In the spirit of the Chronicle’s Adjunct Project, a new crowdsourced project to track graduate stipends called GradPay was recently launched by Joshua Carp, a doctoral student in psychology at University of Michigan. The survey, which, according to the site, “has data on stipends, benefits, and responsibilities from 2,578 students across 199 universities and 187 fields of study,” allows users to view the amount of stipend offered to graduate students, the percentage of their time committed to teaching under the stipend, and the percentage of loans that augment that stipend. Users can search by keyword, or sort by state, institution, department, teaching percentage, student loan percentage, or stipend.
While the site collects a good deal more data—on health benefits, unionization, and other-employment information, for example—than it displays at present Carp’s plans for the site include integrating “data on the cost of living and university rankings, and to start looking at changes over time once I have enough data.”
Like the Adjunct Project, wide variations in regional cost of living and institutional differences in how stipends are structured and allocated render this data difficult to interpret. The large number of institutions and fields of study produce individual data cells that are smaller than would be useful for systematic analysis; self-reporting and self-selection also create challenges to interpretation. Nevertheless, what is here is interesting and is likely to become more useful as the sample increases.