Applying for fellowships is a great way to get funding for one or more academic years. However, scholarships and smaller awards can also be very helpful in filling a funding gap, such as over a summer or a semester. There are several reasons why you should keep scholarships on your funding radar and consider applying for them as a graduate student.
1) Shorter applications: Since scholarships are typically smaller awards (i.e. not a full stipend), the applications are usually shorter and require fewer components. Some can be as short as one 300 word essay! It is definitely worth your while to apply for at least one of these smaller awards during your graduate career because they can be completed relatively quickly.
2) Faster turnaround time: Since the applications for scholarships are typically shorter, the turnaround time for decisions is faster too. It won’t take reviewers nearly as long to read one scholarship essay as it will be to read an entire fellowship application. This can be advantageous if you need funding sooner rather than later. You could receive funding as soon as a few months after submitting your application, as opposed to the typical 9 month – 1 year cycle for fellowships.
3) Flexible use of funds: Since scholarships are often given as a lump sum, it may be left up to you to spend the money as you wish. You may be able to use the scholarship as a stipend supplement, to fund conference travel, or to pay for research expenses. Please be sure to check with your funding agency, however, as different funders outline different restrictions and limitations on the kinds of expense for which the funds can be used.
Below are some examples of scholarships over a wide breadth of fields. Use the GradFund Knowledgebase to learn more about what scholarships are offered!
- Society for Women Engineers (SWE) Scholarships: Deadlines are typically in February with recipients notified in May. Funds women in engineering disciplines. Awards range from a few hundred dollars to $10,000.
- Executive Women of New Jersey (EWNJ) Scholarships: Deadline is usually in May and awards are given in August. $5,000 award for women pursuing graduate study.
- International Council for Canadian Studies: Graduate Student Scholarships: Deadline varies. Award is for $3,500 Canadian and supports research for 4-6 weeks at a Canadian university related to a thesis or dissertation in the field of Canadian Studies.
- Kosciuszko Foundation: Scholarships: Deadline is usually in January. Scholarship amount varies from $1,000 – $7,000. Supports American students of Polish descent for full-time graduate studies and non-Polish citizens focusing on Polish studies.
- Google: Anita Borg Scholarship: Deadline varies. Award is for approximately $10,000 and funds female computer scientists or engineers.
- Phi Alpha Theta: Doctoral Scholarship Awards: Deadline varies. Award amount is $750 – $1,000. Funds graduate student members who are PhD candidates in History.
If you want to know more about what scholarships you can apply for, or if you want to review an application, make an appointment with us!