Financial Support

Students in the Applied Plant Sciences graduate program are supported through half-time research assistantships, graduate fellowships, or a combination of both. Half-time research assistants work up to 20 hours per week on research projects. Work on a thesis project usually fulfills this requirement. Once all required classwork has been completed, students usually need to devote more than 20 hours per week to thesis-related research to obtain their degrees. Competition for available assistantships and fellowships is intense, although we are confident in being able to offer financial support to the very best students.

The annual stipend for half-time research assistants (both M.S. and Ph.D.) is $28,849.60 for 2023-2024. For Ph.D. students who have passed the oral exam and attain advanced status, the rate is $30,284.80. Research assistants and graduate fellows do not pay tuition but need to pay university and health insurance fees. These fees  are > $1000 per semester. Please note that fees listed on the linked page includes some undergraduate fees that do not apply to graduate students. Estimates of the costs of attending graduate school are provided by the Graduate School.

The Graduate School has university-wide fellowship and scholarship opportunities; please visit the Graduate School webpage for more information and deadlines.

Expand all

Outside Funding Opportunities

American Association of University WomenAmerican Fellowships support women doctoral candidates completing dissertations or scholars seeking funds for postdoctoral research leave from accredited institutions. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Candidates are evaluated on the basis of scholarly excellence, teaching experience, and active commitment to helping women and girls through service in their communities, professions, or fields of research.
Association for Women in ScienceThe Association for Women in Science offers various Graduate Fellowships for women students pursuing careers in science. Each fellowship can be used for any aspect of education, including tuition, books, housing, research, equipment, etc. Citizenship: unrestricted.
American Indian Graduate CenterTo be considered for an AIGC fellowship, the applicant must be: An enrolled member of a U.S. federally recognized American Indian tribe or Alaska Native Group, or possess one-fourth degree (federally recognized) Indian blood; Pursuing a master's or doctorate degree as a full-time graduate student at an accredited graduate school in the United States, and in need of financial aid. Applicants must apply for federal financial and campus-based aid at the college financial aid office.
American Museum of Natural History - Theodore Roosevelt Memorial GrantDescription: The American Museum of Natural History offers the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Grants to offer financial support to individuals for research on North American fauna in any phase of wildlife conservation or natural history related to the activities of the American Museum. Citizenship: unrestricted.
The American Society for Microbiology (ASM)The ASM Awards are dedicated to acknowledging the best in microbiology. They are administered by the American Academy of Microbiology and encompass the many subspecialties of microbiology, including biotechnology, clinical microbiology, environmental microbiology, antimicrobial chemotherapy, immunology, and virology, as well as education and service to the profession. Opportunities for individuals to travel to and participate in meetings, conferences, and other professional development activities. Students, postdoctoral fellows, and early and mid-career scientists are eligible for fellowships to conduct research and participate in activities that encourage professional growth in a new area. Funds may be available for stipends, housing, travel, and ASM membership.
American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote SensingThe American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing sponsors awards and scholarships to facilitate graduate-level studies and career goals adjudged to address new and innovative uses of remote sensing data/techniques that relate to the natural, cultural, and agricultural resources of the Earth. Citizenship: unspecified.
Alexander & Lydia Anderson FellowshipStudents must be registered for credit in the University of Minnesota Graduate School at the time of application. Applicants must designate either the Anderson or Crosby competition. Alexander Anderson and Lydia Anderson Fellowship is a summer fellowship stipend and/or research grant for students in the plant or animal sciences- e.g., animal sciences, ecology, forestry, and plant pathology- with preference given to students involved in basic research.
American Society of Plant BiologistsRESEARCH & EDUCATION PROGRAMS - EPA STAR Graduate Fellowships for masters and doctoral level students The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as part of its Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program, is offering Graduate Fellowships for masters and doctoral level students in environmental fields of study. Master's level students may receive support for a maximum of two years. Doctoral students may be supported for a maximum of three years, usable over a period of four years.
American Society of Plant Taxomomists (ASPT)Support is available for students (both master's and doctoral levels) conducting fieldwork, herbarium travel, and/or laboratory research in any area of plant systematics. ASPT Graduate Student Research Awards do not include support for institutional overhead or stipends. Proposals will be funded on the basis of merit, regardless of the research area within systematics (e.g., if all of the best proposals emphasize fieldwork, grants will only be made in that area).
Carolyn M. Crosby FellowshipThis award is open to graduate students doing study/research in the botanical sciences. Students must be registered for credit in the University of Minnesota Graduate School at time of application.  Awardees will receive a stipend plus tuition and health insurance for the academic year. Summer health insurance will be provided if the Fellow remains eligible.
Community of Scholars Program (COSP-University of Minnesota)The Community of Scholars Program (COSP) has travel grants available for students actively participating in COSP. To continue the process of professional development for all graduate and professional students who participate in the program, up to $1,000 per student is budgeted by COSP for students to present a paper at a national or international conference or workshop. Priority will be given to first-time applications. A second award may be funded at 75% of an initial grant award. A third award may be funded at 50% of the initial award.
Council of Graduate Students (COGS) Travel AwardsThe COGS Endowment allows COGS to give Travel and Educational awards every year to graduate students at the University of Minnesota. Students must apply no later than April 1 to be eligible for that year's fund.
National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate FellowshipThe Department of Defense solicits applications for National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowships for study and research leading to doctoral degrees in mathematical, physical, biological, ocean, and engineering sciences.
The Department of Energy/Computation Science Graduate FellowshipThe Department of Energy provides the Computational Science Graduate Fellowship Program, administered by the Krell Institute, to support highly capable students pursuing graduate study at US universities in scientific or engineering disciplines with applications in high-performance computing. Fellows also participate in off-campus research at DOE laboratories. Annual stipend is $28,000, plus payment of tuition and fees, and is renewable for up to four years. Citizenship: US and permanent residents.
Diversity of Views and Experiences (DOVE) FellowshipThe DOVE Fellowship seeks to assist graduate programs to promote a diversity of views, experiences, and ideas in the pursuit of research, scholarship, and creative excellence. This diversity it promoted through the recruitment and support of academically excellent students with diverse ethnic, racial, economic, and educational backgrounds and experiences. Programs are encouraged to consider students from groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in the graduate programs. Students may contact the graduate program directly and request to be considered for the DOVE Fellowship.
Doctoral Dissertation FellowshipThe purpose of the Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship (DDF) program is to give outstanding final-year Ph.D. candidates who are making timely progress toward the degree--typically those entering their fifth year of graduate study--an opportunity to complete the dissertation within the upcoming academic year by devoting full-time effort to the research and writing of the dissertation. Candidates must be nominated by their graduate program's Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) to an all-University competition. Up to 50 Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships are awarded annually.
Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grants in the Directorate for Biological SciencesThe National Science Foundation awards Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grants in selected areas of the biological sciences. These grants provide partial support of doctoral dissertation research to improve the overall quality of research. Allowed are costs for doctoral candidates to participate in scientific meetings, to conduct research in specialized facilities or field settings, and to expand an existing body of dissertation research.
Doctoral Dissertation Research GrantGrants are available to support dissertation research, such as domestic travel and expenses for fieldwork, postage, and photocopying. Applications will be made available in July.
Environmental Leadership ProgramThe Environmental Leadership Program offers the Environmental Leadership Fellowships, as part of ELP's highly experiential and innovative national initiative that aims to build the leadership capacity of the environmental movement's most promising emerging professionals. Each year, a new class of 20-30 fellows is chosen to receive intensive training, institutional support, and mentoring for a three-year period. Fellows gain access to funding to pursue further skill training and develop new projects.
Fulbright ProgramOffers a variety of grants for one year of study or research abroad to over 100 countries. Applicants must have proficiency in the written and spoken language of the host country. Campus information and applications are available in May each year for the upcoming academic year.
Ford Foundation Pre-doctoral Scholarships 
Gamma Sigma DeltaTo be eligible for membership in the national honor society, the graduate students must show outstanding potential and have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher.
The Garden Club of America Scholarships and AwardsThe Garden Club of America offers a selection of unusual and excellent opportunities for further study to college and graduate students, doctoral candidates and recent Ph.D.s, as well as to landscape architects.
Gates Millennium Scholars 
CGA/Catherine H. Beattie FellowshipResearch grant to graduate students through the Center for Plant Conservation. Preference to students whose projects focus on the endangered flora of the Carolinas and southeastern U.S.
GCA/Fellowship in Ecological RestorationAnnual grants to support study and research in ecological restoration as well as advance knowledge and increase the numbers of scientists in this field. Study should conform to the Society of Ecological Restoration’s definition:“ The process of assisting the recovery and management of ecological integrity (which) includes a critical range of variability in biodiversity, ecological processes and structures, regional and historical context and sustainable cultural practices". Open to graduate students pursuing an advanced degree.
GCA/Summer Scholarship in Field BotanyAnnually, the award provides financial aid toward summer studies to encourage study in pure botany. It addresses the need to promote the study of field botany to the horticulture public and increase the awareness of the importance of botany to horticulture. With this scholarship, young men and women who have demonstrated a keen interest in botany can pursue studies specifically related to field botany. It does not support time spent on research and lab work. The summer projects can be pursued beyond the regular course of study to gain additional knowledge and experience. Work may award academic credit but should be in addition to required course study must be in any of the 50 United States College undergraduates following their freshman year and graduate students up to the Master’s degree are eligible to apply.
Glenn/AFAR Scholarships for Research in the Biology of Aging programThe Glenn Foundation for Medical Research and the American Federation For Aging Research offer the Glenn/AFAR Scholarships for Research in the Biology of Aging program to allow students to undertake a three-month research project on any topic related to the basic sciences and aging. Research must be conducted under the supervision of a faculty mentor.
Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) 
Philip C. Hamm Memorial Scholarship ProgramScholarships are available to graduate students in the plant sciences and related disciplines from the Philip C. Hamm Memorial Scholarship Program. To be eligible for nomination, a student must have: 1) completed a minimum of one academic year in the University of Minnesota Graduate School, 2) registration during the current academic year, and 3) demonstrate promise as a research scientist through original research.  Nominees are nominated by their graduate program.
Howard Hughes Predoctoral Fellowships in Biological SciencesPredoctoral Fellowships in Biological Sciences are intended for students at or near the beginning of their graduate study toward Ph.D. degree in the designated fields. Those who are eligible at the time of application may be college seniors, college graduates with no or limited post-baccalaureate graduate study in the biological sciences, or first-year graduate students.
Howard Hughes Scholars 
Jack Kent Cook Foundation Fellowships 
Jacob K. Javits Fellowships 
Juran Fellowship ProgramIn addition to the potential of earning cash awards to further research, applicants get direct feedback from an esteemed panel of faculty and industry reviewers; gain valuable experience in grant writing; and receive coaching throughout the application process.
Integrated Graduate Education and Research Traineeship Program on Risk Analysis for Introduced Species and Genotypes (ISG-IGERT)The Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship Program on Risk Analysis for Introduced Species and Genotypes (ISG-IGERT) seeks applicants for entering the program in Fall 2014, supported by the National Science Foundation. The program educates Ph.D. students to conduct research to improve Ecological Risk Analysis and contribute workable solutions to policy questions and problems affecting the management of introduced species and genotypes. The program includes a new graduate minor in Risk Analysis for Introduced Species and Genotypes (ISG minor). Prospective students must also apply to an appropriate graduate program for admission to a Ph.D. degree program.

International Foundation for Ethical Research


The International Foundation for Ethical Research supports Graduate Fellowships in Animal Welfare to provide monetary assistance to graduate students whose programs of study seem likely to have an impact in the development and implementation of scientifically valid alternatives to the use of animals in research, product testing, and education.
Link Energy FellowshipsThe Link Foundation invites applications for the Energy Fellowship Program. Fellowships are awarded for research proposals related to the aims of the foundation: fostering energy research, enhancing both the theoretical and practical knowledge and application of energy research, and dissemination of the results of research through lectures, seminars, and publications. Preference will be given to proposals dealing directly with energy and exploring ideas not yet fully tested.
MacArthur Scholars FellowshipsThe program provides enabling grants to graduate and professional students for international internships and predissertation fieldwork in the developing world as part of their training programs. Nominees for MacArthur Scholar Fellowships should have backgrounds and interests, which identify them as outstanding students who are clearly committed to the interdisciplinary study of developing nations in the context of global change.
Microbial & Plant Genomics Institute (MPGI) Travel AwardsMPGI has travel awards available to students (and postdocs) in PMGI labs for travel to meetings or for special training. Applications are accepted throughout the year. Students should check the website for deadline dates for applications.
Minnesota-Norway Fulbright ProgramThe University of Minnesota Graduate School has an exchange program with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), whereby one U of M graduate student selected by the Graduate School automatically receives a Fulbright Scholarship to study at NTNU, and one NTNU graduate student spends a year at the University of Minnesota as a Fulbright Scholarship.
NASA Graduate Student Fellowships in Earth System ScienceThe National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) invites applications for the NASA Graduate Student Fellowships in Earth System Science which support the continued training of interdisciplinary scientists in M.Sc. and/or Ph.D. programs to study the Earth as a system. NASA's Earth Science Enterprise (ESE) supports basic and applied research in the following areas: Biology and Biogeochemistry of Ecosystems and the Global Carbon Cycle; Atmospheric Chemistry, Aerosols, and Solar Radiation; Global Water and Energy Cycle; Oceans and Ice in the Earth System; and Solid Earth Science. The maximum period for which a student may receive NASA support is three years.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) invites applications for the Graduate Student Researchers Program. Science and engineering students pursue studies at their home institution and at a NASA facility.
National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science (GEM)The National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science (GEM) offers the Engineering and Science Fellowship Programs for students of Native American Indian, African American, Mexican American, Puerto Rican American, or other Hispanic American ethnicities. The Ph.D. Engineering Fellowship and the Ph.D. Science Fellowship is offered for doctoral students in engineering and the sciences, and the M.S. Engineering Fellowship is provided for Master's degree students in engineering. Fellowships offered through this program are portable and may be used at any participating GEM member university where the fellow is admitted for graduate studies. Tuition, fees, yearly stipend, and a summer internship are provided.
National Funding Opportunities and Fellowships 
National Science Foundation Graduate Research FellowshipThe National Science Foundation (NSF) solicits applications for the NSF Graduate Research Fellowships, including Women in Engineering and Computer and Information Science Awards. Fellowships are awarded for graduate study leading to research-based master's or doctoral degrees in the following fields supported by NSF: engineering; mathematical sciences; computer and information science and engineering; chemistry; geosciences, physics and astronomy; psychology; life sciences; and behavioral and social sciences. Awards are also made for work toward a research-based Ph.D. in science education that requires a science competence comparable to that for Ph.D. candidates in scientific disciplines. Applicants must be near or at the beginning of their graduate study. In most cases, an individual has three opportunities to apply: during the senior year of college, the first year of graduate study, and the beginning of the second year of graduate school.
National Science Foundation Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with DisabilitiesThe National Science Foundation encourages scientists and engineers with disabilities to participate fully in all of its programs.  This announcement describes opportunities for physically disabled persons to facilitate their work by providing special equipment or assistance needed in conjunction with NSF-supported projects. This announcement covers all projects supported by NSF in science and engineering research or education, including fellowships.
