Fellowships

Faculty

The majority of graduate students in SEEMS are supported by external research grants awarded to individual faculty members. Faculty members then use this external (and sometimes internal) funding to pay the stipends, and sometimes tuition, for graduate students under their supervision. Fellowships of this nature of typically called Graduate Research Assistantships (GRAs). GRA funds are typically reserved for thesis students and typically provided by a student's major advisor.

Because externally-funded GRA positions are constantly being opened and filled as faculty are awarded grants, we do not have a master list of all assistantships available. Available positions are, however, typically advertised on this page and elsewhere on the SEEMS website, and on the individual webpages of faculty who have received funding and seeking to hire one or more GRAs.

It is good to ask your current or prospective faculty mentor if they have any available assistantships or other student support, and to ask about the details of that student support (i.e., how much, for how long, and does it include any tuition or research project support). 

 

SEEMS

A limited number of Graduate Assistantships (GAs) and Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTAs), both of which provide a stipend only, are available through SEEMS and its different academic programs.

Graduate Assistantships are most often reserved for students receiving partial grant support through an individual faculty member. Other times, GAs are awarded to students for program-specific purposes and come with specific expectations and responsibilities. Open positions will be advertised here and elsewhere on the SEEMS website, but we do not have a set number of regularly available positions. 

Graduate Teaching Assistantships are available in limited quantity -- again with no set number of regularly available positions -- and typically require a student to serve as the instructor for three 1-credit hour laboratory sections per semester. Most of these positions require the GTA to already possess 18 hours of completed graduate coursework in a field related to the laboratory course being taught. As a result, many GTA awards are made to graduate students in their second year of study at UTRGV. 

 

College of Sciences 

Recently, the College of Sciences (COS) has provided 10 Dean's Graduate Research Assistantships (DGRAs) per year to new incoming graduate students. These awards are highly competitive and include a 12-month stipend plus full tuition for two years. Exceptionally qualified students are nominated for these awards by their faculty mentor and Graduate Program Coordinator. DGRAs are typically expected to teach in their second year, unless other support is provided by the faculty mentor or host department. DGRAs are awarded across the College of Sciences, and no set number of awards are reserved for SEEMS or the other COS academic units (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, SMSS). SEEMS has typically received 2-3 DGRAs per year. 

DGRA information and requirements

The College of Sciences has a new Dean incoming in Fall 2019, and it is unknown whether the DGRA program will continue. As of Summer 2019, no DGRAs have been selected for the 2019-2020 academic year.

 

University

The Executive Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies recently created the President's Graduate Research Assistantship (PGRA) program to grow graduate enrollment and attract top students. Up to 50 PGRA awards are made per year to new incoming graduate students across all of UTRGV. Exceptionally qualified students are nominated for these awards by their faculty mentor and Graduate Program Coordinator. These awards are highly competitive and include a 12-month stipend plus full tuition for two years. PGRAs are typically expected to teach in their second year, unless other support is provided by the faculty mentor or host department. PGRAs are awarded across the University, and no set number of awards are reserved for SEEMS, but we have typically received 4-5 PGRAs per year.

PGRA information and requirements

To support UTRGV's mission to promote sustainable development, the Executive Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies recently created the Graduate Sustainability Fellowship (GSF) program to support up to 30 outstanding students who will engage in projects addressing sustainability and community resilience in the Rio Grande Valley. These Fellowships are highly competitive and include a $15,000 award that is applied to a full-time student's tuition and fees bill over the course of one academic year, with any remaining funds going directly to the student. Exceptionally qualified students are nominated for these awards by their faculty mentor and Graduate Program Coordinator. GSFs are awarded across the University, and no set number of awards are reserved for SEEMS, but we have received 2-3 GSFs per year.

GSF information and requirements