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Finding Funding

Here's is a discussion of financial aid, based on previous presentations to prospective graduate students. Thank you to Yvonne for her summary.

Disclaimer: All students' funding offers and situations are different so this is just an overview of the general experience. For more information talk to the math department staff, your advisor and/ or other students.

Overview of Department Funding

Policy: In general, most students are guaranteed 3-5 years funding, most likely to be shorter if you have a masters. To find information about the length of your support, refer to your original and supplemental departmental offer letters. Your original offer stands, provided you are in good standing and that you show good performance as a TA and in your other departmental responsibilities.

This support will come through a combination of TAships, AIships, GSRships, Fellowships, etc. that are assigned during the annual review (for more information click here). For more details on each funding option skip to Academic Year Funding. You may also wish to pursue outside sources of funding, for more details skip to External Funding. There are also some internal UC Davis fellowships. If you are eligible, you should apply. If you can make a case for being eligible, you should apply.

Why apply for other funding?

  • Financial independence is good- you will know exactly where your money is coming from, and won't have to wait each year to find out how your support will be given.
  • Practice for grant writing-- you will need how to know how to write a proposal at some point, may as well start now.
  • Looks good on your record.

FAFSA In order to get funding support you must do FAFSA every year! This only applies to domestic students. It takes half an hour, and has these benefits:

  • makes you eligible for GAANN fellowship (based on finaid)
  • makes you eligible for subsidized loans (such as for a car)

Academic Year Funding

Available Types of Funding:

  • Teaching Assistant (TA) : Includes some combination of: discussion section, grading, proctoring, office hours, calc room.
  • Associate Instructor (AI): Teaching your own class (less then 40 students)- you write homeworks and exams. Competitive and a good experience. Often must AI during summer prior to AIing during the year.
  • Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) : Do research with a professor. It's okay to have a GSR with someone who doesn't end up being your advisor. Sometimes prof will offer and sometimes they just forget but it is your right to ask them about the possibility if you're working with them.
  • Fellowships includes VIGRE, GAANN and other block grants. These are fellowships for students based on your research potential; if you show somehow that you have promise in research, you have a better chance of getting these. Note: VIGRE / GAANN are only available for domestic students (citizens/ permanent residents). DO YOUR FAFSA!
    Note: Fellowships are a great opportunity to create your own independence, use them to make progress and don't abuse them.
    Note 2: If you receive a VIGRE fellowship it is expected that you spend that academic year involved in a VIGRE RFG.
  • External Fellowships and Funding - click here for more details

Note: For the 2007-2008 academic year, graduate students also had Readerships as a funding support option. Readerships are required homework grading.

External Funding

Outside of one's advisor and direct support from the Math Department, there are quite a few fellowships and funding opportunities that are relevant to math grad student.

Here are some links to get it started:

  • UC fellowships for new and continuing grad students. Eligibility: varies Award: varies, up to full support Due: January

  • NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program Eligibility: United States citizens or nationals, or permanent resident aliens of the United States; Prospective or first-year grad student. Award: Up to 3 years of full support, including $30,000 stipend. Due: November

  • DOE Computational Science Graduate Fellowship Eligibility: First or second-year students in PhD program; U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens. Award: Up to 4 years of full support, including $31,200 stipend and more. Due: January

  • PEO Scholar Award Eligibility: women, final 2 years of study Award: $10,000 Due: February

  • Hertz Fellowship Eligibility: PhD student in "applied" math; "willing to morally commit to make their skills available to the United States in time of national emergency" Award: Up to 5 years of full support. Due: October

National Laboratories The National Labs are funded by the US Department of Energy to carry out scientific research in the public interest. Both Lawrence Berkeley Lab and Lawrence Livermore Lab, conveniently located in the East Bay, have opportunities for graduate students both during the summer and the academic year. More information is available at and .

Annual Review: Funding Appointment Process

You will be supported via a combination of funding options. How does the department decide what to give each student?

Process: Annual Review, research proposals. Due every year in April. Goal: offer letter before the summer.

Parting advice

  • do your FAFSA
  • be assertive, apply for anything you are eligible for
  • pay attention to your email, you never know what fellowship opportunities will show up.

Summer Funding

Summer can be an opportunity to pursue research or try out something new to strengthen your resume. Some examples of available types of summer funding inlcude:

  • Associate Instructor (AI): same deal as academic year, but in the summer. Two sessions. In order to AI during the summer you often must have proof of previous teaching excellence (previous TAing and Math 390).
  • Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) : work with some professor, get paid by their grant.
  • Fellowships includes VIGRE summer fellowship (separate from the academic year VIGRE fellowship). Often includes work with a professor for the summer to do research and getting paid by the department.
    Note: Summer VIGRE is totally separate from academic year VIGRE.

  • Internships: There are many companies interested in having a mathematician available for the summer. This is a great opportunity, especially if you are interested in going into industry after graduation. To find an internship, ask your adviser or ask at the SIAM career day.

  • Part-time Community College teaching - doesn't pay too well, but if you're really into teaching and envision yourself as a community college professor or liberal arts prof, might be something to consider.

  • REU Mentor: With the VIGRE program there is opportunities to monitor and assist with undergraduate summer research.

  • High School summer programs - COSMOS, Mathcamp, PROMYS, Hampshire, etc. Great opportunity to teach and prepare lessons for highly motivated students.

findfunding.txt · Last modified: 2016/02/16 09:14 by jasnyder