Students enrolling at the UWM School of Freshwater Sciences have a wide range of opportunities available to help support their studies.

Students who enroll in our undergraduate program may automatically qualify for the Chancellor’s Merit Scholarship. Awarded based on GPA, the scholarships are renewable for up to four years, as long as students remain in good academic standing at UWM. No scholarship application is required.

All School of Freshwater Sciences scholarship applications will be submitted through the Panther Scholarship Portal. Get started by logging into the portal below with the same ePantherID credentials that you use to log into your PAWS account.

Panther Scholarship Portal

School of Freshwater Sciences Student Fund Travel Awards

The School of Freshwater Sciences Student Fund Travel Awards offers partial funding to SFS master’s and doctoral students when attending events, such as conferences and workshops, hosted by an academic or professional organization related to your discipline. Such activities are an important part of your professional development, offering opportunities to establish professional networks, contacts for collaborative research, and sources of potential future employment. Funded amounts vary depending on available funding, distance, prior and current support. Awards are provided as reimbursement of expenses after the travel has been completed.

Eligibility:
You must be enrolled in a freshwater sciences graduate degree program. Applications are not accepted for events occurring after graduation.

Program Limitations:
There is a cumulative limit of $1,000 per student for each graduate degree program in which the student is enrolled.

Travel Guidelines:
Review the UWM’s guidelines for reimbursement for important information on making travel arrangements and documentation you will need for reimbursement of eligible expenses.

Students who are planning to drive personal vehicles or rental cars must be registered and authorized by UWM. See the Drivers and Vehicles website.

Awardees must comply with the state and campus travel policies and procedures. You will only be reimbursed for eligible expenses for the least-expensive method of travel, which is not necessarily by automobile.

How to apply:
Submit the application as far as possible before the event. If you are presenting at a conference, you must also seek travel support through the Graduate Student Travel Award process.

Brookby Scholarships in Water Science Literacy – $5,000

Design and implement a water outreach and education plan to serve a targeted segment of the community. This project can fulfill the professional science master’s internship requirement (or count as a one-credit independent study if the internship requirement has already been fulfilled). Review the scholarship guidelines prior to applying.

Award Information:
Two $5,000 scholarships will be awarded during the academic year. The students must be enrolled in either FRSHWTR 980 for their internship requirement or a one-credit independent study course.

Eligibility:
Current enrollment in the School of Freshwater Sciences MS Professional Science degree program.

Selection Process:
The SFS Academic Policies and Curriculum Committee and the SFS outreach coordinator (Liz Sutton) will review proposals and select scholarship recipients.

All interested applicants must meet with Liz Sutton and their advisor to discuss potential projects and opportunities. Liz will meet with you as needed to assist with your final outreach plan submission.

Deadline:
Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until both scholarships have been awarded.

Scholarship Application

Kopmeier Scholarship – $2,000

The Kopmeier family established this annual $2,000 scholarship to support one Freshwater Sciences graduate student with a water policy or human and ecosystem health focus.

Award Information:
One $2,000 scholarship will be awarded each academic year. The scholarship will be split between the fall and spring semesters upon verification of enrollment.

Eligibility:
Current enrollment in a Freshwater Sciences degree program and studying water policy or human and ecosystem health.

Kunkel Scholarship – $2,000

The Kunkel Scholarship provides a scholarship to underserved students at the university of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Rewards from this scholarship alternate annually between Freshwater Sciences and College of Letters & Sciences students.

Award Information:
One $2,000 scholarship will be awarded each academic year.  The scholarship will be split between the fall and spring semesters upon verification of enrollment.

Eligibility:
Current enrollment in a School of Freshwater Sciences degree program.

The Loescher Great Lakes Scholarship – $1,000

Michael Loescher has been involved with the study and enjoyment of freshwater since his early childhood in Wisconsin. An avid boater on the Great Lakes, he has been commissioned as a U.S. Coast Guard Captain and is passionate about the protection and study of these waters and global freshwater systems in general. He received his undergraduate degree in civil engineering from the UWM College of Engineering & Applied Science in 1991 and a master’s degree in civil engineering from Marquette University in 1999.

Linda Loescher has lived near Lake Michigan all her life. She enjoys the Great Lakes’ water and beaches. She feels strongly about their protection and sensible use. She knows the value of collegiate education and research.

By establishing both scholarship and research funds in the School of Freshwater Sciences, Michael and Linda seek to strengthen UWM’s academic and research programs relating to the protection of global freshwater.

