Most PhD students are supported throughout the year (including summer) by teaching and research assistantships. TAs and RAs receive a competitive salary, a full tuition waiver, and a comprehensive medical/dental/vision plan (free to the student; 50% premium for dependents). A modest student activities fee is paid by the student each quarter.
New graduate students are awarded teaching assistantships. These offer the student an opportunity to gain teaching experience at the college level, to sharpen understanding of fundamental chemical concepts, and to practice presenting technical material to a group. Graduate students often find teaching to be among the most meaningful experiences of their education.
Funds for research assistantships come from grants, which provide support for research in defined areas. Graduate students are often appointed to a research assistantship after formal acceptance into a research group.
Fellowships, Scholarships, and Awards
Incoming and continuing graduate students are eligible for special awards, fellowships, and scholarships offered on a competitive basis. Awards to incoming students are granted by the Chemistry Graduate Admissions and Recruiting Committee based on outstanding scholarship. There is no separate application process for incoming student awards, as all graduate program applications are considered for these awards by the Admissions Committee. Current students may be selected to receive merit-based awards on an ad hoc basis, typically with the support of endowment-derived funds.
Highly-qualified undergraduate students are encouraged to apply for pre-doctoral fellowships through the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Hertz Foundation at the beginning of their senior year of college.
Chemistry graduate students are eligible for Molecular Biophysics Traineeships. These usually are awarded to second-year students and are renewable for up to three years.
The Grants and Funding Information Service (GFIS) is a resource for finding funding opportunities.
Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award
The Department of Chemistry sponsors an Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award. Chemistry Teaching Assistants and Teaching Associates are eligible to be nominated for this award of $500 which will be recognized at the Department of Chemistry's annual Awards Dinner in the spring.
Nominations are due on March 1 annually. TAs from Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Summer 2021, and Autumn 2021 will be considered in March 2022. Nominations are accepted from students and other faculty, instructors, staff, and grad students who have worked with the TA. Submit your nomination via this nomination form (UW NetID required).
In the nomination application, provide specific reasons and cite examples in support of why the Selection Committee should consider your TA for this award. How has the TA impacted your learning? How has the TA impacted your ability to succeed in the class? Has the TA had an impact on your educational experience beyond this class (study habits, etc.)?
Students who have demonstrated outstanding teaching ability may be offered the opportunity to have complete responsibility for an undergraduate course, with a concomitant increase in salary. This may be of special interest to students considering an academic career.