CNR Graduate Student Funding
The College of Natural Resources offers a series of resources to help graduate students succeed in their program of study.
The purpose of the Forest Biometrics Research Institute (FBRI) Doctoral Fellowship is to facilitate the education of forestry professionals toward an advanced understanding and application of forest biometric principals and methods. Fellows are expected to become proficient in nonparametric statistical methods as related to forestry and forest management technologies. FBRI supports and provides the Forest Projection & Planning System (FPS), which is the industry standard for managing forest ownerships. In addition to providing financial assistance, FBRI is offering access to a large database of field research installations and felled-tree measurements encompassing six western States and over two dozen tree species.
The FBRI Fellowship is a three-year commitment to the selected student. The student is expected to complete all coursework and a dissertation leading to a PhD in the three-year time frame. The candidate must hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Forest Management from an SAF-accredited forestry program and be operationally familiar with the silviculture and tree species of the western United States. The selected FBRI Fellow will join a larger cohort of Masters and Doctoral graduate students pursing advanced knowledge in the fields of Forest Biometrics and Silviculture. FBRI Students will be located in graduate student space within the College of Natural Resources. The FBRI Fellow’s doctoral committee will include one Ph.D. FBRI Biometrician.
FBRI Fellowship Funds Available: $20,800 research assistant stipend and coverage of resident fees* and student medical insurance for 3 years. The College of Natural Resources will provide each FBRI Fellow with $3,000 per year to cover research costs such as computer, field equipment, and travel.
* A full-time RA includes a waiver of non-resident fees.
Options and resources also exist for MS FBRI Fellows and for externally funded students to join in on the FBRI program. To learn more, please visit the program site.
Please apply to the University of Idaho’s College of Graduate Studies (COGS) via the standard application process: Apply Now
Within your letter of application, please specifically highlight why you are interesting becoming a FBRI Fellow. Also on the CNR Area of Emphasis Form please write “FBRI Fellowship” where it asks you to highlight a CNR Faculty member you have been corresponding with.
Applications Due/Start Date: The FBRI Fellowship ideally begins with the start of the Fall Semester. The student is expected to select a dissertation research topic within the scope of the FBRI field of applied technologies (nonparametric methods, quantitative aspects of tree site capacity, tree form, or tree growth dynamics.
Each semester, CNR expects to award up to four (4) Ph.D. Finishing Fellowships to support exceptional doctoral candidates. Candidates must have passed their preliminary examination, have completed their study plan, and only need 1 research credit to finish their degree at the time of receiving the award. The CNR PhD Finishing Fellowship will provide full support (19.5 hr. stipend + tuition / fees for 1 credit + medical benefits, if needed) for one semester (spring, fall or summer). Note: International students can seek a waiver from IPO to complete their last semester as part-time. Students can elect to have this fellowship paid over 1 or 2 semesters if used in conjunction with other sources of funding (such as an RA or TA). A Finishing Fellowship can only be held once.
- Current PhD students that have a CNR-based major or co-major professor.
- Co-major professor must be officially approved by COGS and reflected on Degree Audit.
- Candidates must have passed their preliminary examination, have completed their study plan, and only need 1 research credit to finish their degree at the time of receiving the award.
- The major professor must verify that the student will complete their degree during the semester(s) they are supported by the Finishing Fellowship.
- Must be able to pass a criminal background check.
Each semester, the CNR expects to award up to two (2) M.S. to Ph.D. Bridge Fellowships to support exceptional students initially enrolled in a M.S. degree within CNR that wish to advance to a Ph.D. degree within CNR, but do not have financial support. The CNR M.S. to Ph.D. Bridge Fellowships will provide up to (20 hr./wk. stipend + full-time tuition / fees + medical benefits + summer credit, if applicable) for one semester (spring, fall or summer). Students can only receive a M.S. to Ph.D. Bridge Fellowship a maximum of two (2) times.
- Current UI enrolled CNR M.S. students transitioning to a Ph.D. that have a CNR-based major professor or co-major professor. Co-major professor must be officially approved by COGS and reflected on Degree Audit. Or a first semester Ph.D. student in CNR that has a CNR-based major professor or co-major professor, who was previously enrolled in a UI M.S. degree.
- M.S. GPA of 3.50 or above.
- Must have submitted or received a competitive proposal for graduate funding (NSF, EPA STAR, JFSP GRIN, NASA, etc.) or have been involved in the submission of a competitive funding proposal where the student played a significant role. The major professor must clearly describe how this requirement is met in their letter.
- Must be able to pass a criminal background check.
Each semester, the CNR expects to award several Graduate Travel Grants (up to $1500), Research Grants (up to $2500), and In-State Tuition Scholarships.
