• External Funding

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External Funding

Whether you are supported by an assistantship or you are seeking funding sources to support your research, you should always consider exploring your options for external funding. Learn more about external funding opportunities by visiting the sections below:

International Student Funding

While the majority of fellowships and funding sources are federally funded and thus restricted to US citizens and residents, there are a growing number of fellowship and funding opportunities that are available to international students. Please see the list of fellowship options and additional resources that you can explore:

Financial Aid Resources for International Students

Vietnam Education Foundation

The VEF Fellowship Program is one of the key components of VEF’s mandate to enhance bilateral relations between the United States and Vietnam through international educational exchange programs that help improve Vietnamese Science and Technology (S&T) capacities. VEF provides fellowships to the most talented Vietnamese for graduate study (master’s, doctorate degree program) in the United States in Science and Technology. Fellows are selected through a highly competitive, open and transparent process.

Fulbright Foreign Student Fellowship Program

The Fulbright Fellowship Program is a U.S. government sponsored program designed to increase mutual understanding and the exchange of ideas between the United States and other countries. International students interested in studying at FIU apply for a fellowship through a participating Fulbright agency (IIE, LASPAU, AMIDEAST, etc.) and then apply to FIU as a part of the Fulbright placement process. Fulbright Foreign Fellows that attend FIU have their out-of-state tuition fees waived. For more information visit the Fulbright Foreign Student Program web site or contact Assistant Director, Graduate Admissions, Nanett Rojas.

Why Apply for External Funding?

Even if you are supported by an assistantship, there are a number of compelling reasons that you should consider applying for external funding:

  • There are financial incentives to applying for a fellowship, as fellowship stipends are typically higher than departmental stipends and often cover fees that are not covered by assistantships.
  • Receiving external funding allows students to get paid to work on their own research instead of having to perform duties associated with a teaching or research assistantship or having to pay their own way through graduate school.
  • The prestige that comes with being awarded external funding conveys to potential employers that you are someone who takes initiative, can synthesize and explain difficult concepts, and is an excellent writer, all of which are highly sought characteristics in any job market.
  • You will often be expected to have obtained external funding when going up for tenure. Earning external funding as a graduate student indicates to tenure committees that you will be successful at getting funding at their institution.
  • The FIU committee that awards the Doctoral Evidence Acquisition (DEA) Fellowship and Dissertation Year Fellowship (DYF) takes into account whether or not you have applied for external funding. It is looked upon favorably if you have previously applied for external funding, successfully or not.
  • Applying for external funding is a great experience; it is a chance to improve your writing skills, and any work that you put towards a proposal will make writing your thesis or dissertation that much easier.

External Fellowship Opportunities

The table below is a list of graduate student fellowships. Click here to see a list of commonly applied to fellowships and their major eligibility requirements.

