Funding in general
Use the tabs above to explore the three main sources of funding for current graduate students.
If you have questions about funding, talk to your academic department or to Jane Schneider, Fellowship and Assistantship Specialist in the Office of Graduate Studies.
Information for recipients
- Rights, privileges, and responsibilities of GAs and fellowship recipients (PDF)
- Guidelines for good practice in graduate education (PDF)
- Teaching assistant training
- Student health and dental insurance FAQ
- Fellowships for new students - Students don't specifically apply for these, but recipients may find the descriptions useful.
Fall and spring: To hold a graduate assistantship a student must be admitted to a department or major area with a specific graduate degree objective. A graduate assistant must be enrolled for credit during the fall and spring semesters.
Summer: Graduate assistants are not required to register for courses during the summer term. Graduate assistants employed in the summer but who are not registered for courses during the summer term are subject to FICA and Medicare taxes; fees for recreation center usage; limited access to libraries and health center fees.
All international graduate students who wish to be employed as teaching assistants at UNL must attend the International Teaching Assistant Institute. The summer institute, a concentrated 90-hour program, is held the last week of July and the first week in August. For more information on the availability of assistantships, contact the appropriate departmental graduate committee chair.
Tuition remission of up to 12 hours per semester is provided as a benefit of eligible assistantship employment.
Students holding eligible assistantships are provided basic individual student health insurance coverage at reduced cost to the student. The student health insurance plan covers accidents and illnesses to a maximum of $250,000 per policy year.
To be eligible for benefits, an assistantship needs to meet all of the following criteria:
- The appointment is continuous for 4 full months within the semester.
- The stipend meets the minimum requirement set by the Office of Graduate Studies.
- The assistantship or combination of assistantships in one or more departments totals at least 13.33 hours and no more than 20 hours per week.
If a student resigns or terminates the assistantship during the semester before 4 full months of service have been completed, all tuition benefits will be lost. The student is then responsible for paying the total tuition cost and health insurance premium.
For more information
How to be considered for an assistantship
Meet the eligibility requirements
See About Assistantships column on this page. Eligibility is limited to students admitted toward a specific graduate degree objective; non-degree students are not eligible.
Ask your department's graduate chair
To be considered for a graduate teaching assistantship (GTA) or a graduate research assistantship (GRA), contact the graduate chair of your department.
Administrative assistantships are much less common but may be open to broader sets of applicants.
Check for openings posted publicly
Most assistantships are not assigned this way, but Graduate Studies will post openings here if we hear about them. Openings are most likely to be posted here in spring for administrative assistantships beginning the following August.
Graduate Fellowships for Current Students
Questions about fellowships can be directed to Jane Schneider, Fellowship Specialist.
Application materials — your application form, personal statement, CV, and faculty recommendations — must be submitted online by 1:00 PM on Wednesday, February 5, 2014.
Who is eligible
Eligibility to apply for fellowship funding for the 2014-15 academic year is determined by three factors:
- Credit Hours Completed
- Domestic students (US citizens) must have completed 9 hours of graduate credit at UNL by December 31, 2013.
- International students must have completed 18 hours of graduate credit at UNL by December 31, 2013.
- Full-Time Enrollment: Students must be enrolled full-time (9 hours), or be eligible to be full-time certified, during the academic year 2014-15.
- Academic Program: Students must be admitted into a graduate major, with a specific degree objective. Non-degree students are not eligible to apply.
New Students: If you are not currently enrolled as a UNL graduate student, you are not eligible for these awards. Instead, contact your department to ask about opportunities for fellowships for new students or graduate assistantships.
Employees: Graduate students who are full-time, benefit-eligible employees of the University of Nebraska are not eligible to receive fellowship funding. Students with student hourly appointments or graduate assistantships are not considered full-time employees and are eligible to apply.
What am I applying for?
The Presidential Fellowship is awarded to advanced doctoral or MFA students each year; the number awarded will be determined based on available funding. The fellowship stipend is $24,000 for the academic year. The award also includes tuition, fees, and the University's portion of the student health insurance. Eligible students must be scheduled to graduate no later than August 2015.
The Fling Fellowship is awarded to advanced masters or doctoral students. Masters students must be within one year of graduation and doctoral students must be within two years of graduation. The fellowship stipend is $20,000. There were three Fling recipients for the 2013-14 academic year; the number to be awarded will be determined based on available funding. This award also includes tuition, fees, and the University's portion of the student health insurance.
The Dean's Fellowship will be awarded to the remaining students who are ranked in the top 10% of the fellowship applicant pool.
Other opportunities (not part of this fellowship application process): Doctoral students may be eligible for the Day Dissertation Travel Award.
How to applyTo apply for a 2014-15 Graduate Fellowship, complete these 2 forms online by 1:00 PM on Wednesday, February 5, 2014.
- Fellowship Application Form
- Professional Goals Statement and CV Form
Step 1: Apply
Complete the Fellowship Application Form.
Before you start, be sure you have:
- Two faculty members who agree to serve as recommenders. Recommenders will be asked to complete a short evaluation form and a descriptive assessment. We will automatically email them a link to the form when you submit your application.
- A valid email address for each recommender. If you give us an invalid email address, the recommender will not be able to recommend you.
- Your NU ID number. It's 8 digits, and it's printed on your NCard.
You will receive a confirmation email when you submit your application. If you do not receive that email, please contact us.
Step 2: Provide supplemental materials
These forms will accept your statement and CV and your recommenders' submissions only after you have completed the application form in Step 1.
We recommend that you compose your personal statement and CV ahead of time, then paste them into our form when you are ready. Note that the form uses plain text only, so no formatting will be transferred and everything will be left-justified.
Previous successful applicants made use of an article about creating a successful application that appeared on page 8 of the November 2008 edition of Graduate Connections.
- Professional Goals Statement: This statement, no more than one single-spaced typed page, should summarize the importance of your intellectual and/or research interests, as well as the significance of your ultimate goals. The intent of this document is to allow the faculty members reviewing your fellowship application to clearly understand what your career goals are and how your graduate education will help you to achieve those goals.
- Curriculum Vitae: Your CV, no more than one single-spaced typed page, should list awards, publications/creative works, presentations, and any other scholarly activity. If your combined scholarly activities fill more than one page, please list only those activities you consider to be highlights of your academic career and/or those most likely to promote your application.
2B. Letters of Recommendation
Meanwhile, your recommenders should be completing their recommendations.
If the application deadline is getting close and your checklist still shows that a recommendation is missing, your recommender might appreciate a reminder. The faculty page will continue to accept recommendations for a few days after the application deadline.
After you apply
Your application file will be complete when we have your application, your statement and CV, and two completed recommendation forms from faculty.
After the deadline, faculty reviewers will begin evaluating all of the application files.
Check the status of your application materials
External Funding Opportunities
1. Funding Announcements from the Office of Research
Proposal Development lists funding opportunities: research grants and other external fellowships.
2. A Bigger Assortment
It's a big list so we offer it two ways:
- Funding opportunities in a web page (may be slow to load due to size)
- Funding opportunities in an Excel file
Although we've collected basic information here for your convenience, the most current and complete source of information about each of these is the organization offering the funding. We appreciate feedback if you discover any information that should be updated or if you have suggestions to enhance the usefulness of this page.