Starting the Academic Year with Great Momentum: For Graduate and Professional Students and Postdoctoral Fellows

August 29, 2023

Dear Graduate and Professional Students and Postdoctoral Fellows:

I hope your summer gave you a chance to rest and recharge in anticipation of a busy fall semester.

GW’s momentum has continued since the spring semester ended, and we have celebrated several major milestones. On July 1, we welcomed the 19th president of the George Washington University, Ellen M. Granberg, who has hit the ground running in meetings and events with the community. In June, we announced our invitation to join 70 other universities as a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU), an acknowledgment of our excellence in research, education and innovation. We are the only university in the District of Columbia with the AAU distinction. And we launched in partnership with world-renowned chef and humanitarian José Andrés the Global Food Institute, which will draw upon interdisciplinary research and teaching across policy, innovation and humanity to transform lives and the health of our planet.

All of these exciting developments say loud and clear that we are a university on the rise.

As we begin a new academic year, we are also reinforcing our commitment to enhancing the graduate, professional and postdoctoral experience. Your research and scholarship have contributed to our incredible AAU achievement, and we want to ensure you continue receiving the support and resources you need to continue making exciting discoveries with global impact.

Graduate and Professional Students

In the interest of supporting our students’ financial wellbeing, recently, the university reviewed health insurance subsidies for fully-funded graduate students and increased the university’s subsidy to 80% of the health insurance cost for the fall and spring semesters. We also raised the baseline package value for fellowships funded through the Office of Graduate Student Assistantships and Fellowships, which includes full tuition coverage. We are also undertaking a comprehensive review of graduate teaching and research assistantships and you will be informed of updates during this academic year.

Additionally, we are making strides in enhancing graduate, professional and postdoctoral support and communication. We have begun increasing advising hours and are instituting a monthly newsletter to announce funding opportunities and other relevant news. We continue to provide comprehensive application support for international fellowships, including the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Program and the Boren Fellowship, and will continue to add support for more fellowships. In April, we celebrated Graduate and Professional Student Appreciation Week, hosting a series of events to promote community. And last week, we hosted a graduate student orientation event for 1,300 new students from around the world.

Postdoctoral Fellows

On the postdoctoral side, we have instituted minimum compensation requirements for new appointees that follow the National Research Service Award (NRSA) guidelines, a national benchmark. Members of the GW Postdoc Association attended and networked with colleagues at the National Postdoc Association Annual Conference held in Philadelphia in April. And we celebrated Postdoc Appreciation Week last September and are excited to be doing so again in a few weeks.

We look forward to sharing other exciting developments, including additional programming, a new Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs website, and more.

Additional resources are at the bottom of this message. We wish you the best with your coursework and research and look forward to all the ways you will continue to advance our academic mission.

Have a great semester!

Christopher Alan Bracey
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Professor of Law

Suresh Subramaniam
Vice Provost for Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs
Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

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