FAQs for Current DSP Scholars
"More than a Check and a Handshake"
The SREB-State Doctoral Scholars Program (DSP) goes beyond traditional fellowship programs. In addition to financial support, each scholar receives a commitment by the host academic department to provide quality mentoring, professional development opportunities and activities designed to hone classroom teaching skills
The DSP provides other services such as: career information, counseling and job search assistance to help scholars find their first faculty positions. Each fall at the Institute on Teaching and Mentoring, scholars have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with recruiters who represent colleges and universities from across the nation, and network with like-minded peers.
The program will also provides regular contact through letters, phone calls, email and informal bulletins to keep scholars informed and connected to the program staff and to each other.
General Funding Information
There are two main categories of funding for scholars within the Doctoral Scholars Program (DSP). Scholars are either state-funded or institutionally funded.
- State-funded scholars receive a stipend from their award state by way of DSP. State-funded scholars apply through our application system. Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia currently participate with DSP. Louisiana is also a participating state, but they conduct their own competition. Louisiana scholars do not apply through our application system. The eligibility test will only include participating states.
- Institutionally funded scholars receive support from their institution. When a university decides to partner with SREB, they select their own awardees within the parameters of our program. Institutional scholars enjoy all other program benefits.
Important Note: SREB-funded scholars should refer to their individual Memoranda of Agreement for any specific or specialized arrangements.
Stipends are divided into twelve months and then distributed. Stipend disbursements paid by SREB are issued on the 28th of every month,* beginning the first month of the academic year (August), via automatic deposit to scholars’ designated bank accounts. When the 28th falls on Saturday, stipend payments are made on Friday, the 27th; when the 28th falls on Sunday, stipend payments are made on Monday, the 29th.
Disbursement is contingent upon
- Receipt of all required documents (see Scholar Responsibilities below);
- Receipt of funds from participating states; and
- Confirmation of a scholars’ full-time enrollment status.
Dissertation- Year Academic Support
The research allowance is intended to reimburse dissertation year fellowship recipients for certain expenses associated with their dissertation research. Original dated receipts and the academic support form downloaded from the program website must be submitted for reimbursement consideration. The academic support allowance must be used during the academic year (August – July) of fellowship support.
Requests must be received by the Doctoral Scholars Program staff by the 15th of the month for reimbursement to be remitted to students on the 28th of the month via automatic deposit along with the monthly stipend. Each academic year, the final deadline for academic support requests is July 15th.
Income Tax Considerations
The IRS considers all portions of the monthly stipend a scholar does not use for tuition and related expenses to be taxable income. SREB does not withhold taxes, and the only record issued to the scholar is a monthly automatic bank deposit confirmation form. It is the scholar’s responsibility to report taxable income to the IRS. Scholars are encouraged to consult a tax advisor.
Professional Development Fund
DSP has set aside a special fund to encourage research and further scholars’ professional development as doctoral candidates. Early practice in standing before professional peers to describe and articulate investigations in an academic discipline contributes to a scholar’s skills and abilities as a future faculty member.
SREB will match up to $500 of a department’s full contribution toward certain costs incurred by scholars presenting at professional meetings. The total reimbursed to a department from SREB may not exceed $500 in any one academic year. Covered costs are limited to travel, parking, lodging, meals and meeting registration fees.
In the event the department contributes less than full funding, SREB will instead reimburse the scholar up to 50 percent of out-of-pocket expenses, not to exceed $500 in any one academic year. Funding may be applied to more than one professional meeting in an academic year, for a maximum of three years during the scholar’s matriculation (one-year maximum for dissertation year fellowship recipients).
Scholars must submit an Advanced Pre-Application for Funds form 30 days advance of the conference presentation. Scholars must also submit a Professional Development Reimbursement Form and original receipts within 30 days following the conference presentation. Forms received after this date will not be considered.
The Institute on Teaching and Mentoring
The SREB-State Doctoral Scholars Program hosts the Institute on Teaching and Mentoring. The Institute is an annual meeting where scholars and faculty mentors from several minority doctoral programs come together to participate in sessions on surviving graduate school, research methods, networking, mentoring, and teaching preparation.
All scholars (including institutionally funded scholars) receiving the three to five-year doctoral fellowship award are required to attend the annual Institute for the first three years of program support, and dissertation year fellowship recipients are required to attend the Institute during their single year of fellowship support. Visit the Institute site >
Current Scholar Responsibilities
Items needed from scholars
Scholars are required to provide the DSP with the following:
- Signed Memorandum of Agreement
- Signed Fellowship Acceptance Form
- Signed direct deposit slip and voided check (except some institutionally funded scholars)
- Signed Consent and Release form
- Recent professional photo (passport or wallet size)
- Active e-mail address
- Notification of changes in physical address, email address, and phone numbers
Requirements for Participation
Scholars agree to:
- Attend the annual Institute on Teaching and Mentoring
- Enroll full-time, as defined by the university, each semester – fall, spring, summer.
- Notify DSP of full-time enrollment each semester – fall, spring, summer.
- The DSP must be notified of any class audits, independent study or research hours.
- Notify DSP of any enrollment change (dropped class, decreased enrollment, etc.)
- Notify DSP of grades or dissertation progress each semester – fall, spring, summer.
- Make satisfactory progress toward degree completion.
- Not be employed outside of the scholar’s department nor full-time without DSP permission.
- Not accept other forms of financial support without DSP permission.
- Notify DSP of changes in income (awards, employment, etc.).
- Limit additional income to $12,000 per year. The DSP has a $32,000 limit on total income per year. Funding beyond the limit will result in a reduction of support to maintain the limit.
- Regularly update the Scholar Directory page with any changes in contact information.
Grade and Dissertation Updates
Grades are due each term. Only two email requests for grades and dissertation updates will be sent before stipends are withheld.
- Grades should be e-mailed each term.
- Grades should include your term and overall GPA.
- If you take research hours or dissertation hours that are pass/fail, you must send a short narrative describing the activity.
- Dissertation scholars should submit a short narrative that outlines progress of the current term and plans for the next. Any hardships, breakthroughs and presentations that are noteworthy should be included. Please include your anticipated final defense date in your narrative.