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Congratulations for Completing the Semester and Looking Ahead to Spring

Dear Northeastern PhD Students,

We have wrapped up the fall term and we are settling into winter break activities.  Congratulations for concluding the semester, and I hope that you are able to use the time during the winter break to relax.  Fall 2017 was a busy semester in many ways.  I’ve enjoyed meeting with many of you and learning more about your experiences and ambitions.  I will continue meeting with PhD students in department and program meetings during the Spring term, and I look forward to our conversations.

We faced great uncertainty with the new tax reform bill. Ultimately, the final tax reform bill does not contain many of the provisions from previous versions that would have negatively impacted our students.  This final bill preserves the exclusion for graduate student tuition waivers, preserves the deduction for student loan interest payments, and keeps in place important education related incentives such as the Lifelong Learning Tax Credit and American Opportunity Tax Credit.  This means that the tuition waivers that PhD students receive will NOT be taxed. More information about this final bill is available at the here.   Northeastern University was extremely active on Capital Hill through our networks across the nation and in partnership with the American Council of Education (ACE) to influence this final bill.  We are pleased that the final outcome preserved the exclusion for graduate student tuition waivers.  We will continue to keep you apprised of Northeastern’s activities on Capital Hill as they relate to graduate students.

Information available to you at the PhD Network site can help you as you plan for future semesters.

  • Spring 2018 events have been posted to the calendar and more will be added in January.  Events posted here are activities that are aligned with PhD student interest and needs including PhD – only activities, research seminars, along with skill building workshops related to communication, navigating career options, and teaching.  This calendar is based on your feedback.  Please let us know if you have suggested events or event types through the feedback form.
  • Funding opportunities have been consolidated to help enable you to search for pre or post doctoral fellowships and travel funding from sources beyond Northeastern. There are nearly 250 upcoming opportunities across all PhD majors that may be of interest to you.
  • Resources to support you across a wide range of needs such as academics, research, education, career, and well-being are consolidated at the PhD Network site.  Here you can find information about academic technology services, university policies, parental leave, PhD Network travel funding, and many more.

In closing, I want to remind you that the PhD Network travel funding application is open and PhD students may request up to $500 in travel funding each  year. Deadlines to apply are the last calendar day of each month including December 31, 2017.

Wishing you a relaxing winter break and all the best for a happy, safe, and healthy new year.  I look forward to seeing you in 2018.

All the best, Sara

Vice Provost for the PhD Network
Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering