INFORMATION FOR PROSPECTIVE GRADUATE STUDENTS
Thank you for your interest in our laboratory. From time to time, we accept Master's and PhD students with strong quantitative and programming skills. Currently, we are only accepting students who have their own research funding secured via grants or scholarships (see below for resources). This page will provide you with all the important information regarding our program as well as the philosophy of our laboratory. Please read the following before contacting us.
Applying to graduate school is not a trivial process. While we welcome students from all over the world, please make sure to understand that a PhD in the US is at least a five year commitment. Our laboratory is located at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, which is a research unit and not a department. Your application will therefore most likely be in one of the following graduate departments:
All of these departments accept students once a year and their graduate programs are extremely competitive, students with funding sources already secured (see below) are usually ranked higher in the review process. Application are due in December, admissions are announced typically in April and school starts in August. Please check each website for specific dates. While you will apply to a specific program, keep in mind that your application and all the required documentation will go through the Graduate Division at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Some of the requirements include TOEFL scores for foreign students, potential GRE scores, official transcripts, and letters of recommendation. Incomplete applications will not be considered by graduate division. Please check with Graduate Division for current requirements. DO NOT wait until the last minute to apply or contact us! All the programs at the University of Hawaii are extremely competitive and professors usually welcome one or two students a year. Studying marine mammals is also a very competitive field, we usually receive more requests from students than we can realistically accommodate.
While each department and graduate division have specific requirements, here at MMRP we are also looking for students with a strong background in ecology, population studies, statistics, acoustics, field experience as well as programming (Matlab, R) and unoccupied aerial system (UAS, drone) training.
More generally, we are looking for students who will integrate well in the lab. We all work together and assist each other on a variety of projects. You will be joining a team and we want to ensure that your work philosophy is a good fit for us. We promote strong collaborative effort, sound science and innovative thinking. We love what we do and we enjoy doing it ! Positive attitude, openness and thrive to learn are essential values in our program. We expect our students to be pro-active, your advisor will provide mentorship but you are expected to ensure you are making progress and keeping up with the UH requirements for your degree.
There are also a few additional things to consider when you are applying for graduate school. Students will usually work part-time as a teaching assistant (TA) or research assistant (RA). Both RA and TA may or may not be related to your area of research. These two options require 20 hours weekly workload and provide a tuition waiver and health insurance. We cannot guarantee that you will be offered a TA or GA when you apply and we strongly suggest you look into joining the program with your own funding. Funding opportunities include, but are not limited to, NSF GRFP, EPA, Dr Nancy Foster Scholarship Program, Fulbright (if you are a foreign student), NDSEG, East West Center or Gates Millennium Scholars Program.
If you are a non-US citizen, please make sure to look at all the requirements the University of Hawaii has for foreigners that includes taking the TOEFL exams, having your transcripts translated and applying for a visa.
Similarly, if you are a recent graduate and are looking for a post-doctoral position, consider applying for your own funding as we may not have secured funding yet.
If you think MMRP is the place for you, please visit our members page to contact us directly !