Narwhals in Melville Bay

Kristin L. Laidre | Prospective Students


Information for Prospective Students 

Thank you for your interest in my research program at the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences (SAFS). As you probably imagine, I receive many e-mails each year from prospective students such as yourself inquiring about opportunities to work in our research group. I am not able to reply to them all. Students who wish to pursue opportunities in my research group should send me a well-thought out email which includes a: (1) CV and GPA; (2) statement of research experience, interests, skills, and career goals; and (3) if possible a publication or technical writing sample.

The most important component of the SAFS application process is identifying a faculty member who will sponsor your application: this is the person who will ultimately be responsible for providing you an offer (given that you meet certain admission qualifications).  You will list potential sponsors on your application. SAFS requires all incoming students have at least 4 quarters of funding guaranteed, but I typically do not like to accept any student unless I have at least 8 quarters of support arranged. This support comes from my own research grants, or a fellowship that you might have been awarded (e.g., NSF graduate research fellowship). A select number of the highest ranking SAFS applicants are typically offered scholarships/fellowships lasting two years but these are very competitive. I encourage you to apply for graduate research fellowships (NSF, EPA, NOAA Nancy Foster, SeaGrant, NPRB) before you apply to SAFS as students who have managed to secure their own funding through a fellowship or scholarship are competitive.  You can also find out more information on the program by contacting our SAFS graduate program advisor.

SAFS receives far more qualified applications than can possibly be admitted, which makes the application process exceptionally competitive. In recent years, approximately 15% of all qualified applications have been accepted. Final decisions are typically made in March. It's impossible for me to make any promises until I know the status of research grants and until I see all of the incoming graduate applications. Also, I do not accept new graduate students every year.

If, upon receiving your email, I determine we are potentially a good match then I prefer to meet potential students in person. Unfortunately, I receive far too many requests for individual meetings to accommodate all of them. I have learned to accept the fact that there are some great people out there that I’ll never get a chance to meet!

Undergraduates at UW

I serve as a SAFS undergraduate capstone advisor and interested students are welcome to contact me. I also frequently have undergraduate students from several departments on campus do an independent study or conduct undergraduate research.