e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry
e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

Funding for graduate school ... Navigating Funding and Sponsorship

The ESF Graduate School has background information on expenses and funding with links to ESF awards and non-ESF awards.

Syracuse has a very affordable cost of living. This allows you to maximize your return on investment when you join us for your graduate degree.

Sponsors who fund your graduate degree are key. Such sponsorship supports the materials, space, travel, analysis, and results dissemination costs associated with your exciting research ideas.

Students may receive funding from the sources listed below, from part-time work in labs, as work-study employees, or from their family or own savings. Regardless, you get a great return on your investment! One funding source is the Graduate Assistantship (GA), which is similar to a teaching assistant (TA), but also includes time to conduct research and generate knowledge.

This is sponsored by SUNY ESF and awarded to some graduate students to assist with course delivery and faculty research.

Another funding source is the Research Assistantship (RA), which is awarded by the ESF faculty member to graduate students primarily assisting with research. Federal and state sponsors support the faculty member research ideas, and trust the faculty to recruit talented students to complete some aspect of the research. The only catch is RA funding may be out of synch with graduate recruitment, and some students start the semester without funding, but then receive an RA award once the federal or state sponsor has approved the research ideas and budget. In some cases, the students work with the faculty to write a research proposal and secure funding from a federal or state sponsor.

Graduate students can differentiate themselves by directly obtaining Graduate Fellowship funding from several sponsors, federal, state, and not-for-profit. Obtaining this type of award requires identifying a potential sponsor and complying with the time line and requirements of their application form. Federal agencies such as EPA and NSF have fall deadlines for graduate fellowships, while other agencies such as DOE and National Defense have winter deadlines for the fellowship application. A partial list of graduate fellowships is posted on this page.

Support for our students includes all of these major sponsors. We are confident with hard work and planning, you will find the right mix of funding.