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Office of Graduate Education Stanford Biosciences Office of Graduate Education

Biosciences Hardship Program

About the Program

Affordability is a significant challenge across the entire Stanford community of students, postdocs, faculty and staff. In an effort to help address this challenge for Biosciences PhD students, we have launched the Biosciences Hardship Program.  Funds from this program are intended to assist with addressing the needs of students who are experiencing a financial hardship related to the cost of living in the San Francisco Bay Area or other factors. 

The fund offers a one-time grant of up to $5,000 (subject to fund availability) per academic year/per household to doctoral scholars who meet the eligibility criteria.  To maximize the impact of our limited funds, we anticipate making grants on the order of $500 – $5000 each.  Students who apply to the Biosciences Hardship Program are also expected to also take advantage of other University resources. Biosciences hardship funds are grants and do not need to be repaid.  They are, however, considered taxable income and recipients will need to comply with IRS guidelines.  Please be aware that funds disbursed will automatically be applied to any outstanding university bill.

Each case is considered on its own merit, and the awarded grant amount may vary from the amount requested. Examples of potential hardship themes may include (but are not limited to) unexpected transportation or technology difficulties, child/dependent caregiving, medical emergencies, ongoing healthcare and housing concerns not supported by other Stanford University support programs listed here.

If you are looking for financial support surrounding your Mental Health copays, please visit our pilot Biosciences Mental Health Support Program.


To be eligible for the Biosciences Hardship Fund, the applicant must a pursuing a PhD degree in the following programs: Biochemistry, Bioengineering, Biology, Biomedical Informatics, Biomedical Physics, Biophysics, Cancer Biology, Chemical and Systems Biology, Developmental Biology, Epidemiology and Clinical Research, Genetics, Health and Research Policy, Immunology, Microbiology and Immunology, Molecular and Cellular Physiology, Neurosciences, Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, or Structural Biology.

Applicants must be in their first six years of PhD study.  MSTP students who are in their PhD years may also apply. For applicable requests, applicants must have previously submitted an Emergency Grant In Aid application.

How to Apply

Spring 2022-23 application

This fund will be administered by the Office of Graduate Education and is subject to fund availability. We hope to review submissions and respond within 4-6 weeks of the application deadline.

Application Dates

The Hardship Program will accept applications twice this year, in Autumn and Spring quarters.

  • The Autumn quarter application will open October 19, 2022 with an application deadline of November 7, 2022.
  • The Spring quarter application will open March 21, 2023 with an application deadline of April 24, 2023.

Biosciences Hardship Application

The Spring 2022-23 application is now open – APPLY HERE!

If you have questions after reviewing the program details and eligibility requirements, contact the Office of Graduate Education at