• Gund

Funded PhD opportunities with real-world impact.

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

With Gund PhD Fellowships, 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 sustainability issues. 

Gund doctoral students benefit from the Gund Leadership Academy and enrichment funds for conferences and research costs.

We are committed to ensuring an inclusive environment where diverse voices and perspectives are active and welcome. We encourage applicants who bring diverse perspectives to our community.

Gund PhD Research Fellowships

A PhD student studying the environment from a helicopter in Greenland from the Gund Institute for Environment at the University of Vermont.

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

Students receive up to four years of funding at $35,000 per year, plus tuition, and UVM’s student health insurance. 

Gund/CEMS Barrett PhD Fellowships

Engineering PhD students test virtual reality headsets for environmental research at the university of vermont (UVM(.

Gund/CEMS Barrett Fellowships are open to applicants pursuing doctoral degrees in engineering with environmental applications. These fellowships support PhD students seeking to collaborate on urgent issues in engineering and the environment. 

Students receive up to four years of funding, including an annual $35,000 stipend, tuition, and health insurance. Barrett Fellowships are a partnership between the Gund Institute and UVM's College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences.



Application Instructions

Please check back in the fall, as these application instructions may change.

Gund/CEMS Barrett applicants should refer to the Application Instructions section on the Barrett Fellowships webpage

Gund Institute Research Assistantship candidates should:

1. Contact potential faculty advisors directly to discuss your interests. This should include a Gund Fellow who can serve as your primary advisor. It is important that you confirm their interest eligibility to serve as your advisor. They must have an appointment in the college you are applying to.

2. Submit two required applications:

  • Apply via the Graduate College to your advisor's UVM college or school by the deadline (deadlines vary) and no later than the Gund application deadline (even if the program deadline is after the Gund deadline). Indicate in your statement of purpose that you are also applying for a Gund Institute PhD Research Assistantship (the formal name of our Fellowship program). 
  • Submit the separate Gund PhD Fellowship application by the stated deadline.

Applications must include a 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.


All applications will be reviewed against five main criteria:

Gund Institute Research Assistantship applicant eligibility:

  • These assistantships are for individuals who have not yet started their PhDs.
  • 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.

Barrett Fellowship in Gund/CEMS applicant eligibility:

  • These assistantships are open to existing UVM graduate students as well as new applicants pursuing doctoral degrees in engineering with environmental applications. Priority for these fellowships will be given to new doctoral applicants from outside UVM.


  • Submit the Gund-specific application in InfoReady by the deadline (to be confirmed).
  • Submit your application to a PhD program through UVM colleges/schools. Deadlines vary - click here to find each program's deadline. Please be sure to submit your UVM application before the Gund deadline in January.
  • Gund makes offers: March-April
  • Students accept offers: March-April
  • Start: Fall semester 2025

About the Gund Institute

The Gund Institute for Environment at the University of Vermont is a research center dedicated to understanding and tackling the world’s most critical environmental challenges. Driven by the belief that research should inspire action, the Institute takes a cross-sector approach to solving environmental issues with stakeholders from government, business, and broader society. The Institute focuses on five interconnected research themes: climate solutions, sustainable agriculture, health and well-being, equity and justice, and resilient communities. With over 250 scholars in Vermont and across the world, the Institute brings together a network of internationally recognized researchers from diverse disciplines, including the natural and social sciences, business, health, technology, engineering, and the humanities.

Diversity and Inclusion

The Gund Institute for Environment strives to build a diverse and inclusive community of scholars and leaders, because it is essential to our mission and central to our vision for a sustainable world.

We define “diversity” as the full spectrum of cultural and socioeconomic affiliations that characterize individuals within society, and “inclusion” as valuing the contributions of that diversity to our work and community.

A diverse and inclusive institute will enhance the relevance and impact of our work, ensure our solutions represent those most affected by environmental challenges, address environmental injustice, diversify the environmental leadership of the future, and train those leaders to operate in diverse teams and environments. Learn more about diversity and inclusion at the Gund. 

Gund Student and Alumni Stories

Get to know other Gund Fellowship recipients and explore research by Gund students and alumni.

Key Dates

Applications open: October 2024

Apply deadline: To be confirmed (January 2025)

Start date: Fall 2025


Contact Bailey Rowland