Money makes the world go ’round, and unfortunately, it is also the foundation of a graduate student career. As a graduate student, a big portion of the time goes into thinking about money. Are you budgeting correctly to pay for living expenses? Can you afford that trip to that really big, important conference? Where are you going to get money to conduct that research project? Do you have funding to support graduate school next year?
Fortunately, there are lots of sources out there where you can get money. My tips for getting this money is to: start early, do it often, and get help.
It is never to early to start applying to get money. NOW is the perfect time. Look for external fellowships even if your department is funding you, and apply to all of the ones you are eligible for. When going to a conference, apply for a travel grant. If you are starting a new research project, apply for grants to fund it, no matter how small. The more you apply, the greater the chance is of you getting something, and the better you get at writing grant applications (practice makes perfect!). Most importantly, talk to others who have gotten funding before. People who received funding don’t receive it by luck, they did something right. Ask them to see their applications, ask them to read yours, team up with researchers and faculty members who are well funded.
So what are you waiting for? Go out there and get that cash!