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The Summer 2023 Fellowship Application Development Program offers deadlines and writing support to assist UA students in completing fellowship applications over the summer. If you need help identifying a fellowship, please review our resources for finding funding. Our summer program is free and online.

The GradFunding Newsletter distributes information on current funding opportunities.

"Funding" street sign

The Graduate Center Office of Fellowships provides application development assistance for specific fellowships through workshops, feedback on essays, and more.

Application Development Programs

Currently Open


Hello Graduate Students,

Due to the global challenges of the past three years, Jingyi Li had an especially long road in her search for dissertation funding. I greatly admire her intellect and persistence and am delighted to share her insights below.




The purpose of the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (FH DDRA) fellowship is to contribute to the development and improvement of the study of modern foreign languages and area studies in the U.S. by supporting full-time dissertation research abroad.

Workshops and Information Sessions

Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad

Dear Graduate Students,

When I began graduate school, I thought letters of recommendation did not matter much in fellowship competitions because all letters submitted would be excellent. I have been wrong about a lot of things in life, but the degree to which I was wrong about this cannot be overstated.

Dear Graduate Students,

When I heard that Lucy Mugambi received the International Peace Scholarship, I was delighted. I had previously talked to her and knew about her research. I asked if she would be willing to share her advice for applying for funding and am happy to share her excellent advice below.



Please complete the following to express your interest in applying to the FH DDRA.

Hello Graduate Students,

Hello Graduate Students,

I’d like to re-introduce Gabby who loves to gab about grants and grant writing. This month’s Gradfunding features her responses to questions she has received in the past few months. Some names and details have been changed to protect the innocent. We invite you to submit your own questions!

Gabby is here for all of your grant-writing questions! Submit any query, concern, or request to be answered in the monthly newsletter.

Completing this form will register you for our Fall Fellowship Application Development Program. Please review your eligibility prior to completing the form. For the NSF GRFP, read the Program Solicitation or GRFP website, check the website for the Hertz and Ford.

The Fall Application Development Program supports students applying for the Hertz Fellowship, the Ford Predoctoral Fellowship, and the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, opportunities for undergraduate seniors, first-year graduate students, and second-year graduate students.

Hello Graduate Students,

In the Graduate Center Office of Fellowships, we like to encourage graduate students to apply for at least one fellowship each year. Fall is a busy time, but it is also the best time to apply for fellowships.

In our office, we find that many students feel lost when thinking about fellowships and appreciate an explanation of the basic landscape of funding. Georgia Ehlers, who worked with graduate funding for over 20 years, and I have put together a few of the basics about fellowships which might be helpful as you make plans for the new year.

What is a fellowship?

DAAD Fellowships provide support for study in Germany. Each year, the University of Arizona facilitates the selection of one priority candidate. Applicants from the UA are not required to submit for priority candidacy; applying for the priority candidacy is optional and students can apply individually to the DAAD's various programs. The following opportunities through DAAD are generally most relevant for graduate students:


To submit essays, please upload them to our d2l site in the respective deadline folder under the Assignments tab.

If you do not already have access to our d2l site, please send us an email.

If you have trouble with d2l, please contact d2l support.


Letters of recommendation can be the determining factor in fellowship competitions. Because a good letter of recommendation is so much work to write, you want to do everything you can to make the process easy for your professors. With the help of Graduate College Dean, Andrew Carnie, and Graduate College Assistant Dean, Janet Sturman, I have outlined four tips to help you get the best letters possible.

1. Plan ahead:

This program is now full for Summer 2022. If you plan to apply for the NIH F30 or 31, we can help you over the summer as you work on your application. We will provide feedback on the following three components of the application:

  • Applicant Background and Goals for Fellowship Training
  • Specific Aims
  • Biosketch

We ask that you watch our presentation NIH F31s Made (Almost) Simple before the summer begins. You do not need to be on campus to participate in the summer program.

