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 students, I am surprised by how many misconceptions there are. So, in this post, I will address the top five myths about GradFund
1. GradFund has no money for me
In fact, this is true. We do not fund students and we do not have money to give out. However, we have an expertise in the universe of extramural funders that support graduate students and their projects. We can help you navigate the world of extramural funding, learn proposal writing 101 and craft a competitive funding application.
2. Not worth the time
As a graduate student, you don’t have a lot of free time. Your coursework, research, teaching and publishing requirements demand all of your time and energy. Applying for funding does take a lot of time but not to pursue external funding because you think it isn’t worth the time is a big mistake! Like your research, publishing, presenting at conference and teaching, securing external funding is a key element to building your research career. As a PhD student who aspires for a research career whether it is in academia, industry or government, you want to gain experience applying for funding and to build a funding track record as a graduate student.
3. I’m not qualified
If you are enrolled in a graduate program, you are qualified and eligible to apply for funding.
4. I’m international and there is nothing I can apply for
Perhaps the biggest myth among graduate students is that international students can’t apply for funding. While it is true that there are grant and fellowship opportunities that require the applicant is a US citizen or permanent resident, there are many funding opportunities open to international students. A good place to start is the GradFund database.
5. I have money and don’t need to apply for funding.
It isn’t unusual for a doctoral student to receive an internal funding package to support graduate studies. Even if you have an internal package, it is to your advantage to apply for external funding throughout your graduate career. In addition to the benefits to your research development and writing, you can use your internal funding to leverage external funding. The additional funding may be able to supplement the package that you already have, fund you once you are out of package or give you the possibility to bank or defer your internal funding for use later in you graduate career. If you are pursuing a research degree and aspire for a research career, it is a good idea to engage in the practice of applying for external funding throughout your graduate career.