Regular enrollment ends with the 5th year, and our expectation is that students will normally go on the academic job market and complete their dissertations in their 5th year of enrollment. The 6th- and 7th-year funding program is primarily directed towards helping students who have gone on the job market without obtaining a full-time academic job.
To be eligible to receive 6th-year funds, which will be known as “Departmental Sixth-year Fellowships,” students will normally have gone on the job market without obtaining a full-time academic job. (Declining an offer of a full-time position normally disqualifies a student from receiving these funds.) In exceptional circumstances, students may be deemed eligible to receive these funds without going on the job market in their 5th year, if they present good reason for thinking that their dissertation project requires an additional year. Students who are receiving 6th-year funds are allowed, and encouraged, to pass their Final Public Oral examination (FPO) before or during the academic year in which they receive these funds. Before passing their FPO, 6th-year students will be paid a stipend at the University Fellowship level. After passing their FPO, they will be paid a salary at a postdoctoral level, which is significantly higher than the University Fellowship stipend.
To be eligible for 7th-year funds, students must have been on the job market without obtaining a full-time academic job. (Again, declining an offer of a full-time position normally disqualifies a student from receiving these funds.) To be eligible for 7th-year funds, students must also pass their FPO before the beginning of the academic year in which they receive these funds. (This requires submitting one’s dissertation by June 15 before the relevant academic year and passing the FPO no later than August 15.) Holders of these positions in their 7th year at Princeton will be paid a salary at a postdoctoral level and will have the title of PGRA (Post Graduate Research Associate).
Applications for these funds are due on April 1 for funding for the following fall. In cases in which the number of applications exceeds the number of available positions, faculty members of the Department’s Graduate Committee in consultation with applicants’ primary advisers will decide whom to offer available positions to, based on the merits of each application, taking into account, among other factors, the quality and degree of completion of students’ dissertations, and students’ effort and relative success on the job market.
These positions do not include a mandatory teaching load. Holders of these positions are expected to complete their dissertations if they have not already done so. In addition, they should work on career development, prepare themselves for the job market, and pursue academic jobs. Those who have passed their FPO are allowed to teach their own courses, and may do so based on the department’s teaching needs.
Dean's Completion Fellowship/PGRA Program
The Dean’s Completion Fellowship/PGRA Program is operated by the Graduate School. This program provides 6th-year funding for candidates of the program. Candidates are nominated by our department in May of each year. Check here for details: https://gradschool.princeton.edu/costs-funding/funding-sources/deans-completion-fellowshippgra-program .
Students can have Dissertation Completion Enrollment (DCE) status for two years. The University waives DCE fees if the student in question teaches at least 2 hours in the relevant semester. Our policy is that if we or other PU departments cannot offer at least 2 hours of teaching to a DCE student who was actively seeking AI teaching in a given semester, we pay their DCE fees for that semester. No student should have to pay DCE fees out of pocket. Here is the link from the Grad School listing unfilled AI positions that is updated frequently: https://gsapps.princeton.edu/AIJobPosting/ .