Graduate Program Assistantships & Fellowships

For a detailed brochure on Graduate Studies in Physics and Astronomy at KU, click on this link.

Currently, all of our full-time students are receiving support about 40% from teaching assistantships, 40% from research assistantships, and 20% from fellowships or other sources.

Teaching Assistantships

Beginning graduate students may be offered half-time appointments, primarily for teaching undergraduate labs. Tuition is waived for half-time teaching assistants. Students for whom English is not their native language must achieve a score of at least 50 on the TSE in order to be eligible for a Teaching Assistantship. All applicants will be considered for half-time teaching assistantships.

Follow this link for additional information for prospective international students, including more information on English requirements.

Research Assistantships

Most research groups have federal or state grants that support research assistantships. Students typically receive 12-month half-time appointments; appointments on a semester basis are also common. First-year students are typically supported with teaching assistantships and more advanced students with research assistantships. Two- or three-month summer research appointments are often available to newer students. Please contact faculty members to discuss research opportunities.

Fellowship Opportunities

The University of Kansas has a number of fellowship opportunities for doctoral study. Exceptional students whose applications (complete with reference letters) are received by December 31 will be considered for fellowship nominations. These opportunities include the Madison and Lila Self Fellowship and the Honors/First Year Fellowship. Minority students may also apply for the Melik Graduate Fellowships.

The Department of Physics and Astronomy has two graduate fellowships available:

  • The first is the Lowry Graduate Fellowship endowed by the family of former student John Lowry. It is awarded to outstanding graduate students for up to four years during their graduate studies. Scores on the general GRE exam are required for fellowship consideration. Recipients must be US citizens.
  • The second departmental fellowship is the Graduate Fellowship in Physics and Astronomy. This renewable fellowship is available to high academic achievers who are highly motivated to complete their PhD within the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Recipients must have a verifiable financial need based upon University of Kansas criteria and be US citizens or permanent residents.

Information regarding available fellowships may be found from the following links

Research Funding

The main sources of research support include the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Defense. In fiscal year 2007, the department had $4 million in external funding.

External Fellowships

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

The National Research Council of the National Academies sponsors a number of awards for graduate, postdoctoral and senior researchers at federal laboratories and affiliated institutions. These awards provide generous stipends ($30,000 - $35,000 for graduate students, $42,000 - $75,000 per year for recent Ph.D. recipients and higher for additional experience), and the opportunity to do independent research in some of the best-equipped and staffed laboratories in the U.S. Research opportunities are open to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and for some of the laboratories, foreign nationals.Detailed program information, including instructions on how to apply online and a list of participating laboratories, is available on the NRC Research Associateship Programs Web site at: Questions should be directed to the NRC at 202-334-2760 (phone) or rap@nas.eduThere will be four review cycles annually.  Upcoming deadline dates are:
November 1, 2009
February 1, 2010
May 1, 2010
August 1, 2010
Applicants should begin a dialogue with prospective Advisers at the lab(s) as early as possible, before their anticipated application deadline. 

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

The National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees in the U.S. and abroad.  The NSF welcomes applications from all qualified students and strongly encourages under-represented populations, including women, under-represented racial and ethnic minorities, and persons with disabilities, to apply for this fellowship.

GRFP Fellows Receive the Following:
- Three years of support
- $30,000 annual stipend
- $10,500 cost-of-education allowance
- $1,000 one time international travel allowance
- TeraGrid Supercomputer access

For info on the application process, click on

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