Since the beginning of the pandemic, the School of Arts and Sciences has provided approximately 300 additional semesters of full fellowships to doctoral students whose funding was set to come to an end. In recognition of the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on graduate student progress, SAS will once again provide one-year fellowship extensions to students whose progress to degree has been delayed. These fellowships will be offered to students who are in the final year of funding at the conclusion of the 2021-22 academic year, who are unable to acquire additional external funding, who are in good academic standing, and whose research has been interrupted by the pandemic.
After final consultation with graduate groups early in the spring 2022 semester, we will be writing to individual students with details of the full funding packages in March 2022. The fellowships will provide full stipends, cover health insurance and fees, and come with an expectation of one semester of teaching service. There will be a process for students to request a waiver of the teaching requirement if their research requires them to reside outside the Philadelphia area for both semesters.
The SAS Deans remain committed to supporting all students whose work has been disrupted by the pandemic. We recognize that students at earlier stages of their graduate careers may require extra time and support when their funding comes to an end. We are prepared to address those needs as they arise.
Looking forward, we will continue to monitor the situation and anticipate offering additional support to those students who reach the end of their funding, who are in good standing, and whose progress during the funded period was derailed by the pandemic. At this moment, we do not yet know how long travel restrictions will persist in certain regions and when research activities in some fields might be able to return to pre-COVID levels. Our current financial planning projects that some students will need extended funding in the coming years, and we will be ready to offer it in due course. We are committed to ensuring that current students have the support they require to complete their degrees.
This pandemic has presented unprecedented obstacles to graduate student progress. We appreciate the severity of those challenges and consider it our obligation to enable students to complete their degrees. SAS will not waver in its commitment in these difficult times.