Agency Award Name Areas Funded or Goals of Program Other Eligibility Requirements Deadline US Citizenship and/or Permanent Resident Status Required?
American Association of University Women (AAUW) Dissertation Fellowship Commitment to helping women and girls through service in their communities, professions, or fields of research American Fellowships are not open to previous recipients of any AAUW national fellowship or grant (not including branch or local awards or Community Action Grants),The American Dissertation Fellowship must be used for the final year of writing the dissertation. November Yes
American Association of University Women (AAUW) International Fellowship Awarded based on academic achievement and demonstrated commitment to women and girls. Recipients return to their home countries to become leaders in business, government, academia, community activism, the arts or scientific fields Awarded to full-time study or research in the United States to women who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Both graduate and postgraduate studies at accredited U.S. institutions are supported. Must be full time. Intended to return to her home country to pursue a professional career. November No
American Educational Research Association (AERA) Dissertation Grant Supports research that uses rigorous quantitative methods to examine large-scale, education-related data sets from U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and other federal agencies to advance fundamental knowledge of relevance to STEM policy and build research capacity in education and learning. Applicants should be advanced doctoral students at the dissertation writing stage. March No
American Political Science Association (APSA)  Political Science Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant (by NSF) Support doctoral dissertation research that advances knowledge and understanding of citizenship, government, and politics Must be enrolled at a U.S. academic institution, completed all prelkiminary degree requirements, sponsored by their dissertation advisor and endorsed by their graduate institution. June No
American Psychological Association (APA) Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (MHSAS) Predoctoral Fellowship Supports doctoral training in psychology that seeks to
promote culturally competent behavioral health services and policy for ethnic minority populations;
increase the number of ethnic minority psychologists providing behavioral health services and developing policy for ethnic minority populations
Enrolled full-time in an APA-accredited doctoral program for the fall term immediately following the application deadline; African Americans, Alaska Natives, American Indians, Asian Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders are especially encouraged to apply. Sign a letter of commitment attesting that they will work for a period of two years in this area. January Yes
American Psychological Association (APA) Services for Transition Age Youth (STAY) Fellowship Research focused on mental health services for ethnic minority youth ages 16 through 25 and their families. Supports terminal master’s students in counseling psychology that is not accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, not a marriage and family therapy program and not an addictions program.  Sign a letter of commitment attesting that they will work for a period of two years in this area. 15-Jan No
Boren Awards Graduate Fellowship Boren Fellowships support cultural immersion in the areas of the world other than Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. All Boren Awards-funded programs must include language study as a core element for the duration of the grant Proposed programs of two or more semesters are strongly encouraged. Preference will be given to Boren Awards applicants proposing overseas programs of at least 25 weeks’ duration. January

Contact Boren Campus Representative at cryan@fiu.edu

Yes
The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship Supports original and significant study of ethical or religious values in all fields of the humanities and social sciences; explore the ethical implications of foreign policy, the values influencing political decisions, the moral codes of other cultures, and religious or ethical issues reflected in history or literature Ph.D. candidates at American institutions located in the United States who are scheduled to complete their dissertations during the next academic year at the time of applying. be in a humanities or social science department, writing on topics where ethical or religious values are a central concern. Previous applicants may not apply. November No
Embassy of France in the United States The Chateaubriand Fellowship in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics & Biology-Health (STEM)  Supports doctoral students to initiate or reinforce collaborations, partnerships or joint projects between French and American research teams. Research should be performed in a French laboratory (university, engineering school, public research laboratory…), Co-sponsorship by a candidate’s American university or French host institution is encouraged January US citizenship is not required; however, French citizens are not eligible
Embassy of France in the United States The Chateaubriand Fellowship in Social Sciences and Humanities For students from American universities who seek to engage in research in France, in any discipline of the Humanities and Social Sciences Candidates must obtain a letter of agreement from their advisor(s) in the U.S., as well as a letter of invitation from a professor affiliated with a French university or research institution. Please be in touch with your supervisor in France as early as possible. The history of the research relationship will be taken into account in the review process. January Candidates do not have to be U.S. citizens, but they must be enrolled in an American university. However, French citizens are not eligible to apply.
American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship  Supports a year of research and writing to help advanced graduate students in the humanities and related social sciences in the last year of PhD dissertation writing Applicants must: be no more than six years into the degree program at the time of application. This includes time spent earning an MA within that program, have not previously applied for this fellowship more than once October No
De Karman Fellowship Trust Dissertation Fellowship Any discipline Study must be carried out only in the United States and all funds must be expended only within this country.
The fellowship is for one academic year and dissertation must be defebded by June of the award academic year
January No
Department of Defense (DoD) National Defense Science and Engineering Fellowship Several fields of engineering; biosciences; chemical engineering; chemistry; cognitive, neural, and behavioral sciences; computer science; geosciences; mathematics; materials science; oceanography; physics Graduate Students (1st year, 2nd year)
Recent Master’s Degree Recipients
Pre-Doctoral Students (1st year, 2nd year)
Dual MD-PHD Students
Dual PSYD-PHD Students
December Yes
Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration(DOE NNSA) DOE NNSA Stewardship Science Graduate Fellowship  First and second year graduate students focusing their studies on high energy density physics, nuclear science, or properties of materials under extreme conditions and hydrodynamics. At the time of application, you cannot have completed more than two years of full-time graduate work toward your Ph.D. January Yes
Department of Energy Nuclear Energy University Program Fellowship (DOE NEUP)  Research contributiong to development and exploration of advanced nuclear science and technology Entering their first or second year of graduate study
Enrolled in an IUP-accepted college or university
Studying nuclear science or engineering or a related field
Januart Yes
Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship (DOE CSGF) Engineering; physical, computer, mathematical or life sciences First-year Ph.D. students with an M.S. degree provided that they 1) completed the M.S. degree within two years at a different academic institution, 2) completed the M.S. degree within two years in a different academic department, OR 3) prior to current enrollment, they had not been enrolled in graduate school for at least two years January Yes
Department of Justice NIJ Graduate Research Fellowship (NIJ GRF-STEM) Supports scholars engaged in research that addresses the challenges of crime and justice in the United States, particularly at the state and local levels in all social and behavioral science disciplines including, but not limited to, criminology, psychology and sociology; the life sciences, physical sciences, engineering, computer and information sciences, and the mathematical sciences. Applicants need to register at Grants.gov April No
Everglades Foundation FIU for Everglades Research Scholarship Supports research advancing Everglades physical, chemical or biological processes, or research in economic impacts of environmental changes.  For students pursuing degrees in earth sciences, biological sciences, engineering, geography, planning and resources management, and economics FIU Master’s with research or PhD students in the Insitute of the Environment July No
Fahs-Beck Fund Doctoral Dissertation Grant Program Supports research focused on functioning or well being of children, adults, couples, families, or communities, or on interventions designed to prevent or alleviate such problems PhD students Jan. 1 and Apr. 1 No
Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowships Most majors Must have at least 3 years remaining in doctorate program; for members of underrepresented minorities Decembber Yes
Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship Most majors For members of underrepresented minorities December Yes.  DACA applicants are also eligible
GEM Consortium Graduate Fellowships in Engineering and Science (GEM) STEM For members of underrepresented minorities November Yes
Harry Guggenheim Foundation Dissertation Fellowship Violence and aggression in relation to social change, intergroup conflict, war, terrorism, crime, and family relationships, among other subjects. Dissertations with no relevance to understanding human violence and aggression will not be supported. Ph.D. candidates who are entering the dissertation stage of graduate school. Usually, this means that fieldwork or other research is complete and writing has begun February No
Hertz Foundation Fellowship Applied physical and biological sciences, mathematics, or engineering College seniors or first-year graduate (PhD) students October Yes
