University of Vermont

Graduate assistantships & fellowships

RSENR Graduate Assistantships & Fellowships

This is an evolving, partial list of assistantships and fellowships and will be updated as faculty know about assistantships from new grants. Please either check back at this site or contact Carolyn Goodwin Kueffner (, 802-656-2511) to learn which faculty are taking new students. Most of our graduate students receive some form of funding.

PhD Assistantship in Applied Forest Ecology and Silviculture

Project: The University of Vermont, Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources is seeking a PhD-level graduate student to participate in a research project examining adaptive silvicultural strategies for addressing climate change and forest health impacts on forest ecosystems in the northeastern United States. The student will join a team of collaborators from the University of Vermont and U.S. Forest Service Northern Research Station and North Institute of Applied Climate Science to quantify the ability of adaptive silvicultural strategies to sustain the delivery of critical ecosystem services across a diversity of forest types using field studies and forest and landscape simulation modeling. The position is available for Summer/Fall 2016 and includes three guaranteed years of funding (stipend, tuition waiver, and health insurance).

Qualifications: M.S. in forest ecology, forestry, silviculture, biology or a closely related field. Applicants should be able to work independently, but also cooperatively with other researchers in the lab and on the larger project. Applicants should also have a strong work ethic, demonstrated writing and quantitative capabilities, and a record of leadership. Experience or interest in the use of forest, ecosystem, and landscape simulation models is preferred.

Application: Interested applicants should submit the following: letter of interest (including relevant research interests), names and contact information of three references, and CV to Dr. Anthony D’Amato. Interested applicants should also supply all application materials to the UVM Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources (RSENR) Program (PhD in Natural Resources) by February 1, 2016 – when applying, please state your interest in this position in the "Statement of Purpose." (

Contact: Dr. Anthony D’Amato (, 802-656-8030)

Gund Institute PhD Assistantship

Position: The Gund Institute at the University of Vermont (UVM) will recruit two exceptional PhD students for Fall 2016 as part of a newly-funded Graduate Assistantship program. Students will have considerable latitude and assistance in developing the direction of their work but it should focus broadly on our research themes: Ecological Economics, Natures Benefits, Healthy Landscapes and Seascapes and Climate Change.

The Gund Institute is an interdisciplinary research center, where more than 50 faculty, post-docs, and graduate students collaborate widely to understand the interactions among ecological, social, and economic systems. Consistent with the mission of the Institute, we seek students interested in both advancing research frontiers and addressing concrete environmental issues.

Offer: PhD students will receive three years of funding which will cover tuition and a generous stipend. Some of the tuition for this program may be covered via teaching assistantships. Funding is guaranteed for three years.

Qualifications: Master’s degree preferred but all highly qualified candidates will be considered.

Application: Applications from women and people from diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds are encouraged. Interested students should complete the following steps:

  1. Identify and contact potential faculty advisors. See the list of Gund Institute Fellows for potential advisors.
  2. Apply to the appropriate college or school by February 1, 2016 (this may be earlier than their usual deadline). In your application, indicate your interest in the Gund PhD Assistantship and the faculty you have been in touch with. Faculty will nominate candidates for the Gund Assistantship from among those applying to their college or school.

Economics for the Anthropocene - Gund Institute PhD Assistantships

Position: The Gund Institute at the University of Vermont (UVM), McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, and York University in Toronto, Ontario seek up to nine PhD or MS students to join the international Economics for the Anthropocene (E4A) research initiative, in Fall 2016. The Fall 2016 cohort will focus broadly on applying approaches based on ecological economics to issues of climate justice in Eastern Canada and Northeastern U.S. Students will have considerable latitude and assistance in developing the direction of their work.

Background: Humanity is degrading the Earth’s life support systems. Fresh water is too often contaminated, in short supply, and subject to competing claims. Continued reliance on non-renewable sources of energy is unsustainable and faces increasingly unacceptable trade-offs for both regional and global environments. Irreversible climate changes are raising stark questions of justice. In short, Earth has entered a human-dominated epoch: the Anthropocene. Yet, prevailing norms continue to rely on thought systems that insufficiently account for knowledge of how human society interacts with and affects Earth’s life systems.

The Economics for the Anthropocene (E4A) project builds on the strengths of McGill, York and UVM in ecological economics. They form the core of a diverse partnership of 25 academic, government, and NGO partners designed to improve how the social sciences and humanities connect to ecological realities of the Anthropocene. E4A’s overarching goal is to articulate, teach and apply a new understanding of human-Earth relationships grounded in and informed by the insights of contemporary science. The partnership will:

  1. Create a vibrant international research network in ecological economics;
  2. Train students to become change agents capable of analyzing and managing the unique challenges of the Anthropocene;
  3. Actively link academic and non-academic partners in solving transnational problems that exemplify these new challenges; and
  4. Integrate the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities by extending the core vision of ecological economics to other normative disciplines such as finance, law, governance, ethics, and cosmology.

The partnership will train up to 60 graduate students in three cohorts over six years. Students will enroll at any of the three universities, and cohorts will take core courses together through web-enabled classrooms that link our campuses. Joint field courses will engage non-academic partners in providing hands-on experience in transdisciplinary problems and their ecological, social, and economic dimensions. E4A partners and collaborators will help guide research questions, mentor students, and provide internship opportunities. The partnership will focus on three daunting challenges: water security, energy supply and use, and climate justice.

Offer: PhD and MS students at UVM, McGill, and York may receive a generous 12-month E4A research stipend. The majority of tuition for this program will be covered via scholarships and teaching assistantships. Travel and research funds are also available. Funding is guaranteed for three years.

