Gund scholars conducting research in the Arctic

Funded PhD opportunities with real-world impact.

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

With Gund PhD Research Assistantships, students receive attractive funding packages, world-class faculty mentors, real-world experience collaborating with leaders in government and business – and a deep understanding of complex global environmental issues.

Our Approach

Gund scholars collaborate widely to understand the interactions among ecological, social, and economic systems. We seek PhD students working on Gund research themes, and especially the connections among them.

Students receive up to four years of funding at $32,000 per year, tuition, and UVM’s student health insurance. They can also access enrichment funds for conferences and research costs.


Application Instructions

Prospective PhD students from any UVM College or School can apply for Gund PhD Research Assistantships. Interested candidates should:

1. Contact potential faculty advisors directly to discuss your interests. Identify a Gund Fellow who can serve as your primary advisor.

2. Submit two required applications:

  • Apply via the Graduate College to the appropriate UVM college or school by the deadline (which vary). Indicate in your statement of purpose that you are applying for a Gund PhD Institute Research Assistantship.
  • Submit the separate Gund PhD Assistantship Application by deadline.

Applications must include a C.V. and statement of interest with:

  • How your interests and experience align with the Gund Institute themes, especially any interactions among them.
  • How your background, research, and/or experience would contribute to a diverse and inclusive environment.
  • Any initial conversations with potential advisors.
  • Your name at the top of your statement.


Applications will be reviewed against four main criteria:

  • Academic qualifications
  • Research experience
  • Clearly articulated research interests and alignment with potential advisor(s)
  • Fit with the Gund’s thematic focus areas and commitment to diversity and inclusiveness

Students must be starting year 1 of a PhD program.

Preference will be 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.


  • Gund application: Reviews begin January 18
  • UVM college/schools: Deadlines vary
  • Offers: Spring 2019
  • Prospective students' event: March 2019
  • Acceptance: March-April 2019
  • Start: Fall 2019

About the Gund Institute

The Gund Institute for Environment catalyzes environmental research, develops real-world solutions to global issues, and connects UVM with leaders in government, business and beyond. Based at the University of Vermont, the Gund Institute is a newly expanded campus-wide center for interdisciplinary research, where more than 150 faculty, global affiliates, post-docs, and graduate students collaborate widely to understand the interactions among ecological, social, and economic systems. The Gund Institute focuses on environmental issues at the interface of four pressing themes: climate solutions, health and well-being, sustainable agriculture, and resilient communities.

Apply Now

Gund Student and Alumni Stories

Learn about Gund students and alumni like Phoebe Spencer, who interned at the United Nations before joining the World Bank after graduation. 

Key Dates

  • Gund application reviews have started.
  • Still interested? Contact Jeannine Valcour.
  • Start date: Fall 2019.