Graduate Program in Integrative Biology: Financial Guarantee
For graduate students entering the Graduate Program in Integrative Biology in the Fall of 2022 or later, the Department of Integrative Biology guarantees that as long as the students continue to meet our basic program requirements, they are guaranteed earnings of at least $34,000/year for at least 5 years.
The earnings guarantee is for each 12-month Fall-Spring-Summer cycle, beginning with Fall 2022. This annual earnings guarantee considers the student's earnings from inside and outside the department. Yearly earning top-up calculations consider monies gained from GSI, GSR, and other employed positions at UC campuses, fellowships provided by UC Berkeley and other entities, and other substantial earnings received by the student that are for cost of living expenses. Grants and awards received specifically for research/professional development expenses, money received through loans, as well as small earnings received from the Department of Integrative Biology for broader department service will not be considered as part of yearly earnings for department top-up calculations. It's important for students to understand that the Department of Integrative Biology will not necessarily be the sole provider of all funding needed to meet their earnings guarantee for each year.
Please note that all department funding is contingent upon students making satisfactory academic progress, including research performance and maintaining eligibility for student academic appointments. Department funding for students includes and is reliant upon funding provided by the student's faculty mentor (as either GSRs or top-up awards). To be guaranteed the Department of Integrative Biology's top-up each year, students must:
- be in good standing in the department
- turn in their annual review packets each year by the stated deadlines
- have been enrolled full time in both the Fall and the Spring for the year without special enrollment status.
Students on In Absentia status in either the Fall or Spring are not guaranteed a departmental top-up for that year, although they may still be eligible if they remain in good standing and funds are available. Students that are on Filing Fee status in either the Fall or Spring are not eligible for the earnings guarantee for that year.
For each semester, students must work with the department and their faculty mentor to secure a GSI, GSR, or Fellowship that will cover their basic expenses for the semester. If a student opts not to work with the department and their faculty mentor to seek financial support in the Spring or Fall, or declines an offer of financial support from the department, then they are no longer guaranteed the department top-up for that year. It's important for students to understand that in some cases, by declining a GSI offer, they may be waiving their eligibility for the earnings guarantee for that year -- they should consult with the Graduate Student Services Advisor, Monica Albe, before making any final decisions.
The department is cognizant that cost of living in the Bay Area can be challenging for people living on a graduate student's salary, especially if students have special circumstances that increase their household's expenses. We encourage our students to seek additional external funding and will gladly work with students to incorporate additional funding above what is guaranteed by departmental policies. If you are a student within our graduate program, please consult with our Graduate Student Services Advisor, Monica Albe, to help find additional sources of funding especially before accepting additional paid positions during the Fall or Spring semesters. (Please note that the Graduate Division limits all graduate students on campus from working above 50% time in the Fall and Spring without special exception from the department.) We hope to ensure that students have all the information they need before making financial decisions that may affect their earnings guarantee.
Students who entered the Graduate Program in Integrative Biology before the Fall of 2022 should refer to their earnings guarantee in their original program offer letters. When financially possible, the department will work with all graduate students in our program to seek equity in annual earnings, regardless of year in program. To make this possible, we ask all students in our program to be cognizant and considerate of their peers as they seek additional funding, and to work with the department on funding challenges. Students are encouraged to seek information and guidance from the Graduate Student Services Advisor, Monica Albe.
The Department of Integrative Biology makes every effort to ensure five years of financial support to doctoral students in good standing. This five-year guarantee includes the years a student is supported by outside fellowships. After the five years of normative time, students in good standing remain eligible for support, but priority is given to junior students. The departmental policy is to give priority of research support to students who attempt to gain funds from other sources.
Students who are eligible are highly encouraged to apply to the FAFSA each year in the Spring. This can enable us to award work-study positions to students, which can increase the availability of department funds and student earnings for the year. Work-study positions result from students converting FAFSA loan offers to work-study awards -- in this case, the student is not taking out a loan, instead they are paid the monies through a GSR or GSI on campus, and therefore will owe no money back. Please see the Financial Aid Office's graduate award guide, or seek more information from the IB Graduate Student Services Advisor, Monica Albe.
Support for student research is generally excellent, largely because of the caliber of students and the ability of their research to attract funding from outside the University as well as from internal sources.
The five years of support include:
- University and Extramural fellowships
- Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) positions
- Graduate Student Research (GSR) positions
- Graduate Student Research Allocation Committee (GRAC) Research & Travel Funds
- IB 299 Funds
- Supplemental stipends
- Summer research support
- IB List of Graduate Student Funding Sources (please note that this static list may not be up to date)
- UC Berkeley Fellowships
- Information on the administrative support for the Department of Integrative Biology (Grants Administration)
- Grad Division's Guide to Financial Support
- UC Berkeley Graduate Division's Fellowship webpage