Division of Nutritional Sciences

Assistantships, Fellowships & Training Grants

Over 95% of the graduate students in DNS receive some form of financial support for their graduate studies.  Nutritional Sciences graduate students commonly are supported by one or more of the sources of funding listed below during their graduate career. Tuition is waived for students who receive qualifying scholarships, fellowships and assistantships.

Research Assistantships

Research Assistantships (RA) provided by the research grants of a DNS student’s faculty advisor provide the primary source of funding for nutritional sciences graduate students. These funds usually are directly tied to the student's research project; however, some students may receive payment for assisting with research grants that are not a direct component of their dissertation research.

Teaching Assistantships

Nutritional Sciences graduate students are strongly encouraged to obtain teaching experience during their graduate career. While the Division does not currently offer any teaching assistantships (TA), many other TA opportunities are available through our participating departments (e.g. Animal Sciences, Crop Sciences, and Food Science and Human Nutrition) or in other departments on campus (e.g. Chemistry, Molecular and Integrative Physiology, Cell and Developmental Biology).  For a list of courses DNS students most frequently TA, click here.

Fellowships and Scholarships

The Division of Nutritional Sciences offers outstanding fellowship opportunities to qualified candidates.  Each year we offer a number of Jonathan Baldwin Turner Fellowships through the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. And as part of a $1 million endowment from Kraft, we have established the Kraft Foods Human Nutrition Fellowship Program. These fellowships are part of our effort to increase diversity in the Division and are reserved for under-represented minority applicants who are US citizens. Click here to learn about our current and previous Kraft Foods Fellows. 

Many Nutritional Sciences graduate students receive fellowships and scholarships from the University of Illinois, the UIUC Graduate College and the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. In addition, Nutritional Sciences graduate students successfully compete at the national level for prestigious fellowships from professional scientific societies (e.g. American Society for Nutrition, American Society of Animal Science, Society of Toxicology) or funding agencies such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) or the National Science Foundation (NSF). 

Training Grants

Predoctoral fellowships are available on Training Grants from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for qualified students.

USDA National Needs Training Grants

This program awards grants to train students for master's and/or doctoral degrees and provides additional postdoctoral training for Fellows who have completed their doctoral degrees at colleges and universities that have demonstrable teaching and research competencies in the food and agricultural sciences. Grants specifically are intended to support fellowship programs that encourage outstanding students to pursue and complete their degrees or obtain postdoctoral training in areas where there is a national need for the development of scientific and professional expertise. Past National Needs Training Grant on the topic of Macronutrient Metabolism and Soy and Human Health have been completed. Currently, the Division holds a USDA National Needs Training Grant on the following topic:

Illinois Transdisciplinary Obesity Prevention Program

The Division was recently awarded a $4.5 million grant through the USDA’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to establish the Illinois Transdisciplinary Obesity Prevention Program (I-TOPP), an innovative research-based PhD/MPH degree program focused on childhood obesity prevention.  This new degree program will integrate nutrition, physical activity, public health science, child development and family studies, economics and public health practice fields.  The I-TOPP program is directed by former DNS Director, Dr. Sharon Donovan.

NIH Institutional National Research Service Award (NRSA) Training Grant

The NIH Institutional National Research Service Award (NRSA) Training Grant focuses on the topic of Inflammation and Nutritional Dysfunction.