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Ohio State announces new graduate student initiatives

Health insurance subsidy, dissertation completion support aimed at helping students thrive

Earlier this week, The Ohio State University announced a series of initiatives, launched by the Graduate School and the Office of Academic Affairs (OAA), that aim to accelerate graduate student success and strengthen the talent, culture and inclusive excellence of the graduate student body.

“At nearly 11,000 strong, our graduate students are vital drivers of the university’s mission who, through their efforts, will be part of the next generation of professionals and leaders,” said Melissa L. Gilliam, executive vice president and provost. “They generate new knowledge, scholarship and creative work, and support undergraduate student learning.”

The initiatives were developed based on recommendations received from graduate students, faculty and staff from across the university, the Council of Graduate Students, participants in a fall 2022 listening session and town hall on the graduate experience and a doctoral student funding task force.

The initiatives include:

  • Health Insurance Subsidy: The university will increase the health insurance subsidy provided to graduate and professional students with fellowships, traineeships or graduate associate appointments at the 0.5 full-time equivalency (FTE) level from 85% to 100% effective in fall 2023. In addition, the health insurance subsidy will increase from 0% to 50% for students with appointments between 0.25 and 0.49 FTE in the above positions.
  • Graduate Student Experience Survey: The Graduate School has launched a Graduate Student Experience Survey to assess the experiences of graduate students in their academic programs, scholarly training, professionalization and more. Data collected from the survey will inform academic leaders in their development of actionable goals to improve the graduate student experience at Ohio State.
  • Enhanced Emergency Fund: The Graduate School will extend its support of the Student Emergency Fund for an additional five years.
  • Dissertation Completion Support: The Graduate School will expand support of doctoral students in their dissertation phase with additional resources, including dissertation writing grants, fellowships and writing facilitation programs, beginning in fall 2023.

Also in the fall, the Graduate School and OAA will partner with colleges to launch several new programs for graduate and professional students. These programs will foster community building and belonging, expand opportunities for professional and career development, and improve access to quality mentoring.

Mary Stromberger, vice provost for graduate education and dean of the Graduate School, will spearhead these initiatives.

“I would like to thank Dean Stromberger for her leadership,” Gilliam said. “These initiatives demonstrate our ongoing efforts to recruit and retain talented scholars and provide them with a graduate experience that enables them to thrive professionally and personally.”

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