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Dean’s message about funding extensions for students

April 22, 2020

Copied to: FAS DGSs, FAS chairs, GSAS staff
In this message: Information about extensions for Ph.D. students in FAS departments

Dear FAS Ph.D. students,

I hope this message finds you as well as can be in the midst of the abrupt changes to our lives caused by the pandemic. I have heard from many of you about the impact of COVID-19 on your work, including the closure of libraries, collections and laboratories on our campus, suspension of travel for field work, and concern about family members. I have received many requests for extensions of funding to replace lost time since we closed in March. I am glad to be able to share our current plan for extensions to assist you in resuming your progress toward the goals you came to Yale to accomplish.

In consulting with the DGSs, we have learned there are nuances in the effects of the pandemic on student progress across programs and cohorts. The Graduate School will rely on graduate programs to decide how best to make extension accommodations for students whose research and writing has been impacted by COVID-19. My office will work closely with your DGSs and faculty to provide accommodations within these parameters:

  • The maximum accommodation a program may offer is a 12-month extension of funding to all students in years 1-6, although most programs will configure a more tailored offering. We do not imagine that all students will require such extensions, and the expectation is that students do everything possible to finish within the typical six-year timeframe for doctoral study.

  • No extensions may be finalized until the start of a student’s sixth year of study.

  • In grant-funded programs, no extensions will be promised until grant funding has been exhausted.

  • Each extension includes a teaching obligation at the standard departmental level.

  • Programs may make blanket funding extensions by cohort or on an individual student basis. Extensions may be for a term or a year.

  • Students currently on a University Dissertation Fellowship (UDF) will automatically receive an additional term of UDF in Fall 2020, unless they request to teach and postpone their UDF

  • Students currently in year seven are eligible for extended registration and the accompanying Yale Health Award in year eight. However, they are not eligible for additional stipend funding. If an opportunity is available, they may teach at the teaching stipend rate.

  • May 2020 graduates are invited to apply to the Graduate School Alumni Fellowship announced earlier this week. Successful applicants to the Fellowship who have withdrawn their dissertations will resubmit their dissertations immediately upon receipt of the Fellowship. Other applicants who have withdrawn their dissertations will resubmit for a December 2020 degree; these students will be eligible for accommodations according to parameters above.

We will do everything we can to help you complete your degrees and meet the challenges before us successfully. If you have questions or concerns, please do contact your DGS or me directly as ever. In the meantime, I look forward to better days when we can all see each other again in person.

With sincere wishes for your good health and well-being,

Lynn Cooley
Dean, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
C.N.H. Long Professor of Genetics
Professor of Cell Biology and of Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology