Grants & Fellowships

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.

Luis Aguirre, PhD Student Organismic & Evolutionary Biology

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 student, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology)

Upcoming Events


Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans: Info Session

Sep 23, 2019 | 2:00pm - 3:00pm | Commonweath College Events Hall (next to Roots Café)

The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans, which honors the contributions of immigrants and children of immigrants to the United States, provides two years of funding for graduate study. At this event PD Soros Communications Director Nikka Landau will share information about the fellowship and navigating the application process. Graduate students in their first or second year of study are eligible to apply by the Nov. 1, 2019 deadline. Co-sponsored by ONSA


Funding Search Strategies for International Students & Postdocs

Sep 24, 2019 | 11:30am - 1:00pm | 904-08 Campus Center

Many external grants and fellowships are restricted to US citizens or permanent residents, posing a challenge for international graduate students and postdocs. This session will offer strategies to help international students and postdocs search for external funding and understand related visa requirements. A pizza lunch is provided. Co-sponsored by the International Programs Office. 


Writing Competitive Personal Statements

Sep 24, 2019 | 2:30pm - 3:30pm | 538 Goodell

What do fellowship reviewers want to learn from personal statements? How do personal statements differ from research proposals? And what’s too personal? This session will help demystify the personal statement and provide tips for framing, writing, and revising a winning essay. 


NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Series: Research Statements

Sep 25, 2019 | 2:30pm - 3:30pm | 145 Integrated Sciences Building

Trained NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Mentors have organized this series to support students preparing NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) applications. Mentors, all former NSF GRFP recipients, will lead sessions that focus on elements of a competitive application; this session will focus on refining your Research Statement, often the most challenging aspect of the application. 


Writing Fundable Project Descriptions

Sep 26, 2019 | 12:00pm - 1:00pm | E20 Machmer

There is both an art and a science to crafting fundable project descriptions. In this session we will discuss common proposal sections such as the literature review, methodological approach, and research contributions. Joya Misra, Director of the Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR) and Professor of Sociology, will offer insight on what funders look for in these sections. Bring your lunch, dessert provided. Co-sponsored by ISSR. 


Grant and Fellowship Peer Review Session

Sep 26, 2019 | 2:30pm - 4:00pm | 538 Goodell

Soliciting feedback on a draft of your funding proposal is critical but not always easy. Our peer review session will provide a low-stakes opportunity to receive high-impact feedback. In addition, evaluating a peer’s application will provide new perspective on your application and help strengthen your own writing. Pre-registration required; further instructions will be emailed upon registration.


Grant and Fellowship Writing Day

Sep 27, 2019 | 10:00am - 2:00pm | 538 Goodell

Fall is a busy time for grant and fellowship applications—how are yours coming along? Our Writing Day provides space for you to write, with help on hand to answer questions or provide quick feedback on your draft. This is a drop-in event, come for as little or as long as you want. Fuel your writing with coffee and light refreshments in the morning and a pizza lunch. 


Grant Series Part III: Soliciting Feedback & Revising

Sep 27, 2019 | 3:00pm - 3:45pm | 538 Goodell

Want to turn a good funding application into a great one? Solicit feedback on your writing and make time for revisions. Come learn techniques, and get a dose of confidence, to accomplish these critical tasks. This is the final offering in a three-part series, but previous attendance is not required to participate. 


Ford Foundation Fellowships: Application Strategies

Oct 2, 2019 | 2:30pm - 3:30pm | 905-09 Campus Center

The Ford Foundation awards generous and prestigious predoctoral, dissertation, and postdoctoral fellowships to students interested in careers in higher education who demonstrate a commitment to use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students. Our panelists, including faculty reviewers and successful Ford Foundation Fellowship recipients, will provide advice on how to craft a competitive and cohesive application. 


NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Peer Review Session

Oct 2, 2019 | 6:00pm - 7:30pm | 538 Goodell

Soliciting feedback on a draft of your funding proposal is critical but not always easy. Our peer review session will provide a low-stakes opportunity to receive high-impact feedback. Limited to those preparing applications for NSF’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP). Pizza provided at the Wednesday evening session. Pre-registration is required; further instructions will be emailed upon registration.


Additional Resources

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.

  • UMass maintains an institutional subscription to Grant Forward, which allows members of the UMass community to use this database for free. Create an account using your campus email address to link to our subscription. 
  • 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. 


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

Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship

Provides a $30,000 stipend to support advanced graduate students in the humanities and related social sciences in the last year of PhD dissertation writing.

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.

Woodrow Wilson 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

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.

Social Science Research Council (SSRC) International Dissertation Research Fellowships

Provides research funds for students in the humanities and social sciences for dissertation research conducted, in whole or in part outside the United States on non-US topics.


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.

Mellon Fellowships for Dissertation Research in Original Sources

Provides up to $25,000 to support dissertation research in the humanities and related social sciences in original sources.

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. 

Women Techmakers Scholars Program (formerly the Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship)

Provides a $10,000 scholarship to encourage women to excel in computing and technology and become active role models and leaders in the field.


Boren Fellowships

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.

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.

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.

Switzer Foundation

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.


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 Foundation Dissertation Fellowship

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.

Rolling/Multiple Deadlines

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.


Contact us for more information on OPD’s Grants and Fellowships workshops and assistance.

OPD workshop with Heidi Bauer-Clapp