Financial Support

The Department of Chemistry provides year-round financial support to all full-time PhD students in good academic standing. This support includes a waiver of tuition and most fees, health insurance, and a generous stipend that covers living and transportation expenses. In this way PhD students are free to concentrate on their education.

The main forms of this financial support are fellowships, research assistantships, and teaching assistantships.

students in lab


Generally assigned on a competitive basis, there are several sources of fellowships: outside sources like the National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, and the Hertz Foundation, University-wide fellowships, and departmental fellowships like the Roger Adams Fellowship. Our students have had great success in winning outside fellowships, which are often augmented by an additional assistantship stipend through the department. We encourage all eligible undergraduate applicants to pursue these outside fellowships. 

A large number of fellowships are awarded to graduate students in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Illinois. These range from Departmental fellowships sponsored by chemical companies and private donations to national fellowships from various federal and private foundations.

Departmental Awards

Springborn Fellowships

Springborn Fellowships (Post-Doctoral)


Graduate College Awards

Illinois Distinguished Fellowship

Graduate College Fellowships

Sloan scholarships


Student in Chemistry Lab Training Programs

Chemistry-Biology Interface- Please indicate interest in the CBI-TG in your personal statement.

Students need not apply for the above, but those offered admission will be considered and nominated at the department-level. Students may search for additional internal and external fellowship and award opportunities at the Graduate College Fellowship Finder database.

Travel Awards

These are awarded for a talk or presenting a poster at a conference. Each semester, five awards are partially funded through the Graduate College (Conference Travel Awards for Graduate Students). In addition, each semester several additional conference travel awards are funded from other sources, such as generous support to the department from Eastman Chemical Company. Students are notified each semester in advance of the application deadline, and a single application form is used for all awards. For more information on travel awards, please contact the Graduate Program Coordinator.

Research and Teaching Assistantships

Research assistantships provide support for students actively engaged in their thesis research, and usually begin in the second year of graduate school, after most classwork has been completed. Prior to this point, most students have teaching assistantships as they take classes and fulfill their teaching requirement. The duties of teaching assistants generally involve conducting laboratory or quiz sections for undergraduate courses or working as a grader in more advanced courses. The assignments are made in accord with the student's background and interests insofar as possible.

Further information on both fellowships and assistantships can be obtained by contacting the Graduate Admissions Office.

If you have received an offer to enroll in our graduate program, we encourage you to visit our department and our campus to get a first-hand look at the outstanding opportunities here before deciding on a graduate school. Up to a certain limit, we will reimburse you for travel expenses associated with your visit. Please contact the Chemistry Graduate Admissions Office for more details.