Basic Funding Research

Databases and Information for Graduate Students

If you are just beginning your search for funding, begin with the following databases and websites:

Dear Graduate Students,

If you are just beginning your funding search, here are some answers to some basic questions:

How do students pay for graduate school?

Most students pay for graduate school through a combination of the following ten avenues.  

Dear Graduate Students,

This month, Fatima, one of your fellow students, shares her disappointments and successes with grant writing and gives advice for a perspective shift on the process. We think you’ll appreciate her reflections.

Shelley and Bethany


Hello fellow Graduate Students!

Pivot is a huge database of funding opportunities. And, as a University of Arizona student, you can use it for free. If you are a graduate student interested in funding, one of our top recommendations is to invest a little bit of time in Pivot. Forty minutes is enough to give you a good start.

Hello Graduate Students,

The summer is the best time to work on fellowship applications. But, because most people have frequent interruptions to their routines in the summer, it can also be the most difficult time to write. The unpredictability of the season is why the key to success in summer writing is deadlines.

Here are three tips for creating deadlines for yourself over the summer:

My name is Sarah Renkert and I am a Ph.D. student in Applied Sociocultural Anthropology. I have applied to multiple fellowships and I would like to share five key takeaways to success.


Dear Graduate Students,

Katherine Guns’ last NSF GRFP application was as close to perfect as I’ve seen an application. So I was surprised when she did not receive the fellowship. However, I was delighted to learn that, as she explains below, she did end up being very successful in receiving funding. Read her wonderful story below.

Hello fellow funding seekers!

My name is Brandon Hellman, and I am a third year PhD student in Optical Sciences. I am developing new LIDAR (3D mapping, input) and 3D display (output) systems. LIDAR is very important for autonomous vehicles: a traditional camera does not offer clear enough depth-perception information for a car to drive itself. 3D display . . . and who doesn’t want to see a floating Princess Leia hologram?

My name is Andrew Kunihiro and I am a 5th year PhD student in the Department of Nutritional Sciences. My dissertation research focuses on the metabolism and bioactivity of curcumin, a dietary polyphenol from the turmeric rhizome. Specifically, I look at how curcumin can prevent bone destruction caused by bone-metastatic breast cancer.


My name is Alison Elder and I am starting the first year of my PhD in Geography.  My research to date focuses on water resource issues in arid lands. My MA project examined the effects of large-scale irrigated agriculture development processes on rural livelihoods and water supply in southeastern Morocco. I have also been a part of a project at the University of Arizona for the last three years looking at green infrastructure adoption and implementation in Tucson and in other cities across Arizona.

Hello Graduate Students,


Hello Graduate Students,

I first met Corbin in 2018 when he applied to the NSF GRFP. I helped him along that process, and, in the subsequent years, he has helped me help other students. Corbin has some advice for any fellowship applicant, but particularly those in the health sciences.

My name is Elise Bell, and I’m a fourth year PhD candidate in the Department of Linguistics. My research focuses on the variety of Welsh that is spoken in the Patagonia region of Argentina. My dissertation work is an examination of the ways that bilingualism with Spanish affects the way Argentinean Welsh speakers perceive and produce Welsh vowels. Because my research requires fieldwork to collect data, I’ve applied to quite a few fellowships and grants to fund my research related travel.

Dear Graduate Students,

In the coming few months, the GradFunding Advice will come from your fellow graduate students across campus. When considering whom to invite to write an article, I’ve asked students who I believe will have something valuable to say to other graduate students across campus. Meg Mills-Novoa has been persistent in looking for and applying for funding; her efforts have paid off. 

Because many funding opportunities require US citizenship or residency, finding funding can be particularly difficult for international students. However, opportunities do exist for international students. As I have worked with Saleh Ahmed, an international student in Arid Lands Resource Sciences, I have been impressed with his persistence in looking for and applying for funding. I have also been impressed with the way in which his work and ideas have developed over the past year. I asked him to share his experience applying for funding with all of you.

The University of Arizona Graduate College
Graduate Center Office of Fellowships

Shelley Hawthorne Smith, Assistant Director
Graduate College Graduate Center Building
1600 E 1st Street
Tucson, AZ 85721
Phone: 520-626-0870
Call for hours

The Graduate Center Office of Fellowships (formerly the Office of Fellowships and Community Engagement) provides information and assistance to graduate students to help them become more successful in their search for funding outside of the UA.

Please register for our Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad information session on Nov 9 from 9:30 - 10:30 on Zoom. The award supports dissertation research that is not in Western Europe or North America. The research should be in a language other than English.

Should you apply to the NSF GRFP as a first- or second-year graduate student? This is a question that you need to discuss with your advisor. However, if you plan to wait (or even if you do not), consider applying to any of the six alternatives to the NSF GRFP listed below. Going through the application process for one of these awards will make you a better candidate for the NSF GRFP next year. Or, you might be successful with one of the awards below.

New for Fall 2021.

If you have submitted an NIH F30 or F31 application and plan to resubmit for the December 8, 2021 deadline, we can help. We will meet with you to discuss your Summary Statement and then help you make a plan for resubmission.

On October 19, you can submit your Introduction to Resubmission and 1 - 2 other documents for feedback. This is a new program with limited space. Please email Shelley Hawthorne Smith if you are interested.

Learn more about DAAD and the selection of the UA priority candidate on Tuesday, Sept 7, 2020 from 12:30 - 1:30 on Zoom.

Please review the information on the DAAD website, particularly eligibility, prior to attending the session.

Please follow the directions below to submit drafts for feedback. Questions for the additional document are below the directions.


To submit essays, please upload them to the Assignment folder on the program's d2l site. If you do not have access to the program's d2l site, please contact either of the program instructors: Shelley Hawthorne Smith (; Danielle Barefoot ( 

Join us to speak with Kevin Lin, Hertz Representative for the University of Arizona, about applying for the Hertz fellowship. We ask that you read the fellowship website prior to attending.

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship is an excellent opportunity for students in or going to graduate school. Join us for an overview of the application process and some application tips.

Please review the NSF GRFP website, particularly the eligibility found in the Program Solicitation, before attending:

We get to meet the applicants!

Finding funding is a challenge for any graduate student. But it is particularly difficult for international students studying in the United States. Here are a few tips and resources for those of you who are international students at the UA.

Consider starting your search for funding in your country of citizenship. Some of the best funding can come from a student’s home country.

Hi! My name is Greg Chism, and I am a fourth year PhD candidate in the Entomology and Insect Science graduate interdisciplinary program.

The Summer 2021 Fellowship Application Development Program offers deadlines and writing support to assist UA students in completing fellowship applications over the summer. The program can be done entirely online. The program has two tracks for students at various stages of academic work.

The Funding for Students Entering the Dissertation Stage Information Session is intended for students who are planning to defend in Spring 2023.

The info session will be held on Tuesday, March 23 from 9:30 – 10:30am Arizona Time on Zoom. The link to the zoom meeting will be shared after you register. If you would like to register for this session, please click "More Information" below.

The purpose of the NSF GRFP is to help ensure the vitality and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce in the United States. The program is a wonderful source of funding for graduate students–providing awardees with $34,000 annually for three years, as well as additional benefits. These information sessions will help you get started on your application.

DAAD Fellowships provide support for study in Germany. The following opportunities through DAAD are generally most relevant for graduate students:

If you are working on an intensive writing project like a dissertation, thesis, journal article, or grant proposal and you would like to increase your writing productivity, consider joining Writing Efficiency Sessions. WES is hosted by the Graduate Center, Postdoctoral Affairs, and the Think Tank Writing Center. They are free to attend and can help you move ahead on your writing projects. The atmosphere is a structured, yet laid back group writing space. You may attend an entire session or part of each three-hour session.

