Funding Opportunities for Research
This page is geared toward graduate students needing funding for their research projects, however there are scholarship and internship opportunities for undergraduate students as well. Scroll through for a list of links for scholarships, internships, grants, and fellowships. Also see our section on writing a proposal of your research plan.
Guidelines for Proposal
A proposal is your formal document detailing your research plan. The clearer the plan, the better received it will be. One way to assess your proposal is to think like a reviewer. Ask yourself these questions when writing your proposal.
- Does the study ask an interesting and important question, and propose hypotheses and methods that can address this question?
- Does the study contain enough background information from the scientific literature to assess what is known about the subject and where gaps in knowledge are in this field?
- Does the proposal convince the reader that this area of investigation is significant and needs to be pursued? Are you left eagerly awaiting the proposed research?
- Are the authors convinced you that they have the knowledge, skills, creativity, and resources to carry out the proposed work?
- How well conceived and organized is the proposed activity? Is the experimental design adequate? Are the methods sound? Does the author understand how to analyze the data collected?
- Do the authors anticipate potential problems and results, and what they might mean? For example, what are the consequences if the experiment fails, data cannot be collected, the analysis is inconclusive, or the hypothesis cannot be rejected? Will the study be interesting no matter what results are found?
- Is the writing professional, organized, and engaging?
- Is there a timeline or an estimate for each activity?
Potential Funding Sources for Graduate Students
General Grant Searches
Grants.gov is your source to FIND and APPLY for Federal government grants. There are over 1,000 grant programs offered by all Federal grant making agencies. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is proud to be the managing partner for Grants.gov, an initiative that is having an unparalleled impact on the grant community. Grants.gov allows organizations to electronically find and apply for more than $400 billion in Federal grants.
A Guide to Grants, Fellowships, and Scholarships in International Forestry and Natural Resources : An online version of the 1995 publication "A Guide to Grants, Fellowships, and Scholarships in International Forestry and Natural Resources" [Document No. FS-584 by the US Forest Service]. The guide contains "a detailed description of grants, fellowships, and scholarships available to university students, scholars, and professionals seeking funding to undertake studies or research in forestry or natural resources." Each award listing links to the homepage of the funding organization (where available).
Fastweb.com —a service about grants, customizing announcements to your field. First you must set up a profile… free.
EPA website—grants from A to Z.
Sites with Several Opportunities
The RFP (Request for Proposals) Bulletin is published weekly by the Foundation Center. Each RFP listing provides a brief overview of a current funding opportunity offered by a foundation or other grant making organization. Interested applicants should read the full RFP at the grant maker's website or contact the grant maker directly for complete program guidelines and eligibility requirements before submitting a proposal to that grant maker Several grant opportunities possible!!
Garden Club of America has several scholarships available including environmental sciences, tropical botany, medicinal botany, bird habitat, wetlands, ecological restoration, and many more.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) solicits applications for the NSF Graduate Research Fellowships. The National Science Foundation promotes and advances scientific progress in the United States by competitively awarding grants and cooperative agreements for research and education in the sciences, mathematics, and engineering. An A-Z listing of possible funding opportunities can be found on the web.
The Botanical Society of America has several grants and fellowships. Look through the BSA Grant Opportunities Newsletter for specifics.
Budweiser Conservation Scholarship offers ten, $10,000 scholarships for students pursuing a research dedicated to issues affecting fish, wildlife, and plant conservation efforts.
Citizenship: US citizen.
New Mexico Library Association has a long list of grant & scholarship announcements…deadlines in early January.
The American Chemical Society , sponsored by Eli Lilly & Company, offers a program to provide funding for undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral women chemists to travel to scientific meetings to present the results of their research.
Citizenship: US or permanent resident.
The American Fisheries Society offers scholarships in the marine sciences - varying year to year.
The American Geophysical Union offers a handful of grants and awards in geophysical education, hydrology, solar-planetary science, and mineral physics and chemistry.
The American Museum of Natural History offers the Lerner-Gray Grants for Marine Research for projects dealing with anthropology, invertebrate zoology, paleontology (paleo-zoology), physical sciences (astrophysics and earth and planetary sciences), and vertebrate zoology. Research projects need not be carried out at the American Museum.
