The McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity (MGCL) at the Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH), University of Florida (UF), has limited funding for prospective students interested in earning a Master’s or Ph.D. degree from the Department of Biology, Entomology and Nematology Department, or other appropriate UF department, with a research emphasis on butterflies and moths. The MGCL typically provides Graduate Research Assistantships (stipend + tuition waiver) to students for a period of two years, contingent on continuing successful progress towards their degree, usually starting in the Fall semester. Priority is given to students seeking a Master’s degree.

The MGCL is one of the most active university-based research facilities dedicated to the study of Lepidoptera in the world, and it is also part of a large natural history museum with broad research programs spanning the diversity of life. The Center supports a large group of faculty, postdocs, graduate, and undergraduate students engaged in research and educational activities focused on Lepidoptera. Potential fields of study include conservation, ecology, evolution, genomics, physiology, and systematics, among others. Plans to make use of the MGCL’s collections as part of the candidate’s research are considered positively.

The McGuire Center values equity, accessibility, and inclusion in its research, collections, and outreach and is committed to creating a supportive community with equitable opportunities for learning and research advancement. Prospective students from diverse cultural, economic, and ethnic backgrounds and of diverse gender identities are encouraged to apply, especially those from historically marginalized communities in STEM, including but not limited to Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and LGBTQIA+.

Prospective students should identify an appropriate staff or faculty member at the McGuire Center to serve as their graduate committee supervisor, with whom they are strongly encouraged to discuss and develop their application. They will also need to fulfill the admission requirements of the appropriate department and UF’s Graduate School. Student assistantship responsibilities include assisting 14-20 hours a week in curating the MGCL’s collections, and/or helping with other research or education-related activities at the MGCL, under the supervision of our staff.

More information is available at the following links:

McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity

Entomology and Nematology Department

Biology Department

School of Natural Resources and Environment

UF Graduate school

Applicants for the McGuire Center Graduate Research Assistantship will be required to submit the following:

  1. Curriculum Vitae.
  2. Unofficial transcripts.
  3. Students whose first language is not English should provide TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores that meet UF’s requirements (550 for paper, 80 for internet; see or a clear statement (e.g., with test dates) about plans to take the TOEFL test.
  4. Names and contact details of three people who can comment on the candidate’s potential as a graduate student and researcher.
  5. A statement of no more than 2 pages describing: a) the candidate’s relevant background and expertise that will provide a foundation for the proposed research; b) research interests and ideas for potential thesis topics.

The next funding cycle will likely be for Fall 2024, with applications due in late 2023. Deadlines and more details will be posted here. Please send any questions to