If I receive a large scholarship (i.e. greater than $20,000), should my supervisor top up the award? If so, do I simply ask my supervisor, or is a top-up seen as a "gift"?

  • 3
    Can you define "top-up," please?
    – Mad Jack
    Jul 21, 2015 at 15:39
  • Top-up equates to additional money.
    – Shinobii
    Jul 21, 2015 at 15:59
  • 3
    Top it up to what? Is there a minimum salary requirement in your country/university for graduate students?
    – Bill Barth
    Jul 21, 2015 at 16:31
  • 1
    Could you define "should", please?
    – JeffE
    Jul 21, 2015 at 18:48
  • Should meaning: Is this common practice, i.e. you save your supervisor from spending $25,000 on the students stipend, so he "tops up" the award to a total of $30,000. Thus, he only pays $5000 out of his grants for the students stipend. Keep in mind, the supervisor has already taken the student on and the student is required to have a minimum stipend.
    – Shinobii
    Jul 23, 2015 at 16:13

1 Answer 1


This really depends on the graduate department.

At a minimum, however, you should not expect to come up "short" on funding because you brought in an external fellowship. Someone should offer up additional money to bring your total package up to the standard level given to your colleagues in your department. Whether or not the funds come from your supervisor or from the department is for them to decide.

The exact mechanism also varies by department. For instance, in the departments I applied to as a graduate student, one gave a sizable bonus for bringing in an external fellowship (an extra $8,000 per year), while others "topped off" the stipend up to 110% of the stipend of students' normal stipend.

  • Thank you for your response. This was what I was looking for.
    – Shinobii
    Jul 21, 2015 at 16:43

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .