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Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need


We are pleased to announce that the Department of Environmental Sciences at Rutgers University has recently been awarded four Graduate Assistantships in Areas of National Need (GAANN) from the US Department of Education.

Welcome! On this page, you will find all the information you need to apply for the GAANN fellowships. If you have any questions or just want to discuss the program, contact Professor Lisa Rodenburg at

What does the GAANN fellowship give me?

Fellowships will cover up to three years of stipend (up to $34,000/year), tuition, and fees. Subject to satisfactory academic performance, students will be supported until they receive their Ph.D. The amount of the stipend depends on your financial need, as determined by the FAFSA, but most students receive the full amount. GAANN fellows will also be eligible to apply for departmental grants to pay for things like computers and travel to conferences.

What can I study under this fellowship?

These fellowships are for the Environmental Sciences Graduate Program, which covers a broad range of environmental issues, including Soil Science, Environmental Chemistry and Microbiology, Environmental Engineering, GIScience, Climate Change, Sustainability, and Exposure Science, among many other topics. See here for a list of focus areas within the graduate program, and keep in mind, even this list is incomplete.

Who can apply?

Current and prospective PhD students can apply. Students must be US citizens or permanent residents. All applicants to the Graduate Program in Environmental Sciences will be considered for the GAANN, as well as for any other available funding. Applicants can come from a broad range of undergraduate majors, but should have completed organic chemistry and calculus.

When should I apply?

The deadline for applications to enroll in fall of 2022 is January 15, 2022, but we encourage you to apply before that deadline if possible. In accordance with a new policy at Rutgers, the deadline will be moved up to December 15 for subsequent years.

How do I apply?

Applying for the GAANN fellowships means two things: 1. Applying for the Environmental Science PhD program, and 2. Filling out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

When you are ready, apply for the Environmental Science PhD program here. Make sure you select the Environmental Science PhD program in New Brunswick! There is a similar program at Rutgers Newark, but they are not included in the GAANN program.

Applications to the Environmental Science PhD program will include your transcript(s), three letters of recommendation, your resume or CV, and a personal statement. Your personal statement should describe your background and any relevant experience (such as research or internships that you have performed). It should also describe what area(s) of Environmental Science you want to study and name some specific professors in our program that you would like to work with. Also, your personal statement should address the following areas:

  • Academic preparedness
  • Research experience
  • Commitment to graduate school
  • Leadership
  • Commitment to diversity
  • Resilience and adaptability

Do I have to take the GRE?

No. The Graduate Program in Environmental Sciences no longer requires the GRE for admission.