Award Information:
One to two scholarships – totaling $1,000 – will be awarded. The scholarship will be split between the fall and spring semesters upon verification of enrollment.

Eligibility:
Current enrollment in a Freshwater Sciences degree program.

Natural Resources Technology – $1,000

Natural Resource Technology Inc., an environmental consulting firm, has a strong and growing partnership with the School of Freshwater Sciences, including participating on the school’s Professional Science Master’s Advisory Board and providing internships and employment opportunities to freshwater graduate students.

Award Information:
One $1,000 scholarship will be awarded each academic year. The scholarship will be split between the fall and spring semesters upon verification of enrollment.

Eligibility:
Current enrollment in the MS Professional Sciences Freshwater Sciences program

Vernon C. Vice Fellowship – $5,000

Beth Partleton established the Vernon C. Vice Fellowship in memory of her late husband and the lives they shared together filled with experiences on the Great Lakes. According to Partleton, “Vern and I began our married life on a boat – motoring up to Mackinaw Island to get married in the summer of 1992. Vern’s experience on the water started earlier as he was an avid boated most of his life. Some of his favorite places on the Great Lakes included the Apostle Islands in Lake Superior, Beaver Island in Lake Michigan, the North Channel in Lake Huron, and all the waters surrounding Door County.” Their boat, Escape, was truly that, a chance to escape from their cares to a beautiful, watery environment. Most summer weekends found them outdoors and on their boat. Retirement gave them even more time on the water. But Beth and Vern became aware of the problems facing the Great Lakes as well, including invasive species and the great damage caused to the ecosystem. They hoped there could be a way to improve the lakes and protect them for future generations. When Beth learned more about the School of Freshwater Sciences, she thought the school could benefit from a gift. Partleton said, “Vern and I shared the belief that investing in education can pay great dividends; investing in students at the School of Freshwater Sciences makes sense. They’ll get the education they need to help solve some of the problem with our lake waters. I am impressed that UWM is the home of this school. It’s truly unique and I think it’s essential. I’ve seen the work being done by the research students and the faculty. They are making a huge difference. Vern would have been proud to have his name associated with these efforts.”

Award Information:
One $5,000 scholarship will be awarded each academic year. The scholarship will be split between the fall and spring semesters upon verification of enrollment.

Eligibility:
Current enrollment in a School of Freshwater Sciences graduate degree program.

Watertech of America Scholarship – $2,000

Joseph and Linda Russell, owners of Watertech of America, honored the memory of Watertech’s founder, Eugene “Gene” VandenHeuvel, through the establishment of the first endowed scholarship.

Award Information:
Two to four scholarships – averaging $500-$1,000 – will be awarded for each academic year. Each scholarship will be split between the fall and spring semesters upon verification of enrollment.

Eligibility:
Current enrollment in a School of Freshwater Sciences degree program

SFS Research Assistantships

Research assistantships (RA’s) provide support for specific research projects through external grants and projects awarded to individual faculty. You are encouraged to contact faculty whose research interests align with your own.  A limited number of RA’s are available for MS thesis track and PhD students. RA’s provide recipients with a monthly stipend, tuition remission, and state-sponsored health insurance.

Learn more about research assistantships

Midwest Student Exchange Program (MSEP)

The School of Freshwater Sciences participates in the Midwest Student Exchange Program (MSEP), a multistate tuition reciprocity program. Through the MSEP, students from Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and North Dakota pay no more than 150% of the in-state resident tuition.

Other Financial Support

UWM Graduate School Fellowships

The Graduate School offers three fellowships for full-time study, each with a monthly stipend for the academic year, coverage of in-state tuition and remission of out-of-state tuition (for students who are not residents of the state of Wisconsin), and eligibility for state-sponsored health insurance. Fellowship recipients are responsible for paying segregated fees. Click here to review fellowship information.

1. Members of groups underrepresented in graduate study.
2. First-generation college graduates who were eligible for Pell Grants or considered “high financial need.”
3. Students with disabilities.

Other Graduate School Financial Support

Explore other Graduate School Financial Support opportunities including:

  • Assistantships
  • Travel Awards
  • Golda Meir Library Scholar Awards
  • External Fellowships
UWM Financial Aid
UWM Office of Research

The UWM Office of Research provides resources for external funding.

  • Finding Funding – Links to a variety of comprehensive search engines and funding alert services for federal and non-federal opportunities.
  • PIVOT Funding Database – A comprehensive database of funding opportunities available to all members of the UWM community.