Financial Support

Fellowships & Assistantships


A fellowship is an honor proffered for work of the highest caliber. It also implies a responsiblity for continued and outstanding progress. Students with fellowships are required to carry a full course load. Fellowships are available from a number of different sources. In recents years, various graduate students in the Department of Astronomy have received fellowships from the following sources:

Departmental Assistantships

Currently, all of the graduate students admitted to the Graduate program in the Department of Astronomy are supported by either fellowships, teaching assistantships or research assistantships.

Teaching Assistantships

Typically eight to ten students are funded by the Department of Astronomy as Teaching Assistants. The precise number varies from year to year, and depends on the Departmental budget, as provided by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Teaching assignments vary with each position, but generally consist of assisting with large undergraduate courses of teaching undergraduate astronomy laboratory sections. Students may not hold a teaching assistantship for more than 5 years apart from exceptional circumstances.

Research Assistantships

These are normally provided to assist faculty in research projects and are often directly related to the student's Master's or Doctoral program. The usual source of funds is a grant held by one or more particular faculty members who make all decisions on appointments. Potential sources include the National Science Foundations, NASA, and FSGC.

Graduate Student Research Assistantships

These are awarded by the Division of Sponsored Research (DSR) to assist faculty in projects that are either novel or nearing completion, and where assistance may be expected to lead to external support. These awards are unlikely to last for more than 9 months.

Summer Employment

Some Teaching Assistantships are usually available from the Department of Astronomy, and some Research Assistantships are usually available from individual faculty grants. In addition, a number of government, national, and industrial laboratories occasionally hire graduate students for summer employment. Again, students are advised to consult the DSR publication. Announcements of summer positions at national labs are often posted on the bulletin board. (Also see AAS Summer Opportunities.)

External Graduate Fellowships

Fellowship Deadline Eligibility
Sigma Xi October & March Any year; all
Hertz Foundation October Any year; US citizens/residents
LGEM Fellowship October US citizens/residents
NSF Graduate Research Fellowship November 1st & 2nd years only; US citizens
NPSC Graduate Fellowships November 1st years; one year prior to dissertation; US citizens
Amelia Earhart November All women
Churchill Scholarship November US citizens
Soros Fellowship November 1st & 2nd years; US citizens
National Defense Science & Engineering January 1st & 2nd years; US citizens
DOE Computational Science January 1st & 2nd years; US citizens/residents
NASA NESSF February Any year; all
Florida Space Grant Consortium February US citizens
NASA GSRP February Any year; US citizens
Harriet G Jenkins Predoctoral Fellowship February 1st thru 3rd years; US citizens
Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship 1st & 2nd years; US citizens
Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship One year prior to dissertation; US citizens