Child care subsidy for doctoral students available

For the first time, doctoral students on both the Danforth and Medical campuses may apply for subsidies to help defray the cost of child day care.

The first subsidies have been awarded and will be paid in the form of fellowships in fall 2008 and spring 2009. The awards are based on financial need and are granted to doctoral students in Arts & Sciences, including the Division of Biology and Biological Sciences, as well as the Olin Business School, the School of Engineering & Applied Science and the George Warren Brown School of Social Work.

This first year, 10 students applied and three were awarded a subsidy to help defray the cost of child day care.

The benefit is a direct result of the efforts of the Graduate Student Senate (GSS), said Sheri Notaro, Ph.D., associate dean of the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. “Several years ago, the GSS conducted a survey that indicated that some graduate students needed help to afford the cost of child day care,” Notaro said.

“The GSS presented its findings to the Graduate Council of Arts & Sciences, the governing body of doctoral education at Washington University. Dean Robert Thach then coordinated with the other schools to craft the Child Day Care Subsidy policy,” Notaro said.

“It was really graduate students listening to the needs of other graduate students that helped get this program established,” said Thach, Ph.D., who stepped down June 30 as dean of the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences after 15 years in that position. “We have some extraordinary graduate and professional students who took advantage of the University’s tradition of encouraging graduate-student leadership and shared governance. They took a leading role in defining a concern among some of our students and making sure that concern was addressed.”

The Graduate School of Arts & Sciences will manage the administration of the subsidy in consultation with the other schools. To be considered for the subsidy, a student must meet eligibility requirements, including being enrolled full-time in a doctoral program and demonstrating financial need.

For more information about eligibility requirements and an application, contact Notaro at 935-6880.