External Funding

External Funding

In 2019-20, UMass graduate students were awarded over $1.5 million through competitive external grants and fellowships from funders such as the National Science Foundation, Ford Foundation, Social Science Research Council, and Mellon/American Council of Learned Societies. The Graduate School Office of Professional Development supports graduate students and postdocs in their efforts to find and apply for external funding--visit OPD's Grants & Fellowships page for more information. 

2019 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Recipients

In three of the last four years, UMass Amherst was the third leading institutional producer of National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship recipients among Massachusetts colleges and universities.  

Limited Submission Awards and Grants

Foundations and federal agencies occasionally limit the number of applications or nominations an institution may submit for a specific funding program. When a call for proposals is "limited" the Graduate School sends out a call for interest to relevant Graduate Programs. If more than the "limit" express interest, the Graduate School uses an internal selection process to determine which application(s) will be submitted to the sponsor for funding consideration.

Limited Submission Opportunities are listed below along with the internal deadlines. Those interested in a particular program must contact Heidi Bauer-Clapp by the posted internal deadline.  

If you have identified a Limited Submission Opportunity that is not posted on the list below please email Heidi Bauer-Clapp as soon as possible.

ACLS Emerging Voices Fellowship

ACLS Emerging Voices Fellowship

Open to those in the humanities and social sciences with a PhD conferred between January 1, 2018 and October 1, 2021 (must defend and file by August 15, 2021). The Fellowship supports a one-year residency at select institutions in ACLS’s Research University Consortium for the 2021-22 academic year, with the aim of promoting publicly engaged humanities.

Internal Deadline: April 12, 2021

External Deadline: May 14, 2021

Nomination process 

UMass may nominate up to four individuals; all applicants must be nominated, no independent applications will be accepted. PhD alums who received their degree no earlier than January 1, 2018 may be nominated. Any member of the graduate faculty may make a nomination, and faculty may nominate more than one individual. 

To nominate a student or alum, a member of the graduate faculty should submit the following to Heidi Bauer-Clapp (hbauerclapp@grad.umass.edu) by April 12:

  1. Nominee’s name
  2. Nominee’s department/program/field of study
  3. Date nominee’s PhD was conferred (or is expected, if still in progress)
  4. Nominees CV
  5. Nominee’s dissertation abstract
  6. Brief statement (no more than 300 words) from the nominee on the value of the humanities for non-specialist audiences

Numbers 4 and 5 should be collected from the nominee as a single PDF and attached (along with the CV) to the email. Type “ACLS Emerging Voices Fellowship Nomination” in the subject line of the email. A review committee convened by the Graduate School will select four candidates from the pool of nominees no later than April 18 and notify candidates; ACLS will then solicit a full application package from these candidates.

NIH Director's Early Independence Award

NIH Director's Early Independence Award

For graduate students in NIH-relevant fields of study who complete their doctoral degree between June 1, 2020 and September 30, 2022.

The NIH Director's Early Independence Award provides an opportunity for exceptional junior scientists to skip the traditional postdoc and start an independent research career at a supportive institution directly following the completion of their graduate degree or clinical training.

UMass may nominate up to two applicants for the NIH Director's Early Independence Award. Applicants must be nominated by the institution at which they wish to conduct independent research upon to completion of the advanced degree; current UMass graduate students who wish to conduct research with this award at another institution should apply under that institution. 

Internal Deadline: July 8, 2021

Funder Deadline: September 3, 2021

UMass's Limited Submission process requires the following materials to be submitted to Heidi Bauer-Clapp (hbauerclapp@umass.edu) by July 8: 

  1. Applicant's name
  2. Applicant's field of study 
  3. Applicant's degree program (e.g. PhD, MD) and expected completion date
  4. Applicant's CV
  5. One page, single spaced statement outlining what the applicant plans to research during the funding period and how the award will advance their career plans
  6. Statement of support from current UMass faculty member or researcher who will serve as the mentor/supervisor during the award period.

Items 1-5 should be submitted by the applicant; the statement of support should be sent directly by the faculty member/research supervisor. Please include "NIH Early Independence Award" in the email subject line. 

Consult the NIH Director's Early Independence Award FAQ for more information about eligibility and the fellowship in general. Questions on UMass's internal Limited Submission application process should be directed to Heidi Bauer-Clapp (hbauerclapp@umass.edu). 

Humanities Without Walls

Humanities Without Walls

Open to doctoral students in the humanities and humanistic social sciences interested in learning about careers outside of the academy and/or the tenure track system. Awards fund participation in a summer workshop where participants learn how to leverage their skills and training towards careers in the private sector, the non-profit world, arts administration, public media and many other fields. 

Internal Deadline: TBD for 2021 

External Deadline: TBD for 2021 (likely late October)