Assistantships & Fellowships

Assistant working with Equipment

For the 2016-2017 academic year, a base stipend of $24,000 was provided for most admitted students through a variety of assistantships and fellowships.

As described below, special fellowships may provide larger stipends for highly qualified students, and the department offers supplemental support for select first year students. In addition, tuition and the cost of health insurance for graduate students are usually paid for by the Department, research grants, and/or fellowships.

Department & College Assistance

Blazer Graduate Research Fellowship in Physics

Applicants to the Ph.D. program in Physics, who have demonstrated exceptional promise in research and scholarship, will be considered for the UAB Blazer Fellowship. Fellowship recipients will receive a stipend of $26,000 + tuition and health insurance. Furthermore, they will be able to engage in research at the beginning of their first year with no teaching duties. It is expected that the Blazer Fellow will be able to commence Ph.D. research and choose a research mentor by the end of their first year.

For information about the application, contact the Physics Graduate Program director at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Teaching Assistantship (TA)

During the academic year new TAs will be assigned teaching duties consisting of introductory laboratories or recitations. A senior graduate student shares the laboratory during the first semester to assist you. Explanation of responsibilities and discussion of teaching methods are provided throughout the year by the department and the UAB Graduate School. Contact the graduate program director at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for updated or additional information.

Research Assistantship (RA)

In select cases you may be admitted with research support from a specific professor. In these instances, you must work closely with your advisor on the research project as well as maintain high academic standards. Some students who begin with teaching assistantships transition to RA status during the first few years of their graduate work. For further information, please contact the graduate program director at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Supplemental Support for Select First Year Students

Support for summer research prior to your first year of study and additional support for supplies during your first year may be available under special circumstances. For further information, please contact the graduate program director at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Special Fellowships

U.S. Department of Education: Graduate Assistantships in Areas of National Need (GAANN)

The U.S. Department of Education has funded the UAB Department of Physics to support the department's doctoral students in their academic pursuits. The funding supports five physics PhD students at a stipend level up to $34,000, depending on the financial need of the applicant as assessed by the UAB Office of Financial Aid. The GAANN program also makes an annual institutional payment of $15,213 per student.

The project title for the UAB physics program is "Doctoral Fellowships in Nanoscale Materials and Computational Physics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham." This distinctive program will lead to a PhD in physics involving individualized academic course work, closely supervised research experiences, optional industrial internships, continuous development of pedagogical and communication skills, and comprehensive supervision and evaluation of teaching performance.

Learn more about the basics of the GAANN program at the U.S. Department of Education website.

Alabama Space Grant Consortium Fellowships

Awards from this NASA-sponsored program are granted up to $37,000 — a $24,000 student stipend, up to $12,000 for tuition/insurance, and $1,000 for student travel allowance. These grants are made initially for one 12-month period and may be renewed annually for a maximum total award of 36 months (three years) of support. To be eligible you must be:

  • a US citizen
  • enrolled full-time in good academic standing (a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale) at an Alabama Space Grant Consortium (ASGC) member university pursing any space-related field of graduate study (master's or Ph.D. level).

Once the grant is awarded you must conduct a specific faculty-mentored research project that has NASA or aerospace relevance. You cannot receive funds from any source for work other than that defined by your approved proposed research and plan of study for which the award is made (supplements to the award may be made by UAB using funds from any source, provided the amount and source are disclosed in advance). You must also complete an extramural NASA experience sometime during the fellowship year. The experience details should be worked out with your faculty advisor and the NASA lab facility where you plans to participate in a research activity. It is advisable that a NASA contact be found prior to submission of the fellowship proposal. Fellows are expected to be involved in ASGC outreach activities and submit a final report at the end of the award period.

The online application is located on the ASGC website. When applications are closed you will still be able to view a sample application form and a sanple letter of recommendation form.

Other Financial Aid Opportunities

Other financial resources available are listed on the UAB's Graduate School website:

UAB is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer committed to fostering a diverse, equitable and family-friendly environment in which all faculty and staff can excel and achieve work/life balance irrespective of race, national origin, age, genetic or family medical history, gender, faith, gender identity and expression as well as sexual orientation. UAB also encourages applications from individuals with disabilities and veterans.