Students in the Ph.D. program are guaranteed full financial support, including the cost of tuition and a stipend. For the academic year 2011–12, the stipend is $33,000. Students are expected to engage full-time in advanced study and research. University policy does not permit students to accept activities for compensation. While the university guarantees support, students are strongly encouraged to apply for appropriate fellowships. If necessary, these will be supplemented by the university to the current stipend level, plus $5,000 in the case of competitively awarded fellowships.
The university also supplies each student with an independent research allowance, supplementing the laboratory’s budget. Because the university, rather than an individual investigator, provides the stipend and research allowance to the student directly, students have flexibility and may join any laboratory they wish. During the first year, the research allowance is $1,500. In the second year and beyond, the amount is $1,000 annually. Students may use these funds to attend scientific meetings, to purchase a computer, or to purchase research-related reading materials. A few fellowships are available for participation in collaborations abroad.
In addition, Rockefeller students have an option to be covered by a comprehensive health and dental plan for themselves, their spouses or domestic partners and children. The university pays for the elected coverage. (Coverage for domestic partnership may incur imputed income costs.)