Grants & Fellowships
Competitive external grants and fellowships provide valuable financial support, and the prestige associated with these awards can boost the career of graduate students and postdocs. Events offered by OPD teach graduate students and postdocs tips and tools to strategically search for relevant funding and help participants craft competitive, cohesive funding proposals.
"Going through the preparation of writing a good grant application always forces you to become more acquainted with your own research, either by finding new sources or thinking of new questions while you’re writing down your thoughts. It also improved the quality of my communication and I can now talk to people inside and outside of my field with much greater ease."
– Luis Aguirre (PhD candidate, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology)
There are several searchable databases to help you find external funding opportunities. Spend some time experimenting with these databases, as each has various strengths and weaknesses. If your first search isn’t successful, try altering your search parameters, then try the same search using one of the other databases on this list.
- The Fellowship Finder from the University of Illinois is a great general-purpose tool. Funding opportunities are specific to graduate students and post doctoral students and you can filter results by citizenship status. Disciplinary categories are quite broad so use keywords or filters strategically to narrow your search results.
- The UCLA Graduate & Postdoctoral Extramural Support database is particularly useful when searching for post doctoral student funding. This database also includes a wide range of disciplines/fields, and you can filter results by citizenship status.
Some of the most common graduate and post doctoral student external funding opportunities are listed below, organized by month of deadline.
hbauerclapp [at] grad [dot] umass [dot] edu (Contact us for more information) on OPD’s Grants and Fellowships workshops and assistance.
Common External Funding Opportunities
Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship Program
Provides an $9,000 stipend for 12 weeks of work at an Academy in Washington, DC, to learn more about policy or other non-academic work in STEM fields.
Fannie and John Hertz Foundation Fellowships
Support promising young scientists, engineers and mathematicians conducting applied work for the benefit of humanity.
Fulbright U.S. Student Program
For independent international research; UMass has an internal deadline.
National Academy of Education/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship Program
Provides a $27,000 stipend for one year to support data analysis and dissertation writing for graduate students conducting research related to education.
National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)
Provides up to three years of support for social science and STEM graduate students who have not completed more than one year of graduate study at the time of application.
Institute for Citizens and Scholars Dissertation Fellowship in Women’s Studies
Provides $5,000 to support the final year of dissertation writing for Ph.D. candidates in the humanities and social sciences whose work addresses topics of women and gender in interdisciplinary and original ways.
American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science & Technology Policy Fellowships
Science & Technology Policy Fellowships provide the opportunity for accomplished scientists and engineers to participate in and contribute to the federal policymaking process while learning firsthand about the intersection of science and policy.
American Association of University Women: American Dissertation Fellowship
Provide support for final year of dissertation writing for women U.S. citizens who are actively committed to helping women and girls.
American Association of University Women (AAUW) International Fellowship
International Fellowships are awarded for full-time study or research in the United States to women who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship
The Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships are designed to encourage original and significant study of ethical or religious values in all fields of the humanities and social sciences.
Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Innovation Fellowship
Designed to support emerging scholars as they pursue bold an innovative research in the humanities and select social science disciplines.
Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans
Provides support for up to two years of graduate study for immigrants or children of immigrants pursuing graduate education at a U.S. institution.
Provides $10,000 Fellowships to highly talented graduate students in New England and California whose studies and career goals are directed toward environmental improvement and who clearly demonstrate leadership in their field.
Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship
Provides support for graduate students in the final year of writing and defense of the dissertation. Ideal for graduate students committed to a career in teaching and research at the college or university level and who are prepared to use diversity as an educational resource.
Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship
Provides one year of support to recent PhD recipients who are committed to a career in teaching and research at the college or university level and who are prepared to use diversity as an educational resource.
Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship
Provide up to three years of support for graduate students committed to a career in teaching and research at the college or university level and who are prepared to use diversity as an educational resource.
National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship Program
Provides three years of funding for U.S. citizens conducting STEM research of interest to the Department of Defense.
P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship
Provides funding to women who are non-US citizens enrolled in graduate study in the U.S. or Canada.
Provide funding to support study of less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests, and underrepresented in study abroad. Fellowship recipients commit to working in the federal government for one year after graduation.
Chateaubriand Fellowship in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics & Health
The Chateaubriand Fellowship in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics & Health for doctoral students aims to initiate or reinforce collaborations, partnerships or joint projects between French and American research teams. The Chateaubriand Fellowship supports PhD students registered in an American university who wish to conduct part of their doctoral research in a French laboratory.
Chateaubriand Fellowship in Humanities & Social Sciences
The Chateaubriand Fellowship in Humanities & Social Sciences supports outstanding Ph.D. students from American universities who seek to engage in research in France, in any discipline of the humanities and social sciences.
Penn Fellowships for Excellence Through Diversity
The Fellowship provides a stipend, health insurance, library privileges, and a research and travel fund. These awards are designed to provide mentorship and access to Penn’s resources for doctoral students in the humanities or social sciences, enrolled at universities other than Penn, as they complete their dissertations.
Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad
Provides grants for doctoral study in areas of the world not generally included in U.S. curricula. Projects focusing on Western Europe are not supported.
The Harry Frank Guggenheim Emerging Scholar Award
Provides $20,000 to support graduate students in their final year of dissertation writing. Questions that interest the foundation concern violence and aggression in relation to social change, intergroup conflict, war, terrorism, crime, and family relationships, among other subjects.
Marquette University Mitchem Dissertation Fellowship Program
The fellowship provides a student from other U.S. universities with one year of financial support, including a stipend, fringe benefits, and research and travel funds. The fellow will be in residence at Marquette for an academic year. Applicants must be U.S. citizens who are well under way in their dissertation writing and who belong to a racial or cultural group historically underrepresented in the U.S. professoriate.
Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Individual Predoctoral Fellowship in Health-Related Research (F31)
April, August, December annually
Provides a stipend and funding for tuition and fees to enable promising predoctoral students to obtain individualized, mentored research training from outstanding faculty sponsors while conducting dissertation research.
Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid-of-Research
March and October
Provides grants of up to $1,000 to support graduate student research in science and engineering fields, including social sciences.
National Science Foundation (NSF) Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grants (DDRIG) in the Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences
Deadlines vary by program area.
Funding for dissertation research in a variety of program areas within the Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences; look for listings at the link above with "Doctoral Dissertation Research" in the title.