Biology Graduate Program Student Handbook 3. Financial Support

The Department has a number of awards to assist students, typically given during the summer months. The graduate coordinator will periodically send out e-mails with this information and eligibility requirements.  For information regarding Graduate Teaching Assistantships, please reference the link in the contents navigation pane on the right hand side of the page or click here.

3.1 Biology Graduate Student Awards

A $2000 award that is typically awarded in the summer to an outstanding graduate student who has completed their proposal and begun research. This award is sometimes split between two candidates.

3.2 Summer Support

At the current time there is no department summer support available. However, several awards (see below) are available for graduate students at different phases of their academic careers. Also, periodic grants from the Coastal Biology may be available, but nothing is guaranteed. Thus, applying for external grants, often through scientific societies (e.g., Sigma Xi Grants-In-Aid-Of-Research) is strongly encouraged.

3.3 Thomas Dodson Biology Fellowship

Established in 2007 by Tom and Jean Dodson, this gift establishes a fellowship for graduate students in the Department of Biology who are majoring in the area of environmental sciences. This is the University’s first endowed Biology Fellowship.


For more information on the Thomas Dodson Biology Fellowship, click here.

3.4 Travel Funds

One of the most important activities in which a scientist may engage is in the active dissemination of data. Thus, the department strongly encourages graduate student travel and presentations at meetings. Whether local, state, national or international, meeting presentations are of paramount importance to developing one’s scientific repartee. Many larger meetings have funds set aside to assist in graduate student travel, often by employing graduate student services (e.g., focusing the projector, assisting with check-ins, etc.), so check ahead.


The department also has limited funds in which to assist with graduate student travel. To apply, send a letter stating the time, place and nature of the meeting, as well as whether you are planning on giving a talk or poster. The Graduate Council will attempt to provide travel funds in the early spring (for spring and summer travel) and early fall (for fall and early spring travel), but please bear in mind that most meetings are held in the summer, and thus summer travel funds are in greater demand. Consideration for requests will include stage of student research development, the type of meeting, presentation type, major professor input, etc.


The Coastal Biology Program may have additional funds for Coastal themed (sensu lato) presentations.