- Roles of chair, coordinator, program assistant & Grad Committee
- New Rackham policy
- Existing EEB policies
- Graduate student hosting
- Guidelines for authorship
- Substitution policy
- Additional funding policies
- Tuition funding for summer dissertation
- Evaluation examination retakes
- Time to completion of degree
- Winter term admission for Ph.D. students
- Dual degrees
- University Policy
- Leave of absence
- Transfer Students
- Dual appointments
EEB & Rackham policies and forms
Complete EEB Graduate Student Handbook (PDF download)
The graduate chair is responsible for monitoring and evaluating the progress of students in the program. The graduate coordinator and program assistant in the EEB office are available to provide information and assistance to graduate students and are responsible for coordination, administration and tracking of all matters pertaining to the graduate program. The Graduate Affairs Committee is also responsible for monitoring, evaluating, and facilitating the progress of students in the program. Students should feel free to consult the chair, committee and/or the graduate coordinator and program assistant with any questions or concerns.
The Dean and the Executive Board of the Rackham Graduate School have approved the adoption of a continuous enrollment requirement for Ph.D. students at the University of Michigan, to become effective in the Fall Term 2010. M.S. students are not included in this new policy.
Once admitted to a Ph.D. program, students will register every fall and winter term until their degree is awarded, unless they are taking an official leave of absence. Requirements for registration in the summer will not change. Students will register in spring or summer terms only when they elect courses, take preliminary examinations, or defend their dissertations. For more information, see the Rackham website.
Definition of “In Good Standing” - EEB considers five separate situations where a student may lose the academic or language proficiency status of "in good standing," in addition to the current rules and regulations of the Rackham Graduate School. The loss of good standing automatically results in the Department removing the student from our program, and requesting that Rackham remove the student from all active listings. Note that in all situations described below, the student may petition the Graduate Affairs Committee (GAC) for a reconsideration of their change in standing.
The first situation occurs when a student fails to register for classes or notify the department of their progress or status in the program for two consecutive academic semesters. After the first semester of no contact the student will be notified (at their official University address and contact information) that they are in non-compliance with our policy. If the student fails to register for a second semester, or does not respond adequately to correct their status within two semesters, their dissertation or thesis committee will be dissolved and the department will consider the student removed from the program.
The second situation occurs when a student fails to pass their ELI exam within their first year of study. Successful completion of this exam is required to hold a GSI position. The student will typically have three chances to pass the ELI exam—in August just before their matriculation in the Fall term, at the end of their first semester (December), and during their second semester (Winter term). The student may petition the GAC to continue in the program without passing their ELI exam, but Rackham requires two terms as a GSI to complete a Ph.D.; such a petition would require the full support of an advisor.
The third situation occurs when a student is recommended by the faculty to be separated from the program after failing the Department's preliminary examinations. The student may petition the GAC to retake these examinations, but approval of this request requires the full support of an advisor. If approved, the student is again in good standing.
The fourth situation occurs when a student surpasses the departmental 6-year limit of enrollment in the Ph.D. program, and their dissertation committee is dissolved. The student may petition the GAC to continue or re-form the dissertation committee, but approval of this request requires the full support of an advisor and the constitution of an appropriate committee. If approved, the committee is re-formed and the student is again in good standing.
The fifth situation occurs when a student is unable to find a suitable major advisor or suitable co-advisors in either the pre-candidate or candidate phase of graduate work. An EEB faculty advisor must consent to mentor a student and guide them through the preliminary examination process prior to candidacy, and after candidacy a dissertation committee must be formed according to Rackham rules to guide the student through completion of the program of study. The current advisor is responsible for notifying the student and the GAC if there is a change in mentoring status. If an appropriate new advisor cannot be found or a new committee formed in a timely manner, the student loses the status of “in good standing.”
Approved 20 April 2009
- To compensate graduate students who participate in the hosting of the graduate applicants invited to the EEB recruitment weekend, the department will provide the following reimbursement:
- Reimbursement for one meal for the graduate host and applicant, not to exceed $25 in total for the two individuals. Other people are welcome to join the applicant and host for the meal, however no reimbursement will be provided for additional guests. Original, detailed receipts must be provided to the graduate office to obtain reimbursement (this is University policy).