Expand your horizons through the US Fulbright Student Program. The Office of Nationally Competitive Scholarships is excited to host numerous information sessions on the Fulbright US Student program this spring. Come and learn about the global English Teaching Assistant and Study/Research opportunities. The Fulbright Student Program provides grants to colleges and universities to fund individual doctoral students who conduct research in other countries, in modern foreign languages and area studies for periods of six to 12 months.

Along with fellowship opportunities, I include some internship opportunities in the GradFunding newsletter. Internships can be invaluable for both the academic and professional life of a graduate student. For more information about internships, I contacted Jeff Patten, UA Career Services career coordinator and counselor, and Cynthia Van Driess Watson, the Assistant Director of the UA Career Services. If you are interested in an internship, their insights may be useful.

Why seek out an internship?

Hello Graduate Students,


Because the pandemic has pushed life online, the nature of conferences is changing. However, funding for conferences and opportunities to present your work are still available. Here are three ways that you can secure and maximize funding for travel to conferences during COVID.


Dear Graduate Students,


Come discuss your fellowship applications and meet the Graduate Editors between 10:00AM - 11:00AM on Monday, September 21st on zoom. A short panel discussion will take place at 10:00AM, followed up by Q & A.

Please fill out the form below so that we can remain in communication regarding the DAAD. Thank you!

The idea of applying for a graduate fellowship can be daunting. Surrounded by high-achieving individuals, you might wonder if you measure up. Is it worth even trying to apply to a fellowship?

In any given year, the majority of people who apply for nationally competitive fellowships do not receive the fellowships. It is easy for me to bring up the clichés . . . Keep trying! . . . Rejection is part of the process! . . . Etc. etc. But I am not in the middle of a graduate degree and I am not actively searching for fellowships for myself. I thought it would be better for you to hear from the people who are in the middle of working through the process of applying, being rejected, and trying again.  

My name is Alison Elder and I am starting the first year of my PhD in Geography.  My research to date focuses on water resource issues in arid lands. My MA project examined the effects of large-scale irrigated agriculture development processes on rural livelihoods and water supply in southeastern Morocco.

One of the trickiest elements of applying for funding is the timing. For example, all of you reading this article know that the best time to apply for summer funding is right now. But, believe me, there will be other students contacting me in April to ask about funding for Summer 2020; there is not much I can do to help them. Here are three steps to nailing the timing of fellowship applications.

The Fulbright-Hays is specifically for people doing dissertation research outside of the U.S. and Western Europe. Please visit this website prior to registering:

Tuesday, November 12 from 12:30 - 1:30 in University Services Building Room 209

The Summer 2019 Application Support Program is currently closed but will reopen for Summer 2020. Please use the information below as a reference.

The Summer Fellowship Application Support Program serves to assist UA students in completing fellowship applications over the summer and to improve the quality of the applications. We provide summer deadlines for students to submit drafts of their fellowship applications for feedback.

If you enroll in the program, you will commit to submitting at least one draft of an application over the summer.

Current postdoctoral scholars will share seven (maybe more!) insights on effective strategies for obtaining postdoctoral funding.

Tuesday, September 10 from 12:30 - 1:30 in ENR2 S215

Join us for an overview of the application process for the NIH F31s. This session will be relevant for applicants and their advisors.
Monday, September 16 from 12:00 – 1:00 in University Services Building Room 214

Thank you for your interest in joining a Writing Efficiency Group. If you would like to commit to joining the group, please fill out this form. This will also help us select times for our in-person writing sessions.

By enrolling in the Summer 2019 Application Support Program, you commit to submitting at least one draft of your application essays over the summer. You do not need to be in Tucson to participate.

Writing Efficiency Group are intended for you to help you move forward in your writing and to become a more efficient writer. The group lasts for one month. Please fill out this form if you are interested in being part of a Writing Efficiency Group.

Writing for fellowships hard. Writing is hard.




In the funding world, we like to say that fellowships go to people and grants go to projects.


Generally, this is a fairly accurate description. But, you ask, does this matter?


