Short-Term Special Purpose Grants
There are many external opportunities to get funding for your degree. Below you will find a list of external resources for short-term grants in specific areas of study.
American Antiquarian Society Fellowships
The American Antiquarian Society offers three broad categories of visiting research fellowships, with tenures ranging from one to twelve months. All of the fellowships are designed to enable academic and independent scholars and advanced graduate students to spend an uninterrupted block of time doing research in the AAS library. Discussing this work with staff and other readers is a hallmark of an AAS fellowship. Categories of fellowships include the following:
- Long-term Visiting Academic Research Fellowships
- Short-term Visiting Academic Research Fellowships
- Fellowships for Creative and Performing Artists and Writers
Application deadline: Typically January to March annually
Get more information and apply:
Fellowships for Creative and Performing Artists and Writers
American Association for the Advancement of Science — Science and Technology Policy Fellowships
The American Association for the Advancement of Science manages and administers Science & Technology Policy Fellowships in five program areas to provide the opportunity for accomplished scientists and engineers to participate in and contribute to the federal policymaking process while learning firsthand about the intersection of science and policy. The fellowships in congressional offices are funded by approximately 30 partner scientific and engineering societies. The fellowships in executive branch agencies are funded by the hosting offices.
Application deadline: November 1 annually
Eligibility requirements: Applicants must have a Ph.D. or an equivalent doctoral-level degree at the time of application. Individuals with a master's degree in engineering and at least three years of post-degree professional experience also may apply. Some programs require additional experience. Applicants must be U.S. citizens.
American Museum of Natural History
The AMNH Grants Program offers modest short-term awards to advanced students, postdoctoral trainees, and scientific researchers who are commencing their careers in the fields covered by AMNH. Grants are available from four funds each having specific restrictions.
- Roosevelt Grant – Supports research on North American fauna in any phase of wildlife conservation or natural history.
- Lerner-Gray Grant – Supports marine research and marine zoology.
- Collection Study Grant – Enables pre-doctoral, current/recent postdoctoral investigators and other early career research scientists to study the scientific collections at the American Museum of Natural History.
- Chapman Grant – Supports and fosters research in ornithology, both neontological and paleontological.
American Nuclear Society — Glenn T. Seaborg Congressional Science and Engineering Fellowship
In an effort to fulfill the strategic goal of enhancing public policy, the American Nuclear Society (ANS) invites eligible members to apply for the one-year Washington, D.C.–based Glenn T. Seaborg Science and Engineering Congressional Fellowship.
Application deadline: April 30 annually
- U.S. citizen; Must be an ANS member for at least two years; cannot be a federal government employee
- In addition, you must be able to fulfill one of the following:
- a Ph.D. in a nuclear-related discipline and at least one year of experience in a nuclear field;
- a Ph.D. in another science or engineering discipline and at least two years experience in a nuclear field;
- an M.S. in engineering with at least three years post-degree experience in a nuclear field
American Planning Association
APA awards are made to students currently enrolled in degree programs in planning or a closely related field. In addition, awards are made in the following divisions: Economic Development; Environment, Natural Resources, and Energy; Planning & Law; Latinos & Planning Division Scholarship. Congressional Fellowships for Urban Planning & Community Livability also are available.
Application deadline: Vary by program
Eligibility requirements: Vary by program
American Political Science Association
APSA sponsors several programs to support individual research and training endeavors, including:
- Congressional Fellowship Program
- Minority Fellows Program
- Ralph Bunche Summer Institute
- Small Research Grant Program
- APSA Centennial Center Visiting Scholars Program
- Supplemental Research Support
- APSA Awards (career, book, dissertation, article, and organized section awards)
Application deadline: Vary by program
Eligibility requirements: Vary by program
American Water Works Association — Academic Achievement Award
The Academic Achievement Award encourages academic excellence by recognizing contributions to the field of public water supply. All masters thesis and doctoral dissertations that are relevant to the water supply industry are eligible. The manuscript must reflect the work of a single author and be submitted during the competition year in which it was submitted for the degree.
Application deadline: October 1 annually
Doctoral Dissertation — First Place is $3,000 one-time award;Second Place is $1,500 one-time award
Masters Thesis — First Place is $3,000 one-time award; Second Place is $1,500 one-time award
The Aspen Institute/Program on Philanthropy and Social Innovation (PSI)
The fellowship, which is based on academic excellence and need, is open to both undergraduate and graduate students of color. The Hearst Fellow serves as an intern with PSI in the Washington, DC office of the Aspen Institute. Through this fellowship, PSI seeks to introduce a diverse group of students to issues and challenges affecting philanthropy, social enterprise, nonprofit organizations, and other actors in the social sector.