- Reimbursement for mileage and parking will be provided for anyone driving a personal vehicle to the airport to pick up and deliver applicants. Mileage reimbursement will be provided at the university standard mileage between the central U-M campus and Detroit Metropolitan Airport (27 miles each way), and at the existing federal rate per mile (currently $0.55 per mile). Original receipts must be provided for parking expenses.
- In addition to the above, a single student host will receive $20 per applicant to cover the cost of any other expenses not expressly defined above, including incidental food, mileage, and parking expenses other than to the airport. This stipend will be processed via the student financial system, and will not require separate receipts.
- Any exception to the above reimbursements, or any additional request for reimbursement, must be approved in advance in order for it to be considered for separate reimbursement.
Initial Policy Approved– 2 February 2009
- This policy is adapted from the authorship policy of the Biomedical Graduate Group at the University of Pennsylvania.
1. Qualifications for authorship - All persons designated as authors should qualify for authorship.
A. Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for content.
B. Authorship credit should be based only on substantial contributions to the following areas:
1. conception, design, analysis or interpretation of data
2. drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content
3. final approval of the version to be published
C. Conditions 1 and 3 must always be met in assignment of authorship; condition 2 may sometimes not be appropriate in cases of large collaborations.
D. Participation solely in the acquisition of funding or the collection of data does not justify authorship.
E. General supervision of the research group is not sufficient for authorship.
F. Appropriate credit for the contributions of other individuals to the work described in the publication should be made as an acknowledgement.
G. Any part of an article that is critical to its main conclusions must be the responsibility of at least one author. If that author is a student, then the faculty mentor shares the responsibility.
2. The order of authors
A. The first author is that person who contributed most to the project, typically including writing the manuscript.
B. The sequence of author listing is generally determined by the relative contributions to the work. In the instance that equal credit is due, this should be footnoted by asterisk. It is suggested that authors be listed alphabetically in such a case; a policy you may wish to note on your CV.
C. Decisions about authors and the order in which they appear should be discussed at the beginning of the project and revisited periodically as the project develops. The order of names should be made by group consensus under the guidance of the lead investigator(s).
3. Corresponding author
The corresponding author is the person with whom communications should be made after publication; this is not necessarily the first author.
4. When conflicts arise
Even when the above guidelines are followed, conflicts of opinion may arise. When disagreements cannot be resolved within the research group or in discussion with the thesis committee, the student or faculty member may bring the issue in confidence to the EEB Executive Committee, which will serve as a grievance committee to mediate the conflict. If the chair or a member of the Executive Committee is involved in the conflict, they will be excused from participation in the grievance committee.
Established 15 September 2008
- Students cannot receive both a departmental fellowship and an external fellowship or traineeship at the same time. A student cannot receive fellowship/traineeship support and departmental summer support at the same time. External fellowship funding will be supplemented by the department to achieve the guaranteed stipend of $21,800/year if necessary. External fellowships and traineeships are not supplementary, but substitute first, for departmentally-funded fellowships and second, for the GSRA.
Substitutions of support depend upon the term of the fellowship as follows:
1) 3-Year Fellowship: A 3 year fellowship would substitute for the year of departmental fellowship and, unless waived by the advisor, the year of GSRA support. This student would then teach a maximum of 4 terms, perhaps less if the advisor chooses to still support a student as a GSRA.
2) 2-Year Fellowship: A 2 year fellowship would substitute for the year of departmental fellowship and, unless waived by the advisor, the year of GSRA support.
3) 1-Year Fellowship: A 1 year fellowship would substitute for the departmental fellowship and the student would be expected to be supported by a GSRA for one year by their advisor.
- If a student does not use the pre-candidate fellowship, s/he can use it as a candidate fellowship.
- Students must pass all parts of the evaluation in the fall of their second year to receive a departmental fellowship in the next winter semester.
- While on a fellowship, a student cannot accept a > 0.25 appointment as a GSI or GSRA. Students can petition the GAC for exceptions if the appointment will significantly benefit their graduate training or research.
- Students can use a fellowship beyond the ten terms of support as a GSI allowed by LSA.
