How to Apply

[**Note: Only citizens or nationals of the United States can apply, according to USDA guidelines.]

A graduate fellowship is available for a qualified student to pursue a Ph.D. degree in the area of forest restoration ecology and management through the Department of Biology at the University of Mississippi.  The participating student would have several unique and exciting opportunities, including participation in collaborative research on forest restoration and fire ecology in northern Mississippi; coursework in forest restoration ecology, research methods, and professional development; supported travel to meetings, and an internship with a restoration project in another country.  The student’s project will focus on some aspect of plant ecology under the direction of project director, Dr. Steve Brewer, but will have the opportunity to interact and collaborate with the other project directors, Jason Hoeksema, Colin Jackson, and Brice Noonan, whose research interests include: belowground processes and soil microorganisms (Jackson & Hoeksema) and forest amphibians (Noonan). Collaborative research across more than one research topic is encouraged. The student will receive generous stipend support for one and a half years and a waiver of graduate tuition through a United States Department of Agriculture graduate training fellowship. With satisfactory progress toward the degree, additional support through teaching assistantships or research assistantships will also be available until completion of the degree. Fellowships are only available to U.S. citizens and nationals. Additional information about the faculty, and about the Department of Biology in general, can be found at the Department of Biology website:

The application process has two steps, both of which should be completed as soon as possible:

First, apply online to the Graduate School along with the required application fee. Applicants who have not paid application fees will not be considered for admission in the Department of Biology. The Graduate School requires: Official transcripts for all undergraduate/graduate work, and GRE results. Address below:
The UM Graduate School
The Graduate House
Old P.R. Building
P.O. Box 1848
University, MS 38677
Phone: 662.915.7474
Fax: 662.915.6557
You can check on your application status at this website:

Second, the Department of Biology requires the following additional material.  It can also be submitted on line with the Graduate School application:

  • Area of interest within Biology (ecology, botany, physiology, fisheries, etc.).  Fill in the blank of the on-line form.
  • A typewritten statement of your research interests and career goals (statement of purpose). **This statement must indicate your interest in a USDA Fellowship in Forest Restoration, working under the direction of Dr. Brewer.
  • At least two letters of recommendation (these should be sent directly from the recommenders). You indicate the email address and name of the person, and they make the recommendation on line.
  • Should you need to submit additional materials to the Biology Department, the address is below:
    Chair of Graduate Studies
    University of Mississippi
    Department of Biology
    P.O. Box 1848
    University, MS 38677-1848

    Please address general questions about the program to Dr. Steve Brewer: jbrewer at, 662-915-1077.