Hispanic Scholarship Fund HSF General Scholarships All academic areas but STEM preferred Applicant must be of Hispanic Heritage and enrolling in first graduate degree as a full-time student in a U.S. accredited university. February Yes.  DACA applicants are also eligible
Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Doctoral Dissertation Research Grant Program Housing and urban development issues Must have fully developed and approved dissertation proposals that address issues in housing and urban development and can be completed within a 2-year period January No
Howard Hughes Medical Center Gilliam Fellowships for Advanced Study For adviser-student pairs studying scientific problems in biomedical and life science disciplines including plant biology, evolutionary biology, biophysics, chemical biology, biomedical engineering, and computational biology For underpresented minorities in second or third year of PhD program. Must be nominated by FIU institutional representative and invited to apply Nominations Due in October No
IBM IBM PhD Fellowship Award Ph.D. students who have an interest in solving problems that are important to IBM and fundamental to innovation in many academic disciplines and areas of study. These include: computer science and engineering, electrical and mechanical engineering, physical sciences (including chemistry, material sciences, and physics), mathematical sciences (including analytics, statistics, operations research, and optimization), business sciences (including financial services, risk management, marketing, communications, and learning/knowledge management), and service science, management, and engineering (SSME). Students should have three years remaining in their graduate program at the time of nomination.  Non-US Citizens who wish to participate in an internship in the US must obtain work authorization under the specifics of their visa. Students from US embargoed countries are not eligible for the program. Nominations for the annual IBM PhD Fellowship program begin the 3rd week of September and are accepted for 5 weeks No
Institute of Humane Studies (George Mason University) Humane Studies Fellowship Supports PhD students in the social sciences and humanities who have a research interest that contributes to the advancement of classical liberal scholarship Varies No
Josephine de Karman Foundation Dissertation Completion Fellowship  All disciplines PhD candidates who will defend their dissertation in or about June of the following academic year are eligible January No
Link Foundation Link Foundation Energy Program Projects that are innovative, technically sound, and offer potential for significant impacts on societal supply and utilization PhD students December No
Link Foundation Ocean Engineering and Instrumentation PhD Fellowship Program Ocean engineering and ocean instrumentation research The applicant must be working toward a Ph.D. in an academic institution. (Please note: the applicant must have already been accepted into a Ph.D. program.)
No limitations are placed on citizenship.
Fellowships are only tenable at U.S. and Canadian Universities.
Fellows must be enrolled on a full-time basis for the duration of the award.
April No
Louisville Institute Dissertation Fellowship Research pertaining to North American Christianity, especially projects related to Christian faith and life, religious institutions, and pastoral leadership. Designed to support the final year Ph.D. or Th.D. dissertation writing February No
Microsoft Microsoft Research Fellowship Program Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, or Mathematics Students must be starting their second or third year in an eligible PhD program iat the time of applying and need to have 2 years of their PhD studies left; Nominations by the department Chair are due by August 15; Invited applicants submit applications by the end of September No
Mustard Seed Foundation Harvey Fellowship Economics, business and finance in public and private sector; International diplomacy, security, and business; Journalism and media; Film production and visual and performing arts; Public policy and federal, state, and major city government;  Applied and theoretical sciences; Research, teaching, and administration at premier secular colleges and universities Applicants must be enrolled in or have applied to a full-time graduate program; demonstrated Christian faith and ongoing commitment and accountability to the local church; study in top programs or under a highly recognized advisor in their discipline November No
National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program Interdisciplinary; Engineering; Mathematical Science; Computer and Information Sciences and Engineering; Chemistry; Physics and Astronomy; Social Sciences; Psychology; Geosciences; STEM Education and Learning; Life Sciences Must apply prior either during 1st or 2nd year of graduate school Multiple Dates in October (vary by discipline) Yes
National Science Foundation (NSF) (Directorate for Social, Behavioral, & Economic Sciences) Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grants Archaeology; Biological Archeology; Cultural Anthropology; Linguistics; Geology and Spatial Sciences; Sociology Must be enrolled at a U.S. academic institution Deadlines Vary No
National Institutes of Health Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship (Parent F31)  Supports dissertation research in scientific health-related fields relevant to the missions of the participating NIH Institutes and Centers. The applicant must be currently enrolled in a PhD or equivalent research degree program (e.g., EngD, DNSc, DrPH, DSW, PharmD, ScD) in the biomedical, behavioral, or clinical sciences at a domestic or foreign institution.
The applicant must be at the dissertation research stage of training at the time of award.
April 8; August 8; December 8 Yes
Organization of American States OAS Academic Scholarship Program for Graduate Studies and Research  Awarded for graduate studies and or research that is framed within the objectives and priorities established in the Comprehensive Strategic Plan of the Organization. Intended for OAS member citizens studying in the United States or US citizens conducting research in OAS member states Spring For citizens or permanent resident of an OAS Member State.
Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans intended for immigrants and children of immigrants who are pursuing full-time graduate degrees at United States institutions. To be eligible, you will have a bachelor’s degree as of the fall of 2021. You may be applying to graduate school at the same time that you are applying to the Fellowship, or you may already be enrolled in the graduate program that you are seeking fundig for as of the application deadline. The Fellowship is open to all fields of study and fully accredited full-time graduate degree programs To be eligible,  birth parents must have both been born outside of the US as non-US citizens, and both parents must not have been eligible for US citizenship at the time of their births; applicants older than 31 at the time of the application are not eligible to apply October-November Yes
