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Research Assistantships and Fellowships

In addition to regular TA positions, there are a limited number of honorary fellowships that provide full financial support without teaching duties; and research assistantships that provide full support in return for assisting a particular faculty with research. Fellowships are awarded on the basis of merit, while the research assistantships are awarded to students working in certain areas on the basis of progress toward the PhD. Many PhD students will receive some support (an average of two to three quarters) from one or both of these sources during their graduate careers.

Most research assistantships follow similar policies, compensation and other benefits as TA positions.  See our TA website for those details.

Research Assistantships

In addition, students in recent years have been supported as Research Assistants to faculty funded by the following agencies, among others:

  • US Department of Energy
  • National Science Foundation
  • Office of Naval Research
  • University of Washington Graduate School

Students interested in RAs should discuss these with their faculty advisor.  When on an RA position, your faculty supervisor may ask you to perform specific duties related to the grant under which you are supported, but such duties should not consume more than the usual amount of time that TAs normally spend teaching. The major part of your duties are to pursue your doctoral research.

External Fellowships

Graduate students are encouraged to look for their own outside funding. Many of the following fellowships are available only to US citizens, nationals, or permanent residents for graduate study. Visit their websites for detailed eligibility requirements.

Additional Sources

Other sources of graduate support can be found at:

Fellowships and Awards

These are typically awarded to incoming graduate students.

  • ARCS Fellowships: cash awards of $7,500 for the first year and $5,000 per year for years two and three, awarded by the Seattle chapter of the ARCS Foundation to an outstanding incoming student in addition to a regular Teaching Assistantship.
  • McFarlan Awards: cash awards for three years, offered to outstanding incoming graduate students and funded through the McFarlan endowment.
  • Top Scholar Awards: cash stipends in addition to regular TA awards, funded by the UW Graduate School and the Department of Mathematics for outstanding incoming students.
  • GSEE Fellowships: funded by the Office of Graduate Student Equity and Excellence of the University of Washington.

The Department has several other awards given to current graduate students for academic, research and teaching excellence.  You can view a list of awards here.

Post-doctoral Support

In addition, students nearing the end of their graduate study might wish to look into the following sources of postdoctoral support: