Skip to main content

Dean’s Emergency Fund


Developed in consultation with the Graduate Student Assembly, the Dean’s Emergency Fund is intended to assist Ph.D. students who face unanticipated financial hardship that would likely impact or hinder academic progress. The fund does not cover recurring expenses; instead, it is intended for Ph.D. students who cannot reasonably resolve their immediate financial difficulty through fellowships, loans, or personal resources. The funding is a one-time award, normally up to $2000, and does not require repayment.


  • The fund is open to all Ph.D. students registered full-time in degree programs of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
  • Situations eligible for funding include such events as:
    • Temporary housing for displacement due to fire, flood, or other unforeseen circumstances
    • Emergency dental expenses (e.g., root canal)
    • Travel costs related to unexpected crisis or death in the immediate family.
  • Costs must be incurred while registered as a full-time Ph.D. student in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.  Costs for a previous or future academic year will not be considered.
  • The student must demonstrate that, once the emergency is resolved, the probability of continuing in the graduate program without further financial hardship, barring any additional crisis, is high.
  • The student must certify that no other sources of funding are available.

Application Process

  • The student must provide a brief statement describing the emergency situation or one-time, unusual or unforeseen expense and the total dollar amount of emergency funds being requested (max 750 words).
  • The student must provide a budget detailing the amount of emergency funding requested, a list of specific expenses to be covered by the award, and the student’s financial situation, including non-GSAS sources of income and savings (max 750 words).
  • The student must provide documentation of expenses already charged such as copies of billing statements or receipts.
  • Application materials should be submitted to

Review Process

  • Applications are reviewed on a first-come, first-serve basis once the application is complete.
  • Applications are accepted until the fund is exhausted.
  • Any information provided will remain confidential.


The award does not require repayment.  However, to replenish the fund and ensure that future students can receive the same benefit, we will encourage awardees, when they are able, to donate to the fund.