Deadlines are February through December.
The American Museum of Natural History offers the Frank Chapman Memorial Fund Graduate Research Fellowship Program -- an educational partnership with selected universities and is dedicated to the training of Ph.D. candidates in those scientific disciplines practiced at the Museum. The university exercises educational jurisdiction over the Program and awards the degree. The Museum curator serves as a graduate advisor, co-major professor, or major professor. The student benefits by having the staff and facilities of both the university and the Museum in order to carry on his/her training and research program. Joint programs are with Columbia University, providing students opportunities in vertebrate and invertebrate paleontology, astrophysics, earth and planetary sciences, and evolutionary biology; Cornell University in entomology; City University of New York in the Evolutionary Biology Program.
The Association for Women in Science offers various Graduate Fellowships for women students pursuing careers in science. Each fellowship can be used for any aspect of education, including tuition, books, housing, research, equipment, etc.
Deadline: Jan. 29.
The Cave Research Foundation accepts applications graduate research and funding __. The Foundation supports cave and karst related research and the interpretation and conservation of karst features. The Karst Fellowship is awarded to a graduate student for thesis research in the biological, social, economic, or earth sciences to qualified students in the natural or social sciences. Studies will be supported anywhere in the world, and may involve surface or underground research.
Deadline: March 1.
The Cooper Ornithological Society invites applications for the Joseph Grinnell Student Research Awards . The Society grants up to two awards to support basic research in any aspect of avian biology. The award is in the amount of $1,000. Citizenship: unrestricted. Inquiries: Cameron Ghalambor, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Cooper Ornithological Society also offers the Mewaldt-King Student Research Award . The Society grants up $1000 for research that related to the conservation of birds.
Deadline: January 15.
Each year the Our World Underwater Scholarship Society awards year-long scholarships designed to expose a qualified young person to a wide range of experiences in various marine-related fields. With continued generous funding from the Rolex Corporation, the awards are now known as the Rolex Scholarships. For 2010, three Rolex scholarships will be offered: one in Australasia, one in North America, and one in Europe. Each Rolex Scholarship provides a hands-on introduction to underwater and other aquatic-related endeavors for a young person considering a career in an underwater-related discipline.. One scholar is selected from each of the three regions and each scholar spends approximately one year working side by side with current leaders in underwater fields. Each scholar travels primarily within his or her region, but may have opportunities throughout the underwater world. The range of experiences may include active participation in field studies, underwater research, scientific expeditions, laboratory assignments, equipment testing and design, photographic instruction, and other specialized assignments. For more information on scholarships and internships, and to download application materials, visit http://www.owuscholarship.org/.
The Geological Society of America provides General Research Grants for partial support of master's and doctoral thesis research in geological sciences for graduate students at universities in the U.S, Canada, Mexico, and Central America.
Deadline: Feb. 7 (annual).
The Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution offers 8-15 Summer Internships for graduate students. Students work with HBOI staff for ten weeks of supervised or independent research. Fields of study include: aquaculture, biomedical marine research, marine biology, marine mammal research, marine natural product chemistry, marine microbiology, ocean engineering, ocean technology, and oceanography.
Deadline: March 1.
Lindbergh Foundation is a foundation dedicated to furthering Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh's shared vision of a balance between technological advancement and environmental preservation. Lindbergh Grants are made in the following categories: agriculture; aviation/aerospace; conservation of natural resources - including animals, plants, water, and general conservation (land, air, energy, etc.); education - including humanities/education, the arts, and intercultural communication; exploration; health - including biomedical research, health and population sciences, and adaptive technology; and waste minimization and management. A Jonathan Lindbergh Brown Grant may be given to a project to support adaptive technology or biomedical research that seeks to redress imbalance between an individual and his or her human environment. Grants are made to individuals as well as educational and publication programs.
As you may know, the National Research Council of the National Academies sponsors a number of awards for graduate, postdoctoral and senior researchers at federal laboratories and affiliated institutions. These awards provide generous stipends ($42,000 - $75,000 per year for recent Ph.D recipients and higher for additional experience; Master's level stipends are $38,000 per annum), and the opportunity to do independent research in some of the best-equipped and staffed laboratories in the U.S. Research opportunities are open to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and for some of the laboratories, foreign nationals.
National Wildlife Federation's Campus Ecology Program Fellowships
The National Wildlife Federation's Fellowship Program offers a nationally recognized opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students to pursue their vision of an ecologically sustainable future. Through tangible projects to green their campuses and communities, NWF fellows gain practical experience in the conservation field and first-hand knowledge of the challenges and opportunities inherent in conservation efforts. Fellows also receive project support, modest financial compensation, and recognition of their accomplishments. Students, faculty, staff, and members of the broader community stand to gain as Campus Ecology Fellows assist with the research, design, and implementation of projects that help strike a better balance between people and nature on campus and in the larger world. Visit the NWF Web site for information on selection criteria, project requirements, and an application form.
The Wildlife Society announces a Professional- Development Program for Native American Students Interested in the Wildlife Profession As a scientific organization for professionals who manage and conserve wildlife and habitats, The Wildlife Society (TWS) is increasingly concerned about the lack of ethnic and cultural diversity within the profession. Diversity is essential if the profession is to grow and meet the nation’s conservation challenges. To help address this concern, TWS is establishing a new professional-development program for Native American wildlife students.
Resources for the Future : Joseph L. Fisher Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships
In honor of the late Joseph L. Fisher, president of Resources for the Future (RFF) from 1959-1974, RFF will award fellowships for the coming academic year in support of doctoral dissertation research on issues related to the environment, natural resources, or energy. RFF’s primary research disciplines are economics and other social sciences. Proposals originating in these fields will have the greatest likelihood of success. Proposals from the physical or biological sciences must have an immediate and obvious link to environmental policy matters. Stipend is $12,000.
Deadline: Feb. 1 (annual)
Resources for the Future : RFF Supper Research Internships
RFF has established the Walter O. Spofford, Jr. Memorial Internship to honor Dr. Spofford’s legacy. With Dr. Spofford’s help, the RFF China Program was launched in 1989 and his name became synonymous with RFF’s work in China. His important contributions include mentoring Chinese researchers; working with Chinese officials to establish environmental standards compatible with sustainable economic growth; assisting in the development of environmental master plans for Beijing, Chongqing, and Shandong; and helping to establish the Beijing Environment and Development Institute (BEDI). To honor and continue this important work, RFF is offering a paid internship for graduate students with a special interest in Chinese environmental issues to spend time at RFF in Washington, DC. Chinese students are particularly encouraged to apply. Students will earn a stipend; the amount is dependent on individual circumstances. If necessary, support for travel expenses and visa assistance can be provided. Stipend is $375/wk, no housing provided.
Deadline: Feb. 23 (annual) .
Sigma Xi supports Grants-in-Aid of Research for graduate (and undergraduate) research in all branches of science and engineering. Also, Sigma Xi and the Consortium for Plasma Science have established a special award to advance the safety of the world's blood supply through research on methods to inactivate non-enveloped viruses and prions in human blood. Membership in Sigma Xi by the student applicant or faculty advisor is required for some, but not all, of these awards. Maximum awards of $1,000; up to $2,500 for astronomy or vision related research.
Deadlines: October 15 and March 15 (annual).
The Society of Wetland Scientists invite applications for the Student Research Grant Program . The purpose of the program is to provide partial support of wetland related research conducted by qualified undergraduate and graduate students. Grants are intended to aid, but not to provide sole support of, student research.
Deadline: Feb. 24 (annual).
The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) invites applications for the Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Research and Science (SOARS) . There are nearly 50 graduate scholarships and fellowships, as well as several 10-week summer internship opportunities.
The Water Environment Research Federation seeks applications for the AGC Education and Research Foundation for graduate students in environmental engineering or other science discipline related to water. Scholarship awards are $2,500-$3,000, and include a one-year complimentary WEF membership.
Deadline: March 1 (annual).
Welder Wildlife Foundation provides fellowships for graduate students in wildlife ecology and related areas.
