We hope you are navigating the last weeks of this semester and looking forward to a much-needed break. As we communicated to you in early October, SAS will provide one-year extensions to doctoral students in good standing whose funding comes to an end in the 2020-21 academic year and who are unable to acquire additional external funding. After final consultation with graduate groups early in the spring semester, we will be writing to individual students with details of the full funding packages in March 2021.

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 are likely to 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 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 and when fieldwork, human subject research, archival work, and other research activities might be able to return to pre-COVID levels. Our current financial planning projects that 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 to you in these difficult times.