NIH boosts grad student stipend to $28224/yr

“The stipends for predoctoral scholars will rise by approximately 4% to $28,224 (£22,517), and those for postdoctoral scholars will jump by about 8%, with salaries starting at $61,008 and will rise based on experience. The agency aims to further increase pay over the next five years to reach the NIH Advisory Committee to the Director’s recommended starting stipend of $70,000 for postdoctoral NRSAs.”

When I was a student we got $3400/yr for 9 mo usually as teaching assistants and depended on research grants for the summer months. It would cover basic living expenses but not much more. Paying Social Security on it was optional.


With starting salaries for BS Engineering grads so high, grad school always looked like a fool’s game to me. It’s fine if you’re going to night school and the company is paying for it. But forging a year of corporate salary for a grad assistant’s stipend? The arithmetic on that doesn’t pencil out.


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Yes, engineers often stop at a master’s degree. Some say its required for promotion to management. And there are many assistance programs.

Engineers need PhDs only if they plan to teach. However, sciences often encourage students to enter PhD programs direct from the bachelors degree. Once admitted you usually get paid to attend as shown above. Few apply for masters degrees. They are often awarded to failed PhD candidates. Some consider them the kiss of death.

PhDs are still needed for those who want to do research. In chemistry this is how research is taught. It is very much an apprenticeship. The method is still that developed by Justus Von Liebig in Germany (at then Geissen) in about 1820. (Before that chemistry was mostly taught by lectures. Liebig created lab research.)