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Graduate Support

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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

Assistantships:

  • M.S. or Ph.D. Assistantship in Coupled Human-Natural Systems: The Kern Group is looking to fill multiple funded graduate student positions (Ph.D. is preferred) to conduct highly interdisciplinary and innovative research on complex emergent risks in coupled natural-human systems. Our research is broadly focused, bridging electric power systems and water resource systems analysis, environmental science, and finance/economics. Requirements: A quantitative background (natural sciences, math, statistics, engineering or economics) is strongly preferred. Applicants should have at least six months (or one semester) experience in computer programming (e.g., Matlab, Python, R, C++, etc.). Interest in doing computational work is more important than skill (the goal is to get a lot better, but you have to want to). Students from under-represented groups (e.g., women, minorities) are especially encouraged to apply. Compensation: For Ph.D. applicants, three years of full tuition and living stipend ($25,000 per year research assistantship) are guaranteed.  For master’s students, two years of support are guaranteed. If interested, please send an email with a letter of introduction, CV and a statement of research interests to Jordan Kern.
  • 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 (rlcook@ncsu.edu) and Kevin Garcia (kgarcia2@ncsu.edu) 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 rlcook@ncsu.edu 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.
  • Master of Natural Resources in Open Space Analysis.  George Hess [ go.ncsu.edu/GeorgeHess ] is looking for a Master of Natural Resource (Non-Thesis) Assessment & Analysis student to compile information about the State of Open Space in the Triangle Region of North Carolina.  The original State of Open Space 2000 was the first examination of protected open spaces in the Region and served as a catalyst for significant action during the past two decades.  Much has happened and this seems a propitious time for a new State of Open Space report that documents progress in the Region and highlights current opportunities for further open space protection.  The planned approach is for Hess and the successful applicant to work with a small team of graduate students in one or two special topics courses, as well as people from government and non-government agencies, to compile, analyze, and report the State of Open Space in the Region.  Additional focus on equity aspects of the Region’s protected open spaces is anticipated.  Applicants should have strong interest in conserving open space and green infrastructure in suburban landscapes; strength in GIS data compilation, mapping and analysis; an interest in teaching and learning; and the ability to work with diverse people.  Stipend is $21,000 per year for up to two years, plus full tuition and health benefits; University fees (approx $1,300) are not included.  Student will be expected to serve as a teaching assistant for up to 19 hours per week, including the special topics courses and other courses as needed and appropriate.  If interested, please send a letter of interest, a resume including a description of your qualifications and three references, and unofficial undergraduate transcripts to George Hess (grhess@ncsu.edu). Students from underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.  Review of applications will being after 15 March and continue until an appropriate candidate is identified.  Work begins in August 2022.
  • 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 (mpmarti7@ncsu.edu). Materials should be sent by April 8 . Women and individuals from other historically under-represented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • Research Assistantship in Molecular Forest Pathology. AMS or PhD assistantship is available to pursue a project at the intersection of forest pathology, population genomics, and molecular biology in the Whitehill Lab, Christmas Tree Genetics (CTG) program. Fraser fir is an endangered conifer found only in high montane ecosystems of the southern Appalachian Mountains in NC. Fraser fir is the foundation of a $250 mil Christmas tree industry for the state of NC. This position will develop new knowledge relating to resistance of alternative crop species (e.g. veneer poplar) to the most devastating disease of Christmas trees in NC – Phytophthora root rot caused (primarily) by the pathogen P. cinnamomi. The student will also perform a population/species level survey of PRR causal agents isolated from putatively infected Fraser fir Christmas tree farms throughout NC. Depending on the student’s interest, opportunities to explore population genomics and phylogenetic associations among PRR isolates collected throughout the range of Fraser fir in NC could be pursued. Selection of students is based on academic achievement, reference letters, and prior research experience. Strong verbal, written, and computational skills are essential. Excellent oral communications skills are also necessary as students will be expected to give regular updates as part of contributions to the NCSU Extension program (https://www.ces.ncsu.edu). Tuition, fees, health insurance and a competitive stipend is offered with opportunities for additional assistance. The position is available to start in the Summer/Fall (June – December) of 2022. Interested candidates should email the following information no later than May 2nd, 2022: (1) an unofficial copy of transcripts, (2) curriculum vitae or resume, (3) a 1-page cover letter/statement of research interests in the area of conifer genomics and/or conifer-insect interactions, (4) GRE scores (if available but not required), and (5) the names and contact information of three referees, to Dr. Justin G. A. Whitehill, Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, jwhiteh2@ncsu.edu.
  • MS Assistantship in Wildlife Management to student will evaluate quebracho-condensed tannins as a white-tailed deer repellent. Field trials will be conducted in soybean and cotton fields following the normal planting and treatment schedule of the producers. We will place camera traps in each control and treatment plot to passively evaluate white-tailed deer and other wildlife use. Throughout the study period, we will record the number of deer observed in each field and whether the individuals are within the treatment or control section of the fields. At the conclusion of the study, the student will help to inform solutions to the impact of white-tailed deer browsing on cotton and soybeans in eastern NC and the efficacy of condensed tannins as a white-tailed deer repellent. Salary – $24,000/yr + tuition + health insurance. Ideal candidates for this position should possess outstanding written and oral communication skills. Applicants should have a B.S. in wildlife biology, zoology, conservation biology, or other related field, at least a 3.0 GPA. Preference will be given to applicants with expertise in the ecology and management of agricultural systems, ability to conduct wildlife surveys, operate camera traps, and experience with geographic information systems. Interested applicants should send the following materials as one PDF document to Dr. Christopher S. DePerno (chris_deperno@ncsu.edu). (1) Cover letter/narrative (1- 2 pages) that explains your desire to pursue graduate education, how your research interests relate to the project described in the announcement, your career goals, and should highlight your relevant skills and experience; (2) Resume or CV including degree(s) earned, GPA, and contact information for at least three references; and (3) an unofficial copy of your transcript. Deadline: 5/31/22.

Fellowships:

  • 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.

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