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Students in the Biophysics graduate program receive up to five years of financial support that includes tuition, a full stipend and health and dental insurance. This financial support remains in place through the entire program as long as the student continues to make good progress toward the degree (including timely advancement to candidacy). 

The main types of financial assistance for graduate students are:

  • Fellowships
  • Research funding: Graduate Student Research Assistantship (GSRA)
  • Teaching: Graduate Student Instructorship (GSI)

The proportion of support from each source is determined before the beginning of each term (fall, winter, spring/summer).


Fellowships provide valuable additional support for some students. Some types of fellowships:

  • Biophysics First Year Fellowships: These fellowships are supported via the College of LSA and most directly admitted students receive them during their first year in the program (fall and winter terms only).
  • The Rackham Science Award (aka Rackham Merit Fellowship): This program offers a special funding package roughly equivalent to between two and three years of support. The program supports the academic excellence and inclusiveness of the Michigan graduate community by embracing students who come from many educational, cultural, geographic and familial backgrounds. By offering financial assistance to those students who might not otherwise have access, the University aims to reduce disparities in graduate education. The University also aims to promote the values of diversity and inclusion by encouraging the admission and funding of students who represent a broad array of life experiences and perspectives. Graduate students do not apply for this fellowship, but are nominated by faculty  upon admission into the program. Only U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible for this award.

Research Funding

The availability of research funding varies between research groups. Some funding sources are given to very specific projects, while other research grants are much more flexible. Because of this and other factors, there is no strict rule for how much research funding students receive. Students are therefore encouraged to discuss funding expectations with prospective advisors. 

Rackham provides modest funding to assist student's with their research projects. 


Depending on the type of appointment you have, the university may or may not deduct taxes from your paycheck, but your stipend is always taxable. It is advised that you understand quarterly estimated tax procedures. If taxes are not withheld from your paycheck, you still must pay taxes on that income. Note that while domestic students may not have taxes deducted, international students may. Please refer to Rackham Graduate School's Tax Information for Fellowship Recipients.


Teaching is not required by the Biophysics program, but encouraged as it gives students valuable experience. GSI training is required and, for some international students, language training


Other Funding Opportunities

All graduate students in the department are highly encouraged to apply for other sources of support for which they are eligible. Graduate students should work closely with their faculty advisor(s) to identify appropriate funding sources, and to prepare strong funding applications.