Qualifications: Master’s degree preferred for PhD applicants, but all highly qualified candidates interested in all four dimensions of the program will be considered.

Application: Applications from women and people from diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds are encouraged. Interested students should contact one of the following at UVM:

Applications from women and people from diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds are encouraged.

For more information, visit the E4A website at

Ph.D. Assistantship, University of Vermont IGERT Smart Grid Program: Wind Farms and Human Health

Application Deadlines: Letters of interest and supporting materials are due to Dr. Christine Vatovec by February 1st; Applications are due to the UVM Graduate College by February 1st; IGERT Application forms are due to Dr. Jeffrey Marshall by February 1st.

Position: PhD Assistantship; Three years of funding available with a goal of securing project funding for the duration of the students’ program.

Project background: This project represents a collaborative effort between the University of Vermont and the Vermont Department of Health to investigate the human health outcomes of wind farms in Vermont. At the University of Vermont, Dr. Christine Vatovec (environmental health social science) and Dr. Brian Voigt (complex systems, simulation modeling) will serve as co-advisors to the student. Dr. David Grass, Environmental Health Surveillance Chief at the Vermont Department of Health, will serve as an external advisor to the project. Please contact Dr. Vatovec or Dr. Voigt if you would like to discuss the project before applying.

Responsibilities: The successful applicant will work with the advising team to develop a research protocol, apply for grant funding, conduct field research, analyze data, and prepare publications and presentations for academic and lay audiences.

Qualifications: The successful applicant will have a background in natural resources, or a related discipline, and an interest in environmental health, complex systems, and smart grid technology. To qualify for the IGERT assistantship, the successful applicant must have completed the required coursework prior to beginning the program. For information about program requirements, please visit

Application process: Interested applicants should complete the following three steps:

  1. Submit the following materials to Dr. Vatovec by February 1st:
    • a. A letter of interest (two pages, maximum) that outlines the applicant’s professional interest in the UVM IGERT Smart Grid program and this specific project (human health outcomes of wind farms), and why earning a PhD is the best path for achieving your career goals,
    • b. the names and contact information of three references,
    • c.unofficial transcripts, and GRE scores, and
    • d. your current CV (please include your GPA from your current or most recently completed graduate studies).
  2. Submit an application to the UVM Graduate College by February 1st (indicate that you are applying for admittance to the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources (RSENR; Graduate application process). In your application, be sure to state your preference for working with Drs. Vatovec and Voigt.
  3. Submit the IGERT Application Form (indicate Drs. Vatovec and Voigt as intended advisors; to Dr. Jeffrey Marshall by February 1st.

Transportation Research Center at the University of Vermont

Posting Date: Open

Application Deadline: Applications come through faculty nominations in January & February; the process is currently under review. See the TRC website for updates.

Position: One-year (12-month) graduate student research assistantships have been available to full-time UVM graduate students who work as research assistants (RAs) for 20 hours per week on transportation research related to the Center's themes. Faculty working in these areas may request funding for a GRA to work with them.

Responsibilities: Students chosen for the research assistantship must have been accepted into a UVM graduate program before starting. Students should plan to make transportation the core of their graduate student work. In most cases, the student's work should build on the research conducted during the research assistantship.

Application & Qualifications: TBD

Contact: Glenn McRae, UVM TRC Graduate Program Coordinator (802-656-1317)

Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory

Project: Impacts of climate and global change on arctic stream ecosystems

Responsibilities: The student will: access these datasets and compile them into a common database; help develop a data retrieval system to ease in analysis and publication; select a specific research question within the project to pursue as an MS thesis; spend time at SESYNC in Annapolis, MD to develop the database with their IT staff and to participate in working group meetings.

Description: Opportunities exist from time to time to support students who will focus on their research on some aspect of how the changing arctic environment affects the structure and function of stream ecosystems. Past work has focused on primary production, hyporheic processing, tundra fires, and thermokarst. Future work will focus on top-down effects of top consumers, thermokarst impacts on landscape evolution, and late-season nutrient dynamics in arctic streams. Support for graduate students is dependent on availability of funds

Qualifications: Preference will be given to PhD students with a strong background in biogeochemistry, hydrology, and/or stream ecology. Well-prepared and experienced MS students will be considered.

Application/Contact: Dr. Breck Bowden at (802-656-2513) for further details, and see

Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory

Project: Watershed Science and Nonpoint Source Pollution

Responsibilities: From time to time there are opportunities to conduct watershed and ecosystem research that addresses pressing management, regulatory, and policy challenges. Students with a strong background in biophysical sciences and related ecological disciplines are encouraged to contact the principal investigator listed below. Research includes studies of stormwater runoff; phosphorus loading from land to surface water; community-based watershed management; integrated land-use and environmental modeling using a complex systems approach; and threat analysis of the Lake Champlain Basin.

Application/Contact: Dr. Breck Bowden (

Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources

Position: Teaching Assistantships

Responsibilities: The Rubenstein School also has many teaching assistantships available each academic year starting in September. Graduate teaching assistants lead field and indoor laboratories, facilitate discussion sessions among small groups of undergraduates, assist with evaluation and grading, and run workshops and help sessions. Typical assignments are for ten hours a week.

Qualifications: Teaching Assistantship assignments are competitive and based on GRE scores, undergraduate GPA, letters of recommendation and requests from student advisors.

Application: Check box on submitted UVM electronic application

Last modified October 07 2015 10:42 AM