Improving Doctoral Experiences on External Awards (IDEEA)

The Improving Doctoral Experiences on External Awards (IDEEA) policy establishes a baseline level of support (i.e. salary and benefits) for doctoral students who are funded by grant, fellowship, traineeship, or other external awards. IDEEA also provides supplemental funding when an eligible external award or granting agency prohibits or does not provide one or more components of the defined baseline support.


IDEAA funds are approved when the grant and/or granting agency prohibits payment of one or more required components outlined as baseline support (e.g. prohibits payment of tuition, fees, health insurance, etc.).  If a grant and/or granting agency does permit payment of the baseline support package, then students supported by that grant or agency are not eligible for supplementation by IDEEA. In this scenario, if the full university baseline support was not originally budgeted in the grant, the grant must be re-budgeted or any remaining baseline support must be identified from alternative sources.  

See the IDEEA policy for the complete list of required components for the fellowship to meet the baseline support level.

Students who are enrolled in a KU Lawrence Campus (KULC) doctoral program and who are employed as a GRA on the KU Medical Center (KUMC) Campus are eligible for IDEEA supplementation, as long as the student and funding source meet the requirements. The student’s KULC academic department should submit the IDEEA request and include proof of the qualifying GRA appointment on the KUMC campus.

Finally, note that for awards administered as employment, IDEEA defines a "full semester" appointment as one that meets the eligibility requirements in the Staff Rates policy.


External award recipients are expected to review the IDEEA policy carefully to verify the grant/granting agency, baseline support, and student all meet eligibility requirements. They are also expected to talk to their grant or fund manager in the SSC or Award Management Services (AMS) to verify:

  1.  The terms of the grant or granting agency specifically prohibit payment of one of the components of baseline support.  
  2.  There are sufficient funds to cover the other required components of baseline support.  See the IDEEA policy for baseline support details*. If there are insufficient funds, the grant must be re-budgeted or any remaining baseline support must be identified from alternative sources.   

*Baseline minimum salary is determined annually by Executive Council of Graduate Faculty. The current baseline minimum salary is $18,600 for an academic year/9 month appointment, or an equivalent bi-weekly rate of $957.352941 for ongoing appointments.

The hiring or sponsoring unit must also contact the student's home academic unit (i.e. DGS or graduate program coordinator) to verify the student is in good academic standing and their post-comp enrollment status.  This includes verifying whether the student is expected to complete their oral comp exam in one of the semesters that supplements are being requested.

All requests for IDEEA funding are submitted via the IDEEA pre-approval form, including requests for fellowships not administered as a GRA. The form is typically submitted by the staff member who supports the 3G or fellowship process, rather than the faculty or student award recipient.

The form requests detailed information about the external award (e.g. name, source or agency, salary, etc.). Information about the student's academic status and post-comp enrollment is also required. See Step 1 above for more information.

Pre-approval for IDEEA funds may be granted for multiple semesters with one form. If more than one semester is requested, student support (i.e., the GRA or fellowship) must meet the eligibility requirements for each semester. While multiple semesters of IDEEA support may be pre-approved via this form, disbursal of future funds will be contingent on budget availability at that time. Also, note that because KU does not require GRA/GTA/GAs to enroll in the summer, for requests for summer tuition & fees, priority consideration will be given to students graduating in the summer and/or when the program requires summer enrollment to advance degree progression.    

After submission, the Office of Graduate Studies will review the information to verify:

  1. the nature of the funding source is eligible
  2. the student meets all academic requirements for eligibility (e.g. good standing, admitted doctoral)
  3. the baseline support components will be met
  4. number of enrolled hours IDEEA will supplement based on student's pre- or post-comp enrollment status

Once reviewed, Graduate Studies will send a response within 7-10 business days.

If the request meets all eligibility requirements, a confirmation of pre-approval will be sent to the staff member that submitted the form.  Note that the automated email sent immediately following submission of the form is to confirm receipt of your request only. It is not a confirmation of approval.

If the request does not meet eligibility requirements, Graduate Studies will communicate what requirements were not met.

Sponsorship administered as a GRA -- staff must wait to submit the 3G hiring form until Graduate Studies has reviewed the request and a confirmation of IDEEA pre-approval has been sent to the staff member that submitted the form.  3G hiring forms submitted prior to receiving this confirmation will be routed back to the hiring unit. However, if multiple semesters are pre-approved, future hiring or sponsorship-only forms may be submitted as normal.

For GRAs, pre-approval for IDEEA supplementation is a provisional pre-approval only. The terms of the grant/external award and availability of IDEEA funds will be verified prior to funds being disbursed to the student.  For support administered as a GRA, this final verification will take place during the 3G hiring process. If it is determined at that time that the grant and/or granting agency does permit payment of the specific funds requested, IDEEA funds will not be approved or distributed. 

Sponsorship applied directly to student's KU account -- If IDEEA supplements are approved, a confirmation will be sent and Graduate Studies will submit the corresponding sponsorship forms to Student Accounts & Receivables. Sponsoring units may then submit the sponsorship forms for their portions of the support.  

If a student is preapproved for multiple semesters, Graduate Studies will submit the sponsorship for continuing semesters automatically for each preapproved semester.


The IDEEA pre-approval form opens in February for request for the upcoming summer, fall, and spring semesters. In order to receive priority consideration, the pre-approval form for the following semester will be due to the Office of Graduate Studies by the final Fridays in June, October, and March.

Incomplete requests will not be considered. Late requests may be considered at the Vice Provost’s discretion, as funding allows. 

Pre-Approval Form

Sponsoring units should read the IDEEA policy carefully and consult with the grant or fund manager in the SSC or Award Management Services before submitting the pre-approval request form to verify that the fund explicitly prohibits the payment of tuition and/or fees. Hiring or sponsoring units must also contact student's home academic unit to verify that the student is in meets all eligibility requirements and the student's post-comp enrollment status.