Travis Sawyer, a graduate student who has worked with us in the Office of Fellowships, has had great success both in obtaining fellowship proposals for himself and in assisting other graduate students in writing their own fellowship proposals.


Did you know the National Science Foundation offers funding to graduate students?

Of course you did.

However, did you know that the Romance Writers of America also has funding for graduate students? As does the government of Ireland, the Slovak Academic Information Agency, and the Huntington Botanical Gardens.

But how could you possibly find a funding opportunity that is just right for you?

I’m about to tell you.


The number one question I get in the Office of Fellowships, is “how do I find funding?”

Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question. The possibilities are endless; maybe a person you meet on the bus will decide she wants to pay your tuition or an anonymous donor will buy the equipment you need. I hope something like this this happens to you.


The purpose of the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (FH DDRA) fellowship is to contribute to the development and improvement of the study of modern foreign languages and area studies in the U.S. by supporting full-time dissertation research abroad. UA Internal deadline is June 22nd.

Collectively, the Graduate College Office of Fellowships has approximately 31 years of experience with fellowships. In this last newsletter of 2016 I will pass along some bits and pieces we have learned along the way.

Wed. Mar 21 - 1:30PM - 2:30 PM
Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad
Walk In Advising Session
University Service Bldg. Rm. 204E - 888 N Euclid

Apply for the Summer 2018 Fellowship Application Support Program for support in completing fellowship applications over the summer. Participate from on or off campus. Select Track One if you are near the beginning of your graduate work. Select Track Two if applying for dissertation or postdoctoral support. Applications Deadlines: Priority Deadline - Wednesday, April 11 at 5:00 p.m.

“What I have found,” a graduate student recently told me, “is that I like rejections. They are a chance to learn, a path forward.”

Just to be clear, this student had had a few days to contemplate his most recent rejection; I imagine that this was not his first reaction to the news. Additionally, he had received a beautiful rejection with all sorts of accolades for his work accompanied by very concrete suggestions for improvement.

Hola! My name is Laura Zambrano-Vazquez and I am a graduate student in the Psychology Department at the University of Arizona. I was fortunate enough to be awarded the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF) in 2011.

My name is Diana Meter and I’m a 4th year PhD student in Family Studies and Human Development at the University of Arizona. I became a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow in 2012.

My name is Andrea Stevens and I am in the 3rd year of my PhD program in the Geosciences Department at the University of Arizona. I received my NSF Graduate Research Fellowship the second time I applied in 2014.

Hi! My name is Ryan Watson I am receiving my PhD in Family Studies and Human Development (FSHD) at the University of Arizona. The National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF) assisted my work from 2011-2014.


My name is Linnea Honeker. I am a Graduate Editor and I am working toward my Ph.D. in Environmental Science with a Microbiology Minor in the Department of Soil, Water, and Environmental Sciences. I was awarded the NSF GRF in 2013.

Hello everyone! My name is Katie Leight and I am a fourth year student in the Chemistry PhD program at the University of Arizona. I do analytical and organic research in the McGrath and Saavedra labs. I received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (NSF GRFP) in 2013, and I am a graduate editor.

Hi!  I’m Antonio Gómez, and I was a Master’s student in the Graduate Interdisciplinary Program in Entomology and Insect Science at the U of A from the fall of 2012 to the summer of 2014.  I’m on a short break with lots of trips in the field to collect beetles in our wonderful outdoors in southern Arizona before moving to Oregon to start a Ph.D. in the Integrative Biology Department. 

My name is Tamee Albrecht. I am a second-year PhD student in the School of Geography and Development. My research explores the implications of changes in the timing and location of water availability on water security. In the Himalayan foothills of South Asia, groundwater springs are the primary source of water for domestic and irrigation uses in rural villages, however, groundwater spring flows have been declining due to climate change and expanding hydropower development.

The purpose of these workshops is to help you get some writing done. Feel free to come if you are just beginning the essays, if you are polishing the essays, or in somewhere inbetween.

