Are you seeking funding for your graduate education? Graduate students should be thinking about all of these opportunities early in their academic career. It’s never too early to search for appropriate funding.
Even students with internal awards or funding that requires a work commitment, should find and apply for additional external awards. Why would you do that if you’re already funded? Because these awards free you up to do your own research and it is an external recognition of your scholarly excellence and promise. Winning small awards sets you up to win bigger awards.
Although it takes intense effort to submit a strong application, the sooner you know how to present your work to an external audience the better. Most graduate students will go onto careers that require finding funding for your research or potentially putting together proposals.
We recommend you attend workshops offered by the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships. Workshops are presented throughout the semester and can be general in nature; specific to individuals in science, technology, engineering or mathematical fields; or focus on international opportunities.
Each spring the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships offers a series of workshops targeted to two major awards: (1.) the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and (2.) the Fulbright program.
Over the course of four sessions graduate students learn specifics about these awards, how to apply and then they begin writing significant segments of the award.
During the winter session and one week before the fall semester begins, we offer a three-day boot camp where students learn how to find funding, create a list of potential fellowships and scholarships to apply to, and begin to write with help from consultants from UB's Center of Excellence in Writing.
There are many tools at your disposal to find funding. First, take a look at the list of major awards, below. This is not a comprehensive list, rather it is comprised of some of the most applied for prestigious awards.
Note that some awards allow the student to apply directly, while others require nomination by the university. Opportunities that require an institutional nomination are marked by an asterisk (*)
Be sure to search for funding through multiple lenses (graduate student, discipline-specific, gender, non-traditional, dissertation, international, etc.). Funding can be very broad or very specific.
In addition to the more prestigious national fellowships, there are numerous smaller awards and scholarships, many of which can be held in addition to funds received from other sources. These awards are identified by researching the online listings.
There are several helpful university fellowship databases that may also be of help in identifying fellowships and scholarships:
Diversity fellowships and scholarships are available to certain groups of individuals. This could include first-generation college students, underrepresented groups, women interested in science and engineering or for individuals from low-income families.
Stay connected to the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships. We often share information about internal and external awards on our Facebook and Twitter accounts. We also encourage you to “follow” funding agencies on social media, as appropriate (NSF, Fulbright, Woodrow Wilson, etc.).
The staff in the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships is here to provide you with guidance and support as you apply for awards. If you are interested in international awards (Fulbright, Critical Language, Boren, DAAD) please schedule an appointment with Megan Stewart. For assistance with STEM awards and all other awards, please schedule an appointment Elizabeth Colucci.
The Center for Excellence in Writing also provides support for graduate students as they apply for awards.