Student Financial Resources
- Health Insurance: graduate students are covered by a combination of Campus Health Services and Student Blue RA/TA plan. Read this flyer [pdf] for a quick overview of how the two work together. For information about what the Student Blue plan covers, and for information on adding dependents, visit the BCBS Student Blue page.
- Emergency Funds: Dean of Students Emergency Fund and the GPSG Emergency Fund
- Funding Opportunities
- Stipend and Tax information from The Graduate School
- Veterans Benefits: contact Jan Benjamin, UNC’s VA Certifying Official (email@example.com)
- Personal Finance for PhDs: a blog and several reasonably priced ebooks about managing finances while on a graduate student stipend
- Travel funds: GPSG and opportunities in funding databases from the UNC Graduate School
One of the more common funding sources that our students apply to is the NIH NRSA F31 Predoctoral Fellowship. TIBBS has example applications on their website for students to use.
Depending on their field of study, many students can also apply to the NSF GRFP for funding, and TIBBS has examples of those applications as well. Each year, TIBBS will host F31 and NSF application preparation workshops, so be sure to subscribe to their email list. Also be sure to check out this video from the NIH about NRSA Fellowships.
Download boilerplate descriptions for your fellowship applications:
- BBSP description
- RCR training
- Rigor & reproducibility training
- Diversity boilerplate
- IDP resources at UNC (short)
- IDP resources at UNC (long)
- OGE faculty mentor training
How Grad Students Are Paid at UNC
Starting with the 2021-22 academic year, UNC shifted some graduate student funding sources to the Financial Aid system. If a student is on a T32 training grant, Gilliam Fellowship, or NSF GRFP, all of their stipend from that grant will be paid through Financial Aid. Any additional funds to reach the BBSP-recommended funding level will be paid through the HR Payroll system.
Students can receive tax information and advice from these resources:
- UNC School of Law hosts a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program to help with taxes
- Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Topic No. 421 provides the policy about taxability of scholarships, fellowship grants, and other grants
- Internal Revenue Service (IRS) publication 970 provides the policy for tax benefits for education
- University Cashier has detailed information on forms issued by their office, such as form 1098-T
- UNC Payroll Services has information on payroll taxes and forms, such as W-2, W-4, and NC-4
UNC has multiple funding databases that you can search for opportunities that fit your research interests and career level.
BBSP and our partner PhD programs select students and their mentors who will apply for the HHMI Gilliam Fellowships. We send out calls for applications in September of each year.
Funding opportunities for international students (who are neither US citizens nor permanent residents), can be more limited due to constraints from federal agencies. Students’ faculty mentors should be aware of these constraints when they admit international students to their lab. Here are some funding options that may be more available to international students:
- Private foundations, such as
- American Heart Association (see example applications on the TIBBS website)
- Professional associations, such as
- Funding opportunities from the student’s country of origin
- Check out this list compiled by Carmen Falcone, a postdoc at UC-Davis