Funding: An Overview

Funding: An Overview

Types of Funding

Graduate Student Researcher Assistantships

Graduate student research (GSR) assistantships are awarded by individual faculty members who have research grants. Often, research assistantships are negotiated with your major professor during the admission process or when they receive a grant. In-state registration fees are covered under the UC Fee Remission program for any GSR appointment of 25% or greater. During the application process, the GGE will ask faculty who are accepting students for information on any funding arrangements that have been made. You should also request this information from your faculty sponsor.

Teaching Assistantships

Students in the GGE are encouraged to act as a teaching assistant (TA) for at least 1-2 quarters during their program. TA positions greater than 25% also incur tuition and fee coverage at the level of in-state students. However, the GGE does not award TA positions directly; they are awarded by academic departments. You should contact departments directly, and please note that each department has a different deadline. The GGE Coordinator can supply a copy of letters of recommendation from your application if needed. 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 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. Readers serving more than 25% also receive the in-state tuition and fee support. Reader positions also can be sought by contacting academic departments.

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. In order to be eligible you must be: determined financially eligible by the Financial Aid Office (based on the FAFSA), be a US Citizen or Resident, and be selected for a graduate student researcher assistantship of 25% or more by a UCD faculty member. Each year, the GGE coordinator will send a request for work study units to all GGE faculty, at which time they can request the work study for you at either 25% or 50%.

GGE Fellowship

The Office of Graduate Studies allocates funds each academic year to all graduate groups. In the GGE, these Graduate Studies fellowships are awarded to both entering and continuing students. 

GGE Fellowships cover:

  • Monthly stipend (considered taxable income although taxes are 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 typically not be awarded more than 2 quarters of fellowship support each academic year.
  • 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 normative 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 Graduate Research Awards 

Funds for Henry A. Jastro Graduate Research Awards are distributed by the College of Agriculture and Environmental Science (CAES) to outstanding continuing students in recognition of their potential to carry out research related to the mission of CAES. Funds are available for research (e.g., field travel, project-related materials and supplies, conference travel) and for support while conducting research (stipends, resident tuition, and resident fees). Recommendations for awards are made by the GGE.

Each year, continuing GGE students who meet five criteria may submit proposals for Jastro awards. First, the student’s major professor must have an active appointment in CAES. Second, the student must be registered at the time the proposal is submitted, and must remain enrolled at University of California, Davis for a minimum of one quarter immediately following receipt of the award. Third, the student must have a minimum grade-point average of 3.0. Fourth, the student’s research must be conducted in California or applicable to California. Fifth, the student must not have exceeded the maximum allowable Jastro support ($18,000). Requests for proposals usually are issued in late winter or early spring, and proposals are due approximately one month later. Decisions usually are made and announced in late spring.

CAES sets minima and maxima for annual and cumulative awards and criteria for allowable and unallowable expenses. At present, awards may not exceed $6000 per year. If a research award is requested, the associated budget must be $1000–$3000. If a support award is requested, the associated budget must be $1000–$6000.

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 only allowed a limited number of nominations. Once nominations are made to Graduate Studies, selections for these fellowships are made from a campus wide pool. Notifications of awards are made directly to the GGE office by Graduate Studies in mid-March, and the Coordinator will notify students who 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.