UM BRIDGES trainees are selected on a competitive basis following the guidelines and process listed below. In addition to world-class training opportunities, the UM BRIDGES program offers financial support for trainees to help cover research-related travel and supplies, as well as internship-related expenses. UM BRIDGES reviews prospective trainee applications after two deadlines: May 15 and August 1.
A limited number of fellowships will be available to trainees, providing cost-of-living stipends ($34K per year) and tuition assistance. These fellowships are awarded by individual faculty members through a separate process from the trainee application (see below).
Prospective trainees need to apply by either of the two review deadlines: June 1 or August 1 in the year in which they wish to begin the traineeship during the fall semester. Prospective trainees interested in a fellowship need to begin talking with potential advisors early, 9-12 months before they hope to begin the traineeship, and all fellowships have generally been awarded for the upcoming fall semester by March.
Fellowships will not be available for all trainees, and prospective trainees are encouraged to discuss the details of financial support from UM BRIDGES and other sources with potential advisors, as each faculty member will have the ability to offer different levels and number of years of financial support for graduate students. Native American, Alaskan Native, and Native Hawaiian students are eligible for additional support through the Sloan Indigenous Graduate Partnership.
To be eligible to join UM BRIDGES as a trainee, a student must:
- be in enrolled in or admitted to a STEM graduate program at the University of Montana (or have completed a STEM degree already). STEM includes biological, physical, social, and computer sciences, and economics, engineering, and math.
- be in good academic standing.
- plan to conduct research at the food-energy-water nexus (i.e., research on interactions between at least two of the three nexus areas).
- understand and commit to completing program requirements.
- have a faculty advisor who is willing to support the student’s participation in the program. The advisor must be in a STEM department/program, but does *not* need to be a faculty member affiliated with the UM BRIDGES program.
- become a trainee in the fall of their first or second year of graduate studies (if they are joining the program in their second year, they must demonstrate that they can meet program requirements before graduation).
Additional Eligibility Criteria for Trainees Receiving Fellowships
Individual BRIDGES faculty members may also offer fellowships to incoming students. These students must meet the trainee eligibility requirements, above, and also must:
- be a US citizen.
- be enrolled in or admitted to a STEM graduate program at the University of Montana. STEM includes biological, physical, social, and computer sciences, and economics, engineering, and math. Fellowship recipients must pursue a research-based thesis or dissertation during their graduate studies.
- become a trainee in the fall of their first year of graduate studies. PhD fellows may join the program in their second year if they can demonstrate that they can meet program requirements before graduation.
How to Apply
Apply to the UM BRIDGES Traineeship
Trainee applications will be reviewed after two deadlines: May 15 and August 1 of the year the student seeks to start as a trainee. Limited space is available, and If all traineeship slots are full after the May 15 review, we will post a notice on our website.
All trainees must begin the program in the fall. BRIDGES will respond to all applicants, and awards will be made before the start of the fall semester. UM BRIDGES fellowships (a limited number) are awarded through a separate process (see below, and no application to UM BRIDGES is required).
To apply to be a UM BRIDGES trainee:
- Review the Training and FAQs pages of this website.
- Ensure you meet the trainee eligibility requirements listed above.
- If you are an already-enrolled first year graduate student at UM, skip to number 5, below. If not, identify and contact a specific STEM graduate program or faculty member with whom you wish to study. Potential STEM degree programs include Geosciences, Economics, Resource Conservation, Wildlife Biology, Environmental Studies, Systems Ecology, Forest and Conservation Sciences, Forestry, Computer Science, Biology, Geography, and Parks, Tourism, and Recreation Management, among others. All prospective graduate students are encouraged to contact potential faculty advisors early and discuss graduate funding resources and opportunities. Your faculty advisor does not necessarily need to be affiliated with the UM BRIDGES training program.
- Apply and be accepted to your preferred graduate degree program through the UM Graduate School application process. Note that different departments have different application deadlines (they are listed on departments' websites). In general, many departments require applications to be submitted by January 15 or January 31, although some will accept applications up to 2 months prior to planned enrollment.
- Once accepted, submit the Trainee Application Form, below.
- Applicants must also have their faculty advisor submit the Faculty Support Form, below. Applications will not be reviewed until both the student and faculty forms are received.
Information about the UM BRIDGES Fellowship
All UM BRIDGES fellowships are awarded by individual UM BRIDGES faculty members, and are generally awarded by spring (generally January-March) in the year that a student is to begin the training program in the fall. All trainees must start the program in the fall semester.
Students interested in being a trainee and hoping to win a fellowship should contact potential advisors that share their research and disciplinary interests from the UM BRIDGES faculty list 9-12 months before they hope to start the traineeship.
For prospective students interested in a fellowship, we recommend:
- Review the Training and FAQs pages of this website.
- Ensure you meet the the eligibility requirements for both the traineeship and fellowship, above.
- Identify and contact a potential faculty advisor, affiliated with the UM BRIDGES program*, in your area of interest and within the department you wish to pursue your graduate studies. Indicate that you wish to be considered for a UM BRIDGES fellowship. The UM BRIDGES program does not distribute fellowships to students, individual faculty members associated with UM BRIDGES do.
- If you are offered the fellowship, you will still need to apply to the appropriate graduate degree program through the UM Graduate School application process, which includes submitting information to both the UM Graduate School and your specific department. Note that different departments have different graduate application deadlines (they are listed on departments' websites). In general, many departments require applications to be submitted by January 15 or January 31, although some will accept applications up to 2 months prior to planned enrollment.
- Students receiving fellowships are automatically enrolled in the UM BRIDGES traineeship, and do not need to fill out the trainee application form unless requested to do so later.
If you are not awarded a fellowship, you may still apply to UM BRIDGES as a trainee. See "How to Apply to the UM BRIDGES Traineeship", above. All prospective graduate students are encouraged to contact potential faculty advisors early and discuss graduate funding resources and opportunities.