As a graduate student, applying for funding for research can be a long, difficult and uncertain process. Many fellowships are out there – but you’ll need to do your research to find the right ones! Even as an applicant to graduate programs – especially those in the sciences and in engineering – you should apply for fellowships. You’ll be a much more attractive candidate in the admissions process if you come in with your own funding, since the university and individual professors will not need to fund your research.
When beginning your graduate scholarship application process, make sure to start at the closest (possible) resource. If you’re an undergraduate, talk to your adviser and other faculty in the department or related fields. If you’re already a graduate student, you might also confer with administrators in your division (within the university – such as school of engineering or school of education) or the graduate school itself. Many local sources maintain a pool of funds from private sources, alumni, grants and endowments to be used specifically for graduate students.
When you receive a fellowship offer, make sure that it is the right one for you before accepting it. You’ll need to understand the costs of your dissertation and the contract that you are entering.
Cecilia earned a BA from University of Minnesota – Twin Cities and an MS from Boston University, where she focused her studies on public relations and marketing. Cecilia oversees graduate programs: business development, partnerships, marketing and counselors. She also works with China partnerships. Originally from China, Cecilia is a native Mandarin speaker.