Graduate students have a lot to do. On top of completing classes, passing exams, doing research, and writing papers, most graduate students plan to present at conferences, get papers published, teach, etc. When I encourage graduate students to apply for fellowships and grants, I realize this is one item on a long list.

So, when should students work on applications for funding opportunities and when should they focus on other things?

The Summer 2017 Application Support Program serves to assist UA students in completing fellowship applications over the summer and to improve the quality of UA student fellowship applications.

My name is Kat Compton and I’m in the 4th year of my PhD program in Geosciences at the University of Arizona. I received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship in 2012.


Hi!  My name is Ben Rackham.  I’m a PhD student in the astronomy program at the University of Arizona.  I started a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF) in 2014.

Let me tell you a story.

About a year ago, I received an email from a student in linguistics asking if I would review a draft of her proposal for the Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research. This was the first time I had heard of the Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research, or at least, the first time it caught my attention. With a little investigation, I found that the American Philosophical Society supports the fund and that several UA graduate students in geology have previously received the award.

The beginning of a new year is a good time to update your curriculum vitae (CV) and resume. As most of you know, the main difference between a CV (from Latin for “course of life”) and a resume (from French for “summary”), is length. Whether you have a CV or resume will depend on your discipline and your professional goals. I will refer to CVs in this article, but the ideas apply to both CVs and resumes. You should have a template version of the document that you keep current and adapt to opportunities as you apply to them.

Now that it is the middle of application season, we have gotten a number of questions about writing timelines for fellowship applications. Here are a few tips:

You may have heard of a student who decided to apply to a fellowship two weeks before it was due, dashed an application together, and received the fellowship.

Sometimes this happens. But not often. Although it makes for a less interesting story, most successful applicants plan well ahead of the deadline, work strategically towards making themselves good candidates, and then systematically apply.

As summer approaches, consider putting together a plan for fellowships to which you might apply. Below you will find a general guide to help you think about process.  

In the Office of Fellowships, we often read essays for fellowship applications that have been copied and pasted from dissertation proposals. While the copy and paste function is one that we ourselves utilize and view with great affection, the use of it can be a barrier to being awarded a fellowship. Below you will find some tips for revising a dissertation proposal, or any research proposal, into a proposal for a fellowship application.

Before beginning the narrative, consider the answers to the following questions:

Why do I love this project?

If the prospect of all the holiday social obligations fills you with unmitigated delight, you can stop reading this article now. Go ahead and click on another article.

Now that it is just those of us who feel at least some measure of anxiety anticipating social events we can discuss the topic at hand – holiday parties.

The most frequently asked question I receive from graduate students is how to find funding. Finding funding is like finding a job; it takes a mixture of work, perseverance, luck, and connections. 

We have some basic information on funding graduate school on our website ( Further, here are a few strategies to keep in mind in your search for graduate funding:

1. Talk to People

With all of the fellowship opportunities in the fall, a graduate student could spend the semester writing fellowship applications. Don’t.

Your main goal as a graduate student should be to, as quickly as is reasonably possible, set yourself up for the next step in your career. Applying to a few choice fellowships can help you achieve this goal.

But how do you decide which fellowship application is worth your time?

Do your research. Ask yourself, how well do I fit this opportunity?

Last month I gave you five tips for getting your writing done. If you, along with most graduate students, have not gotten as far as you had hoped in your summer writing, don’t despair. Don’t feel guilty. Have a look at the tips here and continue writing – onward and upward! 

When you are ready to have others read your fellowship applications, here are five tips for getting the best feedback possible.

1. Give your readers guidance.

When you send or post drafts for others to read, be sure to give them some context for what they are reading.

With approximately 1,600 annual awards, the Student Fulbright is one of the largest and best recognized national fellowships. I often talk with graduate students who think that they might be interested in a Fulbright but are not sure about the details. If you are one of those people, read below for insight from Emily Kotay, the Scholarship Advisor in the Office of Nationally Competitive Scholarships (ONCS).