- GSM (Graduate Student Mentorship) (0.1 appointments) funding is added to the guaranteed yearly stipend (i.e. guaranteed stipend will not be reduced by the GSM amount received).
- Summer teaching: Students who GSI during the spring or summer terms can petition the GAC for summer support but will not automatically receive it.
- Summer support: If a student receives a fellowship to begin the spring/summer term, it will not “replace” summer support permanently, but will defer it (regardless of the actual amount received while on fellowship to date) should summer support be needed when the fellowship ends. Spring or summer tuition will be paid if the student defends during one of these terms within the five years.
- For students who have been granted departmental award money for research expenses, either from endowments or other departmental funds, no funds shall be disbursed or information to access the funds (e.g., a shortcode to charge items against when purchasing) until all prior departmental debt has been paid.
- If the student wishes to access funds prior to debt payment, s/he may petition the GAC.
Tuition funding for summer dissertation defense
- For students who defend their PhD dissertation during the spring/summer term in their fifth year or earlier, the Department will fund half of the tuition cost, with the expectation that the advisor, student, or other funding source will fund the other half. Students will receive the guaranteed summer stipend as usual. This option is only available once. If a student chooses not to defend during the summer term that the tuition is paid, subsequent tuition fees associated with the defense will be the responsibility of the student.
To request summer tuition funding, the student must petition the Graduate Affairs Committee and demonstrate that they have an established defense date. Students should wait to pay tuition until they are certain they will defend that term. Their advisor must also provide a letter (an email is fine) confirming that the student will be able to defend during the term when tuition will be paid.
Established 3 March 2008
- Students are required by the department to teach a minimum of two terms and are allowed by the College of Literature, Science and the Arts (LS&A) to teach a maximum of ten terms. Students can petition LS&A for an additional term but it is not likely this will be granted except in unusual circumstances.
By LS&A rules, teaching undertaken while admitted to EEB Masters programs counts towards the maximum ten terms allowed. Teaching in spring/summer (half or full term) does not count towards the maximum ten terms.
Evaluation examination retakes
- For students who must retake one or two parts of the evaluation procedure, the retakes will be evaluated by the same standing committee and outside member (advisor) who did the first evaluation. For students who must retake the entire evaluation procedure in the fall term, the evaluation committee should include at least one member from the earlier standing evaluation committee, if possible, in order to provide continuity. The second standing member can be a member from the new standing evaluation committee. The outside member (advisor) is chosen by the student as before.
For any one category of the exam (paper, oral exam, or seminar), if a student receives two unacceptables, or one unacceptable and one marginal (with all acceptables in the other two categories), they will be recommended to have failed this one category and will be required to retake this part of the exam, usually in the next winter term. When re-taking portions of the exam, the student must pass each portion with a minimum of two acceptables. For the entire exam, if a student receives one unacceptable in two of the three categories (seminar, paper, oral exam) and either a second unacceptable or marginal in two of the same categories, they will be recommended to be separated from the program. Exceptions are possible based on in-depth discussions by the faculty. For a retake of a part of the qualifying exam, if a student receives a unanimous pass from the evaluation committee, the GAC will make the final decision and report later to the EEB faculty. If the decision by the evaluation committee is not unanimous or if there are concerns, the recommendation will be presented to the EEB faculty and their recommendation will be reported to the GAC for a final decision. A student cannot use a departmental fellowship the semester following evaluations if the faculty recommends separation from the PhD program.
Established 20 April 2008
Time to completion of degree
- Ph.D. students who have not completed their dissertation after six years in the program will be required to petition the GAC to retain their committee. The petition must make a compelling case that they will complete their dissertation within a reasonable time and they must state a specific time schedule. The petition must be accompanied by a letter of support by their major advisor.
If the petition is not made or is not accepted by the GAC, the dissertation committee will be dissolved. Students will be withdrawn from the EEB graduate program and the Rackham Graduate School. After withdrawal, students will not have access to any University resources. All policies regarding Rackham’s Continuous Enrollment Policy must also be satisfied. For more information, see the Rackham website.
