Student Financial Support

The Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology Graduate Program is committed to fully funding PhD students during their academic career in MCDB. PhD financial support will come in the form of Graduate Student Research positions, Teaching Assistantships (TA), fellowships, and work study / financial aid.

All MA students can apply for Teaching Assistantships, if available, for their duration in the MCDB Graduate Program to cover in-state tuition and health insurance costs. Please note that non-resident tuition and the campus base fee are not covered by Teaching Assistantships and will have to be covered by the student.

Funding Types

Extramural Funding

We encourage all graduate students to apply for extramural funding that they may qualify for, such as, but not limited to:

UCSB Graduate Student Resource Center

The UCSB Graduate Student Resource Center website provides further information about extramural funding opportunities.

Graduate Student Research

A GSR is a graduate student who assists faculty members with scholarly research. These positions are funded from the faculty member’s grant.


Must be an active registered student in good standing.

Apply / Selection Process

Arranged and selected by a faculty member / principal investigator (PI)

Support Coverage / Length

Any GSR employed for at least 35% will have Full Fee Remission. This will come from the grant, and will cover Tuition, Student Service Fee, Campus based Fees, Health Insurance, and any applicable non-resident tuition. Additionally, the GSR will earn a monthly salary based on their appointment. Appoints of less than 35% but greater than 24% will get Partial Fee Remission. (See Teaching Assistantships section for details).

Teaching Assistantships

TAs apprentice under the active tutelage and supervision of a faculty member. All MCDB PhD students are required to TA at least 2 quarters during their time at UCSB.


Must be an active registered student in good standing. New MCDB applicants are automatically considered and continuing students must apply quarterly.

Apply / Selection Process

The Graduate Advisor sends out a call and tries to match faculty course needs with students available. Once offers are sent out, students must sign the hiring paperwork before their Fee remission will be processed.

Support Coverage

Any TAship at least 25% will include partial Fee Remission. This will cover Tuition, Student Service Fee, and Health Insurance. The student is responsible for the balance (~$328) unless it is being covered by Block Grant or NSF or other such support. Additionally, the TA will earn a monthly salary based on their appointment. (Note that most TA positions are 50% appointments).

TA Appointments

Graduate students who are interested in applying for a TA appointment with the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology for the 2019-2020 academic year, must submit an application, CV/Resume, and unofficial transcripts to If an appointment does become available the department will contact you directly.

Departmental Fellowships
  • George & Joy Rathmann Fellowship
  • Amgen Fellowship
  • Wilcox Fellowship
  • Carbon / Clarke Fellowships
  • Holmok Fellowship
  • Otto J. Cancer Research Fellowship
  • Chang Fellowship
  • Charles A. Storke Fellowship
  • Jean Devlin Fellowship
  • Yzurdiaga Fellowship
  • Jane Altman Fellowship
  • Doreen J. Putrah Cancer Research Foundation Conference Fellowships
Campus Fellowships and Grants

First year students will be nominated for New Student Central Fellowships by the Graduate Admissions Committee. All applicants are automatically considered.

Continuing Central Fellowships are available to continuing students in various stages of their degree progress. The department as well as the Office of Graduate Division will send out the fellowship call to continuing students via email in mid to late Winter quarter. Graduate Division will review the packets and choose the Department Nominees.


Departmental Block Grant

Graduate Program funds are used to cover costs of first year rotating PhD students (i.e. tuition, health insurance, Non-Resident tuition, and Stipend). No additional application necessary.