The Travel Grants are intended to support CNR graduate students to attend professional conferences or conduct fieldwork. All travel is limited to the USA. M.S. students can only receive the award once, while Ph.D. students can only receive these awards a maximum of two times. Travel Grants will only be awarded if the student is presenting (talk or poster) their own data. The letter from the major professor should speak to the data requirement. Travel grants may be awarded to non-thesis Masters students (NR, ENVS, MNR, PSM) that are also presenting their own data at scientific conferences.
The Research Grants are intended for unexpected costs that were not budgeted (e.g., fieldwork, journal page charges, or sample analyses).
For Travel and Research Grants, a budget with a half-page justification must be included with the statement or the application will not be reviewed.
In-State Tuition Scholarships are intended to support CNR graduate students that have received (or will receive) competitive funding scholarships where coverage of in-state tuition was not allowed. Preference will be given to students that have received funds from agencies that do not permit paying in-state tuition over awards that provide a lump sum, where fees could be paid in lieu of salary. These grants will be preferentially awarded to students that applied and received their own funding (ISGC awards, GRIN, etc.). Place-bound Ph.D. students may also be awarded these grants but must provide a statement of why they need to have in-state tuition covered.
- Current M.S., MNR (for travel grants) or Ph.D. students within the College of Natural Resources (FWS, FRFS, NRS, or ENVS with CNR-based major professor or co-major professor). Co-major professor must be officially approved by COGS and reflected on Degree Audit.
- GPA of 3.50 or above.
- Must be able to pass a criminal background check.
Students should note that these are merit-based fellowships. The CNR Graduate Council Committee reserves the right to not award all available funding in any one cycle. As well, success will depend on the strength of the qualified applicant pool in any cycle. In line with the University of Idaho’s Strategic Plan, funding support will preferentially support Ph.D. students.
The College of Natural Resources also awards a series of fellowships via foundations or from faculty based research awards. Each of these has different criteria and application instructions:
The Curt Berklund Graduate Research Scholar Award supports graduate research in an applied field of natural resources. Berklund awards may be used to fund a variety of master’s or doctoral-level research endeavors. All students enrolled in any M.S. or Ph.D. program conducting original research supervised by a major professor and his/her committee are eligible to compete for this award. Students are eligible to receive this award for research occurring in either the fall, spring, or summer semesters. One award of $10,000 will be granted annually; the student must be enrolled in one or more credits during the time in which the research is being conducted.
After identifying a research project, the student must submit a research proposal as outlined below. Students will work with faculty to determine a budget of $9000 to include salary, travel, research supplies, and analysis costs; the supervising faculty member must approve the budget prior to proposal submission. A $1000 honorarium will be awarded once all awardee requirements have been met (see section below). Recipients will be announced annually in February.
1) Research Proposal that includes the following sections:
- Title page
- Introduction and background
- Research objectives
- Methods and data analysis
- Relevance of research to profession and/or society
- Timeline (not to exceed 12 months)
- Proposed budget (faculty approved)
- Literature cited
Proposals should not exceed 10 pages (excluding title page) and should be written using scientific formatting.
2) Resume (include current GPA)
3) Letter of support from supervising faculty member that describes mentoring and any matching financial support provided.
A Berklund Research Scholar Selection Committee composed of 1 CNR faculty member from each department will review the applications and select scholars based on the quality of the research proposal, qualifications of the student investigator, and faculty mentor support. The professional backgrounds of the Selection Committee should represent a cross-section of the research disciplines in CNR. To qualify, proposals should be no more than 10 pages in length and follow appropriate scientific formatting. Awards will be based on:
- Students’ academic performance.
- Quality of proposal.
- Novelty of research topic.
- Scope of research impact.
If funded, appropriate ACUC and IRB approvals will be required before the funds are distributed.
REQUIREMENTS OF STUDENT AWARDEES
Student Awardees Are Required To:
#1. Submit a personal thank-you to the Berklund Foundation, not less than a half-page explaining student background, interests, and importance of award in his/her development (template will be provided). Including a photo is preferred. This should be completed within two weeks of the award announcement.
#2. Extend an Invitation to Student Defense:
- At the conclusion of the research project, the student is asked to invite members of the Berklund Foundation to his/her thesis/dissertation defense.
#3. Post-Defense Responsibilities:
Student will submit to donor:
- Hard copy of thesis or dissertation
- Final thank-you note or card
Materials listed above should be sent to Jennifer Farnum, Director of Development, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Proposal documents should be submitted in a single PDF to Alistair Smith (email@example.com) by January 31, 2018.
To obtain any CNR Scholarship or Fellowship, applicants must pass a criminal background check.