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Funded PhD opportunities with real-world impact.

The Gund Institute for Environment recruits outstanding PhD candidates interested in conducting interdisciplinary research on major global environmental challenges.

Funded PhD positions, known as Gund PhD Research Assistantships, include attractive funding packages, world-class faculty mentors, real-world experience collaborating with scholars, government, and business – and a deep understanding of complex global environmental issues.

Our Approach

Students have flexibility and assistance in developing the direction of their work. To ensure global significance, projects should be guided by UN Sustainability Goals and Gund Institute research strengths, including ecological economics, climate change, clean energy, sustainable food systems, water security, health and environment, global landscape change, nature’s benefits – and the complex relationships among these topics.

Find an Advisor


  • Gund PhD Research Assistantships include three years of funding to be spent over four years.
  • Funding covers an annual stipend of $27,000, tuition, and UVM’s student health insurance.
  • Students work with home departments to augment this support with Teaching Assistantships or additional grants.
  • Students can also apply for Student Enrichment Funds for conferences, travel and research costs.

Application Process

1. Contact potential faculty advisors directly to discuss your interests. Identify a Gund Fellow [hyperlink to directory page] who can serve as your advisor. Note: Co-advisors may be from other UVM graduate programs. Learn more about environmental and sustainability graduate studies at UVM.

2. Submit two required applications:

  • Apply to UVM college or school by the deadline (which vary). Indicate in your statement of purpose that you are applying for a Gund Institute Research Assistantship.
  • Complete the separate Gund PhD Assistantship Application by February 1, 2018 deadline. The application period starts October 2017.


  • Student must be starting year 1 of a PhD program
  • Competitive GPA and GRE scores
  • If applicable, minimum TOEFL scores of 100 or IELTS score of 7.0
  • Preference given to applicants who have not previously studied at UVM, and who already have a Master’s degree, but all qualified candidates will be considered
  • Applications from women and people from diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds are encouraged.


Application Period Start: October 2017
Contact Potential Advisors: September to November (recommended)
Deadline for Gund Application (1 of 2 required applications): February 1, 2018
Deadline for UVM college or school (2 of 2 required applications): Deadlines vary
Offers: February 2018
Offer Acceptance: April 2018
Start Date: August 2018


About the Gund Institute

The Gund Institute for Environment accelerates interdisciplinary research on global environmental challenges, and connects scholars and society’s leaders to solve urgent sustainability problems. Based at the University of Vermont, the Gund Institute has nearly 100 faculty fellows, global affiliates, postdocs, and graduate students. This diverse community of problem solvers work to address major environmental and sustainability threats through transdisciplinary collaboration and real-world solutions. Learn more about the Gund Institute

Application Deadlines

  • Applications Open: October 2017
  • Gund Application Deadline: February 1, 2017
  • UVM College Deadline: Deadlines vary

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