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Graduate Funding Payments Project
The Graduate Funding Payment (GFP) process enables graduate students to receive various scholarships and funding from researchers. $24,000,000 of graduate student funding from various funding programs and researchers is processed each year through this process. Graduate funding supports 1000-1400 graduate research students each term in 78 graduate programs across Dalhousie University.
The Graduate Funding Payment process is currently a highly manual, non-transparent and paper-based process. For more than ten years, all stakeholders involved in the Graduate Funding Payment process have expressed the need for the process to be reviewed and improved. Although the goal is an improved and more open and efficient process for all involved, students are a key group. Concerns and complaints of payment and process issues, and not easily understood information and details continue to be an ongoing issue.
Some of the improvements and benefits that can be achieved through an improved process are:
- Improved student service and experience
- Streamlined modern online processes and approvals
- Improved timely disbursement of funding
- Increased understanding and awareness of payment and process information
- Ease of access of data and information for students, staff and faculty
- Reduced errors
- Improved accounting errors experienced by departments and/or researchers
- Reduced operational costs; Reduced repetitive and non-essential activities
- Improved available time for value-add activities that contribute more effectively to student experience and Dalhousie University
- Reduced carbon footprint by eliminating paper processes and transportation
As this project aligns with Dalhousie’s Strategic Priority 5.7 to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of administrative and operational processes aligned with our academic mission, we are pleased this process was chosen to be reviewed and improved.
There was a student survey conducted last summer regarding graduate funding payments with an excellent response. We appreciate the valued feedback and it was an integral piece in key decision making in relation to payment timing and the student need for accessible information.
Due to a more in-depth review of the process, in conjunction with student responses through the student survey and other communications, a decision was made that the payment timing will remain at once a month. This decision was in large part due to student feedback and responses. We thank all the students for taking the time to respond to the survey and give feedback!
When would a new graduate funding process start?
We do not yet have a date for when the new graduate funding process would begin. However, it is expected that the new process will begin early in 2019. The process will remain the same until the new process is implemented. GSPIPs will continue to be processed as usual until further notice.
Where can I go for updates?
We have created a Graduate Funding Payments project site to assist with communicating updates and additional project information. The site is available at https://blogs.dal.ca/gfp and includes information such as a project overview, updates, estimated timelines, FAQ’s (we will continue to add to this as we receive commonly asked questions) and contact information. We will continue to communicate through various avenues, but we hope you will find this helpful.