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UF/IFAS Plant Breeding

UF/IFAS Plant Breeding

Financial Support

As part of their acceptance into the Plant Breeding Graduate Program (PBGP), students may be offered financial support by being appointed as graduate assistants (aka GAs) or fellows. Assistanships may originate from funds provided by state and federal governments, industry, foundations, among others or a combination of these. PBGP offers two in-house awards (PBGI and CALS Dean's Award). Assistantships may also be funded via grant funds controlled by a PBGP faculty member.  

PBGP in-house funding

  • Plant Breeding Graduate Initiative (PBGI)
    • This award annually funds three to four graduate assistantships (stipend and tuition for 4 years) for highly qualified students with an interest in cultivar development. Funding for these scholarships is generously provided by the UF/IFAS Plant Breeding Working Group (PBWG) and UF/IFAS Dean for Research. The PBGI awards are only considered for students seeking admission in the fall semesters. PBGI programs are expected to be transdisciplinary and are designed to expose students to the use of novel approaches focused on germplasm improvement and cultivar release. PBGI awards are granted directly to PBGP faculty who will then identify, screen, interview and nominate qualified applicants to the PBGP Admission Committee. This committee will further review the applicant's qualifications and, if appropriate, make an admission offer to the PBGP.
  • CALS Dean's Award
    • This award provided by the CALS Dean's Office offers one graduate assistantship (stipend and tuition for 4 years) to our most competitive, top-qualified applicant. Top applicants will be selected by the Admission Committee and must have identified a program/faculty that they will join. In addition to meeting the general admission criteria, the successful CALS Dean's Award recipient should have:
      • A master's degree in an appropriate field (plant breeding or closely-related biological sciences area)
      • Publication(s)
      • Good grades in relevant plant breeding-related courses
      • Outstanding Statement of Purpose
      • Outstanding Letters of Recommendation
      • Excellent communication skills

PBGP faculty funding

  • Graduate Assistantships (GAs)
    • Asistantships may also be funded through grant funds awarded to specific plant breeding faculty members. Interested students should ask faculty about their availability of funds for GAs. Applicants must meet PBGP admission requirements and demonstrate clear evidence of superior ability and promise. These GAs are administered by the faculty member who is also responsible for identifying, interviewing, and nominating the most competitive candidate(s) to the PBGP Admission Committee. This committee will further review the applicant's qualifications and, if appropriate, offer admission to the PBGP.

Note: Most appointments funded by the PBGP are treated as GAs. Graduate assistantships are jobs and students have part-time research duties as specified in their letters of appointment. Students appointed as graduate assistants must:

    • Register for exactly 9 credits in fall, 9 credits in spring and 6 credits in summer semesters
    • Maintain an overal GPA of 3.0 or higher
    • Make progress toward degree, as determined by major advisor and committee
    • Make progress in the research program, as determined by major advisor and commitee

Other funding 

Financial aid for graduate students is also available from a number of other sources at the University of Florida: