How to Fund Your Summer

Feb. 16, 2016

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:


To find resources specific to your destination or to your field of research, visit our list of funding resources. The DAAD, NSF EAPSI, Fulbright, and others offer summer support but have fall deadlines. If you are interested in language learning, several universities that offer the FLAS such as University of Wisconsin-Madison ( have upcoming deadlines.

Two excellent resources for UA students have upcoming deadlines.

  • Tinker Field Research Grants: The Center for Latin American Studies will offer approximately 20 Tinker Field Research grants to UA students. The grants support travel expenses for master’s and pre-dissertation fieldwork in Spanish/Portuguese-speaking Latin American or Caribbean countries during Summer 2016 (May through August). This is an excellent funding opportunity.The deadline for this application is Friday, March 11, 2016.  

  • GPSC Travel Grants: The GPSC awards travel grants for graduate and professional students who are attending or presenting research at academic or professional conferences. In certain cases, funding may be awarded to students who are attending competition or are conducting research elsewhere. The deadlines to submit grants for summer travel are March 1 and May 1.  

Internships (Externships, Co-ops, etc.):

Ideally, internships help clarify your career goals, give you practical experience in a field, and generate some income. Deadlines for internships are quickly approaching. If you find a perfect internship and the deadline has passed, consider calling and asking if they are still taking applications; chances are slim, but it is possible that they have not yet found the perfect candidate.


While there are usually fewer GA and TA positions in the summer, some summer funding opportunities may exist in your department. Be sure to ask around. Ask other graduate students in your department how they funded previous summers. 

If your department does not have TA or GA positions over the summer, don’t panic. The UA and Tucson are interesting places with a lot going on. You may be able to find employment related to your research or you might find a job that is totally unrelated to your academic self. This is a good time to begin looking for summer work. UA Career Services is a good place to start: And remember to ask people you know, both inside and outside of the university, about summer employment. 


Finally, even as you pursue the other options above, be sure to keep your eyes open for fellowships that allow you the summer to continue your research and writing. Many colleges and departments have small, or significant, summer fellowships. If you have not already, sign up for the alert services available through Pivot and Grant Forward.

Good luck. It can be difficult to pursue options for the summer while you are busy with the semester, but there are a lot of good opportunities out there!


The GradFunding Newsletter is a service of the University of Arizona Graduate College, Office of Fellowships and Community Engagement. You may reuse this article but please acknowledge Shelley Hawthorne Smith and the University of Arizona Graduate College Office of Fellowships and Community Engagement.

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