Most graduate students have ambitious summer writing goals. If you are one of them, here are five tips to help you be successful in meeting those goals.

1. Find a daily time to write. This means putting words on paper. You also need time to read and do research, but you should schedule time to actually write. Whether it means brainstorming ideas for fellowship applications, outlining, or editing, you should touch your writing every day.

Thank you for participating in the NSF GRFP Application Support Program. We hope that it was helpful for you! We would greatly value your feedback in order to improve the program next year.

Thank you for your help with the GRFP Application Support Program. We have really enjoyed working with you! Although the primary goal of the program is to support applicants, we also aim to make the experience professionally beneficial to you. Please let us know how we can improve the program in the future, both for applicants and for Editors.

Elizabeth Stahmer, the Director of the Social and Behavioral Research Institute, has worked on applications for funding from multiple organizations such as the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Department of Defense, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the State of Arizona, and dozens of private foundations.

In my recent interview with her, she gave numerous nuggets of excellent advice for finding and applying for funding. I share them with you below.

What do you do?

One of the lovely, and potentially challenging, elements of academia is summer. While summer often gives graduate students a change of pace, funding it can be tricky.

Many of you already have your plans solidified. For the rest of you, consider this a tap on the shoulder to begin, or to continue, thinking about how you will finance your summer.

Here are a few suggestions:


Money for graduate fellowships generally comes from the following sources:

As you search for funding, large fellowships of thousands of dollars will probably catch your attention. You should apply to the big fellowships, but also consider applying for smaller ones. Aiming for the small potatoes is worth your time for three reasons:

  1. The more you apply for fellowships, the better you will get at it.

  2. Smaller fellowships are usually less competitive so you are more likely to receive the award.

Finding funding is like finding a job. There is no one way to go about it and talking to people is usually your best strategy. However, an additional excellent strategy for finding funding is to sign up for funding alerts.

Yes, it is true, you can receive email alerts specially designed to fit your research interests! You can also receive funding alerts from organization that you think might be interested in your research.

You have done a lot in the past three weeks. Unless you are one of the lucky few, this has probably included managing some financial uncertainties. Hopefully you have most of your questions answered by now. But the University of Arizona is a big place and you might find that you have to run around in circles a bit before getting issues resolved.

Here are few suggestions for students trying to navigate the financial milieu of graduate school.

Last spring a student came into my office to discuss a specific funding opportunity. I found her research compelling and I looked forward to learning more about it when she sent me her essays. But when I began to read the draft of her fellowship proposal, I soon found my mind drifting to topics like snacks. I gave her comments and we are still waiting to hear the results of the competition.

As we approach the fall semester, I hope that many of you have plans to apply for funding opportunities.

However, in the busy life of graduate school, students often start to wonder if taking the time to apply for fellowships and grants is worth the effort. Graduate students are generally successful people, so after being rejected once or twice, some give up applying.

Librarians are treasure chests for graduate students. A few good tips from a librarian can provide a graduate student with just the right resources and save him or her hours of work. With this in mind, I interviewed University of Arizona librarian Jill Newby for a few tips on creating a bibliography for fellowships.


Few graduate students are familiar with Sponsored Projects. But if you plan on continued research, chances are that you will eventually need to know about this department. Lori Schultz, Assistant Director of UA Sponsored Projects, generously provided the following brief introduction.

What is the purpose of Sponsored Projects?

For a graduate student who is new to grant writing, or even a seasoned grant writer, an RFP (Request for Proposals) can be intimidating. Every organization arranges the document differently and the language used is often abstruse. Depending on the agency, there may not even be a single document but a scattering of information across webpages. This GradFunding article will help you navigate RFPs, in whatever their form, and get the information that you need. 

Application support is available for UA students applying to the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program! Registrants will have access to successful essays, assistance with an application plan, and more.

UA Graduate Students are invited to attend a summer workshop series on applying for fellowships. Topics range from making a fellowship application plan to managing the revision process. Attendees will make concrete progress on the application during the workshops.

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