Featured Image Above by Megan Asche
In the Entomology Department at Washington State University, we consider graduate school to be your job. In that way, we offer many opportunities for this work to provide you with a salary, tuition payment, and benefits (including medical, dental, and vision insurance). We also ensure our students are provided with the necessary tools to be successful in the form of office and lab space, computer, and access to the research resources on our many campuses.
Your graduate school career can be funded in several different ways. Funding is dependent on different of variables such as your residential status; how far along you are in your studies; and the type of research you are doing. The most important key to success is that you talk with your advisor on available funding and plans to secure further funding. Below, we have compiled some funding opportunities that our students have taken advantage of in the past:
Primary Investigator (PI)Funded Projects: Advisors are often called Primary Investigators (PIs) in most research institutions. Typically, most students are funded in their first year on a project that their PI obtains. These projects will help you establish research skills and allow you to generate more ideas for your own work. It is your responsibility to communicate with a professor to find out who has available funding to support a graduate student.
Department supported teaching assistantships: The entomology department, biology department, and plant sciences department all offer teaching assistantships that will support your tuition and salary for the semester that you are serving as a teaching assistant. Ph.D. students are required to teach at least one semester according to the entomology graduate handbook (link). The work associated with these teaching assistantships will require you to work for several hours a week on top of your normal coursework and research responsibilities.Be sure to communicate with the teaching faculty and your PI about your ability to successfully complete expected tasks for both the course and research.
Department supported research assistantships: The entomology department also offers a limited number of research assistantships per semester.These can be requested by the PI to support a student. If you are interested in this type of assistantship, communicate with your identified PI about this funding.
Student-obtained fellowships and grants: Many outside and university-wide programs offer funding to support salary, tuition, benefits, and research costs to students in the first two years of their graduate program. Below are a few examples:
NSF GRFP- must be in the first 18 months of grad program https://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=6201
Many students who have not completed a teaching assistantship in their first year often teach during their second year. This opportunity allows students to develop teaching skills while also providing salary, benefits, and tuition funding for the teaching semester.
Third year and beyond
Student supported grants
PI supported grants
Department supported scholarships, assistantships
Condition specific programs
USDA predoc fellowship (must have passed preliminary exams)
Some fellowships and grants are only accessible to US citizens or Washington State Resident students. Conversilyother funds may only be available to international students.
If you are interested in our department and have your own funding, be sure to let us know so we can work together to ensure your financial stability during your graduate career.
Military service can also be a funding source for graduate school, visit the office of Veterans and Military Services for more information. https://admission.wsu.edu/apply/military/
Examples of student funding
Student A: Ph.D. student, 5-year plan
Year 1: Funded by research obtained by their PI
Year 2: Funded partially by teaching assistantship and partially by department supported research assistantship
Year 3-4: Obtained a prestigious fellowship which supports 2 years of salary, benefits, tuition, research costs
Year 5: Funded by research obtained by PI
Student B: Masters Student, 2-year plan
Year 1: Funded by department sponsored research assistantship for one semester, then PI funded grant for the rest of the year
Year 2: Obtained an award from Western SARE to support research costs, salary paid by PI funded grant