ʻIke Wai Graduate Scholars Program

The ‘Ike Wai Graduate Scholarship Program was created to develop a diverse workforce to ensure a sustainable future for Hawai‘i’s water supply. The program will create the next generation of leaders to address Hawai‘i’s water challenges by supporting outstanding graduate students. So that we can build a diverse workforce, we welcome applications from all qualified individuals. Hawai‘i residents, women, under-represented minorities, veterans and people with disabilities are particularly encouraged to apply.


  • Full-time graduate student at University of Hawai‘i at the time of appointment;
  • Pursuing research-based master or doctoral degree in an ‘Ike Wai research focus area (geoscience, data science, engineering, social science, or Hawaiian language); and
  • Research project directly relates to ‘Ike Wai, and is supervised by an ‘Ike Wai faculty member.

Remuneration & Benefits

‘Ike Wai Scholars will be hired as graduate research assistants at an annual salary of $29,148 (Step 15). Scholarships will be awarded for two years, with the second year contingent on satisfactory performance during the first year. All appointments are 11 month/year and come with a full tuition waiver (does not include waiver of student fees).

With a primary faculty advisor in one ‘Ike Wai research focus area, Scholars will participate in activities across disciplines in order to develop a comprehensive understanding of the project as a whole. Scholars will be eligible to attend science team meetings and apply for internal funds to fund their research and professional development activities (such as attending professional meetings).

Program Requirements

All ‘Ike Wai Scholars will be expected to work 20 hours per week.  Approximately 80% of this time will be spent in an ʻIke Wai research laboratory.  The remaining 20% will be devoted to educational and training activities to ensure the student emerges from the program as a well-rounded professional. All Scholars are required to:

  • Disseminate research results to both the scientific community and lay audiences
  • Participate in ‘Ike Wai Mentoring Cascade both as Mentor (e.g., to an undergraduate student) and Mentee
  • Attend all ‘Ike Wai professional development activities to ensure a basic level of mastery of key skill sets, such as leadership, communication, pedagogy, and mentoring
  • Create an Individual Development Plan to guide your research and career development within 60 days of appointment.
  • Apply for a minimum of two graduate fellowships (must include NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, if eligible)

How to apply

A complete application package includes:

  • Copy of application materials submitted to a relevant graduate program at the University of Hawai‘i
  • Brief statement of proposed research, including how the proposed research aligns with ‘Ike Wai research goals (maximum: 250 words)
  • One confidential letter of support from an ‘Ike Wai faculty member who is willing to serve as your interim advisor

All materials should be emailed to Dr. Barbara Bruno,‘Ike Wai Education Director (barb@hawaii.edu) by the deadline date.  Letter of support must be submitted directly by the referee.

Schedule: Applications are due on 1st February 2019 for Fall 2019 admission.  For off cycle applications, contact the‘Ike Wai Education Director.