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Office of Graduate Education Stanford Biosciences Office of Graduate Education

Biosciences Mental Health Support Program

About the Program

In an effort to help address some of the challenges surrounding Mental Health and Wellness for Biosciences PhD students, in conjunction with the Biosciences Hardship Program, we have created the Biosciences Mental Health Support program. Funds from this program are intended to assist PhD students with copays associated with their mental health care. 

This program offers up to $1,000 (subject to fund availability) per academic year to doctoral scholars who meet the eligibility criteria. To maximize the impact of our limited funding, the application will remain open year-round; however, application review will only occur at specific designated times throughout the year. We anticipate making reimbursements on the order of $50 – $1000 each.  The Biosciences Mental Health Support 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 may automatically be applied to any outstanding university bill.

If you are seeking cost-efficient support, The Mental Health Team provides free and accessible mental health care for School of Medicine and Biosciences students. Please review the MHT website for information on making an appointment. Further campus resources can be found here.


To be eligible for the Biosciences Hardship Fund, the applicant must be actively pursuing a PhD degree in the following programs: Biochemistry, Bioengineering, Biology, Biomedical Data Science, 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.

Students from the eligible programs listed above may apply. Awards are prioritized for applicants in their first six years of PhD study, but students beyond their sixth year may also request support. MSTP students who are in their PhD years may also apply.

Each academic year’s funding cycle for reimbursement-eligible appointments begins on June 1 of the previous academic year, and ends at the completion of the current academic year, August 31. Appointments that occur within this date range are eligible via this program, unless the student has reached the maximum reimbursement amount for the academic year, or those specific appointments were covered via an application from the previous Academic Year.

How to Apply

This fund will be administered by the Office of Graduate Education and is subject to fund availability. Applications will be reviewed quarterly, due to potential fiscal year restraints the Spring and Summer review periods will be combined. Reimbursements will be discreetly entered in GFS following the application review period. You may apply for reimbursements quarterly, but please note the program will only reimburse up to $1,000 in copays per academic year. The application does request supplemental materials, however, we do not request any materials with any element of diagnosis information. Your application information will be kept confidential amongst the Review Committee who will review applications for completeness, and make recommendations for reimbursement amounts with the finance team. If you have exhausted your award Mental Health Support program award and need additional financial support please consider applying for the Biosciences Hardship Program.

Application Review Periods

Application Review Period Application Deadline Applicants Notified*
Autumn 2023-24 October 9, 2023 October 30, 2023
Winter 2023-24 February 12, 2024 March 4, 2024
Spring/Summer 2023-24 June 10, 2024** July 1, 2024

*Dates listed for notification are estimates

**Applications received after June 10, 2024 deadline will be reviewed during the Autumn 2024-25 review period, and any awarded amount will count towards your 2024-25 award limit.

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