Student Funding Opportunities

Undergraduate Student Funding Opportunities

Anthropology majors Sarah Ficarrotta, left, and Maegan Ellicott study in the graduate student lounge in the Eielson Building.

The office of Undergraduate Research & Scholarly Activity (URSA)  is UAF's resource for the development and promotion of experiential learning activities that engage undergraduate students to support UAF's goal to become a leading student-focused research university.

Undergraduate research and creative activity at UAF covers all disciplines, from climate sciences to music, engineering, anthropology, life sciences, art and theater.



For general information on fellowships and scholarships:
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Graduate Student Funding Opportunities

For more information about funding opportunities to support your graduate studies, please review the following information where you will find a list of opportunities, including information about applying for a Graduate Teaching Assistantship in Anthropology. Below you will also find a list of "Other UAF and Alaska funding sources." Review the information carefully and consider applying to as many of those as you are eligible for.

Lastly, information about competitive scholarships available to all UAF graduate students can be found at Contact the Financial Aid Office if you have questions about applying for scholarships and/or student loans (


Departmental Funding


Teaching Assistantships

The department awards roughly 10 to 15 Teaching Assistantships on a competitive basis each semester. New and continuing students must reapply EACH SEMESTER by the appropriate deadline (see below). TA applications are processed separately from the admissions application and must be sent directly to the department's Graduate Studies Coordinator. Once the faculty meet to make award decisions, the department will notify each applicant by email. 

We typically support MA students for 2 academic years (4 semesters) and PhD students for 3 years (6 semesters), but this is ultimately contingent on College of Liberal Arts funding. Generally, our graduate students are successful in securing other funding for additional years to complete their degree, but we have sometimes awarded TAships beyond the 2-3 year maximums depending on the availability of funds and the student's progress. Several faculty have also been able to award Research Assistantships through their own grants.

A TAship includes a biweekly stipend for 15 hrs/week of TA work (assisting with course preparation and other instructional duties as assigned), student health insurance, and a tuition waiver up to 10 credits per semester.


Award Factors

TAships are awarded on a competitive basis with students ranked by multiple variables such as GPA, timely progress toward degree, previous TA performance and so on.



Deadlines for TA applications to the Anthropology department are:

  • March 15: for consideration for a fall award 
  • October 15: for consideration for a spring award

NOTE: These departmental deadlines may differ from those listed on other UAF web sites.



Student assistant Kirsten Olson collects specimens from the stacks at the University of Alaska Museum of the North.

Given the modest stipend, many students choose to supplement their income with student loans and/or other employment. Though, with a TAship, faculty expect students to prioritize their TA work, which means that meetings with their TA supervisor, attendance in the course, and other work required by the faculty supervisor must be prioritized over other employment. Note that there are limitations on seeking additional university employment during a TA contract period.

For example, the university only allows students to work for the university system up to 20 total hours per week during regular fall and spring semesters. Some anthropology graduate students choose to apply and work an additional 5 hours elsewhere on campus (e.g., the Museum of the North) during the TA contract period. However, this changes the employment tax situation and anyone who obtains such a position should speak with the HR coordinator (Ellen Cruse) at the College of Liberal Arts for more information.


  Am I eligible?
International students must be enrolled full time (at least 9 credits) to be eligible for a TA award (all others must be enrolled in at least 6 credits, which is considered part-time). Most graduate students with a Teaching Assistantship choose to enroll full time in three x 3-credit courses each semester to maximize the value of the paid tuition. The College of Liberal Arts at UAF has different pay levels for graduate TAs. For information about pay/benefits, please contact the HR Coordinator for CLA, Ellen Cruse (email:, or by phone at 907-474-1134). 



If you wish to be considered for departmental funding, please fill out the application (new students or returning students) and send it to


Other UAF and Alaska funding sources



Researcher Eric Miller uses a thaw probe to measure thaw depth at the Yankovich Burn Site, 8/1/22. (UAF photo by Leif Van Cise)

Many of our students have also been supported through the UAF IGERT PhD Programs: Resilience and Adaptation (RAP). Students are admitted to the IGERT program but may declare anthropology as their home department. Students interested in one of these programs with an anthropology focus should contact a member of the anthropology faculty to discuss their options.



NSF Graduate Student Fellowship program

An excellent multi-year external source of funding open to all early career graduate students, the purpose of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) is to help ensure the quality, vitality, and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce of the United States.           

NSF logo
NSF Dissertation Improvement Grants

A major sources of funding for graduate student research, the U.S. National Science Foundation offers hundreds of funding opportunities — including grants, cooperative agreements and fellowships — that support research and education across science and engineering.

SSRC logo
Social Science Research Council

Another major source of graduate funding since 1923, the SSRC has awarded more than fifteen thousand fellowships to researchers around the globe. Council fellowship programs are strategic – they target specific problems, promote individual and institutional change, and expand networks.                   

Wenner-Gren Foundation

The Wenner-Gren Foundation is committed to playing a leadership role in anthropology. We help anthropologists advance anthropological knowledge, build sustainable careers, and amplify the impact of anthropology within the wider world. They offer a number of funding opportunities for doctorate students.

Leakey Foundation logo
The Leakey Foundation

The Leakey Foundation exclusively finds research related to human origins. It awards around $1,500,000 in grants annually to grantees at science and education institutions around the world through five separate grant programs awarded twice annually.                                                                                                                                                                      

Other sources of funding for travel, graduate education, and thesis/dissertation research:
Graduate students Maegan Ellicott, left, and Oksana Yashchenko search through a collection of bone fragments in an Eielson Building anthropology lab.
UAF Graduate School

Find funding options to support your grad studies. Learn how to apply for assistantships, scholarships, tuition assistance and loans. Be sure to check out the Dissertation and Thesis Completion Fellowship for additional funding opportunities.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Staff members with the Alaska and Polar Regions Collection at the Rasmuson Library work with elders from the Koyukuk River villages of Huslia, Hughes and Allakaket identifying subjects in old photos recently added to the library's collection.
Office of Grants and Contracts Administration

The University of Alaska Fairbanks is a Land, Sea, and Space Grant university and an international center for research, education, and the arts, emphasizing the circumpolar North and its diverse peoples. UAF integrates teaching, research, and public service as it educates students for active citizenship and prepares them for lifelong learning and careers.

Graduate students Gerad Smith, left, and Nickole Robarge meet with anthropology faculty member Patrick Plattet in his Eielson Building office.
Alaska EPSCoR

The NSF Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (NSF EPSCoR) is a nationwide research and education effort administered by the National Science Foundation. The mission of NSF EPSCoR is to help the NSF to "strengthen research and education in science and engineering throughout the United States and to avoid undue concentration of such research and education."

David and Rachel Hopkins Fellowship (Alaska Quaternary Center)

As a tribute to their contributions, the David and Rachel Hopkins Scholarship is awarded to a UAF, UAA, or UAS graduate student conducting interdisciplinary Quaternary research in or on Beringia or the greater North Pacific Rim. Fellowships are offered to students each academic year.                                                                           

UAF Chancellor Dan White pretends to take a sample from a mammoth skull with the help of Matthew Wooller to promote the Adopt a Mammoth Program at the Museum of the North on the UAF campus Friday, August 5, 2022.
University of Alaska Museum Fellowships

The University of Alaska Museum of the North recognizes the need to support research on our collections by interested students and scholars. The Museum offers a small number of grants and fellowships to students for research related to our collections.                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


For general information on fellowships and scholarships:


Looking for information on donations?