Assistantships and Funding

Assistantships and Fellowships

Research Assistantships

Research Assistantships become available at different times of the year. 

Departmental Research Assistantships (DRAs) become available when an existing student completes their degree. Therefore, these positions can begin either in the spring, summer, or fall semesters. The CEMB program does not have information about these DRAs, as they are controlled by participating departments and individual program faculty.  Check with potential faculty sponsors about whether a DRA is an option

Grant Funded Research Assistantships (GFRAs) become available when grants are funded. It is difficult to predict when a grant will be funded and grant money can be difficult to secure. Most grant periods will begin either January 1 or July 1. GFRAs are controlled by individual program faculty. 

The CEMB program has a limited number of Research Assistantships (RA).  Faculty apply for these funds usually in December for the coming academic year (Fall, Spring and Summer).  These can fund new students or existing students.

Teaching Assistantships

Teaching Assistantships become available every Fall and Spring semester.

Teaching Assistantships (TAs) are limited to only some of the departments, primarily those that teach a large number of laboratory sections.  Applicants may inquire of prospective faculty sponsors regarding whether TA positions are available.  Most TAs involve student contact and therefore the English language proficiency requirements are higher than those for program admission.    

Most RA and TA positions are 50% appointments requiring up to 20 hours per week.  All 50% or higher appointments come with tuition paid by the provider of the TA/RA funding.  Students on RA/TA typically are only responsible for their student fees.


Fellowships are additional funding provided by the University or Graduate School (specific fellowship details).  The Graduate School provides Distinguished Doctoral Fellowships (DDFs) and Doctoral Academy Fellowships, to programs to recruit exceptional students (based on GPA, letters of recommendation, research experience, and GRE scores). Degree programs must submit nomination documentation to the Graduate School for these fellowships.  DDF/DAF funding is in addition to the RA/TA funding.  US citizens or permanent residents are given preference for DAF/DDF funding.  Applicants can send their qualifications to the program director to inquire whether they may qualify to be nominated.  

Find Out More About Costs and Funding

Additional funding information can be found on the Graduate School costs and funding website.