A few years ago, I gave a short presentation on securing funding to IU’s Hudson and Holland Scholars who were intending to pursue graduate studies. At a quick glance I thought it would be applicable here, see below for a summary and maybe something you read will catch your attention.
What is your eligibility? Experience (previous work, research, or internships); merit; retention of underrepresented population; duration of funding (entire time frame or renewable).
Internal Funding – Departmental & Institutional Often offered with acceptance letter and largely based on merit. Examples may include: fellowships in the form of merit-diversity-underrepresented groups; assistantships such as research-instruction-teaching assistant; work-study, similar as an undergraduate; grants that may potentially based on merit; the FAFSA based on financial need.
External Funding – Multiple Options Outside of your department; similar as opportunities as mentioned above, but may or may not be closely related to your field or area of study.
Initial search for External Funding – Institution’s Graduate School; position openings within another department; supporting organizations in your field; national organizations within your city or community that you reside in.
Strategize – Submit simultaneous applications, when you apply to the graduate program, also apply to potential funding sources with the idea in mind that you anticipate admittance into the graduate program; ask about opportunities for funding.
Admitted to program and offered internal funding – Q: Will I be supported each year or is there a time limit? Stipend, tuition remission (reduction), other (insurance).
Admitted to program, yet no internal funding offered – Consider the rankings and prestige of program that you are admitted to; not obtaining an offer initially does not suggest you will not get one at a later time in your program (half way through your first year or in your second year)
You’ll have to ask yourself, what challenges may arise if you do not obtain internal funding initially? Attaining funding may require concentrated organization – Keep in contact with faculty and departments; forward your resume/vitae and coverletter to prospective openings; make a list all possible opportunities; check *eligibility & *deadlines; applications may suggest applying in the spring for upcoming academic year; applications may open in the fall and a response may be given in the spring for summer or subsequent year; create a folder for each application.
Understand all of your options – Here are some institutions/programs to help you start your search Graduate office and your department; research centers specific to field and related fields; Trio programs (McNair); Fulbright programs; Ford Foundation; Spencer Foundation, Gates Foundation; William T. Grant Foundation; National Institute of Mental Health; National Institute of Health; Ed.gov; National Science Foundation; Hispanic College Fund; Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund; Office of Minority Health; *review other’s CVs; join professional organizations to access listserves/information.