Graduate Student Payments/Reimbursements Policy

Graduate Students receive a variety of payments to support their educational enrichment opportunities along with their independent research. In many cases, the students work secondarily as teaching or research assistants providing services to Duke University. The payment type is based upon whether or not the payment is for services rendered or a component of an award package. For example, PhD students are typically guaranteed funding for the first five years of study. Sometimes this funding is in the form of a fellowship which is awarded to aid the student in the pursuit of their education and for which no service to the University is required. In other instances, students can compete for and win competitive fellowships and awards such as a Dissertation Research Travel Award or a Price Fellowship, which includes both a non-compensatory stipend, as well as a research award.

This policy is intended to provide clarification on the types of payments which students receive along with the corresponding reporting requirements. The matrix below is intended to serve as a reference for determining payment types and reporting requirements. You may also reference information related to compensatory payments for graduate students funded by grants in GAP 200.310, Compensation of Graduate Students on Sponsored Research Projects.

Type of Payment Source of Payment Reporting Requirement Tax Document Form
Compensation for Services Provided to Duke Payroll System Reporting and withholding is applicable since the student is receiving a compensatory payment for services.  Examples include Teaching or Research Assistants. IRS Form W-2
Fellowship/Scholarship Payments Non-compensatory Payment System A courtesy letter from Duke University is provided if the student chooses to have no withholding.   A 1099 form is issued if the student elects withholding. Please note that payments to international students who are nonresidents for US tax purposes are subject to required tax withholding unless exempt from a tax treaty. A courtesy letter, IRS Form 1099, or IRS Form 1042S whichever is applicable.
Student Conference Travel Reimbursements through the Employee Travel & Reimbursement System No reporting or withholding requirement is necessary since students are traveling on Duke Business; typically presenting a paper on behalf of Duke.  Payment is often in the form of a student travel advance.
Documentation is necessary to substantiate the type of program.
N/A
Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grants (DDIG) Reimbursements through the Employee Travel & Reimbursement System No reporting or withholding requirement is necessary.  The sponsor requires that a Duke faculty member, typically the student’s advisor, serve as the PI on the grant and the purpose of the DDIG is to supplement Duke University research.  Students are traveling or conducting research on behalf of the Duke University research mission.
Documentation is necessary to substantiate the type of program.
N/A
Assisting Principal Investigator (PI) on PI’s Research Grant Reimbursements through the Employee Travel & Reimbursement System No reporting or withholding requirement is necessary since students are traveling on Duke Business; often presenting a paper on behalf of Duke or conducting research for the purpose of a scholarly publication.  Payment is often in the form of a student travel advance.
Documentation is necessary to substantiate the type of program.
N/A
Student Travel for Independent Research – Funds Issued by Duke Reimbursements through the Employee Travel & Reimbursement System Reporting is applicable since the student is receiving an individual educational benefit.  Withholding is applicable to payments issued to nonresidents for US Tax Purposes.  Payment is issued using a paper Miscellaneous Reimbursement Form; posted to 691800. IRS Form 1099 or 1042S, whichever is applicable
Student Travel for Independent Research – Funds Issued by Granting Agency Payments are issued directly to the student from the granting agency Reporting is applicable since the student is receiving an individual educational benefit. The granting agency should issue an IRS Form 1099.
Competitive travel or research awards issued by The Graduate School or other Duke University entity Non-compensatory Payment System A courtesy letter from Duke University is provided if the student chooses to have no withholding.   A 1099 form is issued if the student elects withholding. Please note that payments to international students who are nonresidents for US tax purposes are subject to required tax withholding unless exempt from a tax treaty. A courtesy letter, IRS Form 1099, or IRS Form 1042S whichever is applicable.