Funding: An Overview

Funding: An Overview

Types of Funding

Graduate Student Researcher Assistantships

Research assistantships are awarded by individual faculty members from faculty research grants. Traditionally, research assistantships are negotiated with your major professor during the admission process. Registration fees will be covered under the UC Fee Remission program for any research assistantship appointment of 25% or greater. During the application process if a faculty member indicates an interest in sponsoring an applicant, the GGE will ask for any information on funding arrangements that have been made. You should also request this information from your faculty sponsor.

Teaching Assistantships

Students in the GGE are expected to act as a teaching assistant for 1-2 quarters during their program.  Although the Ecology Graduate Group does not award teaching assistantship directly (they are awarded by academic departments), these are generally available to all students who need these.  You should contact departments directly, some examples of departments (listed here), to request an application, please note that each department has a different deadline. The GGE office will supply supplemental application information such as: copies of your transcripts, GRE's, letter of recommendation and resume from your application. If you would like to take advantage of this service, please provide the GGE office with a list of departments that you have applied to and contact information. If there are supplemental letters of recommendation that can attest to your teaching background or experience, we highly recommend that you have these included with your TA application.


The title Reader is given to a graduate or undergraduate student appointed for the ability to render diverse services as a "course assistant," which will normally include the grading of student papers and examinations. A Reader will not be assigned the responsibilities of leading discussion or laboratory sections. A student may not serve as a Reader in a course in which he or she is enrolled.

Work Study

IMPORTANT NOTE: YOU MUST SUBMIT A FAFSA TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR WORK STUDY! This should be your top priority if you are looking to obtain these funds.

Work study funds are allocated to graduate programs in the form of a work study GGE Fellowship. These funds are awarded to students in their programs. In order to be eligible you must be: determined financially eligible by the Financial Aid Office, be a US Citizen or Resident, and be selected for a graduate student researcher assistantship of 25% or more by a UCD faculty member. Your major professor should make a request to the GGE office for these funds in the spring for the following academic year, confirming that the matching funds are available. Awards will be made for either 25% or 50%.

GGE Fellowship

The Office of Graduate Studies allocates fellowship support each academic year to the GGE. These fellowships are awarded to both entering and continuing students. The typical breakdown of how these funds are distributed are as follows:

  • 35% is allocated to fellowship support for entering students
  • 25% is allocated to fellowship support for students in their first year in the program
  • 40% is allocated to fellowship support for students in their second year and beyond

GGE Fellowships cover 

  • Monthly stipend (considered taxable income which is not withheld)
  • Registration fees
  • Non-resident Tuition for non California residents or international students

The following limitations have been established in making awards to students:

  • Students may be awarded a total of 8 quarters of support during their residence in the program irrespective of a MS student continuing on to complete a PhD.
  • Students will not be awarded more than 2 quarters of support each academic year. The student may either be a TA for the remaining quarter or receive support from their major professor for this quarter as well as the summer.
  • Students who are in their 5th year of residence may apply for support for their 6th year but must provide an explanation for exceeding the GGE time to degree limit. The official Time to Degree for a PhD in Ecology is 5 years. The standard for an MS by thesis is approximately 3 years.
  • Should a student already hold a substantial fellowship, GGE Fellowship support will not be awarded in an effort to fund as many students as possible.

Henry A. Jastro Research Fellowship 

The Henry A. Jastro Research Fellowship is funded by the College of Agriculture and Environmental Science (CAES). Applicants whose major professor is housed in a department in CAES are eligible to apply. Henry A. Jastro Graduate Research Awards are awarded to outstanding graduate students in recognition of their potential to carry out research projects. Funding is restricted to continuing students and not to exceed $6,000. 

Note: The GGE Awards Committee requires that students apply at the same time as the GGE Fellowship application, which is different than what is announced via the CAES Dean's office.

University Fellowships

There are a number of university fellowships you can apply for, some of which are restricted to students meeting specific criteria. If applying for these, be sure to note what makes you eligible for the restricted fellowship. The GGE will make nominations based on your selections, but is allowed a limited number of nominations. Once nominations are made to Graduate Studies, selections for these fellowships are made from a campus wide pool. The GGE office will notify you if you have been nominated for a campus fellowship. Notifications of awards are made directly to the GGE office by Graduate Studies in mid-March, and students will be notified if they are selected to receive a campus fellowship.

External Funding 

External Fellowships are those offered by private foundations, government agencies, and corporations.  A variety of support is offered, from one-time awards to multi-year support. Aside from the obvious financial benefit, receipt of external funding exemplifies excellence in research, writing and scholarship.

List of External Fellowships

Financial Aid

Financial aid is available. Please contact the UCD Financial Aid Office at (530) 752-2390 for information and deadlines. The Free Application for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA) is available by the beginning of January online. Be sure to complete the application by the March deadline. Your eligibility will be determined and forwarded to the UC Davis Financial Aid Office.