PhRMA Foundation Predoctoral Fellowships Health outcomes research; drug delivery; drug discovery The program is designed for candidates who expect to complete the requirements for the Ph.D. in the field of health outcomes in two years or less from the time the fellowship begins Deadlines Vary Yes
Rand Corporation RAND’s Summer Associate Program  Policy Research, Economics, Sociology & Demography, Statistics, Political Science & History , Psychology, Engineering, Computer Science, Math, Data Science, Physical Sciences,  Operations Research, Ind Eng/Sys Eng, Mgmt Sci, Supply Chain, Risk Analysis 12 week paid full time summer program in RAND’s major U.S. offices — Santa Monica, Washington DC, Pittsburgh, and Boston. For full-time students who have completed at least two years of graduate work leading to a doctorate (e.g., PhD, EDD, DRPH, SciD, etc.) or professional degree (e.g., law or medical degree, professional engineer certificate). Students graduating in the summer are not eligible to apply December No
School for Advanced Research (SAR) Weatherhead Foundation Resident Scholar Fellowships Native American anthropology, history, sociology with strong empirical dimension For scholars at the disseration stage First Monday in November Yes
School for Advanced Research (SAR) Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship in Latino Studies Anthropology, history, sociology, religious studies, Latino/Chicano studies, cultural studies, or in an interdisciplinary field that incorporates two or more of these disciplines For scholars at the disseration stage; underrepresented scholars are especially encouraged to apply First Monday in November Yes
Smith Richardson Foundation Smith R. World Politics and Statecraft Fellowship  Supports Ph.D. dissertation research on American foreign policy, international relations, international security, strategic studies, area studies, and diplomatic and military history Applicants need to have completed all the coursework and passed all qualifying exams at the time of the application October No
Smithsonian Predoctoral Fellowships Certain historical subjects; anthropology, archaeology, linguistics and ethnic studies; evolutionary, systematic, behavioral, environmental, and conservation biology; earth, mineral, planetary science; materials characterization and conservation Doctoral candidates who have completed preliminary course work and examinations, and have been advanced to candidacy November No
Smithsonian Graduate Student Fellowships Certain historical subjects; anthropology, archaeology, linguistics and ethnic studies; evolutionary, systematic, behavioral, environmental, and conservation biology; earth, mineral, planetary science; materials characterization and conservation Formally enrolled in a graduate program, who have completed at least one semester and not yet been advanced to candidacy if in a Ph.D. November No
Society of Women Engineers Scholarships Miscellaneous scholarships Engineering, engineering technology and computer science Female MS  or PhD students February No
Social Science Research Council (SSRC) Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa Peace, security, and development in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda Supports PhD students from working on developing a doctoral dissertation research proposal as well as students who recently completed a master’s degree and seek to enroll in a PhD program. January Citizens of any Sub-Saharan African country
Social Science Research Council (SSRC) International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF) Humanities and social sciences conducting dissertation research outside of the United States, on non-US  topic Applicants to the 2020 IDRF competition must complete all PhD requirements except on-site research by the time the fellowship begins or by December, whichever comes first. November No
National Academy of Education Spencer Dissertation Fellowship  History, theory, analysis, or practice of formal or informal education anywhere in the world Candidates at the dissertation stage October No
Symantec The Symantec Research Labs Graduate Fellowship Preference will be given to students with a desire to work in an industrial research lab and those working on research projects likely to have real-world practical value to customers, in areas related to Symantec’s businesses of information security, availability, and integrity. Must attend a U.S. or European university in a Ph.D. program focused on technology research. December No
Thermo Fisher Scientific Thermo Fisher Scientific Antibody Scholarship Program Graduate students in life sciences Graduate Students must have a cumulative graduate GPA of > 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and have received cumulative undergraduate GPA of > 3.0 on a 4.0 scale May Yes
United States Institute of Peace Jennings Randolph Peace Scholar Dissertation Fellowships  Topics related to international conflict management and peacebuilding; consistent with USIP’s mission and with broader implications to the peacebuilding field as well as potential application to peacebuilding policy and/or practice Applications from members of groups traditionally under-represented in the field of international relations, peace and conflict studies and other related academic disciplines, as well as diplomacy and international policy-making, are strongly encouraged October No
US Department of State Fulbright US Student Program Individually designed graduate (MS/PhD) study/research projects to take place in a participating country outside the US during one academic year Must demonstrate the capacity for independent study or research, together with a general knowledge of the history, culture, and current events of the countries to which they are applying. October Yes
Woodrow Wilson Foundation Charlotte Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship  Supports original and significant study of ethical or religious values in all fields of the humanities and social sciences, and particularly to help Ph.D. candidates in these fields complete their dissertation work in a timely manner. In addition to topics in religious studies or in ethics (philosophical or religious), dissertations appropriate to the Newcombe Fellowship competition might explore the ethical implications of foreign policy, the values influencing political decisions, the moral codes of other cultures, and religious or ethical issues reflected in history or literature. Applicants must be candidates for Ph.D. or Th.D. degrees at the dissertation writing stage and have all pre-dissertation requirements fulfilled by the application deadline November No