Application deadline: every March, July, and November
Eligibility requirements: Candidates for this fellowship are highly motivated, current, non-graduating graduate or undergraduate students from underrepresented communities of color. Each candidate should have an excellent academic record and also have the following:
- Demonstrated interest or experience in nonprofit organizations, philanthropy, and the social sector
- Excellent research and writing skills
- Demonstrated financial need
- U.S. citizenship or U.S. permanent residency
California Council on Science and Technology Fellowship
The California Council on Science and Technology seeks Ph.D. scientists and engineers to serve as Fellows to provide the California State Legislature with critical, unbiased scientific and technical advice. If you are looking for a professional development opportunity that enables you to incorporate science and technology into public policy, we encourage you to apply for a one-year fellowship.
Applications Accepted: December 1- February 28.
Garden Club of America
There are numerous small scholarship available to support a wide array of research on plants, from biodistribution to ecology and evolution to conservation.
Golden Key Graduate Scholar Award
This scholarship awards Golden Key members who have proven academic excellence combined with a solid range of extracurricular activities. This scholarship supports members' post-baccalaureate study at accredited universities anywhere in the world.
Application Deadline: Mid-November
Guggenheim Foundation—Dissertation Completion Fellowships
These fellowships of $20,000 each are designed to contribute to the support of the doctoral candidate to enable him or her to complete the thesis in a timely manner and are only appropriate for students approaching the final year of their Ph.D. work. Questions that interest the foundation concern violence and aggression in relation to social change, intergroup conflict, war, terrorism, crime, and family relationships, among other subjects.
Application deadline: February 1 annually
Eligibility requirements: These grants are made to 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. If analysis and writing are not far enough along for an applicant to be confident that he will complete the dissertation within the year, he should not apply, as the application will not be competitive with those that comply with this timetable. In some disciplines, particularly experimental fields, research and writing can reasonably be expected to be completed within the same year, and in those cases, it is appropriate to apply.
Hayek Fund for Scholars
Career development grants up to $750 for students and untenured scholars; can cover travel, application fees, conference fees, and other career-related expenses.
Application deadline: At least four weeks in advance of your fundable activity
Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship
This program provides recent college and graduate school graduates with the opportunity to gain a Washington perspective on key issues of peace and security for a period of six to nine months at a participating organization of the fellows choice.
Application deadline: October 1 annually
Josephine de Karman Fellowship Trust
This program is to recognize and assist students whose scholastic achievements reflect professor von Karman's high standards. Special consideration will be given to applicants in the Humanities
The fellowship is for one academic year and may not be renewed or postponed.
Application deadline: late-January annually
Eligibility requirements: DeKarman fellowships are open to students in any discipline, including international students, who are currently enrolled in a university or college located within the United States and in their last year of dissertation research.
National Academy of Sciences — Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship
This program short-term (12 weeks) provides is an early career educational and training opportunity. It is designed to engage its Fellows in the analytical process that informs U.S. science and technology policy. Fellows develop basic skills essential to working or participating in science policy at the federal, state, or local levels.
Application deadline: Typically May and September annually
Eligibility requirements: Graduate and professional school students and those who have completed graduate studies (degree awarded) within the last five years may apply. Areas of study may include any social/behavioral science, medical/health discipline, physical or biological science, any field of engineering, law/business/public administration, or any relevant interdisciplinary fields.
National Endowment for the Humanities
The National Humanities Center offers 40 residential fellowships for advanced study in the humanities. Applicants must have doctorate or equivalent scholarly credentials. Young scholars, as well as senior scholars, are encouraged to apply, but they must have a record of publication. In addition to scholars from all fields of the humanities, the Center accepts individuals from the natural and social sciences, the arts, the professions, and public life who are engaged in humanistic projects. The Center is also international and gladly accepts applications from scholars outside the United States.
Application deadline: October 1
National Park Service/Murie Science and Learning Center
The Murie Science and Learning Center Research Fellowship supports field research in any of the national park service units coordinating with the MSLC. Two broad ecological areas (arctic and interior Alaska) are part of two Inventory and Monitoring Networks: the Arctic Network (Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, Cape Krusenstern National Preserve, Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, Kobuk Valley National Park, and Noatak National Preserve); and the Central Alaska Network (Denali National Park and Preserve, Wrangell–St. Elias National Park and Preserve, and Yukon–Charley Rivers National Preserve).