National Science Foundation East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes for U.S. Graduate StudentsThe East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes (EAPSI) provide U.S. graduate students in science and engineering:  1) first-hand research experiences in Australia, China, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, or Taiwan; 2) an introduction to the science, science policy, and scientific infrastructure of the respective location; and 3) an orientation to the society, culture and language. The primary goals of EAPSI are to introduce students to East Asia and Pacific science and engineering in the context of a research setting and to help students initiate scientific relationships that will better enable future collaboration with foreign counterparts. All institutes, except Japan, last approximately eight weeks from June to August. Japan lasts approximately ten weeks from June to August.
Office for Diversity in Graduate Education 
Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New AmericansApplicants must either be a resident alien, hold a green card, be a naturalized U.S. citizen. Annual award to encourage and support the contribution of new American-to-American life and culture. All fields of study are eligible. Continuing graduate students are eligible as long as they have completed no more than two years of graduate study.
P.E.O. Sisterhood. International Peace Scholarship FundAnnual award to provide grants-in-aid for selected women from other countries for graduate study in the United States and Canada.
Resources for the Future Walter O. Spofford Jr. Memorial InternshipThe Resources for the Future (RFF) invites applications for the Walter O. Spofford, Jr. Memorial Internship. RFF is offering a paid internship for graduate students with a special interest in Chinese environmental issues to spend time at RFF in Washington, DC to work with one or more RFF researchers on a variety of ongoing projects or assist in the development of entirely new areas of research and policy. RFF's three research divisions are the Center for Risk Management, Energy and Natural Resources, and Quality of the Environment.
Sigma Delta Epsilon and Graduate Women in ScienceSigma Delta Epsilon (SDE) and Graduate Women in Science invite applications for three SDE/GWIS fellowships (SDE, Eloise Gerry, and Vessa Notchev Fellowships) and the Eli Lilly Travel Award in support of scientific research done by women.
Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of ResearchThe Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research program has been providing undergraduate and graduate students with valuable educational experiences for more than 80 years. The program awards grants of $1,000 or less to students from all areas of the sciences and engineering. Students use the funding to pay for travel expenses to and from a research site, or for the purchase of non-standard laboratory equipment necessary to complete a specific research project.
SMART Scholarship-for-Service ProgramThe Science, Mathematics, And Research for Transformation (SMART) scholarship-for-service Program fully funds undergraduate and graduate degrees in a wide range of technical areas, including all fields of engineering, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Brain and Cognitive Sciences, and Mathematics.  It is a highly selective, prestigious, national program. This scholarship provides support for your education, including full tuition, a very generous stipend, book allowance, and a Summer internship, while in school. In addition, this scholarship then provides guaranteed employment with the Defense Department after graduation
Torske Klubben Fellowship for Minnesota ResidentsThis fellowship award has been established to support outstanding students currently enrolled in the Graduate School in any field, who are Minnesota residents. Applicants must have outstanding academic achievement, excellent leadership potential, and an interest in or connection with Norway. Awardees receive a stipend for the academic year plus tuition. Recipients may supplement the stipend with funds in any amount from any source. Sponsored by the Torske Klubben of Minneapolis.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Science to Achieve Results ProgramThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as part of its Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program, is offering graduate fellowships for master's and doctoral level students in environmentally related fields of study. Citizenship: unrestricted.
United Negro College Fund

UNCF awards scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students attending UNCF member schools and other schools across the country. UNCF also supports faculty members through grants for research and dissertation completion. To be considered for a UNCF administered scholarship, you must meet certain basic eligibility requirements:

  1. Students must have a minimum grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale
  2. Students must have unmet need as verified by the university financial aid office
  3. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA)
  4. Students must request that the Student Analysis Report (SAR) be sent to the financial aid office at their college or university

Many UNCF administered scholarships have requirements in addition to the basic eligibility requirements listed above. Non-UNCF administered scholarships have eligibility requirements based solely on the discretion of the donor or administering organization.

Wood-Whelan Research Fellowship/International Union of BiochemistryThis fellowship is designed to support young biochemists and molecular biologists, from countries that are full or associate members of the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (IUBMB), who need to travel to other laboratories in the IUBMB and International Council for Science (ICSU) region for the purpose of carrying out experiments that require special techniques or for other forms of scientific collaboration or advanced training. The fellowships will be awarded for travel lasting one to four months. A fellowship is intended to cover travel and incidental costs to a total of $2,000.