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Office of Graduate Student External Grants and Fellowships | GradFund

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One Project, Many Frames (and Many Awards!)

One Project, Many Frames (and Many Awards!)

Framing your research Most grad students have had at least some practice writing about the major disciplinary contributions of their dissertation. Indeed, a dissertation proposal defense requires in-depth knowledge of how your project speaks to major research...

Do I Have to? Motivation to Apply for External Funding

Do I Have to? Motivation to Apply for External Funding

Applying for grants and fellowships can be daunting on top of the typical graduate student workload. It is easy to convince yourself to delay the application process when faced with coursework, teaching, research, and meetings. Here are several motivating factors to...

Make the Case That Your Project Will Contribute to Your Field

Make the Case That Your Project Will Contribute to Your Field

From a funder’s perspective, your passion for your project isn’t enough. Funders want to know that you have designed a project that does more than simply exercise your own intellectual curiosity. Even when it is not explicitly stated among the priorities listed in the...

Developing a Relationship with your NSF Program

Developing a Relationship with your NSF Program

*This blog is in preparation for GradFund’s upcoming Applying to the NSF workshop The National Science Foundation funds graduate students every year in a wide array of disciplines, from cultural anthropology to biomedical engineering. Awards are available for almost...

Strategies for Revision Series (Part 2)

Strategies for Revision Series (Part 2)

Have a draft of a research statement or personal narrative for your fellowship application? Feel like it’s in pretty good shape, but not sure how to give it that top-level shine? This post suggests a strategy of revision for seeing each part of your essay in a new...

Strategies for Revision Series (Part 2)

Strategies for Revision Series (Part 1)

Have a draft of a research statement? Sometimes get a sneaking suspicion that it’s not quite hanging together? This post suggests a strategy for revision that’s quick, straightforward, and yet often effective in shedding light on structural problems. I can’t claim...

How to Identify What Reviewers Want?

How to Identify What Reviewers Want?

At GradFund we always say "you need to know the funder". But, why is this important? And how do you do it? Reviewers for graduate grants and fellowships are usually interested in both short-term deliverables (i.e. what training or research you will undertake for the...

Featured Funder: The Leopold Schepp Foundation

Featured Funder: The Leopold Schepp Foundation

Trying to fund a master’s degree or PhD coursework? The Leopold Schepp Foundation offers need-based financial support for graduate students (and undergrads too) who demonstrate exemplary character, strong academic ability, and financial need. Graduate students must be...

Show, Don’t Tell

Show, Don’t Tell

“Show, don’t tell” is a pretty common saying here at GradFund. But what exactly do we mean by this, and how can it help you write a competitive application? Typically, grant applications consist of more than a research design. Funders want to know who they’re funding,...

What to Expect: Application Review Meeting

What to Expect: Application Review Meeting

I’ve had this experience often: At the end of an exhaustive meeting with a fellowship applicant—after we’ve gone over specific points of structure and tone in minute detail; after we’ve reviewed broader issues of purpose and audience; after we’ve discussed background...

Unpacking Jargon—Part Two

Unpacking Jargon—Part Two

Part One of this post described reasons to limit jargon in your proposal, and two strategies to help you minimize your use of jargon. Part Two offers more specific advice for addressing jargon in your writing. Define for yourself each term you or your readers have...

Unpacking Jargon—Part One

Unpacking Jargon—Part One

Jargon serves important functions in any field of activity. It lends accuracy and efficiency to communication within a subfield, and terms that begin as jargon may eventually enter into common use: consider the current popularization of specialized terms like...

4 Things to Do Before Applying for Funding

4 Things to Do Before Applying for Funding

If you’re thinking about applying for external funding (and you should be!), it’s important to prepare yourself for the application process. Here are four things to do before diving into your proposal. 1. Schedule an appointment with GradFund– Whether you’re still...

A Visit from the SSRC- Part II

A Visit from the SSRC- Part II

Looking to apply for the Social Science Research Council’s International Dissertation Research Fellowship (SSRC IDRF)? Recently, GradFund hosted an information session on the IDRF presented by its Program Director Daniella Sarnoff. The presentation provided a wealth...

A Visit from the SSRC-Part I

A Visit from the SSRC-Part I

At Rutgers, we recently had a visit from the program officer of one of the most prestigious fellowship awards for which we help graduate students apply: the Social Science Research Council International Dissertation Research Fellowship. The IDRF supports 9-12 months...

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