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University of Wisconsin–Madison Policy for Supplementation and Concurrent Appointments for Graduate Students Holding Predoctoral Fellowships or Traineeships


The University recognizes the importance of opportunities for graduate students to engage in teaching and research activities and modified the policy to allow for concurrent appointments that have these components. Any teaching, project or research undertaken by a fellow or trainee at the predoctoral level should not significantly prolong the time for the accomplishment of the training objective for which the fellowship or traineeship is made.

In addition, supplementation to fellowship and traineeship appointments provide benefits to departments and graduate students. These may include:

  1. enhancing the graduate student’s research/work experience;
  2. making fellowships/traineeships more attractive;
  3. encourage satisfactory progress towards the degree;
  4. providing equitable supplementation across departments;
  5. reducing the financial commitment of a student’s PI.

These arrangements, while possible, must be approved by the student’s major professor or academic advisor (sponsor) and the payrolling department(s). This allows faculty to insure that the proposed arrangement will not prolong a predoctoral student’s time to degree completion or interfere with his or her satisfactory progress.

The University is required by the federal government to have written policies and procedures for fellows and trainees in order to receive federal fellow and trainee awards.


Supplementation of predoctoral fellowship or traineeship stipends to recognize teaching, project or research responsibilities, or to create equity with students supported solely as research assistants, is permitted with the following limitations:

  1. Concurrent Student Assistant Appointments

    Whenever assistantships (RA, TA, PA, or fellow) are combined with fellowships or traineeships total compensation cannot exceed the department's full-time RA rate of the student's academic home department, as it was reported to the Graduate School for the current year (fellowship/traineeship +assistantship = total compensation). The list of approved program rates can be found on the Graduate Assistantships webpage, under Assistantship Salaries by Program:

  2. Concurrent Student Hourly Appointments

    Student hourly appointments are allowed and should be included in the total compensation limit.

  3. Concurrent Academic and University Staff Appointments

    Because academic and university staff appointments are not closely associated with enrolled students, it is important that the Graduate School review these appointments to provide consistency. In addition, terms and conditions of fellowships and traineeships may limit additional employment. The Graduate School review will ensure that the student accepting the fellowship/traineeship is complying with those terms and conditions.

    All concurrent academic or university staff appointments require prior approval (refer to Section E and Section G below).

  4. Registration Requirements

    The University requires full-time enrollment of all fellows and trainees.

    Academic Year:

    The Graduate School considers full-time enrollment to be 8-15 graded credits taken at 300 or above, excluding pass/fail and audit.

    Fellows and trainees who are non-dissertators must enroll for a minimum of 8 graded credits taken at 300 or above, excluding pass/fail and audit. Fellows and trainees who are dissertators must enroll for 3 credits directly related to their dissertation research.

    If students elect not to enroll as full-time students as defined by the Graduate School, they are responsible for knowing about possible obligations that may require full-time status. Such obligations may include visa eligibility, fellowships, assistantships, external funding agencies, and program satisfactory progress requirements.

    Summer (for students on annual appointments):

    Fellows and trainees who are non-dissertators must enroll for at least 2 graded credits taken at 300 or above, excluding pass/fail and audit during the general 8-week (DHH) session. Fellows and trainees who are dissertators must register for 3 credits directly related to their dissertation research during the general 8-week (DHH) session.

  5. Waivers

    Where the donor’s published policy permits supplementation or concurrent appointments at higher levels than the University policy, (see Section A), the University policy applies unless the Graduate School Dean or designee grants a waiver on the application and proper justification.

  6. Additional Conditions

    The above policies apply only to those funds payrolled and/or administered through UW–Madison.

    Fellowships and Traineeships funded by the federal government may not receive concurrent teaching/project/research appointments also funded by the federal government due to federal regulations. Non-federal gifts, grants or University trust funds are appropriate resources.

    Federal Work Study Funds are the only exception to the federal exclusion.

    For Research Assistantships (RAs) on NIH funding the total cost including stipend, tuition remission, and fringe benefits (health insurance) cannot exceed the 0 year NIH NRSA postdoctoral fellow/trainee stipend plus associated fringe benefit costs (21.7%). This amount is currently $64,711 based on the FY2022 NIH stipend schedule. The Research Policy Advisory Committee has determined this to be a Reasonable Compensation Limit for UW–Madison per NIH requirements (NIH Notice: NOT-OD-23-076).

    International students on F-1 and J-1 visas are at risk concerning their immigration status if they are employed for more than 20 hours per week during the academic year for PA and TA appointments.

    Schools/Colleges and departments/programs may set further restrictions on concurrent appointments to meet their needs and resources. Please check with your school/college and department/program for additional restrictions.

  7. Required Documentation for Waiver Approvals

    Requests for waivers to exceed the department's total compensation limit (see Section A and Section E) should include a Concurrent Appointment Waiver Request Form and a copy of the donor’s policy and terms and conditions.  Requests should be made on an annual basis.

    Requests for predoctoral appointments combined with academic or university staff concurrent appointments should include a Concurrent Appointment Waiver Request Form for Predoctoral Fellows and Trainees and a copy of the donor’s policy and terms and conditions. Requests should be made on an annual basis.

KeywordsSupplementation Concurrent Appointments Fellowships Traineeships Predoctoral   Doc ID33321
OwnerJULIE K.GroupVCRGE and Graduate School
Created2013-09-12 09:26:47Updated2024-05-02 07:51:18
SitesGraduate School, VCRGE and Graduate School
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