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Doctoral Program Support Policy

Our Ph.D. students (in good academic standing) receive an annual stipend of $30,000 effective July 1, 2018 followed by an additional increase to $31,000, effective July 1, 2019. In addition to the stipend, the full costs of tuition, fees, and health insurance are covered for all Ph.D. students. The total support package ranges between $47,019.18 to $63,121.18 annually, depending on residency status. Primary sources of support are the University of California block grants, training grants from federal agencies such as NIH and NSF, teaching assistantships, graduate fellowships, and faculty research funds. Students are expected to complete the Ph.D. in five years. Approvals by the Thesis Advisor and Department are required for support beyond the departmental time limits. To be eligible for support, doctoral students must meet university and departmental requirements for good academic standing. Students are encouraged to join a research group in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry to be guaranteed the full annual support level throughout their tenure in the program.

Eligible students (U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents) must establish California residency before the start of their second academic year. Students who fail to establish California residency by the start of the second academic year will be responsible for covering non-resident supplemental tuition and fees out-of-pocket. More information about residency can be found online.

Departmental Fellowships and Awards

The department selects its best and brighest for these merit-based awards. 
  • Teddy G. Traylor Award: Professor Traylor was one of the early members of our faculty. Colleagues and friends recognize his scientific and personal achievements by funding this award for exceptional graduate students who have recently Advanced to Candidacy. Award amount, $3,000, number of recipients vary each year. Requires an application from the student and a faculty nomination.
  • Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) FellowshipThe objective of the U.S. Department of Education's Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) program is to sustain and enhance the nation's capacity for research and teaching by supporting graduate students with excellent academic records who demonstrate financial need and promise for a successful career in research or higher education. The Chemistry and Biochemistry Department will select GAANN Fellows each year from among our current and incoming Ph.D. students, who meet the eligibility requirements.
  • Teaching Assistant Excellence Award: Over 300 teaching assistants participate in the teaching of our undergraduate curriculum in Chemistry and Biochemistry. Those who show repeated excellence in their efforts receive a monetary award. Nominted by instructors.
  • Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Dissertation Award: Each year, approximately 25-35 students graduate from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Earning a PhD is an incredible achievement and the Department wants to further recognize the work of our most exceptional graduate students. The department has therefore established an Annual Dissertation Award for those who have completed truly exceptional dissertations. Three to five students will be selected annually to receive the $1,000 award each. 

Interdisciplinary Training Grant Programs

Interdisciplinary research and collaboration at UCSD is enhanced through a variety of training grants. These programs provide financial support for exceptional graduate and postdoctoral scholars and also unite researchers from across campus and throughout the research community in special seminars, retreats, and courses. Students are usually placed on training grants in their second year or later.

Campus Fellowships and Awards

Below is a list of common campus fellowships and awards for incoming students in the chemical and biochemical sciences. If the fellowship program awards a lower stipend than the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department support level, then supplemental funding through the department will be provided. Some fellowships may also include on-campus graduate student housing, travel, and supplies.

External Fellowships

Students are encouraged to apply for fellowships. These are important career honors to have listed on your resume! The department supplements all fellowships to meet and sometimes to exceed the standard departmental stipend. Application deadlines for competitive fellowships, such as NSF Graduate Fellowships, are often up to a year in advance.

Learn more about fellowship opportunities via the following methods:

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

It is often required to prove eligibility for student aid and graduate fellowships. The forms for FAFSA are available in financial aid offices at colleges and universities or can be ordered by calling 1-800-433-3243. You can also apply online at

Department Travel Awards


  • Only UCSD Chemistry & Biochemistry PhD and Thesis MS students may apply.
  • Student must be accepted to present a poster/talk.
  • For consideration, please submit the Online Travel Application, including the following supplemental materials;
    • Poster/talk abstract, Conference acceptance letter


  • Students are eligible for ONE travel award during their tenure.
  • All application materials must be submitted at least three weeks before travel occurs.
  • Maximum travel award is $500. Reimbursement provided for registration, travel costs (i.e. airfare, mileage), and lodging.
  • Rolling Application Model: Students can submit applications at any time.