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Graduate Support


Investing in the Success of our Future

We value the importance of high-impact, hands-on education and want to help graduate students achieve their goals through assistantships, fellowships, grants and financial aid. Because of generous support from our alumni, friends and industry partners, we are able to offer qualified students options to support their education. 

Full-time graduate students appointed to any assistantship of at least $8,000 per year are also placed into the Graduate Student Support Plan, which covers all tuition and health insurance premiums on behalf of the student. However, under this plan, out-of-state tuition is only paid the first year of study.  

The best place to start looking for financial support is through the NC State Graduate School. Browse fellowship and grant opportunities on their website. Additional financial aid is also available through University Financial Aid, which can fill in the gaps between educational expenses and available assets.

We help our students pursue their passions.

More than 70% of on-campus students receive funding, including tuition and health insurance.

Available Opportunities

Applying for an assistantship is simple. When filling out your Graduate School Application, check the box to request consideration for financial assistance. Documents submitted with your application will be used to assess merit.

Research Assistantships are often awarded to graduate students interested in working on current research projects. Keep in mind that grant cycles do not necessarily coincide with application deadlines, so many opportunities are filled from the current application and student pool. For questions about specific research opportunities and available funding, contact Forestry and Environmental Resources Faculty members about their individual projects.

Ongoing Funding Opportunities

  • Camcore Stipends: awarded to graduate students who conduct international research focused on furthering our knowledge about tropical and subtropical forest species.
  • Forest Productivity Cooperative Assistantships: awarded to outstanding graduate students working with the Forest Productivity Cooperative on specific areas of research.
  • Gunnar and Lillian Nicholson Graduate Fellowships: awarded to Swedish graduate foresters studying forest genetics and forest management at NC State. Recipients receive funding for five years to earn a doctoral degree, including a $25,000 annual stipend plus all tuition, student fees and health insurance. Students also receive round-trip airfare once per year for travel to Sweden to promote the Nicholson exchange program. For more information, contact Rachel Cook.
  • Tree Improvement Program Assistantships: awarded to graduate students working closely with the Tree Improvement Program on specific research, including genetic variation studies, modeling and development of breeding strategies, testing and selection, seed orchard management and the use of clonal propagation in breeding.

One-Time Funding Opportunities


  • PhD Assistantship in phosphorus dynamics of planted pine forests. The student will focus on the biotic controls on phosphorus retention and bioavailability across a regionwide suite of planted loblolly pine forests in the southeastern US.  The student will join a team of scientists from NC State and Virginia Tech that are seeking to understand the relative importance and interaction of biotic and abiotic process that contribute to the long-term phosphorus availability that sustains productivity across the region. The USDA NIFA-funded PhD student will address the ectomycorrhizal fungal microbiome in loblolly pine plantations and how it relates to nutrient acquisition under controlled conditions (laboratory and growth chamber). The student will also work with microdialysis and ion-exchange membranes to track nutrient availability under different fertilization treatments both in field and controlled conditions. The majority of soil sampling and tree measurements will occur at field sites located in NC, FL, and GA. Some sampling at site establishment will occur at sites located throughout the southeast. Overnight travel will be required. The incoming student will be co-advised by Drs. Rachel Cook ( and Kevin Garcia ( in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources.  The student will also have an opportunity to work closely with the Forest Productivity Cooperative.  Successful candidates could begin either in Spring, Summer, or Fall 2022. Assistantships include: an annual stipend of ~$27,000, tuition and health insurance will be covered. Fees will be covered by the student. Interested students should contact Rachel Cook at with a statement of interest, a CV, and contact information for three references. A thesis-based masters in science degree in a relevant field is required.
  • PhD Assistantship in Tropical Forest Restoration. The successful applicant will conduct independent research in the field of tropical forest restoration and tropical forest ecology. There is flexibility around the project details, with potential topics including a focus on reforestation/restoration efforts, on natural forest regeneration and stand dynamics, silvicultural management, biodiversity patterns, and climate resilience. The position is funded for three years and includes a graduate stipend of $25,000, tuition, and health insurance. Funds are also available for fieldwork and travel expenses. The ideal start date would be August 2022, but beginning in January 2023 would also be possible. Desired qualifications: a Masters degree in forestry, botany, ecology, plant science, environmental science, biology or a related field; experience conducting field research; classwork or experience analyzing data using R. Proficiency in Spanish is a plus. To apply: Prospective applicants should send, via e-mail attachment, a brief letter of interest and CV (including GPA and contact information for three references) to Dr. Meredith Martin ( Materials should be sent by April 8 . Women and individuals from other historically under-represented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • The Ecology Wildlife Foundation Fellowship is awarded to a graduate student (Master’s or PhD) with strong academic background and passion for work in the realm of wildlife conservation. Currently, I am looking for a student that is interested in understanding the effects of urbanization, river flow alterations, and/or climate change on reptiles and amphibians of North Carolina. The start date is Spring or Fall 2023. Funding will include a graduate stipend of ~$25,000/year, tuition expenses, and health benefits. Students interested in working in my lab should send an email with: (1) a brief statement of research interest/goals including relevant experience, (2) CV, (3) contact information of 3 references. Mali Lab is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and students from various backgrounds (especially minority students) are encouraged to apply.  Contact email:
  • PhD Assistantship in Mammal Ecology. This student will work with the NSF funded project “Anticipating continent-wide forest recruitment change: the interactions between climate, habitat, and consumers”. This position will focus on quantifying mammal populations across North America and relating them to data on mast production and forest ecology produced by collaborators at Duke Univ, Univ Michigan, UC Merced, and UC Berkeley. Required: MS in related field or BS with substantial research experience; good quantitative skills including experience with R; basic knowledge of North American mammals, strong organizational and communication skills. Desired: experience setting camera traps in the field and using the data, background with small mammal trapping data and/or mark recapture analyses, proven field worker and traveler, proficient in GIS or other spatial methods, passion for science communication. For more information, see Applications due December 5, 2022.


  • Global Change Fellows Program: This program is designed to train the next generation of global change scientists by providing financial, scientific, and professional development support for graduate students who are interested in multi-disciplinary research. They come together across disciplines to discover, collaborate, and share their knowledge with diverse stakeholders. Additionally, students need to be dedicated to making the science related to climate change better, where better means more true, of a greater impact, or, as our land grant mission dictates, more ethical and just. This program is sponsored by the DOI Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center and NC State University. Applicants must be an NC State master’s or Ph.D. student and nominated by a SE CASC Faculty Affiliate. The nomination process begins in January of each year. To learn more, view the Global Change Fellows page.

Funding for Current Students

  • Bruce and Barbara Zobel Endowment for International Forestry Studies: awarded to graduate students traveling outside the U.S. to study silviculture and production forestry. A committee grants $8,000 per year for a variety of activities like workshops, conferences, internships and research. This endowment encourages forestry students to gain an international perspective by obtaining first-hand experience with forestry in diverse environments around the world. For more information, contact Rachel Cook.
  • Laarman International Gift Fund: awarded to graduate students conducting creative and important international research in Forestry, Fisheries and Wildlife Science, or Natural Resources. Awards are between $500 and $5,000. For more information, contact Rachel Cook.

North Carolina Residency

NC State is a public land-grant institution that receives money each year from the state of North Carolina. In return for this support, the university is required to provide affordable education for NC residents and to maintain extension and other outreach programs that benefit the people and communities of our state. This means that there is a significant difference between tuition for NC residents and non-residents, and a strong financial incentive to establish in-state residency as a graduate student.