The policy below applies to students in Humanities and Social Sciences departments only. Students in Natural Science departments should contact Tom Tarduogno at email@example.com in the Office of Financial Aid.
Applying for External Awards
GSAS considers support of its Ph.D. students essential to their success and timely completion of the degree. External fellowship awards help students remain funded for additional semesters past their GSAS fellowship years, develop grant-writing skills, and enhance their curriculum vitae for their subsequent job search.
As part of an application for renewal of a multi-year GSAS fellowship, GSAS requires that students apply for at least one academic-year external award during years one through four of their GSAS fellowship years. Students will be required to submit evidence of at least one good-faith effort to obtain funding from a funding source external to the University to their Director of Graduate Studies (DGS); students should consult with the DGS to determine what constitutes such an effort for a particular field and stage in the program. The DGS supplies this information to the Dean of the Graduate School.
Receiving an External Award
Ph.D. students who receive a competitively awarded external fellowship during a year they would have otherwise received a year of their GSAS-funded fellowship may choose to either:
(1) receive a supplement to the external fellowship (top-off)
(2) extend a year of GSAS fellowship.
(1) The Top-Off of an External Fellowship
Students may receive GSAS funds to supplement the external fellowship. The maximum total award, including the combination of GSAS and external funds, is $30,000. Students may select this option instead of extending their GSAS funding by a year. Students who wish to top-off an external fellowship should complete the Statement of Understanding form (.pdf), sign it, and send it to the Office of Financial Aid, 107 Low Memorial Library, MC 4304 by September 15 (for the fall semester or for the academic year), or by January 15 (for spring-semester-only awards).
Students who receive either an outside award during the academic year for which the stipend is at least $17,500 or who receive an academic year Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) award will not be required to teach during the period of the outside award unless the student will not have another opportunity to complete the GSAS instructional requirement.
(2) Extension of GSAS Funding
Instead of topping off, students may choose to defer a year (or, a semester, for semester-long awards) of their GSAS multi-year fellowship, subject to the GSAS instructional requirement for Ph.D. students. Students who select this option will not be topped off.
Students receive neither option until the Statement of Understanding form (.pdf) is received in GSAS. Students whose forms are not received by September 15 (for the fall semester or for the academic year, or by January 15 (for spring-semester-only awards) will automatically receive the Top-Off of External Fellowship option and will not defer their GSAS funding.
External Award Policies
It is important to note the following:
- Unless the outside award's policy explicitly requires the University to permit deferral of the award, fellowship students are not allowed to defer outside funding.
- GSAS funds must be used in the first seven years of the Ph.D. program.
- With the option of extended GSAS funding, a teaching fellowship year remains a teaching fellowship year, regardless of which year the funding is used. Students who receive an external award in a year when they would be teaching (according to the terms of their multiyear fellowship) and who extend their GSAS funding are required to complete the teaching obligation when they use the GSAS funding extension. For example, if a year of teaching fellowship is replaced with an external fellowship, then the extended funding year remains a teaching fellowship year. Regardless of how a student is supported, all Ph.D. students must complete the mandatory one-year GSAS teaching requirement.
- Students on external fellowships must be registered full time during the term of the fellowship. If the fellowship does not cover students' tuition and fees, the appropriate full-time tuition and health-related fees (basic insurance plus access to Columbia Health Services) will be covered by GSAS. In the event that the external award pays some of the tuition and health fees, GSAS will pay the difference.
- Students receiving FLAS, Lindt, Reid Hall, Whiting, CU Travel and other awards that are granted through internal selection committees may not choose the extended GSAS funding option. In addition, teaching assistantships, such as the Cordier, PEPM, IRAAS, IRWAGS, and CESR, for example, are not considered external awards. External fellowships are defined as those awarded in a competitive application process external to the University. The GSAS External Fellowship Award database includes many of these external competitive awards.
If you have questions about these policies, please see the Frequently Asked Questions.