Teaching Appointments and Funding Opportunities

The information on this site is a brief overview of financial aid opportunities for graduate students. More detailed information is available at the Graduate Division's website. Some opportunities are only available to incoming students. Teaching appointments as Graduate Student Instructor or Reader, and Anthropology Block Grants are available for both incoming and continuing students. Students who advance to candidacy within six semesters receive the Dean's Normative Time Fellowship. Students completing the dissertation can apply for Dissertation Year Fellowships. During the course of their career, Anthropology students are also eligible for research funding, including funding for conference travel from the Lowie-Olsen fund. In order to be awarded university funding, the student must be registered during the term for which funding is provided. While this section describes resources available through the department of anthropology, many students receive grants for research, fellowships, or teaching appointments from other departments or research centers on campus.

Teaching appointments

Applications for teaching appointments are posted in early spring, based on projected teaching for the following year, and may be downloaded. An announcement of the availability of application is circulated on departmental graduate email listserv. When necessary, new solicitations for applications may be posted near the beginning of a semester to fill newly open positions. Applications are made available at the same time for GSI and Reader positions. Any teaching appointment made at 25% time or higher includes remission of most fees. Teaching appointments do not include remission of non-resident tuition.

Graduate Student Instructors

All graduate students are eligible to apply to teach discussion or laboratory sections taught as part of select courses taught by a permanent or visiting faculty member. Faculty members cannot offer guarantees of employment. A valid application must be made by the posted deadline. The names of all eligible applicants are circulated to teaching faculty for them to nominate a single GSI. If a course has more than one GSI position, the department assigns additional GSI positions according to established priorities, to fulfill terms of departmental graduate support. In exceptional cases, the first choice of a faculty member may not be offered a position.

GSI positions provide a salary, which varies depending on the percentage of a full-time teaching position represented, normally from a minimum of 25% time (170 hours per semester, an average of 10 hours per week) to a maximum of 50% time (340 hours per 17 week semester, an average of 20 hours per week). Students who have fellowships providing stipends of $8,500.00 or greater are normally allowed to combine their fellowship with limited GSI teaching, either one semester at 50% or two semesters at 25% each. The main exception is the Dean's Normative Time Fellowship the Dean's which may be supplemented by a single one-semester teaching appointment for no greater than 25 percent time.

All first time GSIs are required to enroll in or have previously completed Anthropology 300, a seminar in teaching in anthropology offered each fall semester, and must also attend the university GSI Conference in fall or spring, and complete the online course on Ethics within the first weeks of the semester. The GSI salary scale varies with experience, starting with Step I (up to four semesters of university teaching experience) and advancing to Step 2 (for two more semesters) and finally Step 3. Graduate Division rules state that no student may teach more than twelve semesters.


The department assigns graduate students to assist in grading in courses that meet an established threshold for enrollment and do not have assigned GSIs. While instructors normally can designate who they would like to employ, they cannot guarantee employment. Prospective Readers must apply by the posted deadline and must be eligible for department support and meet priority guidelines.

Reader positions are paid on the basis of monthly timesheets which must be accurate day by day accounting of hours worked, and must be signed by the supervising instructor and turned in to designated staff by posted deadlines. Expected Reader time percentages are projected based on course enrollment. Readers are required to attend lectures, for which they are paid, and must hold limited office hours when graded work is returned to consult with students. These "fixed hours" make up 50 hours of a reader appointment. The department expects readers to spend an average of 2.5 hours per student doing grading over the course of a semester.

Anthropology Block Grant

Each year the anthropology department is given funding to distribute to continuing and incoming graduate students to pay non-resident tuition (typically for entering students for one year only), in-state fees, and stipends. Priority is given to students who are within total normative time (12 semesters) and who pass the Qualifying Exam within the first six semesters. Applications for block grant funding are available for download in early spring of each year, for grants for the following year.

Doctoral Completion Fellowship

This optional two-semester fellowship pays fees and a stipend for students who advance to candidacy for the PhD within six semesters. It is intended to encourage progress toward completion of the PhD within normative time plus one year.  This means that students may use this fellowship at any time between advancement to candidacy and their seventh year, if need be.  A complete Academic Progress Report is required for a student to be eligible for this fellowship.  It does not cover nonresident tuition.  If a student chooses to use this fellowship, no campus support will be available after the seventh year in the program. 

Dissertation Year Fellowships

The UC Dissertation Year Fellowship is a diversity fellowship awarded to selected students nominated by the Anthropology Department to the Graduate Fellowships Office. A call for applications is circulated in the spring and students present applications to the department for ranking and consideration for nominations for these awards.

Lowie-Olson Funds

The department administers the Lowie and Olson Endowments. These provide funds for specific research travel or other eligible expenses, including conference travel. Each student is limited to a maximum of $3,000.00 from these funds throughout his or her graduate career. A call for applications is circulated twice a year, in fall and spring, via email.

Incoming students

On admission, the department nominates selected students for competitive university fellowships, including the Berkeley Fellowship, Regents Fellowship, Chancellor's Opportunity Fellowship, and Cota Robles Fellowship. Nominations are based on information provided in the standard Berkeley application for admission. These fellowships provide two years of fees and stipend, and non-resident tuition in the first year, and a commitment of two more years of department funding. The department also nominates students for other fellowships, such as the FLAS, based on the information in the application.