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Hey All.

So I am on a fellowship through my university. The fellowship carries a pretty standard for a PhD stipend, perhaps a bit more generous when one considers the cost of living where I am located, but still small potatoes for the university. 

Anyway, I am on an 11 month contract that renews up to 4 years. I was supposed to not be paid in either June or July (I wasn't sure which month). Today is payday for the university and they paid me the equivalent of my monthly stipend. It seems like they skipped the gap in my contract and continued to pay me.  I am obviously very happy. 

Would you guys say anything to HR? I want to be honest, but not stupid! Also, I don't want them to come back in a few months and ask for the money back!


Any thoughts/advice?

Edited by cr615
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If it were me, I'd find someone else on the same Fellowship, and ask them about it.  Or maybe ask your graduate advisor.  More likely, you were paid correctly, and the dates just line up weirdly or something.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I had this happen to me twice. The first time, I was absolutely certain they had given me too much money, and it was a very large amount (thousands of dollars). I didn't say anything but I kept the money in a separate bank account and didn't touch it. They did eventually come back and ask for it months later. Luckily I hadn't touched it so I gave it back to them in a lump sum.

The second time, it was a smaller amount (one month's salary) and more ambiguous; I wasn't sure if maybe I should've been paid for that month. I was also on fellowship in my last year of grad school, but my fellowship had ended and I was transitioning to a postdoc. Because of circumstances the exact date of my fellowship end was kind of fuzzy. I got paid for one more month than I thought I should have, but I wasn't sure. Again, I didn't say anything, but this time it was more due to uncertainty; I held onto the money for several weeks, but when no one mentioned anything I assumed that I had been paid legitimately and eventually dipped into it. A few weeks/months later, the fellowship director did come back and told me that they had accidentally overpaid me and asked would I be so kind as to repay the money. I set up a repayment plan with them over the course of four months to give it back.

So given my past experiences I would ask about it. It's not stupid to ask. If they were supposed to pay you, then they'll just say that. But if they were not supposed to pay you, they could come back at any time and demand it back, and you don't want to be caught out or put in a financially risky situation because of it.

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