Financial Support

UC Davis offers a wide range of financial support for our graduate students. This support takes the form of a combination of fellowships, research assistantships and teaching assistantships. These sources of funding are detailed below. 

Students who join the Plant Biology Graduate Group often undergo a series of laboratory rotations during their first two quarters in the program. In order to support students during these rotations, the PBGG financially supports our incoming students during this time by offering a two quarter fellowship that covers tuition, fees, and stipend funding equivalent to the Graduate Groups annual compensation plan. 

PBI does not generally provide financial support for Master's students.

UC Davis Fellowships

UC Davis offers fellowships and scholarships for both new and continuing students. UC Davis has two types of University fellowships: the UC Davis Graduate Fellowship, awarded by the Plant Biology Graduate Group, and a variety of internal fellowships competitively awarded by the Office of Graduate Studies.

All new students will automatically be considered for the UC Davis Graduate Fellowship by the Plant Biology Graduate Group. This award generally provides fee, tuition and stipend support. New and continuing students must apply for the internal fellowships awarded by the Office of Graduate Studies. Applications for new and continuing students are due December 1.

New students will be prompted to complete the online fellowship application after the submission of their admissions application. Continuing students may access the fellowship application through the Office of Graduate Studies website.

These fellowships may provide fee, tuition and stipend support and/or research and travel funds. All students are highly encouraged to apply for these fellowships.

Research Assistantships

The wide range of available funding sources for research assistantships is one of the many advantages of an interdisciplinary graduate group like the PBI. PBI faculty members receive funding from an array of government, non-profit and private entities. Faculty members use these grants to support our students by hiring them as Graduate Student Researchers (GSRs). Some of these sources include:

National Science Foundation
National Institutes of Health
United States Department of Energy
United States Department of Agriculture
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
California Department of Food and Agriculture
Kearney Foundation
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

Teaching Assistantships

PBI strongly encourages all students to teach. Though the PBI does not hire students directly as teaching assistants (TAs), the interdisciplinary nature of the group allows students the opportunity to obtain teaching assistantships in many different departments and disciplines. PBI students serve as teaching assistants for courses in Plant Biology, basic Biological Sciences, Plant Sciences, Evolution and Ecology and more. Students must apply separately to each department/program and should apply for any subjects they feel qualified to teach. To find more information about each department's application process and deadlines, check the departments' websites. Most departments can be found by searching for them on UC Davis' list of Academic Departments.

  • Training Grants

  • A variety of training grants are available to fund PBI students. PBI students who are enrolled in the Designated Emphasis in Biotechnology can apply to become National Institutes of Health
    Biomolecular Technology trainees:

    The Collaborative Research and Education in Agricultural Technologies and Engineering-Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (CREATE-IGERT), funded by the National Science Foundation, is also available to PBI students enrolled in the DEB. More information about this program can be found here:

    PBI students whose major professors are trainers on the Molecular and Cellular Biology training grant can apply to become trainees on that grant. Find out more about the MCB training grant here:

    PBI students can also participate in the Responding to rapid environmental change: from genes to ecosystems, science to society IGERT (REACH-IGERT) training grant through the Center for Population Biology. Visit their website to learn more:
  • External Fellowships

  • PBI students also receive support from a variety of external fellowships. These are fellowships awarded by government agencies, private sources, and non-profits. The awards, applications, deadlines, review criteria and processes differ depending on the fellowship. Students and/or their major professors apply for these fellowships on their own, but the Office of Graduate Studies has an extensive website to assist students with finding funding opportunities and composing proposals:
  • Work Study, Financial Aid and the FAFSA

  • Financial aid is available for students who qualify. UC Davis has a unit of the Financial Aid office dedicated to graduate students. The Graduate Financial Aid office administers a variety of subsidized and unsubsidized loans and grants in addition to short-term and emergency loans. All of their deadlines and information are available on their website: Financial aid is generally available to domestic students only.

    The PBI also receives work study funds that are awarded to PBI students to supplement their graduate student researcher appointments.

    All domestic students are required to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), regardless of whether they need to take out loans or other forms of financial aid. Students can complete the FAFSA online at The priority deadline to complete the FAFSA is March 2.

  • Travel Awards

  • Several opportunities exist for PBI students to receive funding for travel. The Office of Graduate Studies puts out a call for applications for travel awards twice a year. These awards provide students who are at or near the end of their graduate studies with funds for travel to present at research conferences. More information can be found on Grad Studies' website:

    The campus Graduate Student Association (GSA) also offers an award that supports travel to conferences, professional meetings, and professional development meetings. Unlike Graduate Studies' travel awards, students do not have to be presenting at the conference in order to be eligible for the award (but it helps!). See the GSA's Travel Awards website for more information:

    Individual departments also offer travel awards for graduate students. Student can check with their major professors or home department offices to see what opportunities are available in individual departments.

Visit the Graduate Studies Financial Support page for more information