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External Funding Opportunities

Should I apply for outside grants and fellowships?


Yes! Applying for external funding is customary for faculty and graduate students in American universities. Across all fields of study, faculty pursue external funding opportunities in order to support their research and special projects. There are two types of external funding opportunities that will be important to know and distinguish: Fellowships and Grants.


Fellowships are typically awarded for one year or more, and cover educational and living expenses.

Grants are typically awarded to cover expenses associated with a specific project or initiative.


PROTIP: A bit of advice for tracking opportunities and planning your application strategy? Build a spreadsheet listing opportunities, eligibility criteria, required application materials, and deadline. Then, use that information to plan when you will apply for each opportunity in your field. Before you submit your materials, you should always ask for guidance and feedback from a faculty member or peer. Friends don't let friends apply alone! 


Organization is key! If you miss a deadline, you miss an opportunity, so be sure to get your applications submitted on time. 


Even if you are an international student, you are eligible for many grant and fellowship awards. Click here and here and here to search for a selection of awards for which international grad students are eligible!















Get started today!

To get started, visit this handy guide compiled by our colleagues here at Rutgers. You can also find good info at this guide assembled by Michigan State. 


Here are a few links to help get you started (thanks to our colleagues at UC-Berkeley for assembling these):

Scholarships, Grants, & Fellowships for Underrepresented and Minority Students


Other Resources

The university has a repository of sample proposals available for review. You may also visit Candid Learning for more examples.


A good overall reference book is The Annual Register of Grant Support.

Professional associations for a variety of disciplines, such as the American Chemical Society and the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs, for example, list grants / fellowships on their websites.

Pathways to Science maintains a comprehensive database for postdoc opportunities with opportunities across a range of STEM disciplines funded by NSF, NASA, NIH, and university and research labs across the country. Also includes tips on applying, interviewing, and negotiating a postdoctoral position. 

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