University of Vermont

Sponsored Project Administration - SPA

217 Waterman Building . 85 South Prospect Street . Burlington, Vermont 05405 . (802) 656-3360

graduate student salary faqs

Graduate Student Salary Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Why does UVM wish to include graduate student tuition in proposals for sponsored projects?

  • A1. This change results from an initiative that began in the fall 2011 and was led by the Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate College to enhance funding for graduate education. 
  • This new requirement was vetted through multiple faculty committees and approved by the Deans and the Provost. 
  • For additional information, please see the April 2015 memo from the Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate College. 

Q2. Should I include a tuition budget line on all sponsored project research proposals that involve GAs/GRAs?

  • A2. Tuition should be budgeted and charged a) ONLY where the RFP and sponsor allow tuition and b) only for a graduate assistantship (GA/GRA) position supported on the grant. 
  • Please note that some sponsors, including some operating units within USDA, do not allow tuition on grants, therefore the cost item should not be included in the proposal or charged to the project.

Q3. May I charge more than the UVM minimum mandated tuition reimbursement to the grant?

  • A3. Yes. The absolute amount that could be requested is governed by the limits of the agency. 
  • Note that out of state students are charged at the out of state tuition rate regardless of the source of the tuition payment. 
  • Thus for NIH (see above), the maximum tuition allowed for a student receiving the minimum UVM salary would be $20,984, which would cover 12 credits of out of state tuition.

Q4. What is SPA’s role in managing these new UVM tuition requirements?

  • A4. As always, SPA staff will advise principal investigators of all applicable regulations and requirements during proposal development, award administration, and closeout. 
  • When allowable by the sponsor and RFP, SPA Research Administrators will include tuition in the SPA budget worksheet and proposal budget when graduate student salary and fringe is also included in the sponsored research project.

Q5. Are these rules applicable for fellowship or training grants?

  • A5. No; fellowships and training grants follow different regulations than sponsored research projects. 
  • Fellows and trainees are employees of the sponsoring agencies and are paid stipends rather than salaries. 
  • There is not a fringe benefit charged on their stipend. 
  • Tuition and fees are proposed and charged based on the sponsor guidelines and the type of grant. 
  • Please contact your SPA Research Administrator and/or Dean of the Graduate College if you have specific questions about fellowships and training grants.

Q6.  For GAs/GRAs working on a sponsored project, how is the tuition scholarship that is not covered by the grant covered?

  • A6. The tuition scholarship for all graduate assistantships is as follows:
    • 0.50 FTE (20 hours per week) will receive 9 credits each semester as scholarship (for a total of 18 credits per AY);
    • 0.25 FTE (10 hours per week) will receive 6 credits each semester as scholarship (for a total of 12 credits per AY);
    • Any student with a split 0.50 FTE appointment (for example -  0.25 GTA and 0.25 GRA) will only receive a maximum of 18 credits in any given academic year;
    • Students with 12 month salaries are eligible to receive 5 credits summer tuition scholarship. Students must be supported as a GTA, GRA or GA for the entire summer term at 0.50 FTE to be automatically eligible for the summer tuition scholarship.
    • The remaining tuition scholarship not supported by the grant will be paid by the responsibility center in which the student resides. The Graduate College will make the transaction on the student account in Banner and FAB will track the funding flow. Please contact the Graduate College for questions.

Q7. What happens if the GA/GRA position is not at 0.25 or 0.5 FTE?

  • A7. If the graduate assistant position on the grant is at least 0.25 FTE but less than 0.5FTE, the charge to the grant is 5 credits at the in state rate (per year). If the graduate assistant position is less than 0.25 FTE, no tuition is charged to the grant.

Q8. What is the inflation percentage used in proposal budget?

  • A8. SPA will use the standard 3% rate for inflation for tuition and salaries (wherever allowable) for future budget years.

Q9. What if a graduate student included in the proposal drops out? Or is no longer part of the research?

  • A9. Barring any restrictions in award documents/RFPs, any money not used for tuition or stipends can be re-budgeted into other categories. You/your business unit administrator would work with the SPA Financial Analyst for project rebudgeting.

Q10. How does UVM ensure that the tuition is charged to the grant?

  • A10. Student Financial Services (SFS) must be informed about the student’s funding source via the SFS payment request form. 

  • SPA will approve the form and forward it to the Graduate College, which will make the transaction in BANNER notify SFS for financial aid accounting. 

last updated 11/27/17

Last modified November 27 2017 12:53 PM

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