Rutgers - School of Graduate Studies

Office of Graduate Student External Grants and Fellowships | GradFund

This page is designed for students pursing a doctoral degree and who have qualified as doctoral candidates (or will do so soon). The funding discussed on this page will support dissertation research or writing.

What Can You Apply for As a Doctoral Candidate?


What are you looking for?

As a doctoral candidate, we can assist you with identifying and applying for funding to support dissertation research and dissertation write-up/completion.  Your options may include dissertation research grants, fellowships for international field work, archival awards, and dissertation completion fellowships.

What can I apply for?

Awards at this stage are generally aimed at enabling you to complete dissertation research that will make a mark on your field.  This may involve funds for research supplies, support for international travel for research or for visits to an archive. Write-up fellowships fund your cost of living, allowing you to concentrate more fully on writing the dissertation.

Who is eligible to apply?

Carefully research your eligibility to apply before you craft your application materials.  If the award’s website and other documents don’t bring you clarity, contact the program officer.  Many dissertation grants will require that you be ABD to receive funds; almost all dissertation completion awards will require that you be ABD.


When should I apply?

Work with your advisor to develop a timeline for you dissertation research and write-up funding applications. Remember that you will typically apply for funding the academic year before you will use the funds and many of the deadline are during the fall semester.

Ready to apply? Scroll down for GradFund Resources.

GradFund Resources for Doctoral Candidates

Step-By-Step Tutorial

The GradFund Proposal Writing 101 tutorial will take you step-by-step through the process of writing your fellowship or grant application. From getting to know your funder to completing the last piece of the application, this guide will get you there.

Forums & Chat

Use our forums to exchange ideas with your peers and GradFund staff about applying for funding as a predissertion student.  We also offer an online chat service called ‘Ask a Fellowship Advisor’, where you can ask quick questions about our services, your scheduled meetings, or application procedures.

Meet with Us

Meet with a GradFund Fellowship Advisor for a Building a Funding Plan Conference in order to organize your applications and then when you are ready to apply, schedule a Help with a Funder or Application Essay Conference meeting. Learn more about our meeting types and other services here.

Mentoring Program

Join a mentoring program, and meet regularly with a peer mentor and other graduate students working on this application for help, support and expert guidance.

Fellowships and Grants to Support your Dissertation

Search for Fellowships and Grants

Proposal Writing 101 Tutorial

We have developed this tutorial to assist you in the development of your external funding applications. Our tutorial is designed to teach you best practices in proposal development, to understand how to navigate the application process, and to help you with the task of writing a competitive application, including organizing all of the necessary application components.

Proposal Writing 101

Articles & Advice

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...
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Good Writing Happens in Good Company: Three Benefits of Peer Feedback 

Image credit: Photo by Alexis Brown on Unsplash Ever hear of “Lonely Writer Syndrome?” It’s the clinical-sounding term that Writer’s Digest uses to describe the isolation that writers can feel as they toil away by themselves in front of their laptops. But writing does...
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Incorporating Parenting Experiences into Your Personal Statement

This is the third post in a series on navigating the world of external funding as a parent in graduate school. Can an experience as normal as parenting be incorporated into your personal statement? The answer is: it depends. On one hand, it might seem that there is...
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Bringing Your Previous Research Experience into Your Current Application

Many of us have had several research experiences prior to graduate school. These experiences may have been within or outside of the discipline in which we have chosen to pursue our dissertation research. For some lucky few, all of these research experiences connect to...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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“But What If It’s Just a Waste of Time?”: How the Process of Grant Writing Can Advance Your Career—Part One

Grant writing might seem like a distraction or an extra burden in a workload already heavy with research, teaching, coursework, and other responsibilities. Since success isn’t guaranteed, it may feel like the time spent on a proposal could easily turn out to be...
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Top Five GradFund Myths (Advice from the Archives)

GradFund services are very popular with Rutgers graduate students.  We help students across the disciplines identify and apply for extramural, honorific fellowships and grants.  Each year we work one-on-one with over 400 students  And yet, when I speak with graduate...
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ACLS/Mellon Completion Fellowship: Wrapping It Up (Advice from the Archives)

Advice from the Archives Series Note: Occasionally, we dig into the archives to uncover a post we feel holds relevant and timely information worthy of a repost. If you are interested in learning more about research grants and fellowships to support your graduate...
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Proposal Writing 101 Workbook

Once you’ve watched Proposal Writing 101, dive into our proposal writing 101 workbook. The workbook will take you step-by-step through the development of a funding application.

Login for Access!

In order to access the step-by-step guidance found in our Proposal Writing 101 Workbook, please log in to our website using your Rutgers Scarletmail credentials.

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Our newsletter will keep you informed about new funding opportunities and upcoming deadlines, as well as information about GradFund services and other resources that will help you search for and apply to funding opportunities.


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