Grants and Fellowships

External grants and awards are opportunities offered by private foundations, government agencies, and corporations. Also known as nationally competitive awards or fellowships, receiving external funding opportunities is a way to position yourself as a leader in your field, whether you are just beginning your graduate career, are conducting research and writing, or are close to the end of your degree and exploring career options. 

We encourage you to review our lists of highlighted opportunities and to take advantage of the resources below as you prepare to apply for competitive grants and fellowships. Be sure to check our events page and the CURF website for upcoming information sessions and workshops related to fellowships and grants. 

Resources and Support

While researching and applying for grant and fellowship opportunities may seem daunting, you are not alone! Penn resource centers exist to assist you as you determine which grants to apply to, how to hone your grant writing skills, and how to better manage your time. 

Resources at Penn

In addition to the University-wide resources below, never forget the value of your advisor, committee, and colleagues within your program for support and guidance! 

Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships (CURF)
Often misunderstood due to the "undergraduate research" portion of its name, CURF assists graduate students seeking funding for language study, graduate coursework, or research through any fellowships in CURF’s Fellowships Directory. CURF can help you at any stage of the application process — finding fellowshipscrafting your applicationdraft review, and practice interviews where applicable.

CURF is Penn’s institutional hub for many prestigious fellowships (including the Fulbright Award,  Boren Fellowship,  Mitchell Scholarship,  Rhodes Scholarship, and Gates Cambridge Scholarship) for which graduate students at any level may be eligible. For a full list of fellowships for which CURF supports graduate student applications, see this customized view of CURF's Fellowships Directory.

Career Services
Not just for finding your future job, Career Services has a subscription to the Grants Advisor online database of funding opportunities relevant to different academic research disciplines, as well as links to other information about funding sources. Activate your Handshake account (https://upenn.joinhandshake.com) and sign up for the “Current PhDs in STEM fields” or “Current PhDs in the Humanities/Social Sciences” CareerMail to receive information about relevant career and funding opportunities

GAPSA
GAPSA offers limited travel grants and, together with the Office of the Provost, promotes interdisciplinary research through individual research grants

Global Activities Registry
Before going abroad for academic work, register your trip details in Penn's Global Activities Registry. Your information will be provided automatically to International SOS (ISOS), the organization that provides assistance, including emergency evacuation, to Penn travelers free of charge. The information will enable the University and ISOS to assist you more quickly during emergencies.

Penn Abroad 
Planning to conduct research or study abroad? Penn Abroad maintains a list of selected fellowships and scholarships that support international work. 

Penn Libraries Subject Guides 
Many of the Penn Libraries' subject-specific research guides contain information about  research funding - including sources, guidelines, and more. 

Science Outreach Initiative
The Science Outreach Initiative serves faculty and other researchers in the School of Arts and Sciences by helping them develop outreach program ideas and proposals, locating potential partners, and promoting information and resource exchange among all of Penn's STEM outreach programs. To help you become aware of the range of STEM Outreach Programs at Penn, the STEM Outreach Initiative has gathered basic information about them into a searchable list located on the STEM Outreach Matrix page.

Weingarten Learning Resources Center
Grants are all about time management and Weingarten Learning Resources Center can help you manage your time effectively. In addition, they can help you work through the strategy of grant writing – not simply the writing itself. Students can make appointments for one-on-one consultations with a Learning Instructor to address concerns and develop strategies for completing the grant researching/writing process.

Getting Started

Getting Started

Timelines 

If you are applying for a program that requires university endorsement, nomination, or review, DO NOT wait until the last minute! Successful applicants typically start working at least 6-8 weeks in advance of application deadlines. Awards requiring campus processes may require even longer.

"Time Management for the Grant" (PDF) by Dr. Pat Thatcher

Weingarten also has many useful tools to help with managing your workload

Fellowships Databases and Listings

There are many, many external funding sources that Penn graduate & professional students may pursue to support educational, research, travel, or other activities. 

In addition to the resources below, several Penn schools and programs maintain discipline-specific lists of funding opportunities that may be of interest to students. Professional associations and societies also often offer funding to graduate students for dissertation research or conference travel. 

Graduate Fellowships Databases 

General Grants & Fellowships Listings 

STEM-Specific Databases

Opportunities for Non-US Students

Additional Funding and Financial Resources

For information about university funding and personal finances, visit our Graduate Funding & Finances page.