External Funding FAQs

What is external funding?
External funding is funding that is provided by an organization (e.g., State, Federal, private) outside the university. There are a number of types of funding opportunities available to students, including everything from small grants for travel or research, to large, multi-year fellowships that cover stipend, tuition and fees, book expenses, and health insurance.

How do I search for external funding opportunities?
Talk with your faculty advisor about external funding, and review the External Funding Opportunities list on the Office of Research & Economic Development.

What if the award offered by a full fellowship is less than the award I would otherwise receive from my departmental teaching assistantship?
All of the benefits listed here will only be provided if the student goes through the pre-award process with a ORED Pre-Award staff member. They cannot be negotiated after the application has been submitted to the granting agency.

Students on full fellowships (i.e., one that pays a stipend of at least $16,000 or the semester equivalent) will have their non-resident fee set to zero. UGS will provide a tuition waiver for the remaining portion of tuition that is not paid by the award. If the stipend offered by a full fellowship is less than your department’s teaching assistantship, UGS will consider supplementing the stipend up to the TA level. If a fellowship does not provide health insurance, UGS will pay the full cost of health insurance for students on a full fellowship. The insurance provided will be the same insurance that is provided to Graduate Assistants.

If I find an opportunity I am interested in applying for, how do I do it?
The first thing to do is discuss it with your Faculty Advisor. If your Faculty Advisor approves of you applying for external funding, contact the pre-award office of the Office of Research & Economic Development. Pre-award will help get you started on any internal paperwork that may be required.

At which stage of my graduate studies should I consider applying?
There are awards available for students at all stages of their graduate studies. When you actually apply may depend on your field, and perhaps more-so, what award you are applying for. Awards may have eligibility restrictions based on what stage of your studies you are in (e.g., 1st year student, pre-dissertation phase, dissertation phase).

When should I start planning to apply for external funding?
As soon as possible. Many applications are due almost 1 year before the award is administered. The most prestigious and competitive awards will require extensive dedication to writing and revising your proposal. Additionally, there may be an award you are not eligible for presently, but you may decide that you want to plan your research so it is consistent with the goals of a particular program, making you a good candidate when you do become eligible.

Can I apply for graduate fellowships as an undergraduate?
Yes. Many fellowships that fund graduate students allow undergraduates to apply during the fall of semester of their final year. If you win the award, you must be accepted into an eligible graduate program to accept it. Winning fellowships as an undergraduate makes students highly marketable to graduate programs.