The fellowship program supports field research in the biological, physical, social, and cultural sciences. Project requests are more likely to be successful if they address topics that will help park managers tackle management issues. Collaborative projects are encouraged.
Application deadline: February 15
National Science Foundation--Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grants (DDIG)
The National Science Foundation awards Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grants in selected areas of the biological sciences. These grants provide partial support of doctoral dissertation research to improve the overall quality of research. Allowed are costs for doctoral candidates to participate in scientific meetings, to conduct research in specialized facilities or field settings, and to expand an existing body of dissertation research.
Application deadline: mid-November annually
Eligibility requirements: A student must have advanced to candidacy for a Ph.D. degree before the submission deadline to be eligible to submit a proposal. A statement that the student has advanced to candidacy for a Ph.D., signed and dated by the department chairperson, graduate dean, or similar administrative official is required (see "Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions"). The proposal must be submitted through regular organizational channels by the dissertation advisor(s) on behalf of a graduate student who is at the point of initiating or is already conducting dissertation research. The student must be enrolled at a U.S. institution, but need not be a U.S. citizen. Preference may be given to projects that are underway and for which feasibility is demonstrated.
The Nature Conservancy
Weaver Grants provide funding of up to $1,000 to graduate students whose research is focused on the ecology and conservation of Great Plains' biodiversity.
Phi Eta Sigma
Each year, four Distinguished Member Scholarships of $7,500 each are granted for the first year of full-time graduate or professional study.
Any Phi Eta Sigma member may apply for a graduate scholarship. Chapters may submit as many graduate applications as they deem appropriate.
Application deadline: March 1
Phi Kappa Phi Fellowships
The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi currently awards fifty-one Fellowships of $5,000 each and six at $15,000 each to members entering the first year of graduate or professional study. Each active Phi Kappa Phi chapter may select one candidate from among its local applicants to compete for the Society-wide awards.
Application deadline: April 15 annually
Phi Kappa Phi Dissertation Fellowship
The fellowship supports students in the dissertation writing stage of doctoral study. Awards are for 12 months of dissertation writing. All pre-dissertation requirements should be met by the application deadline, including approval of the dissertation proposal.
Application deadline: November 30
Sigma Delta Epsilon-Graduate Women in Science
The SDE/GWIS National Fellowships Program is proud to offer fellowships to help increase knowledge in the fundamental sciences and to encourage research careers in the sciences by women.
Application deadline: January 15
Fellowships at the Smithsonian Institution provide students and scholars with opportunities to pursue independent research projects in association with members of the Smithsonian professional research staff.
Graduate Student Fellowships – These fellowships allow students to conduct research for ten-week periods in association with Smithsonian research staff members. Applicants must be formally enrolled in a graduate program of study, must have completed at least one semester, and must not yet have been advanced to candidacy in a doctoral program.
Predoctoral Fellowships – These fellowships allow students to conduct research for periods of three to twelve months.
Applicants must have completed coursework and preliminary examinations for the doctoral degree and must be engaged in dissertation research. In addition, candidates must have the approval of their universities to conduct their doctoral research at the Smithsonian.
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)
SICB is one of the largest and most prestigious professional associations of its kind. SICB takes pride in the fact that one of the Society's focal points is to support its student members, and that the organization is fundamentally committed to the advancement and development of the integrative and comparative study of many fields of biology, including Animal Behavior, Comparative Biomechanics, Comparative Endocrinology, Comparative Physiology & Biochemistry, Evolutionary Developmental Biology, Ecology & Evolution, Invertebrate Zoology, Neurobiology, and Phylogenetics & Comparative Biology
The society offers several student support programs:
Grants in Aid of Research (GIAR) – Small awards to graduate students in support of their research in the fields of integrative and comparative biology.
Fellowship of Graduate Student Travel (FGST) – Provide student funds for travel and other expenses at distant research laboratories, museums, or field sites.
Libbie H. Hyman Memorial Scholarship – Provides assistance to students to take courses or to pursue research on invertebrates at a marine, freshwater, or terrestrial field station.
Wenner Gren Foundation
A variety of the Foundation's grants support students enrolled in doctoral programs leading to a Ph.D. (or equivalent), including grants for dissertation research. There are also fellowship programs for doctoral students from countries where anthropology is underrepresented and where there are limited resources for educational training.
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
WHOI is helping shape this future of human knowledge about the ocean by offering a wide range of programs and opportunities for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. Up to ten competitive fellowships are available for graduate students to gather with scientists for a ten-week research and study program each summer.
Application deadline: mid-February annually