA funding is by term (4 months) and typically is not discontinued in the middle of a term. This type of funding is managed by individual faculty and it is possible for it to discontinue in future terms if the faculty member deems it appropriate.
If your advisor determines that GSRA funding is unavailable for a term you will need to sign up to be a GSI until new funding is identified by your advisor. If this is an instance of your advisor indicating that the relationship isn’t working out and advising you to find a new advisor, you should apply for GSI funding and talk to the graduate programs coordinator immediately.
GSI funding is by term (4 months) and in most cases will not be discontinued as long as the terms of the GSI appointment are being met. Note, there is an application period for GSI funding that takes place several months before the beginning of a term so students should plan accordingly.
What if something happens in the middle of the term and you can’t get a GSI; does the department still guarantee your funding?
GSRA appointments run for an entire term so this is unlikely to happen. If it does happen it is the responsibility of your advisor to continue funding you for the remainder of the term and you are still guaranteed funding. If this happens to you please reach out to the grad programs coordinator for advice. Note, there is an application period for GSI funding that takes place several months before the beginning of a term so students should plan accordingly and apply for a GSI appointment if conversations with their advisor indicate that GSRA funding may not be available in the following term.
What happens if you do not receive a paycheck?
This shouldn’t happen. If it does, please contact Karen Liska (email@example.com).