TAs, GRAs, Fellowships
Students making satisfactory progress in the Field of Genetics, Genomics
and Development receive financial support, including tuition fellowships or
waivers. Support beyond five years will be contingent on a review of progress
by the DGS and Department Chair in consultation with the major professor and
student. In your progress report each Spring semester you will indicate your
desired form of financial support for the coming year. Your preferences will
be met whenever possible. There are three main sources of financial support:
teaching assistantships (TA), graduate research assistantships (GRA), and fellowships.
TAs stipulate a time commitment of 15 hours/week (20 hours for some Intro.
Biology TAs) and provide a stipend as well as tuition. The Department of Molecular
Biology and Genetics is allocated 10 academic year TA positions and these are
assigned each semester based on the teaching needs of our instructors and the
financial needs of our graduate students. Teaching performance is evaluated
by the students in the courses and reviewed by the teaching faculty of the
Section. This review becomes a part of the graduate record and is included
in consideration for subsequent support.
Funds for GRAs come from several sources including grants awarded
to individual faculty members. Support from a faculty research grant must be
arranged with the faculty member involved. Fellowships are awarded from the
Genetics and Development Training Grant and the Plant Cell and Molecular Biology
Training Grant, as well as from the Graduate School.
NIH Training Grant in Genetics and Development: Students who are
US citizens or permanent residents are eligible for support by the NIH Training
Grant in Genetics and Development. Appointments to the training grant are made
competitively for one year periods. Decisions about the training grant are
made by a committee composed of the Principal Investigator of the Training
Grant, the Director of Graduate Studies, and an elected member of the faculty
from the Field. The training grant is used to support students during their
first year on a non-competitive basis, and during subsequent years (up to three
total) on a competitive basis.
University-Wide and Other Fellowships: Fellowship money is available
from Cornell University on a competitive basis for incoming students awarded
by their Field (e.g. Sage fellowship, Genomics fellowship and Presidential
Predoctoral fellowships (including some reserved for under-represented
minority students) are awarded by The National Science Foundation and the National
Institutes of Health to students in the early stages of graduate study. Please
contact the DGS, GFA, or your faculty advisor to obtain more information about
Other private foundations that offer fellowships are listed in
the "Fellowship Notebook", located on the Graduate School web site
If your support does not continue through the summer (e.g. TAs),
summer support is available from research grants, the Department's discretionary
funds and Graduate School Summer Assistantships which are awarded by the Department
on the basis of need. Discuss your situation with the Administrative Manager
and your major professor.
Tax Status of Stipends
In general, stipends (assistantships and fellowships) are considered taxable income. State and Federal income taxes are automatically withheld from all assistantship paychecks that are processed through Cornell's payroll system (TAships). You should receive a W2 from the Payroll Office.
Taxes are not withheld on fellowship and training grant stipends for U.S. citizens and permanent residents or international students from nations with which the U.S. has a tax treaty exempting scholarships or fellowships. International students from nations that do not have a tax treaty with the U.S. exempting scholarships and fellowships will have 14 percent automatically deducted from their fellowship stipends. For details, students should refer to the University Tax Office's web site: www.payments.cornell.edu/For_Student.cfm.
It is our understanding that Cornell does not report training grant or fellowship stipend support as income, but students are responsible for reporting it as such and for paying taxes. If proof of support is needed, students can print off bursar statements or go to the student service center and print out their account activity.
The following is a direct link to a FAQ section that may be of help http://www.dfa.cornell.edu/dfa/tax/index.cfm. The ISSO office also provides information about filing taxes for international students.
Tuition and health insurance are not considered taxable income unless provided directly for "services rendered." Books and supplies are deductible and receipts should be kept (consult your tax advisor!).
Numerous grants are available for students who take the time and
effort to apply for them. Grantsmanship is an important skill in academia and
one worth refining early. Some proposals must be submitted in the name of a
faculty member, such as those awarded by the National Science Foundation (NSF),
the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Competitive Grants Program, the Department of Energy (DOE), the Department
of Defense (DOD), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the National Geographic
Society. The Office of Sponsored Programs (123 Day Hall, 5-5014) has a Federal
Register of weekly listings of available money and has several compendia of
agencies and industries that provide research grants. Other research grants
are awarded directly to graduate students. Some of the more reliable sources
- Cornell Chapter of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society. This is an
especially good source for new graduate students. Awards are in the $100
to $300 range. Application deadline is in February.
- Sigma Xi, National Headquarters (345 Whitney Avenue New Haven, CT 06511).
Application deadlines for the Grants-in-Aid Program ($100 - $1,000) occur
three times a year.
- American Association of University Women (Director, Programs Office, 2401
Virginia Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037) offers Grants-in-aid, Dissertation
Completion Grants, and Postdoctoral Fellowships for women. These are very
competitive — available to women in all fields.
- Grants for Improving Doctoral Dissertation Research (National Science
Foundation, Forms and Publications Unit, 1800 G Street, NW - Room 232, Washington,
DC 20550). Funds are available for almost every facet of research except
stipends and tuition. Proposals are written by students but submitted on
behalf of the student by the major advisor through Cornell’s Office
of Sponsored Programs. Call the Office of Sponsored Programs (5-5014) for
- Fulbright grants support graduate study or research abroad. Applications
are available in the Fellowship Office, 155 Caldwell. Competitive, but well
worth the effort if you plan to study overseas.
- Congressionally Directed Medical Research Grants. This program funds research
for graduate students whose projects focus on a variety of human diseases.
Information on the grants can be found at: http://cdmrp.army.mil.
Students at Cornell have won these awards!