April 3, 2023

Purdue invests in graduate student stipends, raising minima and launching Presidential Doctoral Excellence Awards

Recognizing that graduate students are the engine that powers Purdue’s research and teaching missions, Patrick Wolfe, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and diversity, and Chris Ruhl, chief financial officer and treasurer, also the two co-chairs of the Action Council on Student Housing and Wellbeing, announced Monday (April 3) that the university will make major new investments in graduate student stipends for the second straight year. The new investments consist of five actions, two concerning top awards and three elevating minima:

  1. To help recruit the best and brightest students in disciplines that align to the university’s strategic priorities, starting with the ongoing admissions season, Purdue is launching 150 new “Presidential Doctoral Excellence Awards” each year to provide $10,000 (over four years) to each incoming PhD student receiving the award.
  1. For PhD students already at Purdue, the university will also co-fund Presidential Doctoral Excellence Awards based on proposals from departments and colleges submitted by May 1 and effective July 1, 2023.
  1. Effective July 1, 2023, the universitywide minimum fiscal-year stipend will increase to $26,000. Approximately 1,840 current graduate students will benefit.
  1. Individual colleges and departments have their own minima and are encouraged to raise those according to each discipline’s needs. For example, some departments in engineering will raise their minimum to $30,000, and all departments in science are adding another $500 to all stipends.
  1. Sponsored program proposals submitted to external funding agencies after April 30, 2023, will have an FY minimum of $26,000, and those after April 30, 2024, a minimum of $28,000, raising stipends even further for thousands more current and future graduate students.

“We are enormously pleased to announce this substantial elevated and continuing investment in our graduate students. We know it is absolutely instrumental in reaching the goal we all share of being recognized as a top five U.S. public research university,” Wolfe said.

This action follows Purdue’s record investment in graduate stipends last year, elevating the two-year combined investment to nearly $20 million. In FY23, universitywide minimum stipends were increased 26% for fiscal-year appointments. Nearly one-half of graduate students received at least an 8% increase, with overall stipends rising 7.7% on average. Those increases last year are now reinforced through today’s announcements.

“Purdue’s focus on excellence at scale makes it our highest priority to recruit the best and brightest and to enable their success,” Wolfe said. “Doing so enhances our scholarly excellence and impact, increases our competitiveness for research funding and enables us to provide a transformative education to the largest number of undergraduate students in Purdue history.

"These are minima, and we expect the average stipend to be much higher and elevated through all five actions announced today."

Purdue’s graduate student average stipends are competitive with leading public Big Ten universities in the Association of American Universities, and the new Presidential Doctoral Excellence Awards will further enhance the nationwide competitiveness for the strongest graduate recruits.

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