Fellowships and Assistantships
scholarship or fellowship payments made to assist them in pursuing a course of
study or research. This payment is not a payment for teaching, conducting
research, or other services. Fellows must be candidates for a degree and have
major professors who can appropriately mentor the proposed research and provide
conducive to carrying it out. Fellowships generally are awarded to students who
may freely select the faculty adviser with whom they will conduct research
while receiving their stipend.
assistants also must be
candidates for a degree, but the work for which they earn a salary may or may
not be related to their degree requirements. For example, a number of
departments employ graduate assistants pursuing degrees in other fields of
specialization to help teach their classes.
While there are
similarities between the graduate programs of fellows and assistants, Purdue University must
distinguish between them for IRS reporting purposes. Graduate fellows are not
Purdue graduate staff, and payments made to them are not recorded as wages. On
the other hand, graduate assistants are graduate staff, and payments made to
them are recorded as wages.
Guidelines and criteria to determine whether it is
appropriate to administer
Graduate School awards as assistantships rather than fellowships can be found
in the Graduate School Fellowship Manual (rev. spring 2012).