Research and Funding
Several forms of financial support are available for graduate students in Clinical-Community Psychology at the University of South Carolina.
In your first year, you typically begin on a nine-month assistantship with the base stipend currently at $16,250. These positions involve being a research assistant for a faculty member, an instructional assistant for courses, or a clinical assistant at the Psychological Services Center. The base stipend may be supplemented by graduate school scholarships for the nine-month period and summer funding from research grants.
After the First Year
Following the first year, students are supported through a range of sources including department-funded teaching, instructional, or research assistantships, grant-funded assistantships, and graduate assistantships in community placements through psychology department contracts. Many students also teach courses during the academic year or summer as additional means of support. The amount of funding after the first academic year varies with the source, but typically ranges from $18,000 to $22,000 per calendar year depending on the position. Students with assistantships also pay in-state tuition rates. Tuition grants are also awarded to students in good standing that cover approximately 90-100% of in-state tuition costs. Health insurance is also available through the University.
The Clinical-Community Program has been quite successful in maintaining financial support throughout a student's academic career. We have offered assistantships to students in the first 4 or 5 years in the program for the past 30 years. Similar funding is anticipated for future years.
A student who is not maintaining a "B" average or is not considered in good standing by the faculty is not eligible for Department administered assistantships.
Funds for Graduate Student Research: The department has some funds available for the support of graduate student research. Most students use a combination of support from faculty and awards to help offset research costs, such as the dissertation.
Laura Griffin Student Development Fund: The Department has a student development fund established in honor of a prior student. The purpose of this fund is to help support the following: research conducted by the students; student's travel when presenting the student's own research at conferences; special educational opportunities; and publication costs for the student's published articles. The awards committee for this fund has prioritized the money to support the costs of student research projects. An application form is now available on-line.
Graduate School Summer Dissertation Fellowships: The Graduate School awards a limited number of Summer Dissertation Fellowships to students in the final phases of completion of the dissertation, but the student must have no other support for that period of time to be eligible.
Graduate School Trustee Fellowships: The Graduate School also awards several types of Trustee Fellowships to graduate students who exhibit excellence in graduate study. These awards typically range from $750 - $5000.
Ralph H. Tindall Fellowship: The department has an endowed award used to support students over the summer while working to complete the dissertation. An announcement calling for applications for the award is made by e-mail each spring via the department's graduate student listserv.
Nora and William Smith Endowed Fellowship: The purpose of this fellowship is to support women in the Department's Clinical-Community Program. The faculty select an outstanding student who is a resident of South Carolina or intends to work in the state of South Carolina with a training concentration on children and families.
Robert V. Heckel Graduate Fellowship: The purpose of this fellowship is to acknowledge the best overall performance in the first year of the Clinical-Community Program. The award is given in the second year of the program to the student judged as the most outstanding first year student as evidenced by grades in coursework, evaluation of clinical-community psychology skills, and achievement in research and service.
American Psychological Association Fellowships: The APA continues to sponsor a Minority Fellows Program for graduate students in psychology. These fellowships are multi-year stipends and are awarded competitively. The APA awards approximately 100 Student Travel Awards to enable students to travel to professional meetings to present their research. The deadline for application is early spring. The APA also makes Dissertation Research Awards of $500. Students make application at the time the prospectus is approved.
Student Loans from Emergency Fund: The department currently is receiving regular anonymous donations earmarked specifically for emergency loans to graduate student. Two loan categories have been established. "Short-term" loans will be made to students for a period not to exceed 60 days. "Long-term" loans will be made for periods exceeding 60 days. These loans will be made at a yearly interest rate of 4%.
Other Fellowship Programs to support research: Several federal agencies maintain pre-doctoral fellowship programs to provide up to three years of support for students in training. The National Institute of Mental Health, National Science Foundation, and National Research Council have programs relevant to the interests of students in the Clinical-Community Program. Application for these funds involves the preparation of a training plan and research proposal.