Established June 2005
Winter term admission for Ph.D. students
- EEB will admit students in winter term under unusual circumstances. Given that these students are likely to have very different circumstances and different backgrounds, we do not feel it advisable to set a rigid policy for their evaluation. Incoming students in the Ph.D. and M.S. programs will meet with their initial advisor and the admissions committee to discuss courses and deficiencies. Ph.D. students will have an additional meeting early in the winter term to determine their schedule for their evaluation prelims. This meeting will be with the student, the major advisor, and the chairs of the admissions committee and the Graduate Affairs Committee. This committee will decide on the evaluation schedule based upon this discussion and the background and experience of the student.
Before they can advance to candidacy, students must obtain 36 hours of credit. Students who enter with a relevant Master’s degree receive 18 credit hours. As a result, they participated in fall term evaluation examinations and follow the schedule of that year’s cohort. Students who do not have a relevant Master’s degree could take prelims in the fall term and advance the following Fall term once they have completed the 36 credit hours.
EXISTING RACKHAM, LSA AND UNIVERITY POLICIES:
Childbirth accommodation fund request form, Graduate Student Research Assistants (PDF Download)
Graduate student parental accommodation request form (PDF Download)
Childbirth accommodation fund request form, external fellowship recipients (PDF Download)
Graduate Student Parental Accommodation - In recognition of the challenges of balancing the demands of graduate study and parenting a new child, this policy aims to improve the environment for student parents. The Graduate Student Parental Accommodation Policy (GSPAP) assists graduate students immediately following the birth or adoption of a young child. The purpose of this policy is to make it possible for a student to maintain registered full time student status, along with all the benefits of such status, while facilitating the return to full participation in courses, research and teaching.
Eligibility: The Parental Accommodation Policy applies to full time, enrolled Rackham graduate students who are in good academic standing, and making satisfactory progress toward completion of their degree. Students must have completed at least one full time semester of their degree program to become eligible for coverage under this policy. The policy covers the situation of students who experience a child birth or the adoption of a child under the age of 6 for whom the student has parental responsibilities. These eligibility requirements cover all three provisions of the GSPAP.
Entering without a master’s degree
Currently, per Rackham, when a student in a Ph.D. program at another university wishes to transfer to a U-M Ph.D. program, no credit hours are transferred in. The student must submit a complete application to the program, have the application reviewed by the departmental admissions committee and receive final approval from the department chair.
If admitted, the student will need to comply with all of the current Rackham rules for advancement to candidacy (this means a certain number of credit hours taken on campus, a certain number of Rackham Fee Totals (RFT), etc.) If the EEB department wishes to acknowledge the preliminary evaluation work done at the first university, it may do so. Alternatively, the department may acknowledge the work, but require that a student undertake part of the evaluation exam process.
Cognate courses: Rackham requires 4 credit hours of cognate credit. A student may use one course taken at the first university to serve as the cognate course, if this course is first approved by the department. This is called a “cognate in spirit” and does not add to the number of credit hours or RFTs.
Degree completion: Among other things, 68 RFTs are required for degree completion.
Entering with a master’s degree
If a student in a Ph.D. program at another university and leaves with a relevant Master’s degree (as the student wishes to transfer to a U-M Ph.D. program), then 18 Rackham Fee Totals (RFTs) will count towards candidacy.
Cognate courses: Rackham requires 4 credit hours of cognate credit. A student may use one course taken at the first university to serve as the cognate course, if this course is first approved by the department. However, this course cannot have been used as credit towards the Master’s degree. (In other words, the student cannot double count the class).
Degree completion: Among other things, 50 RFTs are required for degree completion.
- It is understood that this policy cannot be too rigid due to the variety of external funding that students are awarded. Teaching is valuable and we hope that this policy will allow us to reach a final decision through negotiations with students.
Fellowships are awarded to students so that they can be relieved of all other duties outside of their dissertation research. Students who are appointed on any fellowship including external fellowships such as NSF and want to accept a GSI, GSRA, or GSSA appointment will need to petition the GAC. Students are required to wait for a final decision from the GAC before accepting the GSI, GSRA, or GSSA appointment.
Students who are appointed on any fellowship and want to accept a .1 GSM appointment can do so without petitioning the GAC.
EEB does have a two term teaching requirement but it is not time specific and deferring a fellowship in order to accept a GSI or GSRA does not require petition but it is up to the students, in consultation with his/her advisor.