Attending a workshop is the best first step in discovering awards that work for you. We ask that you attend a workshop prior to meeting with our advisors.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all workshop and boot camp offerings will be virtual.
Ready to begin your search for funding? Attend our 30-minute virtual Fellowships and Scholarships 101 workshops on Monday's at 11 a.m. and Tuesday's at 2 p.m., beginning Aug. 31. Workshops are open to undergraduate and graduate students.
Cant attend the live workshops? Take a look at our four-part Fellowships and Scholarships 101 pre-recorded video series below.
[Narrator: Lisa Gagnon] Hello, and welcome to the University at Buffalo Fellowships and Scholarships 101 series. The topic of this video is, ‘Searching for Awards.’
First of all, let’s talk about fellowships vs. scholarships. What’s the difference? Fellowships are more likely than scholarships to include tuition, a stipend, and/or travel funds. Scholarships may include these benefits, or they may be ‘pots of money’ with no additional obligations or resources. Both types of awards are worth applying for and can be included on your resume. Another distinction to make is between need-based and merit-based awards. Need-based awards require the applicant to demonstrate financial need. While a higher GPA may give you an advantage, it is not the main focus of the selection process. Merit-based awards, on the other hand, do not take financial need into consideration and instead prioritize academic achievements.
Next, we will talk about internal vs. external funding, or, where the money comes from. Internal funding is money distributed directly from UB. Internal funding is typically awarded upon admission to the university. You would see any money that UB is offering you in your admission letter. However, there are some smaller awards available for current UB students, which we will talk about later in this video. External funding, on the other hand, is money that comes from outside of UB. External funding may come from local, state, national, or international sources. Our office is responsible for supporting students as they apply to external awards. Remember: Any award you receive is a stepping stone to later awards! You will not only get better at applying, but future scholarship committees will see that you have already won awards.
So, how do you go about finding internally funded opportunities? First, check out the UB Scholarship Portal. The UB Office of Financial Aid has created a scholarship database for internal awards. You can create a profile and search for awards that might be a good fit for you at https://buffalo.academicworks.com. Second, use your academic department or school as a resource. Academic department websites often have valuable information about potentially funded faculty research and scholarships offered by the department. Third, the study abroad office has several scholarships you can apply for to help fund your international experience. Find more information at https://buffalo.edu/studyabroad. Fourth, the UB Honors College offers tuition scholarships to incoming freshmen and funding for research and creativity, study abroad, and academic enrichment. If you are a UB student not already in the Honors College, you can apply to the Advanced Honors College. Find more information about the Honors College at https://buffalo.edu/honors. Finally, the Experiential Learning Network (ELN) Project Portal is another great resource. Look for funded research and project opportunities on and off campus at https://buffalo.edu/eln/students/project-portal.
Now, let’s talk about using the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships website. You can start searching for awards by using the ‘Find Funding’ page on our website at https://buffalo.edu/fellowships/funding. You can search by the award name in alphabetical order, by level of study (so whether you are a sophomore or PhD student), by the application deadline, or by the category. We list awards for students in STEM, the social sciences, the humanities, and awards open to international students. The ‘Find Other Awards’ tab contains links to other universities’ search engines and other useful UB webpages. When searching in another university’s search engine, look for awards that do not require you to be an enrolled student at the institution. Another useful tool is the Sponsored Programs Information Network (or SPIN) that is a search engine for faculty, staff, and students. You can create an account at https://spin.infoedglobal.com. To help you get started, look for videos for setting up searches in the ‘Tools’ section. Make sure searches are set to individual, not institutional, and email any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are some other resources for external funding. ProFellow is a scholarship website with a database, blog, and email newsletter. Check it out at https://profellow.com. Reminder: Do not pay for scholarship services online! UB and the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships have many free resources. Second, check out relevant community foundations. Many cities and towns have scholarships for students who are either from the area or attending a college or university in the area. One example is the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo at https://cfgb.org. Next, join relevant professional organizations and honors societies. These can potentially provide not only funding, but networking and conference opportunities. Finally, Scholly is a scholarship search phone application that can serve as one more resource in your funding search.
Things to keep in mind when searching for awards: Every award has a distinct due date, so it’s important to stay organized! Every award has unique application components, such as a transcript, letters of recommendation, or essays. Start searching and preparing eight to 12 months in advance of the deadline and when you need the money. Often, applications for the fall are due in the winter or even the fall semester before. You should be continuously looking for appropriate awards. If you cannot find anything that applies to you during one search, take a break and come back to it again in a few weeks. Graduate students should look for funding at the same time as applying for programs. Don’t wait until you are admitted! Ask about internal funding options at graduate programs such as teaching assistantships (TAs), research assistantships (RAs), graduate assistantships (GAs) or training grants. Also, keep in mind that there are awards for every stage of the PhD process: Pre-doctoral, dissertation, and post-doctoral. Finally, connect the dots of your story to match the mission of the fellowship and consider your goals both now and in the future. Many students are understandably looking for funding to cover the expenses of higher education, but also think about your longer-term goals, and how a fellowship or scholarship can help you attain them.
Another way to utilize our services is to join a development program. The Office of Fellowships and Scholarships runs multi-week programs for undergraduate and graduate students. The Spark program is an eight-week leadership development program for freshmen and sophomores offered during the fall and spring semesters. Session topics include networking, a writing workshop, community engagement, and finding research opportunities. This picture is from the Spring 2020 Spark Networking Night. National Science Foundation (NSF) and Fulbright Workshops are multi-week programs for students interested in applying for the NSF or Fulbright in the fall. They are offered during the spring semester and summer session. Students learn the details of the application process and receive support as they begin to prepare their applications. Finally, we hold a PhD fellowship boot camp offered during winter and summer sessions.
Now that we have talked a little bit about searching for awards, here is how you can connect with the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships for more information and support during your scholarship journey! Contact us via phone at 716-645-9100 or via email at email@example.com. Our on-campus office is located in 24 Capen Hall. Let’s get social! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @UBFellowships, LinkedIn and YouTube, or, find us on the web at https://buffalo.edu/fellowships. You can also make an appointment with one of our advisors on our website at https://buffalo.edu/fellowships/contact. Office of Fellowships and Scholarships Director Elizabeth Colucci works with students on general graduate awards and STEM awards. Assistant Director Megan Stewart works with students on general undergraduate awards and international study awards.
Thank you for watching this video! Check out the other Fellowships and Scholarships 101 videos on funding for graduate school, major external fellowships, and becoming a more competitive applicant
[Narrator: Lisa Gagnon] Hello and welcome to the University at Buffalo Fellowships and Scholarships 101 series. The topic of this video is ‘Funding for Graduate School.’
When applying for graduate school funding, ask questions about funding while applying for programs—don’t wait until you are admitted! Master’s level funding is extremely limited at UB and elsewhere. Keep this in mind when making decisions about graduate school and what programs to apply to. Be sure to use your academic department as a resource. When applying, contact departments directly for more information about funding. PhD students are typically funded through their academic departments. For master’s students, departments potentially have scholarships or funds for research or conferences. Finally, talk to faculty members! They can give you recommendations and help you make decisions about programs and research opportunities.
When it comes to institutional funding, most funding from UB comes in the form of a job with responsibilities. Teaching Assistants (TAs) teach labs, recitations, or courses for 20 hours/week. Research Assistants (RAs) are typically funded by faculty grants to do specific research. TAs and RAs are usually offered by your academic department. Graduate Assistants (GAs) can be in any department on campus doing administrative work. Search for positions on Bullseye powered by Handshake or inquire within departments.
There are several types of internal UB awards. Presidential fellowships are PhD student enhancement awards. Schomburg SUNY Diversity Fellowships are offered to high-achieving doctoral and professional students that enhance the diversity of graduate education at UB. If you are interested in either of these awards, apply to your graduate program early for consideration, and for more information, look at your school’s website. Presidential and Schomburg fellows are selected by each department. Some departments have application processes for Presidential and Schomburg awards, while others automatically consider students upon application to a graduate program. Presidential and Schomburg awards are awarded on top of a fully-funded TA, RA or GA. UB’s PhD Excellence Initiative mandates that stipend levels start at $20,000.
Another internal UB award is the Graduate Opportunity Program (GOP). This program provides tuition coverage for graduates of the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), Search for Education Elevation and Knowledge (SEEK) program or Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP). Applicants must be full-time students pursuing a graduate or first professional degree, excluding medical (MD), dental (DDS), pharmacy (PharmD) and law (JD) degrees. The priority deadline to apply for GOP funding is March 1. Funds are highly limited, so apply early! You do not need to wait until you are accepted into graduate school to apply. Unfortunately, not all eligible students will receive funding, but students who don’t receive funding during year one can reapply in future years. Learn more and apply for the GOP on the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships’ website.
Finally, we’ll talk about the Graduate Student Association (GSA) Mark Diamond Fund. The GSA provides grants to graduate students for research expenses related to their thesis or dissertation. PhD students may apply for up to $3,000, Master of Fine Arts (MFA) students may apply for up to $2,000, and master’s students may apply for up to $1,500. We advise interested students to sit on a panel to see what makes a competitive application. There are deadlines for the Mark Diamond Fund in the fall, spring, and summer. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now that we have talked a little bit about funding for graduate school, here is how you can connect with the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships for more information and support during your scholarship journey! Connect with us via phone at 716-645-9100 or via email at email@example.com. Our on-campus office is located in 24 Capen Hall. Let’s get social! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter @UBFellowships, LinkedIn, or YouTube. Or, find us on the web at https://buffalo.edu/fellowships. You can also make an appointment with one of our advisors on our website at buffalo.edu/fellowships/contact. On the bottom of this slide, you can see Office of Fellowships and Scholarships Director Elizabeth Colucci, who works with students on general graduate awards and STEM awards. Assistant Director Megan Stewart works with students on general undergraduate awards and international study awards.
Thank you for watching this video! Check out the other Fellowships and Scholarships 101 videos on Searching for Awards, Major external Awards, and Becoming a More Competitive Applicant.
[Narrator: Lisa Gagnon] Hello and welcome to the University at Buffalo Fellowships and Scholarships 101 series. The topic of this video is, ‘Major External Fellowships.’
First of all, some fellowships and scholarships require institutional nomination. This means that for some awards, you cannot apply directly online. Instead, you work with UB and the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships. Usually there is an earlier campus deadline. There might be a pre-selection process or interview and UB writes an institutional letter of nomination for the applicant. Awards requiring institutional nomination include the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Awards, Fulbright grants, David L. Boren Scholarships, the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, the Morris K. Udall Scholarship, and the UK awards. You can find more information about the awards in this presentation, along with many other awards, by visiting the ‘Find Funding’ tab on our website at https://buffalo.edu/fellowships/funding.
First we’ll talk about STEM awards for students studying science, technology, engineering or math fields. The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship is for sophomores and juniors with a high GPA who have research experience and plan to pursue a PhD in STEM. The internal deadline for Goldwater is November 1. The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP) provides up to three years of funding for students seeking a research-based master’s or PhD in STEM. The NSF deadlines are by discipline in October. National Institutes of Health (NIH) F30 and F31 awards also provide funding for PhD research. You can apply for NIH in year two or three of a doctoral program. Training grants are awarded to students by universities with funding. Note: These awards are for U.S. citizens or permanent residents only.
Next, we’ll talk about some international awards. The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship provides funding for Pell Grant recipients to study or intern abroad. There are multiple deadlines for the Gilman. Apply by October for spring semester programs or by March for fall semester or academic year programs. Fulbright Student Grants provide funding for students to teach English, conduct independent research, or complete a one-year master’s program abroad. The UB campus deadline is the last week of August. Applicants take part in an on-campus interview before submitting an application in October. The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) provides seven to 10-week summer programs to study a critical language not commonly taught in the U.S. The external deadline for CLS is in November. The David L. Boren Scholarships and Fellowships provide funding for undergraduate and graduate students to study abroad in underrepresented countries critical to U.S. interests. The campus deadline for Boren is February 1. Note: These awards are for U.S. citizens or permanent residents only.
Now, we’ll talk about two awards that focus on the leadership qualities of the applicants. The Harry S. Truman Scholarship provides graduate school funding for juniors with exceptional leadership potential committed to careers in government, the nonprofit or advocacy sectors, education or elsewhere in the public service. The campus deadline for the Truman is November 1. Applicants participate in several on-campus mock interviews before a regional interview with a Truman panel. This photo shows 2020 Truman Scholarship finalist Kay Kennedy. The Morris K. Udall Scholarship is for sophomores and juniors who intend to become leaders across the environmental fields, including policy, engineering, science, education, urban planning, business, health, justice and economics. This scholarship is also for future Native American and Alaskan Native leaders in public and community healthcare, tribal government, and public policy. The campus deadline for Udall is December 1. Note: These awards are for U.S. citizens or permanent residents only. International students can find a list of awards with no citizenship requirement at https://www.buffalo.edu/fellowships/funding.category.html#title_1589682841.
Finally, there are several awards that fund a graduate degree at different universities in the United Kingdom (UK) or Ireland. The Rhodes Scholarship provides funding to Oxford, the Marshall Scholarship is to the UK and Ireland, the George J. Mitchell Scholarship is for study in Ireland, and the Gates Cambridge Scholarships fund programs at Cambridge University. You can apply for a UK award as an undergraduate senior or recent alum. These awards are extremely competitive. Applicants usually have a 3.9 GPA or above and show significant leadership capacity and community service in any field. Successful applicants have typically received other competitive awards such as the Goldwater, Truman or Udall. Finally, applicants must have a strong justification for going to the country.
Now that we have talked a little bit about major external awards, here is how you can connect with the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships for more information and support during your scholarship journey! Contact us via phone at 716-645-9100 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our on-campus office is located in 24 Capen Hall. Let’s get social! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @UBFellowships, LinkedIn and YouTube. Or, find us on the web at https://buffalo.edu/fellowships. You can also make an appointment with one of our advisors on our website at https://buffalo.edu/fellowships/contact. Office of Fellowships and Scholarships Director Elizabeth Colucci works with students on general graduate awards and STEM awards. Assistant Director Megan Stewart works with students on general undergraduate awards and international study awards.
Thank you for watching this video! Check out the other Fellowships and Scholarships 101 videos on searching for awards, funding for graduate school, and becoming a more competitive applicant.
[Narrator: Lisa Gagnon] Hello and welcome to the University at Buffalo Fellowships and Scholarships 101 series. The topic of this video is ‘Strategies for Becoming a More Competitive Applicant.’
The first thing to consider is your academic credentials. While having a high GPA and challenging course selection will always help you, it is more important for some awards than others. Take honors classes or pursue an honors track in your major to gain more expertise in your field of study. If you are not already in the Honors College, you can still join the Advanced Honors Program. Find more information at https://honors.buffalo.edu/advanced. Conduct independent work, an honors thesis or other intellectual investigation and finally, look for opportunities to give presentations or publish.
Another way to set yourself apart from other applicants is international experiences. Studying, conducting research, or interning abroad shows graduate schools or employers that you are culturally competent, willing to take risks, have foreign language exposure or expertise, and have a global perspective on issues/research. International experiences can be done over a semester, year, or during winter or summer sessions. Watch our video on Major External Fellowships to learn more about international awards.
In many fields, there is a strong emphasis on, and funding for, conducting research. Research always happens under the guidance of a faculty member. To scholarship committees, graduate school admissions, and employers, you demonstrate intellectual curiosity beyond attending your classes. Every discipline has a research methodology, so your research will look different depending on whether you are in a STEM field or in the humanities. Not all research happens in a laboratory! For on-campus research opportunities, you can look through the Experiential Learning Network (ELN) project portal or departmental faculty webpages. For off-campus summer research opportunities, check out National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs).
Community Engagement is another way to deepen your resume and application. But rather than a one-day event, it’s important to volunteer for a sustained period of time in an area related to your goals. There are opportunities on campus as well as volunteer opportunities for every field of study in the city of Buffalo and Western New York. Use the ELN Portal to look for project opportunities on and off campus. UB offers courses where you can volunteer for credit. ASI 400 involves service hours in the Buffalo public schools and LIN 496 is an English language teaching experience. In this picture, ReTree the District volunteers plant a tree in the University Heights neighborhood.
Now, let’s talk about leadership. Demonstrating leadership is important for most fellowships and scholarships, however leadership looks different in STEM and in public policy. Think about how you would answer the question, “What was a time that you demonstrated leadership?” Little “L” leadership could mean being the officer of a club, member of a team, or joining an established program. Big “L” leadership, on the other hand, could mean starting a program or organization, demonstrating originality, creativity, or innovation, or being a ‘Change agent’.
Faculty mentors are an important piece of a competitive scholarship profile. Faculty mentors provide valuable letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation from advisors, RAs, or job supervisors are not considered as strong as letters from faculty in some competitive fellowship applications. Develop a sustained relationship with professors by taking multiple classes with them, conducting research, independent study, and visiting office hours. Students who complete summer REUs can use non-UB faculty members as references for future applications. In this picture, UB English professor Walt Hakala stands with scholarship recipients at the 2017 Celebration of Academic Excellence.
Finally, becoming a more competitive applicant means matching the mission of the fellowship. Search the website to understand the mission and goals of the fellowship. Before applying, consider: Are you eligible and qualified for this award? Next, connect the dots of your story. Why you? Why now? How does this fellowship or scholarship fit with your academic and professional goals? You can also think about yourself in a 360 degree way, including your major, academic community, gender, race or ethnicity, and professional goals. Think about your goals both now and in the future. How can a scholarship help you achieve your goals beyond next semester’s expenses?
Now that we have talked a little bit about strategies for becoming a more competitive applicant, here is how you can connect with the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships for more information and support during your scholarship journey! Contact us via phone at 716-645-9100 or via email at email@example.com. Our on-campus office is located in 24 Capen Hall. Let’s get social! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @UBFellowships, LinkedIn, and YouTube, or, find us on the web at https://buffalo.edu/fellowships. You can also make an appointment with one of our advisors on our website at https://buffalo.edu/fellowships/contact. Office of Fellowships and Scholarships Director Elizabeth Colucci works with students on General Graduate awards and STEM awards. Assistant Director Megan Stewart works with students on general undergraduate awards and international study awards.
Thank you for watching this video! Check out the other Fellowships and Scholarships 101 videos on searching for awards, funding for graduate school, and major external fellowships.
Do you have an interest in learning more about funding opportunities for graduate-level work, research or dissertation funding? This boot camp will help you prepare competitive applications. You will learn more about how to apply for funding and what review panels are looking for.
Check back soon for upcoming workshop dates.
Would you like to spend a year researching, teaching English or earning a master’s degree abroad? The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides funded opportunities to do so and there are more than 150 countries from which to choose.
To qualify, an applicant must be a U.S. citizen and hold a bachelor’s degree by the time the Fulbright Scholarship starts. An applicant holding a doctoral degree at the time of application is ineligible. Applications will be due in the fall.
In this program you will learn more about the Fulbright, country selection, affiliates and how to develop a strong proposal.
Check back soon for upcoming workshop dates.
The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program awards three-year scholarships for graduate study in mathematical, physical, biological, engineering, and behavioral and social sciences, including the history of science. This fellowship carries a stipend of $32,000 per year plus a cost of education allowance to cover tuition and fees for three years. This is a significant graduate fellowship that affords students the freedom to focus on their research and lessen the time to degree completion.
To qualify, applicants must be U.S. citizens, have U.S. national status or be permanent residents, and intend to pursue a research-based master’s or PhD program in an NSF-supported field. Applications become available in August and the deadlines vary by discipline but are generally in late October and early November.
You will learn about review criteria for the NSF GRFP and other awards, what the review panels are looking for and how to write a strong research proposal.
Check back soon for upcoming workshop dates.