Grant and Proposal Writing Guidance

Grant and Proposal Writing Guidance

General Guidance

Social Sciences and Humanities

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)

Personal Statements

Letters of Recommendation

Award-Specific Resources and Guidance

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF-GRFP)

National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate Fellowship (NDSEG)

National Institutes of Health - Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NIH-NRSA F30, F31, F32)

Fulbright: Academic Study/Research Grants and English Teaching Assistantships

Ford Foundation

Workshop materials and samples

coming soon!

Resources at Penn

In addition to the University-wide resources below, never forget the value of your advisor, committee, and colleagues within your program for support and guidance! 

Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships (CURF)
Often misunderstood due to the "undergraduate research" portion of its name, CURF assists graduate students seeking funding for language study, graduate coursework, or research through any fellowships in CURF’s Fellowships Directory. CURF can help you at any stage of the application process — finding fellowshipscrafting your applicationdraft review, and practice interviews where applicable.

CURF is Penn’s institutional hub for many prestigious fellowships (including the Fulbright Award,  Boren Fellowship,  Mitchell Scholarship,  Rhodes Scholarship, and Gates Cambridge Scholarship) for which graduate students at any level may be eligible. For a full list of fellowships for which CURF supports graduate student applications, see this customized view of CURF's Fellowships Directory.

Career Services
Not just for finding your future job, Career Services has a subscription to the Grants Advisor online database of funding opportunities relevant to different academic research disciplines, as well as links to other information about funding sources. Activate your Handshake account (https://upenn.joinhandshake.com) and sign up for the “Current PhDs in STEM fields” or “Current PhDs in the Humanities/Social Sciences” CareerMail to receive information about relevant career and funding opportunities

GAPSA
GAPSA offers limited travel grants and, together with the Office of the Provost, promotes interdisciplinary research through individual research grants

Global Activities Registry
Before going abroad for academic work, register your trip details in Penn's Global Activities Registry. Your information will be provided automatically to International SOS (ISOS), the organization that provides assistance, including emergency evacuation, to Penn travelers free of charge. The information will enable the University and ISOS to assist you more quickly during emergencies.

Penn Abroad 
Planning to conduct research or study abroad? Penn Abroad maintains a list of selected fellowships and scholarships that support international work. 

Penn Libraries Subject Guides 
Many of the Penn Libraries' subject-specific research guides contain information about  research funding - including sources, guidelines, and more. 

Science Outreach Initiative
The Science Outreach Initiative serves faculty and other researchers in the School of Arts and Sciences by helping them develop outreach program ideas and proposals, locating potential partners, and promoting information and resource exchange among all of Penn's STEM outreach programs. To help you become aware of the range of STEM Outreach Programs at Penn, the STEM Outreach Initiative has gathered basic information about them into a searchable list located on the STEM Outreach Matrix page.

Weingarten Learning Resources Center
Grants are all about time management and Weingarten Learning Resources Center can help you manage your time effectively. In addition, they can help you work through the strategy of grant writing – not simply the writing itself. Students can make appointments for one-on-one consultations with a Learning Instructor to address concerns and develop strategies for completing the grant researching/writing process.

Getting Started

Getting Started

Timelines 

If you are applying for a program that requires university endorsement, nomination, or review, DO NOT wait until the last minute! Successful applicants typically start working at least 6-8 weeks in advance of application deadlines. Awards requiring campus processes may require even longer.

"Time Management for the Grant" (PDF) by Dr. Pat Thatcher

Weingarten also has many useful tools to help with managing your workload

Fellowships Databases and Listings

There are many, many external funding sources that Penn graduate & professional students may pursue to support educational, research, travel, or other activities. 

In addition to the resources below, several Penn schools and programs maintain discipline-specific lists of funding opportunities that may be of interest to students. Professional associations and societies also often offer funding to graduate students for dissertation research or conference travel. 

Graduate Fellowships Databases 

General Grants & Fellowships Listings 

STEM-Specific Databases

Opportunities for Non-US Students

Additional Funding and Financial Resources

For information about university funding and personal finances, visit our Graduate Funding & Finances page.

Grant and Proposal Writing Guidance

Grant and Proposal Writing Guidance

General Guidance

Social Sciences and Humanities

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)

Personal Statements

Letters of Recommendation

Award-Specific Resources and Guidance

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF-GRFP)

National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate Fellowship (NDSEG)

National Institutes of Health - Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NIH-NRSA F30, F31, F32)

Fulbright: Academic Study/Research Grants and English Teaching Assistantships

Ford Foundation

Workshop materials and samples

coming soon!

We hope you find these resources useful and if you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know!