NSM Graduate Students have the following fellowship and scholarship options:
- Graduate Tuition Fellowship
- Presidential Fellowship
- A. P. Kimball Graduate Fellowship
- The Robert Hazelwood Graduate Fellowship for Cancer Research
- Accelerated M.S. Program Scholarship
- Cullen Fellowship Travel Grant
Additional scholarship/funding opportunities may be available at the departmental level.
Graduate Tuition Fellowship
The Graduate Tuition Fellowship (GTF) program encourages students to complete their graduate studies in a timely manner. This fellowship covers the cost of in-state tuition and mandatory fees for qualified Ph.D. students.
Fellowship Eligibility and Details
- To be considered for funding, a student must have an undergraduate degree, or its equivalent, and be admitted to an NSM Ph.D. program.
- A student must be registered full-time (9 credit hours) in the fall and spring semesters. Students who drop their enrollment below these hours during the semester will have their GTF retroactively revoked. Enrollment in the summer semester is not required unless the student is graduating.
- The GTF will cover tuition and mandatory fees for graduate courses only (not undergraduate courses) and will cover no more than 9 hours in the fall and spring semesters, and 6 hours in the summer.
- Students in their graduating semester, whether domestic or international, are encouraged to petition for a reduced course load (less than full-time registration, typically 3 hours). If granted, this exception to the full-time registration requirement will be for one time only. Students who fail to graduate in the anticipated semester will need to register full-time in the future. All students should make their request on a Graduate Petition form. International students must also file a “Reduced Course Load” form issued by the Office of International Student and Scholar Services, if the graduating semester is the fall or spring semester.
- Students entering the doctoral program should have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00. Continuing students must have shown satisfactory progress in the degree program as defined by the college or department, and must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00. Award requests are made in August for the fall and spring semesters. Students who fail to maintain a cumulative GPA of least 3.00 by the beginning of the spring semester will have their GTF revoked for the spring semester. Only students entering their second semester may petition to retain the GTF that semester if their cumulative GPA is less than 3.00.
- Students who enter the doctoral program with a master’s degree may hold the fellowship for no more than four academic years.
- Doctoral degree-seeking students who enter the doctoral program directly from a baccalaureate program may hold the fellowship for no more than 10 long semesters. Funding in the 11th and 12th semester is subject to availability and requires a petition. Students must show that they are in their anticipated graduating semester or the semester prior to the graduating semester, and have the support of the dissertation advisor and the department. Required documentation and further details can be found on the GTF Extension Request form that must be submitted together with the Graduate and Professional Student Petition form.
- Graduate students holding the fellowship must be employed as a tuition-eligible Research Assistant (RA/TE), Teaching Assistant, or Instructional Assistant for no more than 20 hours per week (50% FTE) on campus at or above the minimum salary approved by the University. This requirement applies whether the student is registered for a full load or a reduced course load. The employment, whether within the enrolling department or not, must be substantively related to the student's major field of study. Departments must be able to provide proof that the student’s employment is of direct academic benefit to his/her degree objective. Violation of this provision will result in withdrawal of the funding during the semester in which the violation occurs.
- Students who receive a competitive fellowship which provides a monthly stipend for living expenses, but does not cover tuition, will be eligible for the GTF.
- Final selection of awardees will be made by the NSM GTF Fellowship Committee.
- Students who are graduating and leave UH before the graduating semester ends may petition to retain the GTF for that semester.
The Presidential Fellowship assists departments or programs in the recruitment of outstanding students. The fellowship program provides funds to match or exceed financial assistance packages offered by other institutions. Only students of exceptional caliber who represent extraordinary recruitment opportunities will receive these fellowships.
The two-year fellowship is available for outstanding students entering a Ph.D. program at UH in the fall semester. The potential for academic excellence is the main criteria for selection. The selection of fellows is made only at the time students are being considered for admission into a Ph.D. program.
