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The Department of Earth and Space Sciences is deeply committed to providing financial support for our students whenever possible. Thanks to the generosity of alumni, corporations, regional organizations, and individuals, the department allocates more than $200,000 annually in scholarships, fellowships, and awards to our undergraduate and graduate majors.

Undergraduate Awards

Earth and Space Sciences awards and scholarships are available for declared majors who are enrolled at the UW. To be eligible, students must show demonstrated financial need and/or merit. Awards vary in amount from $150 to full in-state tuition for 3 quarters. The awards are disbursed as tuition scholarships, research and field course support, and recognition for excellence in academic achievement and outstanding service. Each year in March, a call for applications is extended to department majors. The application deadline, usually early April, is posted on the department web site.

Please note, to be eligible for ESS Scholarships it is essential that an application be submitted.

Graduate Awards

Department awards for graduate students fall under two broad categories; fellowships and awards, and research support funds.

Fellowships and Awards

For research graduate students, department fellowships include the Howard A. Coombs Fellowship for Teaching Excellence, several fellowships for ongoing research and field study, and the David A. Johnston Memorial Awards for Research Excellence. Students in the MESSAGe Program are eligible for awards from the Wilbert Danner Fund.

The application process requires a letter of application, letters of support from faculty, and in the case of the Teaching Excellence fellowship, letters of support from students and a summary of teaching evaluations.

Research Support Funds

Earth and Space Sciences Graduate Research Support Awards are intended to support graduate student research expenses during the summer field season and the following academic year. Because funds are limited and may only cover part of the direct expenses for a typical research project, graduate students are expected to apply for funding from outside sources as well. It is important to note that there is a separate application form for Research Support Funds, requiring a research proposal and projected budget.

Recipients of these funds will have a department research account established on their behalf. There are restrictions on how the money may be used. Equipment purchased with these funds usually becomes Department property and must be returned to the department for the benefit of future students. These funds may not be applied towards tuition and fees.

Awards Ceremony

The awards ceremony is an opportunity for the department to recognize outstanding students, both undergraduate and graduate, for their excellence in academics, leadership, and research. It is also an opportunity for ESS faculty, staff, and students to interact and socialize with our ESS community outside of those who regularly come to campus. It is an uplifting way to begin the wrap-up of the academic year and celebrate our students.

You can view photos of our past ceremonies by visiting the ESS Awards Page