A number of funding opportunities are available from government agencies, foundations, and other independent organizations. Some relevant information is below:
U.S. Department of Education: Jacob Javits Fellowship Program
This program provides fellowships to students of superior academic ability—selected on the basis of demonstrated achievement, financial need, and exceptional promise—to undertake study at the doctoral and Master of Fine Arts level in selected fields of arts, humanities, and social sciences. A fellow receives the Javits fellowship annually for up to the lesser of 48 months or the completion of their degree. The fellowship consists of an institutional payment (accepted by the institution of higher education in lieu of all tuition and fees for the fellow) and a stipend (based on the fellow's financial need as determined by the measurements of the Federal Student Assistance Processing System.
NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)
The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees at accredited US institutions. GRFP fellows receive the following: three years of support; $30,000 annual stipend; $10,500 cost-of-education allowance to the institution (anticipated to increase to $12,000 for 2012). Applicants must be United States citizens, nationals, or permanent residents of the United States by the application deadline. Applicants are generally allowed to have completed no more than 12 months of full-time graduate study or its equivalent by the August before the deadline.
NSF Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grants
These grants provide funds for items not normally available through the student's university. Additionally, these grants allow doctoral students to undertake significant data-gathering projects and to conduct field research in settings away from their campus that would not otherwise be possible.
Foundations and Corporate Foundations
AXA Doctoral Fellowships
The PhD fellowship is a three-year program. Applications are submitted by the Institution NOT the candidate. Each institution can only put forward two candidates for Doctoral Fellowships. Candidates must meet certain nationality eligibility criteria. There in a Columbia University internal proposal and selection process. Projects must fit into any one of AXA’s specified research themes, but AXA will accept applications coming from any discipline, including but not limited to: Earth Science, Physics, Applied Mathematics, Social Sciences, Economics, Political Science, Philosophy, Chemistry, Sociology, etc. Projects should contribute to greater knowledge or understanding of one of these three categories of risks.
Deloitte Foundation Doctoral Fellowship Program
The Deloitte Foundation, through its Doctoral Fellowship Program, provides financial support to outstanding doctoral students in accounting as they complete their coursework and dissertations. Up to 10 students are selected to be Deloitte Fellows each year. Each Fellow receives a grant of $25,000, disbursed in four payments over two years, to help cover expenses during the final year of coursework and during the subsequent year of writing a dissertation.
The dissertation fellowships provide one year of support for individuals working to complete a dissertation leading to a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Doctor of Science (ScD) degree. Dissertation fellowships will be awarded in a national competition administered by the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academies on behalf of the Ford Foundation. Applicants must be US citizens and be PhD or ScD degree candidates studying in an eligible research-based discipline at a US educational institution.
Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
Dissertation fellowships are available for advanced doctoral students and are intended to support the student for work done after the student’s dissertation proposal has been accepted. Applications are encouraged from a variety of disciplines such as, but not limited to, education, sociology, economics, psychology, statistics, and psychometrics. The fellowship is a one-time award of $25,000, which may be used for a period of not less than nine months and up to 18 months.
IBM PhD Fellowship Awards
Students must be nominated by a faculty member. The faculty member is encouraged to contact an IBM colleague prior to submitting the nomination to assure mutual interest. Applicants must be enrolled full-time in a college or university PhD program, and they must have completed at least one year of study in their doctoral program at the time of their nomination.
The Kauffman Dissertation Fellowship Program is an annual competitive program that awards up to fifteen Dissertation Fellowship grants of $20,000 each to PhD, DBA, or other doctoral students at accredited US universities to support dissertations in the area of entrepreneurship.
NASDAQ OMX Educational Foundation
The mission of The NASDAQ OMX Group Educational Foundation, Inc. is to promote learning about capital formation, financial markets and entrepreneurship through innovative educational programs. PhD dissertation fellowships are granted in the set amount of $15,000. There is a two stage application process: letter of inquiry followed by full proposal if invited.
Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans
The fellowship honors and supports the graduate educations of 30 New Americans – permanent residents or naturalized citizens if born abroad; otherwise children of naturalized citizen parents -- each year. At the time of their selection, fellows must be college seniors or early in the graduate programs for which they request support. Each fellow receives tuition and living expenses that can total as much as $90,000 over two academic years. Fellows can study in any degree-granting program in any field at any university in the United States. Fellows are selected on the basis of merit – the specific criteria emphasize creativity, originality, initiative and sustained accomplishment -- in annual national competitions. Candidates apply directly. The program does not depend on recommendations from universities or regional screening. Neither financial need nor distributive considerations are taken into account in the selection process.
These $25,000 fellowships support individuals whose dissertations show potential for bringing fresh and constructive perspectives to the history, theory, or practice of formal or informal education anywhere in the world. Although the dissertation topic must concern education, graduate study may be in any academic discipline or professional field. In the past, fellowships have been awarded to candidates in anthropology, architecture, art history, communications, economics, education, history, linguistics, literature, philosophy, political science, psychology, public health, religion, and sociology, but eligibility is not restricted to these academic areas. Candidates should be interested in pursuing further research on education once the doctorate is attained.
The Woodrow Wilson Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship in Women's Studies
The program encourages original and significant research about women that crosses disciplinary, regional, or cultural boundaries. Fellowships are provided to PhD candidates at institutions in the United States who will complete their dissertations during the fellowship year.
Other Independent Organizations
Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships
The fellowship supports a year of research and writing to help advanced graduate students in the humanities and related social sciences in the last year of PhD dissertation writing. The program encourages timely completion of the PhD Applicants must be prepared to complete their dissertations within the period of their fellowship tenure. The total award of up to $33,000 includes a stipend plus additional funds for university fees and research support. In addition to the monetary support that the fellowship offers, Dissertation Completion Fellows are able to apply to participate in a seminar on preparing for the academic job market. The seminar takes place over three days in the fall of the fellowship year.
American Bar Foundation
Applications are invited from outstanding students who are candidates for PhD degrees in the social sciences. Doctoral and proposed research must be in the general area of sociolegal studies or in social scientific approaches to law, the legal profession, or legal institutions. Fellows receive a stipend of $27,000 for 12 months. Fellows also may request up to $1,500 to reimburse expenses associated with research, travel to meet with advisors, or travel to conferences at which papers are presented.
Upjohn Institute for Employment Research: Dissertation Award
The WE Upjohn Institute for Employment Research invites submissions for its annual prize for the best PhD dissertation on employment-related issues. A first prize of $2,500 is being offered. Up to two honorable mention awards of $1,000 may also be given. The Institute supports and conducts policy-relevant research on issues related to employment, unemployment, and social insurance programs. The dissertation award furthers this mission. The dissertation may come from any academic discipline, but it must have a substantial policy thrust.
Grants Targeted to PhD Students
Russell Sage Foundation Small grants program in Behavioral Economics
The Russell Sage Behavioral Economics Roundtable supports a small grants research program to support high quality research in behavioral economics and to encourage young investigators to enter this developing field. There are no limitations on the disciplinary background of the principal investigator, and the proposed research may address any economic topic. Applicants must be advanced doctoral students or junior (non-tenured) faculty members who have been out of graduate school for two or fewer years. There is a $7,500 lifetime limit of support under the Behavioral Economics Program.
In order to promote Japanese Studies, this program provides support to outstanding scholars in the field by offering the opportunity to conduct research in Japan.
SSRC-International Dissertation Fellowships
The International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF) offers nine to twelve months of support to graduate students in the humanities and social sciences who are enrolled in doctoral programs in the United States and conducting dissertation research outside of the United States. IDRF promotes research that is situated in a specific discipline and geographical region but is also informed by interdisciplinary and cross-regional perspectives. Research topics may address all periods in history, but applicants should be alert to the broader implications of their research as it relates to contemporary issues and debates. Seventy-five fellowships are awarded annually. Fellowship amounts vary depending on the research plan, with a per-fellowship average of $18,750. The fellowship includes participation in an interdisciplinary workshop upon the completion of IDRF-funded research.
Useful links & Databases
- Types of graduate fellowships
- Applying for fellowships: advice for international students from Columbia College
- How to Win a Graduate Fellowship, the Chronicle of Higher Education
- Harvard University CARAT database
- UCLA’s fellowship database
- Duke's Database
- H-Net — humanities and social sciences opportunities