Nomination and Selection Process
Applicants need to be nominated by their department. Departments must email the nomination form to NSM’s Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and upload to CollegeNet a letter of admission containing the offer of both a Presidential Fellowship and a competitive stipend with the Graduate Tuition Fellowship.
The following items are taken into consideration during the selection process:
- Applicant’s grades in previous degree programs, and scores on standardized tests (GRE, TOEFL/IELTS if applicable).
- Three letters of reference.
- Candidate's statement of his/her academic and research goals.
- Student information pertinent to their ability to excel academically.
Presidential Fellowship Nomination Summary Form
The NSM Presidential Fellowship Committee reviews all nominations and awards the fellowships.
Recipients will be awarded a $2,000 per year fellowship for the first two years of graduate study. Students must meet minimum full-time enrollment (9 hours) and a cumulative 3.00 GPA to maintain the fellowship each semester it is held. Award funding will be withdrawn in the event this agreement is violated.
The deadline for nominations is April 1. Departments are encouraged to send nominations as early as possible in the spring semester.
A. P. Kimball Graduate Fellowship
This $6,000 fellowship is awarded each year to an outstanding graduate student in the Department of Biology and Biochemistry. Applicants must be Ph.D. students in the Department of Biology and Biochemistry, who have passed their qualifying examination and are continuously enrolled, including in the semester of the fellowship award. Students are nominated by their graduate advisors or by other faculty in the Department on the basis of their scholarship and research productivity. A faculty member cannot nominate more than one graduate student from the same research group. The Associate Chair for Graduate Affairs of the Department of Biology and Biochemistry collects the nominations and requests the CV of each nominee. An independent ad-hoc committee of 3 tenured or tenure-track faculty members within the Department without direct contact with the nominees select the three best students from this pool. The applications of the 3 best students are then emailed to the NSM Associate Dean for Graduate Affairs, who will forward them to the NSM Scholarship Selection Committee for selection of the fellowship recipient. A major criterion in the selection of the fellowship recipient is research potential and excellence, as evidenced by publications and presentations at conferences. The deadline for receipt of the nominations by the College is November 1. Awards are made in the following Spring semester.
The Robert Hazelwood Graduate Fellowship for Cancer Research
This $5,000 fellowship is awarded each year to an outstanding Ph.D. student in the Department of Biology and Biochemistry who is engaged in cancer research. A major criterion for selection is the nominee’s research potential and excellence, as evidenced by publications and presentations at conferences. Applicants must have passed their qualifying examination and are nominated by their graduate advisors on the basis of their scholarship and research productivity. No more than one graduate student can be nominated from each research group. The department chair collects nominating statements and CVs for each nominee and forwards them to the NSM Scholarship Committee who selects the awardee.
Accelerated M.S. Program Scholarship
The College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics offers a one-year scholarship in the amount of $1,000 to exceptional first-year students seeking an accelerated M.S. degree. To qualify, students must have completed 9 hours of graduate level courses and have a minimal TOEFL score of 79 if they are foreign students. Prior to acceptance of this fellowship, students should have not yet received a B.S. degree in the same field as the M.S. they seek.
Students are nominated by their departments, and the applications are evaluated by the NSM Fellowship Committee, on the basis of letters of recommendation, transcripts and competitive GPA, and indication of potential academic success. Application materials should be received at least one month prior to the start of the entering semester.
Students must be enrolled full-time to maintain the fellowship.
In addition, the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics will provide competitive $5,000 awards to selected outstanding students who have completed an accelerated M.S. program and were supported by the Accelerated M.S. Program Scholarship. Considerations for the award are graduate GPA in the program and potential for research excellence.
Cullen Fellowship Travel Grant
The Cullen Graduate Fellowship Travel Grant is a competitive fellowship program established to support Ph.D. students presenting their research at meetings or conferences. Due to the wide-ranging schedules of conferences, there are quarterly deadlines for Cullen Fellowship Travel Grant applications.