Fees and Financial Support

More Information


Erin Kent
BMCDB Graduate Group Coordinator
(530) 752-9091

Ph.D. students in the Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology (BMCDB) group are paid a stipend of $31,609.15 per year starting Fall 2018. BMCDB covers the costs of university tuition and fees (including health insurance) for all students while they maintain adequate progress toward completion of the Ph.D. We do encourage students to apply for external non-UCD fellowships, but it is not required.

In order to be paid a fellowship or be employed, graduate students must have an eligible status (US Citizen, Permanent Resident, F1 or J1 Visa, DACA).

UC Davis Fellowships

UC Davis offers fellowships and scholarships for both new and continuing students. UC Davis has two types of University fellowships: the UC Davis Graduate Fellowship, awarded by the Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology Graduate Group, and a variety of internal fellowships competitively awarded by the Office of Graduate Studies.

All new students will automatically be considered for the UC Davis Graduate Fellowship by the Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmenatl Biology Graduate Group. This award generally provides fee, tuition and stipend support. New and continuing students must apply for the internal fellowships awarded by the Office of Graduate Studies. Applications for new and continuing students are due December 1.

New students will be prompted to complete the online fellowship application after the submission of their admissions application. Continuing students may access the fellowship application through the Office of Graduate Studies website.

These fellowships may provide fee, tuition and stipend support and/or research and travel funds. All students are highly encouraged to apply for these fellowships.

Research Assistantships

The wide range of available funding sources for research assistantships is one of the many advantages of an interdisciplinary graduate group like the BMCDB. BMCDB faculty members receive funding from an array of government, non-profit and private entities. Faculty members use these grants to support our students by hiring them as Graduate Student Researchers (GSRs). 

Teaching Assistantships

The BMCDB graduate group strongly encourages all students to teach. BMCDB requires one quarter experience as a teaching assist prior to the qualifying examination. In some case, this service can be waived to after the qualifying examination when fellowship restrictions are no longer an issue. Though BMCDB does not hire students directly as teaching assistants (TAs), the interdisciplinary nature of the group allows students the opportunity to obtain teaching assistantships in many different departments and disciplines. BMCDB students serve as teaching assistants for courses in basic Biological Sciences, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Microbiology, and more. Students must apply separately to each department/program and should apply for any subjects they feel qualified to teach. To find more information about each department's application process and deadlines, check the department's websites. Most departments can be found by searching for them on UC Davis' list of Academic Departments.

Training Grants

A variety of training grants are available to fund BMCDB students (https://grad.ucdavis.edu/faculty-staff/training-grant-support/training-grant-programs), including: Molecular and Cellular BiologyChemical Biology, Biomolecular Technology (must be enrolled in in the Designated Emphasis in Biotechnology Program to apply; see http://deb.ucdavis.edu/), Animal Models of Infectious Diseases, Comparative Lung Biology and Medicine, Vision Science, Pharmacology, and YEAR training programs. Graduate students conducting their research in the laboratories of investigators who are Trainers on these grants are eligible for training grant support.

External Fellowships

BMCDB students also receive support from a variety of external fellowships. These are fellowships awarded by government agencies, private sources, and non-profits. The awards, applications, deadlines, review criteria and processes differ depending on the fellowship. Students and/or their major professors apply for these fellowships on their own, but the Office of Graduate Studies has an extensive website to assist students with finding funding opportunities and composing proposals: http://www.gradstudies.ucdavis.edu/ssupport/external.html.

Work Study, Financial Aid and the FAFSA

Financial aid is available for students who qualify. The Financial Aid and Scholarships Office administers a variety of subsidized and unsubsidized loans and grants in addition to short-term and emergency loans. All of their deadlines and information are available on their website: http://financialaid.ucdavis.edu/graduate/index.html. Financial aid is generally available to domestic students only.

The graduate group also receives work study funds that are awarded to BMCDB students to supplement their graduate student researcher appointments.

All domestic students are required to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), regardless of whether they need to take out loans or other forms of financial aid. Students can complete the FAFSA online at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov. The priority deadline to complete the FAFSA is March 2.

Travel Awards

Several opportunities exist for BMCDB students to receive funding for travel. The Office of Graduate Studies puts out a call for applications for travel awards twice a year. These awards provide students who are at or near the end of their graduate studies with funds for travel to present at research conferences. More information can be found on Grad Studies' website: http://gradstudies.ucdavis.edu/ssupport/internal_travel.html.

The campus Graduate Student Association (GSA) also offers an award that supports travel to conferences, professional meetings, and professional development meetings. Unlike Graduate Studies' travel awards, students do not have to be presenting at the conference in order to be eligible for the award (but it helps!). See the GSA's Travel Awards website for more information: http://gsa.ucdavis.edu/Travel_Award.

Individual departments also offer travel awards for graduate students. Student can check with their major professors or home department offices to see what opportunities are available in individual departments.