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BMMB Graduate Program


Funding Overview

All BMMB students are offered full assistantships which include tuition waivers and subsidized benefits upon entering our program. These assistantships and benefits continue as long as you remain in good standing in the program. Students are also eligible to apply for University Fellowships, Penn State Training Grants sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Training Grants, and outside funding opportunities. Additionally, each BMMB student is eligible for two travel awards during their tenure at Penn State. These awards are to be used to travel to scientific meetings, both domestic and international.


Teaching Assistantships

BMMB students are required to teach for two semesters during which they will be supported on a teaching assistantship. Teaching Assistantships become a component of the annual stipend, and are not considered additional compensation.


Research Assistantships

Once the two required semesters of teaching are completed, most BMMB students are supported on research assistantships. RAs are funded by university funds as well as the research adviser’s grants.


University Fellowships and Awards

Homer F. Braddock and Nellie H. and Oscar L. Roberts Fellowships

Each year the admissions committee offers a number of these incentive fellowships to outstanding applicants to our program. Amounts of the awards are based upon qualifications of the applicant and the funds available for any given year.  Funds from this award are provided in addition to standard departmental stipend support, and these supplemental fellowship funds are disbursed directly into students’ accounts.

Distinguished Graduate Fellowships and University Graduate Fellowships

The Graduate School sponsors the Distinguished Graduate and University Graduate Fellowships. These prestigious fellowship programs are available to incoming students. All applicants are considered for this fellowship by the BMMB admissions committee which forwards nominations for those selected to the Eberly College of Science for a final decision.


Dean’s Distinguished Graduate Scholarship (DDGS)

Awarded by the Dean of the Graduate School, the DDGS is designed to support recruitment of the very highest caliber prospective students who will contribute to the diversity in graduate education at the institution. Students receiving the Dean’s Distinguished Graduate Scholarship will be designated and recognized as Dean’s Distinguished Graduate Fellows. 


Robert W. Graham Endowed Graduate Fellowship

The Graham Endowed Graduate Fellowship was created to assist in the recruitment of outstanding students considering enrolling at Penn State. The funds will provide supplementation awards to incoming students who have been given assistantships, departmental fellowships or who are recipients of external awards. Award offers are typically one year. No additional application is required beyond the Graduate Admissions application.


Science Achievement Graduate Fellowship 

The Science Achievement Graduate Fellows (SAGF) Program in the Eberly College of Science is designed to recruit, recognize, and promote outstanding graduate students seeking a doctoral degree in the sciences and mathematics. The Eberly College of Science is determined and committed to advancing women, who are underrepresented in the sciences and mathematics, to enable the full potential of humankind essential to solving the great global challenges. The science achievement graduate scholarships are named in honor of an outstanding woman scientist or mathematician who not only made groundbreaking discoveries, but also blazed the trail for others who have followed in their footsteps. These prestigious scholarships provide a high level of recognition to the awardees, which will continue throughout their careers.

SAGF is awarded each year to outstanding college graduates who have an interest in pursuing doctoral studies in one of the seven departments of the Eberly College of Science, with strong communication and leadership qualities, and who have a demonstrated interest in the advancement of women in the sciences and related fields. Holistic selection criteria are used to select a candidate with an emphasis on letters of recommendation, research experience, leadership potential, communication skills, an outstanding record of high achievement, initiative, and motivation. For eligibility, an additional interview is required.

The total SAGF support package includes five years guaranteed support of tuition, stipend, subsidized health insurance, and $3,000 per year for professional travel, purchase of computers, or other professional development needs and activities. 


Bunton-Waller Graduate Assistantship Program

Named in honor of Mildred S. Bunton and Calvin H. Waller, the first-recorded African American alumna and alumnus of female and male Penn State graduates, the Bunton-Waller Fellowship is a merit-based assistantship given to students with strong academic and professional potential who bring diverse perspectives, identities, and interests to Penn State.

The graduate admission application serves as the Bunton-Waller Graduate Fellowship application. Applications will be evaluated on scholarly promise including quality of professional work or research experience, academic performance and potential as shown by transcripts, extracurricular and community activities to advance equity in science, leadership potential, and the candidate’s ability to add strong and unique value to the overall class experience.

Bunton-Waller fellowships include five years guaranteed support of tuition, stipend, and subsidized health insurance. 


Sloan Scholars

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation provides funding for matriculated doctoral students in mathematics, science, and engineering in order to assist efforts to diversify the Ph.D. degree-holding workforce. 

Sloan Foundation grants may be used to pay for professional travel, research, equipment, books, and to cover many other needs during their doctoral studies and are in addition to any assistantships and fellowships awarded to a student.

Sloan Scholars must have passed their qualifying exams to enter the program, and each Sloan Scholar must have an approved mentor in his/her academic field. Faculty members who have proven track records in graduating a diverse population of students from their doctoral programs are selected each year to mentor incoming fellows.


Training Grants

Computation, Bioinformatics, and Statistics (CBIOS) Training Program

The Computation, Bioinformatics, and Statistics (CBIOS) Training Program is a National Institutes of Health funded predoctoral training program aimed at preparing young scientists to excel in cross-disciplinary genomics research cutting across the traditional disciplines of life sciences, computer science, bioinformatics, and statistics

Big Data Training Program

Penn State Biomedical Big Data to Knowledge (B2D2K) is a National Institutes of Health funded predoctoral training program, aimed at training the next generation of Data Scientists, who will be critical to see all of the biomedical big data fully utilized to its greatest potential.

Eukaryotic Gene Regulation (EGR) Predoctoral Training Program

The Eukaryotic Gene Regulation (EGR) Predoctoral Training Program is a National Institute of General Medical Sciences funded predoctoral training program. The goal of the program is to train future generations of scientists in both experimental and computational approaches to address fundamental questions in eukaryotic gene regulation.

Physiological Adaptations to Stress

Physiological Adaptations to Stress is an NIH- funded (T32) interdisciplinary training program from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS). The goal of the program is to prepare students to address important research questions related to human health and disease.

Integrative Analysis of Metabolic Phenotypes (IAMP)

IAMP is an NIH sponsored Training Program that prepares future generation of scientists in experimental, molecular, and bioinformatics approaches applied towards integrating our understanding of the host metabolism in health and disease.

External Fellowships

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) helps ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the United States and reinforces its diversity. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions.

Graduate School NSF GRFP Annual Information Session

Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral National Research Service Awards

The purpose of this Kirschstein-NRSA program is to enable promising predoctoral students with potential to develop into a productive, independent research scientists, to obtain mentored research training while conducting dissertation research. The F31 is also used to enhance workforce diversity though a separate program.