Student Funding

National Library of Medicine (NLM) Funded Fellows

Eligibility is limited to current US Citizens and permanent residents. Appointments are renewable on an annual basis, but term limit is generally limited to no longer than 3 years for both pre and postdoctoral research fellows.  Decisions on appointments are made by the DBMI chair and the Graduate Program Director and is communicated to them in the summer prior to their arrival.  See NLM website for postdoctoral stipend levels.

NLM requires its trainees to attend a mandatory yearly summer meeting. NLM trainees must submit a research abstract to the Training Committee in preparation for this meeting in early Spring term. Trainees must have their research advisors review and approve the abstracts before they are submitted to the Training Committee. The Training Committee will select two poster and 2 presentation abstracts to present at the meeting after suggested edits have been made. Trainees are permitted to attend an additional conference during the year, with a limited/pre-determined dollar amount to be paid by the department if approval is secured in advance of the conference. The amount to be covered will be determined by the department administrator if the trainee is NLM funded, and by the sponsor if the trainee is funded by a research grant. Most clinical, translational and public health trainees are expected to attend the annual AMIA symposium held in the Fall unless a comparable substitute is approved in advance by the research advisor. Trainees funded by NLM must submit a yearly progress report detailing courses, publications, and posters or presentations given at conferences during the year. As part of their appointment as NLM fellows, trainees must complete a personal profile on eRA Commons ( and annual appointment forms. Delay will result in nonpayment of stipend.

Fellowship Opportunities

See the GSAS Office of Graduate Affairs website for fellowship opportunities.

Funding for PhD Students

The Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) guarantees funding for all Ph.D. students under certain conditions. See the GSAS Office of Graduate Affairs policy on time to degree limits. Funding covers tuition, health insurance fees, University fees and a stipend. The amount and frequency of checks is dependent upon funding source and position. Whether funded as an NLM fellow receiving a stipend 3 times annually or as a Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) receiving a biweekly salary, the yearly amount received is identical and set by the Board of Trustees each summer.  The amount for PhD students is communicated to students in their initial offer of admission letter from the GSAS Dean’s Office. Annual increases are not guaranteed but are usually in the vicinity of 3 percent.

GSAS PhD Student Vacation and Leave Policy

See the GSAS Office of Graduate Affairs policy page.