Student Funding

Students in the program have a wide variety of different funding options, some being available throughout one’s career as a graduate student, while others are only available for incoming or later-stage graduate students. These opportunities include fellowships, teaching assistantships, graduate assistantships, research assistantships, and sometimes paid internships with local organizations. Receiving an award from CofC also makes out of state students eligible to receive in-state tuition abatements.

The Cougar Scholarship Awarding System (CSAS) will serve as the platform that you will use to apply for all privately funded scholarships. CSAS gives you access to all departmental scholarships that may be available to you through one easy application! To submit an application, please visit



External Funding Opportunities


Research and Travel Grants

***To recieve Travel Funds, you must fill out a Travel Authorization Form with the office before your travels, then within 10 days of your return, you must fill out a Travel Reimbursement Form***


Most of these are reserved for incoming graduate students; these are awarded by our program, and by the Graduate School.

Glebe Fellowship (2): up to $2000 for an incoming student for use during their first year. Awarded by the Admissions Committee in the program. No additional application is necessary.

Graduate School fellowships: these are awarded to incoming students by the Graduate School, and are competitive across all graduate programs at the College of Charleston. Potential nominees for these awards will be made by the Admissions Committee of the program, and contingent upon the recommendation of the Program Director. No additional application is necessary.

More information on Graduate School fellowships can be found on the Graduate School website.

  • Simon Felix Gallagher Fellowship: $10,000 per year (renewable for second year)
  • Amy Thompson McCandless Fellowship: $10,000 per year (non-renewable)
  • W. Hugh Haynsworth Fellowship: $5,000 per year (non-renewable)
  • Old Glebe Fellowship: $1,000+ per year (non-renewable)

Margaret A. Davidson Graduate Fellowship

This is an exciting fellowship program for graduate students at the national estuarine research reserves. One two-year fellowship opportunity will be available at each of the 29 coastal sites. Through a research project, fellows will address a key coastal management question to help scientists and communities understand coastal challenges that may influence future policy and management strategies.

Pending congressional appropriations, NOAA anticipates a stipend of $45,000 per student for research and travel, and an additional equipment and supply budget of approximately $7,000. Interested students are encouraged to explore each reserve’s management priorities and discuss interests with the listed point of contact. Be part of the next generation of coastal leaders!


Eligible applicants must be U.S. citizens admitted to or enrolled in a full-time graduate program at a U.S. accredited college or university, working to obtain a master’s or doctoral degree. Applicants must have at least two years remaining in their academic course of study to apply.

Click here to learn more and apply:

 Application Timeline:

Summer 2023 Call for applications to address reserve management needs
December 2023 Applications due
Spring 2024 Recommended students notified
August 1, 2024 Margaret A. Davidson Graduate Fellowship begins

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As described on the Graduate School Office website, students in the EVSS Program are considered for various assistantships. A limited number of research, staff and teaching assistantships are available annually in all graduate programs and can be awarded to students who are fully admitted, degree-seeking students. Individual programs offer graduate assistantships, as do a number of offices on campus.

A student who is awarded an assistantship is required to carry at least the minimum course load required of a full-time graduate student at the College of Charleston (six hours of graduate coursework per semester) and must maintain a satisfactory grade point average of at least a 3.0 at The Graduate School. A student must be admitted as a degree-seeking student in order to be considered for a graduate assistantship.

Graduate assistantships also carry the possibility of an abatement for out-of-state students, which means these students will pay in-state tuition. The deadline for abatement requests is July 1, prior to the start of the academic year.


The current minimum stipend for a full-time graduate assistantship is $12,600 ($21/hour). The stipend may vary by type of assistantship:

  • Graduate Assistantship - $6,300 per semester
  • Teaching Assistantship - $8,125 per semester
  • Research Assistantship - $6,300 per semester (minimum)

Full-time graduate assistantships require students to work 20 hours per week. Part-time assistantships are also be available, requiring students to work 10 hours per week.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate Assistantships can take various forms and may include working for the office of a department, program, or lab at the College of Charleston. 

The EVSS Program typically offers several assistantships each year, including office positions and garden positions through Sustainable Agriculture. See below for a list and description of assistantships.

  • Full-time (20 hr/week) EVSS Office
  • Part-time (10 hr/week) EVSS Office
  • Full-time (20 hr/week) Sustainable Agriculture Garden Manager
  • Full-time (20 hr/week) Sustainable Agriculture Assistant Garden Manager
  • Part-time (10 hr/week) Sustainable Agriculture Garden Outreach

Interested prospective students should mention the assistantship they would like to be considered for in their Statement of Goals.

Teaching Assistantships

Approximately 8 Teaching Assistantships are available per semester for graduate students. Once students are offered a TAship, they may choose to keep these assistantships throughout their graduate career, contingent on satisfactory job performance. Potential applicants need to express interest to the Program Director, who will then nominate students to the respective departments for final selection. In some cases, additional application and interviews may be required.

Teaching Assistantships that may be available include:

  • Teaching Assistantships through the Department of Biology
  • Teaching Assistantships through the Department of Geology
  • Teaching Assistantships through the Department of Physics

Research Assistantships

Research Assistantships are opportunities where students are directly paid to work on their own projects, or that of their faculty advisors. All of these are competitive, but are awarded through different mechanisms.

