Hey BGSA members, have you heard?There are some big changes being planned to graduate student support at the University level, which could lead to departments like ours having more discretionary funds to use to support graduate students. This will affect newly admitted graduate students starting next year, not current grad students. This would also affect the same pot that is currently used for top-ups, admission scholarships, and other various departmental awards. The BGSA wants to hear your opinions, suggestions, and ideas on how the department might allocate these funds in the future.
Did you know?
- McGill University is restructuring their graduate student funding model, by transferring more control directly to Faculties and departments. (Note: these changes will apply to future new admits, and will not reduce funding to current graduate students).
- McGill University initially started the MIDAs program to encourage international doctoral students to enroll, by offsetting the additional tuition fees mandated by the province. The MIDAs program was therefore intended to act as a recruitment program, a priority the university has strongly suggested should also apply to the new funding model.
- The biology department often receives "unallocated" funds for graduate students from the Faculty of Science, which must be allocated within a very short period of time.During the past 4 years I've been here, I know of at least 3 occasions, including two for which the BGSA was consulted regarding allocation.
- The biology department will be discussing these and possibly other changes to graduate student funding at the upcoming department Assembly on March 10, 2011.
The BGSA wants to know what you think about:
- How discretionary funds have been allocated by the department in the past?
- Do you feel it has been effective?
- Do you feel it has been fair?
- How can the department improve recruitment and retention of top graduate students?
- What role can discretionary funds play to best achieve this goal?
- How would you like to see discretionary funds allocated by the department?
- Should funds be allocated based on financial need, merit, other criteria, or a combination?
- Would you like to see written guidelines that the department could use to decide how to allocate discretionary funds in the future?
- What priorities, values, or procedures would you like to see in such guidelines?
Thanks for your time and input,
Department of Biology