Fellowships, Scholarships, and Prizes

A variety of fellowship opportunities are available with support ranging from tuition scholarships only to tuition scholarship plus stipend. Financial aid is not necessarily tied to teaching or research assistantships.

Explore the following items for more information:

Departmental Financial Aid

Fellowships and tuition scholarships are available for PhD work in economics. Fellowships pay a cash stipend for the academic year, and include a full tuition waiver, health insurance, and health insurance fee waiver.

Fellowships are typically renewed every year, for years two through five, so long as the student is in good standing in the program. Teaching is only required in years three and four. This policy allows you to focus on your course work in your first two years and helps facilitate your starting research. Students can choose to teach in later years and in summers for additional compensation.

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Dissertation Year Fellowships

We cannot guarantee stipend support in the sixth year, though students typically receive a tuition waiver and health insurance fee waiver. In addition, we typically nominate up to three students to dissertation-year fellowships and one student is nominated for the University’s Ball Fellowship.

These fellowships last for one year and are intended to allow outstanding students to devote their full attention to the dissertation during their last year of study.

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Research Assistant Support

The department funds a range of research assistantships (RAs) including 1) summer RAs available in the summers after first and second year paying a $2,000 stipend and requiring residency in Rochester and 2) academic year RAs available to second and third years paying $3,000. Many students continue paid RA work with faculty on an ad hoc basis.

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Other Competitive Funding

We offer competitive summer fellowships of $5,000. Students are eligible beginning in the summer after their third year. These summer fellowships help you focus on your dissertation work for successful program completion.

We also offer competitive academic year fellowships of $32,000 funded by the Wallis Institute, awarded annual to two students whose research has a policy focus.

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Reviews of Student Performance

The faculty reviews graduate student performance following each semester. Key elements in this review are:

  • Course grades
  • Qualifying examination results
  • Status of third-year paper and thesis research
  • Teaching assistance performance
  • Any other information the faculty may have concerning student progress

These reviews are important for determining awards and prizes.

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The department recognizes superior performance through a variety of prizes. These include the:

  • Kaplan Prize—awarded to the second-year student with the best overall course record
  • Conibear Prize—awarded for the best third-year paper
  • Tapan Mitra Prizes—awarded for the best fifth-year empirical paper and the best fifth-year theoretical paper

In addition to the recognition, all three prizes currently include a cash award.

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Outside Support

A variety of external funding sources are available. These include fellowship and research programs offered by the US and foreign governments, financial institutions, and philanthropic or research organizations.

The department strongly encourages students to apply for outside funding. A partial listing of funding sources is available in the department office. Many of these programs require submission of a research proposal, a task which is greatly facilitated by having a finished and polished dissertation prospectus.

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Employment Policy

The department regards its awards as providing graduate students with the opportunity to undertake full-time graduate study and research without bearing the full cost of this activity. In keeping with this view, we desire that graduate students receiving fellowships not undertake other employment commitments during the academic year.

However, we do recognize that financial constraints may necessitate part-time employment. A guideline for the maximum amount of such outside employment compatible with maintaining a fellowship is one day per week, or, in teaching units, one course per term.

We also remind you of the permanent income hypothesis, and the fact that finishing a year earlier, or with a higher quality dissertation, can have significant future rewards.

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