Research Assistantship I:  These opportunities are found from direct contact with faculty that the student is interested in working with, and from the Program office. Faculty in the program often obtain external funding for research (such as from NASA, the National Park Service, and NOAA), and these funds enable faculty to pay students for completing aspects of the grant work in an “apprentice-ship” fashion. Students are therefore strongly encouraged to shape their own thesis work along the same or similar topic, as a main benefit of collaborative work is for a student to efficiently work toward their degree, under close faculty supervision. Any student can apply for this assistantship with an associated advisor.

Research Assistantship II: Graduate Assistantship for student research.

Two of these are available each year, and are awarded based upon the merit of a student’s research proposal. Students who are awarded the Research Assistantship will receive a stipend of $13,200 for two consecutive semesters of full time enrollment (at least 6 credit hours per semester). This stipend will provide funding for student salary and can be used for student travel, supplies, and publication support. Applicants shall submit a proposal to perform environmental studies and sustainability research along the lines of a thesis or internship project for the EVSS degree requirements. Most of the time, these are awarded to second-year graduate students, with the expectation that they have an approved research proposal at the start of the support.

The funding support is for two semesters total, such as Fall/Spring or Spring/Summer. The 2023-2024 call for proposals deadline is May 1, 2023. You can view the 2022-2023 winning proposals here: Ansley Williamson and Greg Rothman

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External Funding Opportunities

There are a wide variety of funding opportunities for graduate students from local organizations (governmental and non-governmental); many of these opportunities are advertised from within our program. Some are available as summer-only work, while others are available during the academic year. Once accepted into the program, students should monitor emails and other communication from the Program office to learn of these opportunities.

The College's NEW Scholarship Awarding System (CSAS)

  • CSAS will serve as the platform that you will use to apply for all privately funded scholarships. CSAS gives you access to all departmental scholarships that may be available to you through one easy application! To submit an application, please visit  

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship: these are awarded for the entirety of the student’s graduate career; students can apply for these prior to acceptance into the ENSS Graduate Program, as well as during their first year; please contact the Program Director or Academic Advisor for assistance in crafting the application. (For more information on the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program, visit their website.)

NASA Graduate Fellowships: current list of open fellowships can be found on NASA's website.

Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program: Administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program recognizes outstanding scholarship and encourages independent graduate level research - particularly by female and minority students - in oceanography, marine biology and maritime archaeology. For more information, please visit this website.

Research and Travel Grants

Each year the EVSS Program provides some financial support (up to $500 per student) to assist with student research and to provide funding for students who participate in field-related conferences, a vital component in the professional development of graduate students.

Available funding is awarded on a first come, first serve basis, with priority given to students who receive Graduate Research and Presentation Grants from the Graduate School Office. Students seeking EVSS Program funding should complete the Graduate School Office Application for Internal Support, and provide a copy of that application to the EVSS Program Director.


Student applicants must be degree-seeking students in good standing in a College of Charleston graduate program.

For research grants:

  • Applications must include a project description (maximum length 1,000 words) containing a project abstract, a statement of project objectives and methodology, and a discussion of the project's significance and plans for future dissemination

  • A separate budget indicating how the money will be used must also be attached. Students should indicate if they have applied for or been awarded support from some other source.

  • Recipients will be encouraged to present their research results at a Graduate Research Seminar or Poster Session.

For research presentation grants:

  • Applications must include a presentation description (maximum length 500 words) containing a project abstract, an explanation of the presentation format (e.g., poster session, panel presentation), a description of the presentation venue (e.g., international conference, annual meeting), and a confirmation that the presentation has been accepted (or submitted).

  • A separate budget, breaking down costs for transportation, food, accommodation, and registration fees should be attached. Students should also indicate if they have applied for or been awarded support from some other source.

Applicants for both awards must submit an Application for Internal Support from the Graduate School

Applicants with projects involving animal or human participants must also complete the required protocol applications for the Institutional Review Board (IRB) and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). Students who receive grant awards must also complete a Final Report upon completion of the project.

Master in Environmental & Sustainability Studies Student Association (MESSA)

MESSA offers a small amount of funding for students in need of research or travel assistance. Awards are disbursed as a reimbursement following the research or travel event. MESSA is in the process of creating an official Research and Travel Grant Application, however current applicants should follow application guidelines outlined in the GSA Research and Travel Grant Application.

Click here to apply for grants through MESSA

Graduate Student Association (GSA)

The Graduate Student Association (GSA) at the College of Charleston awards grants of up to $500 per student per academic year to be used toward conducting or disseminating research done as part of a student’s thesis or capstone project.

  • Awards used for travel are disbursed as a reimbursement following travel
  • Awards used for research activities are accessed using the Grant Procurement Request form

Grant awards may be used towards travel expenses, including airfare, gas, accommodations, and conference/meeting registration fees, or for research needs, such as materials or sample analysis directly related to a thesis or capstone projects. Visit the GSA Research and Travel Grants page on Cougar Connect for more information and to apply.

Please note that as GSA elections are currently being held, these grants are not currently available.

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