The LSA Transitional Funding Support Program was created to reduce and mitigate the power imbalance in the trainee-mentor relationship. It provides immediate financial support for Master’s and PhD trainees who are dependent upon a faculty adviser for funding (i.e. GSRA), so that a trainee can exit a harassing or abusive relationship and transition to a new advisor without losing continuity in financial support.
LSA is committed to creating a climate that is free of sexual and gender-based harassment. Harassment, abuse, and other forms of extreme harm also can and do occur in situations where the trainee is not directly funded by a research advisor. In these cases, the trainee should seek support from their department to find a new research advisor. Regardless of the trainee’s funding situation, all departments are expected to assist graduate students who choose to change faculty advisors, whether to exit a harassing situation or for any other reason, and should communicate to trainees the departmental process for changing research advisers.
LSA Transitional Funding Support Program
- LSA guarantees one semester of transitional funding to any Master’s or PhD trainee, leaving a harassing, abusive, or harmful trainee-advisor relationship. Additional transitional funding, including summer funding, may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
- LSA trainees who receive funding (e.g. GSRA) from a faculty advisor to conduct scholarship as part of their degree completion are eligible. Trainees from other colleges and schools working with LSA faculty should seek support from their home unit.
- Transitional funding is intended to support the trainees’ continued progress to degree, while conforming to the normal graduate funding model within the unit. A trainee who would normally expect to receive a departmental fellowship or GSI during the transition period would do so. Self-funded Master’s students who are not directly dependent on a faculty adviser for funding as part of their degree completion are not eligible for transitional funding.
- The transitional funding can be used to support the trainees’ search for a new advisor or to support work with a new advisor that doesn’t currently have funding.
- Master’s and PhD trainees who receive transitional funding should be granted academic accommodations as appropriate, including flexibility around times to degree and other academic milestones.
Process for Requesting LSA Transitional Funding Support
Transitional support can be requested at any time. Master's and PhD trainees should contact LSA’s Manager of Graduate Education (MGE), Paula Hathaway (firstname.lastname@example.org), who will serve as an advocate for trainees.
- The MGE will review the trainee’s specific situation and provide them with information about their options. The meeting will be treated with discretion and no proof of a harassing or abusing relationship will be necessary for transitional support. A description of any type of harassment, including racial, and sexual and gender-based harassment, revealed at this meeting will be reported to the Equity, Civil Rights and Title IX Office (ECRT).
- The MGE and divisional Associate Dean (AD) will then work with department leadership to facilitate the trainees’ smooth transition between advisors, including management of the trainees’ ongoing research projects. UM prohibits retaliation against any student, staff or faculty member who makes a good faith report. The AD and chair will let the faculty adviser know that retaliation of any kind will not be tolerated and will check in with the trainee to confirm that no retaliative actions have occurred. Retaliation of any kind against a trainee will not be tolerated and should be immediately reported to the divisional AD.
Note: The meeting is not an opportunity to seek counseling and conflict resolution. Counseling and other types of support should be sought through Rackham’s Graduate Student and Program Consultation Services (GSPCS) and/or Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).
Contact Paula Hathaway, Manager of Graduate Education: email@example.com