Spring 2015: February Update

During spring 2015 we’ll provide a monthly update, including upcoming events, noteworthy deadlines, tips for searching and applying for funding or other useful information. These updates are designed to provide highlights so be sure to check other resources posted to this blog for more comprehensive information.

time_travelAlmost all graduate students will need funding at some point, but as you move through your graduate career your funding needs will change. It’s helpful to recognize the stages of your graduate career and the types of funding relevant for each. In general, you can break your time as a grad student into three phases: Early, Middle, and Late. These phases are most relevant to doctoral students, although Master’s students go through similar phases but on a more condensed timeline.

Early: Think of this as the pre-dissertation phase. You are taking courses, exploring potential dissertation topics, and learning the literature and research methods of your field. To support this stage, search for pre-dissertation fellowships. These generally support students (based on skills, experience, or other factors) rather than specific research projects. Funders know you are likely still lining up your dissertation research; pre-dissertation fellowships provide support for this task.

Middle: Think of this as your dissertation research phase. You likely need funds to complete this research, including purchasing equipment, travel, or living expenses in the field. To support these efforts, search for dissertation research grants. Keep these funding opportunities in mind when you consider when to seek candidacy, as some funders require you to be a PhD candidate at the time of application.

Late: Think of this as the dissertation writing phase. You likely need funds to support yourself as you complete your dissertation, so search for dissertation fellowships and dissertation writing fellowships. Keep in mind that these could include a residency requirement, particularly those sponsored by individual colleges or universities. As you search for opportunities, take note of which allow you to apply more than once. Dissertation fellowships are generally designed to support the final year of dissertation writing; many funders expect you to apply when you have truly reached this stage and limit you to only one submission.

Many external funders require at least six months to evaluate funding applications so plan to search for opportunities before you transition to a new phase of your graduate career. Organize your search results around these phases so you can easily access relevant opportunities (but keep searching to collect new opportunities as you move through these stages.)

Upcoming Events
Registration information and full descriptions can be found on our Spring 2015 Events page.

  • Pizza and Proposals Workshop, Monday, February 9, 5-7 pm ▪ Campus Center 803
  • Intro to Grant Searching, Thursday, February 26, 3-4pm ▪ Goodell 5th floor lounge (outside room 538)
  • Intro to Grant Writing, Thursday, March 5, 3-4 pm ▪ Goodell 5th floor lounge (outside room 538)

Upcoming Major Deadlines
The UMass Graduate School Dissertation Research Grant provides up to $1000 to support research-related expenses such as transcription, equipment, or travel to research sites. You must be a doctoral candidate at the time of application, in good academic standing, and currently enrolled as a graduate student at UMass Amherst. Applications are due Tuesday, March 3, 2015; more information is available here. The Feb. 9th Pizza and Proposals workshop (see Upcoming Events above) is ideal for students who intend to apply for this grant.

The UMass Center for Research on Families offers three types of awards for current UMass graduate students working on any area of family research: Dissertation fellowships; awards to attend summer Methodology Workshops; and Research Travel Awards. Applications for all awards are due Feb. 27, 2015; more information is available here.

The US Department of Energy Office of Science Graduate Student Research Program offers funding and other forms of support for students conducting doctoral research on topics that address scientific challenges central to the Office of Science’s mission. Applications are due April 14; more information is available here.

The L’Oréal USA For Women In Science Fellowship Program will provide awards for five post-doctoral women scientists in the United States this year. Awardees will receive grants of up to $60,000 each. Applicants are welcome from a variety of fields, including the life and physical/material sciences, technology (including computer science), engineering, and mathematics. Applications open Feb. 2 and are due March 20, 2015; more information is available here.