Biostatistics awards and funding
Graduate students in the Department of Biostatistics are funded through a variety of sources, including Graduate Research Assistantships, Training Grants, BIOS Departmental Scholarships, and University-Wide Scholarships. For the current school year, more than 90 percent of our graduate students are funded by the department, typically by Graduate Research Assistantships or Training Grants. The remaining students not funded by the department are generally funded from other departments or outside sources. The Graduate Funding Information Center (GFIC) provides information on some of these outside sources.
- Graduate Research Assistantships
- Environmental Biostatistics Training Grant
- Genomics and Cancer Training Grant
- Additional funding information for graduate students
Graduate Research Assistantships
Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA) carry with them a stipend and comprehensive major medical insurance (option to waive mandatory student health insurance for student with departmental funding sources), as well as an in-state tuition award for students meeting eligibility requirements.* A GRA is eligible (but not guaranteed) for tuition remission.** Students pay fees (estimated to be $932 per semester) out of the stipend. The yearly stipend ranges depend on degree program. As recipients of Graduate Research Assistantships, students generally work on theoretical statistical research or health-related applications under the direction of a faculty member in the Department of Biostatistics for 20 hours per week. In addition to the financial support offered by Graduate Research Assistantships, students also gain valuable practical experience in research and data analysis. In previous years, as many as 66 BIOS graduate students were supported on Graduate Research Assistantships. Students interested in more detailed information about Graduate Research Assistantships should contact Melissa Hobgood, BIOS Registrar.
*Information on obtaining in-state residency status may be found at
**Tuition remission are competitive awards that reduce out-of-state tuition to in-state tuition levels for students with Graduate Research Assistantships. Applicants are automatically considered for tuition remission after they are awarded Graduate Research Assistantships.
Environmental Biostatistics Training Grant
The Environmental Biostatistics Training Grant includes a stipend of $22,476, health insurance, and 60% of tuition and fees (the remainder of tuition is typically covered from other sources). Students funded by the training grant are expected to complete on-campus summer research internships and to grade papers for one biostatistics course annually. Recipients of these fellowships must be either U.S. citizens or have permanent resident status. Currently, 22 predoctoral scholars and 6 postdoctoral scholars across 3 departments are supported on this training grant. To be considered, students should describe their interest in environmental biostatistics in the personal statement accompanying their application for admission.
Genomics and Cancer Training Grant
The Biostatistics for Research in Genomics and Training Grant includes a stipend of $22,476, health insurance, and 60% of tuition and fees (the remainder of tuition is typically covered from other sources). Students funded by the training grant are expected to complete on-campus summer research internships and to grade papers for one biostatistics course annually. Recipients of these fellowships must be either U.S. citizens or have permanent resident status. Currently, there are slots for 5 predoctoral students and 1 postdoctoral student. To be considered, students should describe their interest in genomics and cancer biostatistics in the personal statement accompanying their application for admission.
The FRYER Fellowship, offered by the Department of Biostatistics to outstanding applicants as a supplement to a traineeship or Graduate Research Assistantship, is made possible by John and Diane Fryer. All applicants to the program are automatically placed under consideration for this award.
The SMITH ANDERSON Fellowship, provides funds to help cover tuition and expenses for a graduate student in the department.
The NGUYEN V. DAT ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP is offered to a graduate student in the Department of Biostatistics. This award is designated for an outstanding applicant and gives preference to physically challenged students. It is made possible by a generous gift from Dr. Nguyen Dat.
The BERNARD GREENBERG SCHOLARSHIP FUND is offered to outstanding applicants by the Department of Biostatistics as a supplement to a traineeship or Graduate Research Assistantship. This scholarship is named after Dr Bernard G. Greenberg, founder and former chair (1949-72) of the Department of Biostatistics, and is made possible by generous contributions by the Greenberg family and friends. All applicants to the program are automatically placed under consideration for this award.
The MAX HALPERIN AWARD is a scholarship offered to a first- or second-year doctoral student and is made available by donations from friends and family of Max Halperin.
The HARDISON SCHOLARSHIP IN BIOINFORMATICS is offered to an outstanding applicant in the Department of Biostatistics to encourage studies in health informatics in the department. This award is made possible by the gifts of the Hardison family.
The MOHBERG SCHOLARSHIP is offered to an outstanding applicant to the Department of Biostatistics. This award is made possible by gifts to the Public Health Foundation by the family of Dr. Noel Mohberg.
The KALYANI SEN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT SCHOLARSHIP in BIOSTATISTICS are funds used to enable international students to receive educational support in their final year of seeking a doctoral degree in biostatistics. These funds are given by Dr. P.K. Sen and wife Gauri to honor Kalyani Sen.
Other departmental awards, including the BARRY H. MARGOLIN DISSERTATION AWARD and the REGINA C. ELANDT-JOHNSON MASTER’S PAPER AWARD, include a cash prize provided by the Alumni Association. These awards are administered through a departmental committee and are reserved for current BIOS students.
The KUPPER DISSERTATION PUBLICATION AWARD FUND honors yearly both the doctoral student and the dissertation advisor of the best doctoral dissertation-based paper published in a prestigious biostatistical journal.
The Graduate School awards several fellowships to highly qualified candidates in a school-wide competition. These include several five year scholarships for doctoral students and one year merit awards for doctoral and masters’ level applicants. In addition, the Gillings School of Global Public Health offers the Cole Scholarship to two outstanding applicants each year.
For all of the Graduate School Awards, students may not apply directly but may indicate their desire to be considered for these awards when they apply to the BIOS department. Students must submit applications by December 15 to be considered for any graduate school award.
Additional graduate funding information
The Graduate School can help connect you to funding options. You can apply for merit-based grants, awards, fellowships and assistantships. Many of these funding awards include full tuition support. You may also apply for financial aid, including need-based grants.
The UNC Graduate Funding Information Center is a resource for those seeking information on funding sources for independent research, collaborative projects, fellowships, program development and other scholarly activities. You can email the GFIC for hands-on, individual help.