Getting Started

Research Assistance and Grant Opportunities

Contact Orlena Yee, Grants Assistant,  Social Sciences Grants and Contracts Support Center (Grants Support) if you are interested in any of the following opportunities:

Pre-dissertation Fellowships

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program - The purpose of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) is to ensure the quality, vitality, and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce of the United States. GRFP seeks to broaden participation in science and engineering of underrepresented groups, including women, minorities, persons with disabilities, and veterans. The five-year fellowship provides three years of financial support inclusive of an annual stipend of $37,000.

Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship - This competition year the program will award approximately 75 predoctoral fellowships. These fellowships provide three years of support for individuals engaged in graduate study leading to a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) or Doctor of Science (Sc.D.) degree.

Predoctoral fellowships will be awarded in a national competition administered by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on behalf of the Ford Foundation. The awards will be made to individuals who, in the judgment of the review panels, have demonstrated superior academic achievement, are committed to a career in teaching and research at the college or university level in the U.S., show promise of future achievement as scholars and teachers, and are well prepared to use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students.  

ISI Graduate Fellowship Program - Each year Intercollegiate Studies Institute provides fellowships to outstanding graduate students who are committed to teach.

Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans - The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans program honors the contributions of immigrants and children of immigrants to the United States. Each year, supports thirty New Americans-- immigrants or the children of immigrants--who are poised to make significant contributions to US society, culture, or their academic field.

Each Fellowship supports one to two years of graduate study in any field and in any advanced degree-granting program in the United States. 

Each award is for up to a total of $90,000. Here is the financial break down: Each Fellow receives $25,000 in stipend support a year (all stipend awards are capped at $50,000 per year), as well as 50 percent of required tuition and fees, up to $20,000 per year, for one to two years. The first year of Fellowship funding cannot be deferred.

Dissertation Thesis Funding

American Association of University Women American Dissertation Fellowship - The purpose of the American Dissertation Fellowship is to offset a scholar’s living expenses while they complete their dissertation. Fellows must use the award for the final year of writing the dissertation.

Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowships - Dissertation Fellowships provide one year of support for individuals working to complete a research-based, dissertation-required Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) or Doctor of Science (Sc.D.) degree that will prepare them for the pursuit of a career in academic teaching or research. The fellowship is intended to support the final year of writing and defense of the dissertation.

Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships - The Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships support advanced graduate students in the last year of PhD dissertation writing to help them complete projects in the humanities and interpretive social sciences that will form the foundations of their scholarly careers. 

NSF Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grants - Some of NSF's programs 

offer grants to doctoral students, allowing them to undertake significant data-gathering projects and conduct field research in settings away from their campus.

Russell Sage Foundation Dissertation Research Grants - The Russell Sage Foundation (RSF) has established a dissertation research grants (DRG) program to support innovative and high-quality dissertation research projects that address questions relevant to RSF’s priority areas: Behavioral Science and Decision Making in Context; Future of Work; Race, Ethnicity and Immigration; Immigration and Immigrant Integration; and Social, Political, and Economic Inequality.

Find Other Grant Opportunities

You also can learn a great deal by searching funding-source databases, such as those listed in the search databases area of this website. Each funding source will have different submission deadlines and criteria.

The Social Sciences Grants and Contracts Support Center has compiled a cursory list of graduate student fellowships and scholarships by department. You can click on the department fellowships/scholarships link that applies to you and search through the list of fellowships and scholarships that have been researched. Contact the funder to make sure the deadlines are still applicable.

Contact Orlena Yee, Grants Assistant, (Grants Support) if you are interested in any of the following opportunities:


Community Studies 



Environmental Studies 

General Social Sciences 

Latin American and Latino Studies 




Apply for Grants

Step 1:  Contact Orlena Yee, PRIOR to the submission deadline for ANY extramural funding opportunity

For Standard proposals, contact Orlena at least 10 working days before the submission deadline.

Contact Orlena at least 20 working days before the submission deadline for Complex Proposals (direct costs between $2M and $10M per year, cost sharing or IDC waiver requested, multi-institutional collaboration, including sub-awards where we are prime or sub-awardee, a foreign sponsor, the proposal is for a contract).

Provide the following to Orlena:

  • Questionnaire, filled out to the best of your ability.
  • Draft budget summary (how much summer support, course buyout, GSR support, undergrad support, travel, materials & supplies)

Internal OSP Deadlines

Step 2: Start the internal process and the preliminary budget and proposal with Grants Support

Grants Support will start the proposal for you in the internal Cayuse system and work with you to draft a preliminary budget and will notify OSP once this is complete.

Step 3: Work with Grants Support to prepare your proposal

We will provide proposal preparation services including:

  • Outline and provide instructions for completing the complete grant/fellowship proposals.
  • Contact Program Officers for any proposal questions.
  • Start the proposal in funder grant portals.
  • Edit documents for adherence to funder guidelines.
  • Upload proposals to the funder grant portals.

Research Funding Assistance

Sign up for your department’s grant-writing class. 

Start by asking yourself some basic questions:

            Do I need additional supervised research training?

            Do I want to do research supervised by a mentor?

            Do I want to undertake independent research?

If you are unsure of the answers to these questions, you might talk to colleagues in your field or at a similar level of career development, your advisor, and your grad advisor.