Finding External Research Opportunities and Funding

If you have a specific project in mind, you should also look outside the university for funding opportunities. However, searching for funding is not always simple. If your keywords are too broad, you may find an overwhelming amount of results; if your keywords are too narrow, you may find no relevant results.


Databases, such as Profellows (useful for undergraduates) UCLA’s GRAPES (useful for graduate students) provide a list of funding opportunities across all fields and levels of education (undergraduate, graduate, or post-doc). You can make a list of funding opportunities that seem relevant from each database and then search the scholarship or fellowship’s website for more information to better determine which you qualify for and which meet your own needs.

School and Institutional Resources

If you are applying to schools for graduate programs, the school may provide funding or may offer internal scholarships. The University of Oxford, for example, has multiple scholarships you can apply for that cover partial or full tuition and fees. These awards are usually highly competitive. If part of your studies or research requires you to use an institution’s resources (such as a rare book or other archival materials), see if that institution offers grants. Some, like the Getty Library, offer short- and long-term research grants.

Government Funding

Government funding is another option, depending on your project. If you are planning on conducting research or studying in another country, see if that country offers international funding OR if the U.S. government provides funding. For instance, if you wanted to study or conduct research in Germany, you could apply for both the Fulbright U.S. Student Program or the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service). Additionally, there are some government-funded organizations that provide funding for research, such as the National Science Foundation.