Financial Support of Graduate Students

The School of Biology and Ecology tries to support all of its graduate students financially through teaching assistantships and research assistantships. It automatically considers any applicant to the graduate program for these assistantships unless he or she indicates no need for financial support. Support is provided for the duration of a student’s degree program, typically 2 years for a student in an M.S. program and 4-5 years for a student in a Ph.D. program.1

Teaching Assistantships in Biology and Ecology

The School of Biology and Ecology sponsors Teaching Assistantships to help with teaching in laboratory sections of its courses. A teaching assistantship is a 9-month appointment and involves approximately 9 hours of laboratory instruction per week plus additional time in preparation and grading. The assistantship entails a tuition waiver for up to 9 credit hours per semester. Decisions on awarding assistantships are typically made February–April for appointments to commence the following September. Awards are also made at other times as openings occur.

Research Assistantships

Individual faculty members in the School may have Research Assistantships funded through research grants. A Research Assistantship is expected to entail half-time commitment to assisting in research projects. Some grants pay tuition costs.

Other Scholarships from the University of Maine

Announcements of these competitions are made in January. The School must nominate candidates for these awards. More information can be found at the Graduate School’s Funding Resources page.

Provost Fellowships: The Graduate School awards annually eight or more fellowships with a minimum stipend of $ 18,000 each, plus tuition, and partial health benefits, to be awarded to new graduate students seeking admission to any UMaine graduate program. Provost Fellowships are intended to help in the recruitment of exceptionally qualified students from any institution including the University of Maine, with expected continued support by the department/college. Provost Fellowships awarded to doctoral students will carry a higher stipend than awards to masters students.

Maine Economic Improvement Fund (MEIF) Dissertation Fellowships: Five research fellowships awarded annually by the Graduate School for doctoral candidates completing their dissertations in the following MEIF targeted areas: aquaculture and marine sciences technology; biotechnology; composite materials engineering; environmental sciences technology; information sciences and technology; precision manufacturing; and forestry and agriculture. The stipend provides $ 18,000 for the academic year, the student receives a tuition waiver for one thesis credit (XXX 699) per semester, and partial health benefits. Preference will be given to students in their final year of doctoral study, and the award is non-renewable.

Chase Distinguished Research Assistantships: Ten research assistantships are available annually and are awarded by the Graduate School. The stipend is approximately $ 12,500.00 for the academic year depending upon the type of appointment. A tuition waiver for up to nine hours per semester is included exclusive of courses taken as audit or pass/fail or below 400 level. Some receive a tuition waiver during the summer following the academic year of the award. Partial health benefits are also included. These awards are made on a competitive basis and involve nomination by the department of study and submission of a research proposal delineating the research to be undertaken.

Atlantic Provinces Graduate Scholarships: Three scholarships, which pay a year’s tuition, are available on a competitive basis to graduates of the colleges and universities of the Atlantic Provinces and Quebec. Applicants interested in being nominated for this award should consult their department. Nominations are sought in mid-February.

Graduate Trustee Tuition Scholarships: Up to twenty scholarships, which pay a year’s tuition, are available on a competitive basis to students enrolled in graduate programs. Scholarship recipients are required to register for nine hours of credit each semester. The Graduate School requests nominations from the departments in mid-February. Interested students should seek nomination through their departments of study.

Thurgood Marshall Scholarships: Two scholarships which pay a year’s tuition are available to graduate students whose socioeconomic background, prior academic or work experience, and/or graduate educational interests, would bring a unique perspective to the University of Maine community. Preference for these scholarships is given to individuals from groups that have been traditionally underrepresented at the University of Maine. Scholarship recipients are required to register for nine hours of credit each semester. The Graduate School requests nominations from departments in mid-February. Interested students should seek nomination through their departments of study.

International Student Tuition Waivers: The Graduate School offers a limited number of tuition waivers to international students. The student is responsible for all other costs related to graduate education. As with other awards, nominations are sought from departments in mid-February and are based on academic performance. To be eligible, the candidate must have a completed application form, including financial statement, GRE/MAT/GMAT and TOEFL scores on file at the Graduate School. The award may be continued beyond the first year if the student remains in good standing.

Announcements of National Fellowships

AAUW Educational Foundation Fellowships and Grants Career Development Grants support women who hold a bachelors degree
Charlotte W. Newcombe Dissertation Fellowships, Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation
Department of Education grants and contracts, including student support
Food and Agricultural Sciences National Needs Graduate Fellowship Grants from the USDA
Ford Foundation Fellowships for Minorities
Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program from NOAA for graduate-level research–particularly by female and minority students–in oceanography, marine biology and maritime archaeology
Knauss Marine Policy Fellowships for study relating to national policy decisions affecting oceans, coastal, and Great Lake resources.
National Academy of Sciences Fellowships and Postdoc opportunities (includes H. Hughes Predoctoral Fellowships, Ford Foundation Predoctoral and Dissertation Fellowships)
NASA Predoctoral Fellowship Program The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Harriet G. Jenkins Predoctoral Fellowship Program
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships
National Science Foundation Dissertation Improvement Grants in the Biological Sciences
Sea Grant Industry Fellows Competition
STAR Graduate Fellowships for masters and doctoral level students in environmentally related fields of study

Announcements of UMaine Graduate-Assistant Positions

The Graduate School posts announcements of open assistantships on the FirstClass site. Users of FirstClass can click on the folders “Academics” / “Graduate School” to see these postings.

Announcements of Seasonal Job Opportunities

The Nature Conservancy with seasonal employment listed by state (e.g., Oregon has recently announced openings for summer jobs)

See also Graduate School Financial Information.

Travel support

Funds for traveling to scientific meetings to present thesis research are available through grants from the Association of Graduate Students, the Alumni Association, the Hillborn Fund, the Hyland Fund, and, on a limited basis, the Director of the School.

1The official policy on duration of support: “Graduate students are expected to finish their studies in a timely fashion. School support in the form of teaching assistantships and research assistantships will be provided to students within the following time limits: up to 4 semesters of support to a Master’s student, up to 8 semesters to Ph.D. students with a previous M.S., and up to 10 semesters to Doctoral students without a previous M.S. In particular, these time limits are followed in deciding priority for awarding teaching assistantships, highest priority going to continuing students within these periods. Next priority will be given to new graduate students and for Master’s students needing a fifth semester of support following their second field season. Students exceeding the above time limits will have lower priority for assistantships, but will be considered for openings if their committees confirm that they are progressing well and in good standing.”

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