Graduate Funding Opportunities
Financial Aid from Western
The WWU Financial Aid office determines graduate student aid eligibility, including work study, via the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Western's priority deadline is February 15 for Fall eligibility. Scholarship application materials are available beginning in January in the appropriate department office, or Western's Scholarship Center. For more information, please visit the Graduate School's financial aid & work study page.
You must indicate your interest for work study on your FAFSA. If you qualify for work study, you will serve as a graduate research assistant to faculty involved in research projects. The typical award amount for work study is equivalent to approximately 15 hours of work per week for the student during the academic year. You should discuss your interest with the faculty member you would like to assist.
Teaching Assistantships are available in limited numbers. Assistantships are not available for off-campus programs. To be eligible for a TA position, you must have full admit status to the Graduate School (not provisional status) or, if a current student, be making satisfactory progress toward the degree. Teaching Assistants receive a stipend and a full or partial tuition waiver from the Graduate School and health coverage.
Students should speak directly with a faculty member if they are interested in becoming a Research Assistant. Research Assistants receive a stipend paid from the Professor's research grants and may/may not include Tuition reimbursement and/or health coverage.
The following grants are governed by specific rules. All funds received through these sources must be spent according to Washington State regulations and requirements. Documentation must be approved in advance. Please see your academic department manager for guidance about the required paperwork.
Fund for the Enhancement of Graduate Research
Designed to assist students in accomplishing their thesis/field project work. Awards may be made for equipment, computer software, consumable items, travel, etc. Requests should be confined to activities or equipment that are central to the student's thesis work and which are not available to the applicant through the Department. Any permanent equipment acquired using award funds remains University property. The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs announces deadlines for applications.
College of the Environment Dean’s Fund for Sustainability
Apply for at any time. Up to $500 per academic year for individuals, or $1,000 for a group. Used to offset a wide variety of costs including registration fees and travel expenses to attend conferences, professional meetings or competitions. Download PDF application.
College of the Environment Small Grants
Awarded in Fall and Spring Quarters for Environmental Sciences and Environmental Studies (Thesis Option) students only. Used to cover expenses for such items as expendable supplies (chemicals, glassware, computer disks, etc.), travel to field sites and/or, when funds are available and after applying for Ross Travel funds through the Graduate School, attendance to present research results at a professional meeting. Apply using the ESIGN Form.
Approved Fall 2021 grant applications:
Deadlines are Oct 1, Dec 15, March 15, May 15. The Funds are available to support travel for graduate students to present papers at professional meetings and conferences, to exhibit works of art at national and international showings, and to perform, direct or produce within professional performing arts venues.
There are no specific deadlines for this fund. Used to support students with a priority towards presentation of research at a state/national level.
Other sources of Funding
Many organizations offer grants to assist with your research. You must apply/meet deadline requirements of each of their programs.
Some of the grants listed are available to Graduate Students.
National Science Foundation Research Fellowships
Note: Many of these provide grants to nonprofit organizations only.
The following organizations fund research in their field of interest:
- American Association of Geographers - Student Travel Grant
- Annies Sustainable Agriculture Scholarship
- Puget Sound Anglers Association
- Seattle City Light Wildlife Research Grants Program
- Washington Chapter of the Wildlife Society
- North Cascades Audubon Society
- Washington Sea Grant
- Society for Ecological Restoration (Annual Deadline: 1 Apr)