Support

Graduate students in the Department of Chemistry have a number of opportunities to defray the costs of their education.

Teaching Assistantships

All admitted and full-time matriculating graduate students in chemistry receive a teaching assistantship (TA) for the first year in residence. The TA consists of an annual stipend, medical insurance and a tuition benefit. TAs typically serve in undergraduate lab sections of General Chemistry or Organic Chemistry for approximately 20 hours per week, including preparation and grading. TAs play a critical role in the department’s innovative efforts to continually improve undergraduate instruction.

A TA appointment is contingent on maintaining good academic standing (a 3.0 GPA or better). The department will continue supporting students on TAs as long as they are still considered eligible for the Graduate Student Support Plan (GSSP). Thereafter, TA support may be available on an individual case-by-case basis if funding allows.

Beyond the first year, students may receive financial support in the form of teaching assistantships, fellowships or research assistantships provided by individual faculty research grants.

Research Assistantships

A research assistantship (RA) is generally available after the second semester of graduate school, depending on the availability of funds and an individual faculty member’s policies. The RA consists of an annual stipend, medical insurance and a tuition benefit.

These assistantships provide the graduate student an opportunity to concentrate full time on research. Students on RAs are supported by a grant or contract generally obtained or administered by the faculty adviser. The conditions dictating funding within individual grants and contracts varies, so the length of support and amount differs greatly. Students receiving RAs should consult with advisers to determine the specific conditions of the RA. If a base RA does not meet the funding amounts of the current TA rate, the department will construct an appropriate split RA/TA award as long as the student maintains GSSP eligibility requirements. The graduate program director will determine TA duties, if any, based on the details of the award and in consultation with the student’s faculty adviser.

Fellowships

When funding permits, the Department of Chemistry offers specific graduate research fellowships, such as the Burroughs Wellcome Fellowship for a student in Synthetic Organic Chemistry and the Glaxo Fellowship for a student in the pharmaceutical sciences. Additional industry-supported fellowships may become available from various corporations in North Carolina. In addition, the university offers numerous fellowships, and students may also apply for competitive national fellowships.

A fellowship may come with specific terms and conditions, but the award typically goes directly to a student. Students who receive fellowships also receive a written description of the award with detailed terms and conditions. If the fellowship does not offer at least the same support TA does, the department will construct an appropriate split fellowship/TA award as long as the student maintains GSSP eligibility requirements. The graduate program director will determine TA duties, if any, based on the details of the award.

Travel Support

Graduate students are required to give a research presentation at a well-recognized, discipline-specific national or regional meeting before the end of their eighth semester. The department will provide a one-time reimbursement of up to $500 for travel expenses. Faculty often have funding to support additional travel and conference attendance during your graduate study.