One Fellowship Application

Aug. 29, 2022

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.

One of the keys for applying for fellowships is to find one that is a good fit for you and your work. We have many resources for finding funding on our website, but we thought it might help you get started if we gave you a few suggestions for fellowships at different stages of a graduate degree.

First-Year Domestic Graduate Students in STEM

  • National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP): A three-year fellowship with a stipend for students in STEM programs who are U.S. citizens, nationals, or permanent residents. Many first-year graduate students choose to wait until their second year to apply for the NSF GRFP because students can only apply once as a graduate student; we recommend that you apply for another fellowship if you plan to wait.
  • Hertz Fellowship: Up to five years of funding for students in applied physical and biological sciences, mathematics, or engineering. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
  • Ford Predoctoral Fellowship: Three years of funding for students who plan to teach at the university level and will bring diversity to academia. See website for citizenship requirements.
  • See our list of six alternatives to the NSF GRFP.

Our Fall Fellowship Application Development Program provides early deadlines, feedback on your drafts, and mentoring for students applying for the Hertz, Ford Predoctoral Fellowship, and the NSF GRFP. We suggest that you sign up before September 2, 2022.

Second-Year Domestic Graduate Students in STEM

If you waited to apply to the NSF GRFP, apply now! Not only is the success rate (around 17%) fairly good for a fellowship of this size, the application gives you an excellent opportunity to hone your research plans and connect with your advisory team. See the list above for first-year students for other opportunities and to sign up for the Fall Fellowship Application Development Program.

First Year or Second Year International Students in STEM

  • Continue to keep an eye on what is available in your home country.
  • International women should look into opportunities like those through AAUW or P.E.O. Peace Scholarship .
  • Use funding databases to make a list of opportunities for which you might be eligible. I suggest starting with the University of Illinois database because it is so easy to use. 

First and Second Year Domestic Graduate Students in Arts or Humanities

  • Ford Predoctoral Fellowship: Three years of funding for students who plan to teach at the university level and will bring diversity to academia. See website for citizenship requirements and sign up for our Fall program above.
  • Summer internships: Whether you are interested in museum, government, or nonprofit work, keep an eye open for summer internships; deadlines will be earlier than you would imagine.
  • Archival work: If there are archives or museums where you are interested in working, begin looking for sources that might fund that work.
  • Travel/language learning: Fellowships like Fulbright, Boren, or the Critical Language Scholarship have fall deadlines. 

First Year or Second Year International Students in Arts or Humanities

All the suggestions for international students in the sciences and most of the suggestions for domestic students in the arts and humanities, pertain to you. Consider looking the lists of opportunities for international students linked in this article.

Last Year of a Master’s Program

You may be focused on searching for a job, but don’t forget about the internships or fellowships like those you can find through the State DepartmentSmithsonian, or ORISE. The Presidential Management Fellowship Program will open soon and is a great opportunity.

Middle of Any Doctoral Program

Before comprehensive exams, you’ll hit a bit of a dry spell in terms of funding. But apply for internal opportunities within your department, and, of course, the GPSC grants continue to be good sources of funding for travel and research. You will have to apply for dissertation research before you feel ready, so keep your eyes on deadlines and your own timeline.

Dissertation Research Next Fall (domestic and international students)

If you plan to do international research beginning in the fall of 2023, this is your application year for the big fellowships. Museums, archives, and national labs often have slightly shorter timelines, and you will likely apply for those in the late fall or early spring. If you plan to do domestic research, begin making a list of smaller funding opportunities that might fill in some gaps.

Dissertation Write-Up Next Fall

Dissertation write-up awards are often based on topics or identities (women, this is your moment!), so be sure to stay organized as you keep track of opportunities. Our list is a good place to begin.

We have a list of many fellowships in the accompanying email, and we suggest you always keep in mind the GPSC grants. But we hope this list has gotten you started thinking about that one (or two or three) fellowship(s) you might apply for this academic year.