The scientific breadth of the research scholarship program includes the following academic units: animal behavior, biology, botany, conservation education, ecology, mammalogy, ornithology, parasitology, range science, veterinary pathology, and wildlife sciences.
Deadline: October 1 (annual).
American Academy of Underwater Sciences awards two scholarships to graduate students engaged in, or planning to begin, a research project in which diving is or will be used as a principle research tool.
The Kevin Gurr Scholarship awards $2500.00 to a Masters program student.
Deadline: June 30 (annual).
The Kathy Johnston Scholarship awards $2500.00 to a Ph.D candidate. The AAUS may also award two additional $1000.00 scholarships to the next two proposals that are ranked the highest. If the additional scholarships are awarded, they may be split between the Masters program and the Ph.D program. or they may be both awarded within a single program.
Nancy Foster Scholarship Program —NOAA : Application process begins January 1 and ends March 17.
American Philosophical Society has the John Hope Franklin Dissertation Fellowship , offering 25,000 for a twelve-month period, plus $5,000 to support the cost of residency in Philadelphia, for a total award of $30,000. The twelve-month period is flexible: for example, June 1, 2009-May 31, 2010; or September 1, 2009-August 31, 2010; for the calendar year 2010.
Deadline: April 1 (annual).
They also offer the Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research grant, which encourages exploratory field studies for the collection of specimens and data and to provide the imaginative stimulus that accompanies direct observation. Applications are invited from disciplines with a large dependence on field studies, such as archeology, anthropology, biology, ecology, geography, geology, linguistics, and paleontology, but grants will not be restricted to these fields.
Deadline: February 15 (annual) .
B-WET Hawaiʻi : The Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) Program was established in 2002 to improve the understanding of environmental stewardship through education for both teachers and students. B-WET Hawaiʻi provides support of technical assistance to existing environmental education programs, fosters the growth of new programs, and encourages the development of partnerships among environmental educators and programs. Deadlines are refreshed annually.
The Hawaiʻi Audubon Society offers grants for research in Hawaiian or Pacific natural history. Awards are oriented toward small-scale projects and generally do not exceed $500.00. Special considerations are given to those applicants studying dryland forests or aeolian systems in Hawaiʻi.
Deadline: April 1st for summer/fall grants and October 1st for winter/spring grants.
The Francis M. Peacock Scholarship for Native Bird Habitat offers financial aid ($4000) to advanced students to study areas in the US that provide winter or summer habitat for threatened or endangered native birds.
Deadline: January 15 (annually) .
The Explorers Club provides student grants in support of exploration and field research. Grants in amounts up to $2,500 are made primarily to graduate students. Applicants do not have to be members of The Explorers Club and do not have to reside in the United States to qualify for an award.
Deadline: December 15 (annually).
The East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes provide U.S. graduate students in science and engineering: 1) first-hand research experience in Australia, China, Japan, Korea, New Zealand or Taiwan; 2) an introduction to the science and science policy infrastructure of the respective location; and 3) orientation to the society, culture and language.
Deadline: December 14 (annually).
RCUH has departmentally administered awards, scholarships, tuition waivers and teaching apprenticeships.
The Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles has grant opportunities for conservation of amphibians and/or reptiles, field research, lab research herpetological education, travel and international.
Deadline: December 31 (annual).
The Gage Fund Award is awarded from the American Society of Ichthyology and Herpetology , providing support for young herpetologists for museum or lab studies, travel, fieldwork, or any other activity that will enhance professional careers by contributing to the science of herpetology.
Deadline: March 1 (annual).
The Marine Aquarium Societies of North America have a $2500 scholarship awarded to a full-time undergraduate pursuing a degree in Marine Sciences.
Deadline: August 4 (annual).
Other Funding Opportunities for Students
- SPREP.org : South Pacific money for travel.
- SPC--South Pacific Commission
- Smithsonian fellowships
- Shoals Marine Lab
- Rotary Club
- The Nature Conservancy --local and national
- HISC--Hawaiʻi Invasive Species Council
- NOAA Educational Partnership Program
- Flora and Fauna International