The Elizabeth Stuart Fund for Graduate Education

The Elizabeth Stuart Fund

With a generous donation from an anonymous donor, the fund was created in 2022 to support Microbiology graduate student education at University of Massachusetts Amherst. We currently offer waiver of Ph.D. application fee through this fund. 

Microbiology Ph.D. Application Fee Waiver Program

Fee waiver application due: December 1. 

As part of its initiative to increase the diversity of their graduate student body, the Department of Microbiology has a number of application fee waivers it can grant to prospective PhD students who 1) have faced adversity, such as societal, economic or academic disadvantages; or 2) are first generation students and students who have been traditionally underrepresented in graduate education in microbiology. 

Applicants in the following categories may qualify for a Graduate School application fee waiver:

  • Members of the McNair Scholars Program - submit documentation as a PDF attachment to
  • Applicants who qualify for a GRE fee reduction - submit a copy of your GRE fee reduction as a PDF attachment to
  • Current Five College undergraduate students applying to a master's only program, excluding MFA programs. The fee is automatically waived, no additional documentation is necessary.
  • Current UMass graduate students enrolled in a master's program and applying for a doctoral degree in the same program.
  • Eligible domestic students from underrepresented groups who are participants of these organizations and programs.

If you may be eligible for a Graduate School application fee waiver, you must apply for it first. Do NOT apply to our fee waiver program if you qualify for a Graduate School application fee waiver

Students who are planning to apply for the Microbiology Ph.D. program and would like to be considered for a waiver are required to submit the following materials simultaneously to the Department at and to the Graduate School at Please combine the followings in the order listed below in a single pdf file. 

  • Cover sheet [link to a word file] with personal information including 150-word statement of need and names and email addresses of two recommenders
  • Personal statement
  • Resume
  • Student copy transcript

Applicants should notify their letter writers to send a copy of their letter both to the Department of Microbiology address at and to the Graduate School at The letters should be in pdf format. 

The application materials will be reviewed by the Microbiology Admissions Committee, and short-listed candidates will be interviewed by faculty and student members of the Microbiology Graduate Program. The awardees will be instructed to apply to the Microbiology Ph.D. Program using the Graduate School’s secure online application system.

Do NOT apply using the Graduate School’s secure online application system until you are instructed to do so.

Fee waiver application due: December 1.