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Graduate Programs - Fellowship and Dissertation Funding Resources

Below are resources for graduate students seeking fellowships, dissertation grants, or other funding to support their graduate research and education.

Important Reminder for Students Considering Applying for Fellowships or Grant Funding

Applying for grant funding is a crucial part of graduate education and professional development. We want to support graduate students in their efforts to apply for funding to help fund their graduate education and research or dissertation-related expenses and gain experience applying for grant funding.

Graduate students applying outside of the School of Human Ecology for competitive funding for their education or research (fellowship or other research grant awards) should first discuss the opportunity with their graduate advisor, and if a decision is made to submit an application, contact Sarah Marcotte ( with as much lead time before the deadline as possible. All funding awarded to a student or to UW on behalf of a student in support of the student’s graduate education or research activities will require a budget compliance review prior to the application being submitted.

If a grant or fellowship award is made and the budget was not reviewed before the application was submitted, there is a chance the award cannot be accepted by UW on the student’s behalf.

Click here to read the July 2022 memo on this topic.

Types of Graduate Student Funding

Graduate Assistantships (Research / Teaching / Project)

  • Paid positions in which the University hires a graduate student to assist with research (RA), teaching (TA), or project (PA) activities
  • A faculty mentor must serve as Principal Investigator on the grant under which funds are awarded
  • Appointments of 33.3% FTE or higher include a full tuition waiver
  • See the Grad School's Graduate Assistantships page for more information


  • Awards that support a student's education (they are not an employment relationship with the University)
  • A faculty mentor may or may not need to serve as Principal Investigator on the grant under which funds are awarded
  • Award amount and expectations for the student can vary greatly, depending on the funder and the terms of the award
  • Often provide a lump sum stipend for the student and additional funds for fringe benefits, tuition, and research-related expenses
  • See the Grad School's Fellowships page for more information

Dissertation awards

  • Awards that support research expenses during the dissertation stage of a student's graduate education
  • Typically medium-sized awards ($3,000-$12,000) to offset costs for doing dissertation research (i.e., supplies, data collection, transcription, data analysis, travel, publication, etc.)


  • Awards made to students based on merit or need
  • Often smaller amounts (i.e., $1,000-$5,000)
  • Few, if any, requirements in how funds are used

Searching for Fellowships & Dissertation Grants

School of Human Ecology Resources

UW Resources

Databases to Search for Funding


What types of organizations offer the above funding opportunities?

Many federal agencies (i.e., National Institutes of Health [NIH], National Science Foundation [NSF]), private foundations (i.e., Ford Foundation, Mellon Foundation), non-profit organizations, professional societies (i.e., American Educational Research Association, American Sociological Association), and for-profit companies support graduate students in various capacities.

Can I have both a PA/TA/RA position and a fellowship at the same time?

It depends. Some fellowship programs are intended to fully fund a student and other sources of support are not allowed. Many programs allow fellows to hold concurrent appointments and in those cases, UW policy regarding maximum student appointment levels must be followed.

How do I apply for a fellowship or dissertation grant?

You must discuss any potential fellowship or grant opportunity with your faculty advisor. It's also critical to read the funding opportunity announcement to see what is required to apply and plan your timeline. Many fellowships require a business official from UW to submit the application on your behalf, and awards are then made to UW to administer the funding for you. However, some organizations and agencies will award directly to the student. Contact Sarah Marcotte with any questions about applying for non-UW fellowships or dissertation awards.

Can I apply to more than one fellowship program, in case one of them doesn't get funded?

Most likely, yes. However, be sure to read the sponsor's funding announcement carefully for any restrictions or conditions of the award.

Additional Resources

Keywords:graduate student fellowship dissertation research grant funding award   Doc ID:114707
Owner:Sarah M.Group:School of Human Ecology
Created:2021-11-05 12:40 CSTUpdated:2022-09-23 13:09 CST
Sites:School of Human Ecology
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