College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Grant and Fellowship Development

 Writing, developing, and submitting grant and fellowship applications to support your research and writing is an essential component of your graduate career. Writing effective materials is a skill that develops over time and with practice. There are a number of resources available at and beyond KU that will be helpful to you as you develop and submit your materials. Make sure to also check the monthly graduate student newsletter from the College Office of Graduate Affairs and emails from the Hall Center, Graduate Studies, and other offices for grant and fellowship development workshops that are held throughout the year. 

Grant and Fellowship Development Resources:


For All Students:

Harvard's Scholarly Pursuits: A guide to Professional Development during the Graduate Years, Cynthia Verba - Chapters 4 and 7 cover fellowship and postdoc application materials. Appendix A includes samples of winning fellowships and application materials for all areas and disciplines. 

Data Management Plan Creation Tool - DMP Tool 
KU Libraries has partnered with DMP Tool to give KU researchers access to an online Data Management Plan creation tool. This tool will walk you through the items that are required to be included in your Data Management Plan for various funding agencies and applications such as in the NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grants. 

Fulbright U.S. Student Program Applications - KU International Programs coordinates student Fulbright applications. You can find more information here on their processes and services in helping students prepare their materials or contact Rachel Sherman Johnson, Fulbright Program Advisor, to make an advising appointment. 

Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships (FLAS) - Information on eligibility, selection criteria, application deadlines and info sessions on the application process can be found on the KU FLAS website.

KU Writing Center - The Center's Graduate Writing Specialist, Dr. Claire McMurray, works exclusively with graduate students to help them learn how to improve their graduate-level writing. Dr. McMurray holds office hours for graduate students whose needs go beyond the Writing Center's traditional graduate writing consultations. She has several areas of expertise including writing grant/fellowship applications. 



The Hall Center for the Humanities' Grant Development Office (HGDO) maintains grant and fellowship opportunity lists for graduate students in the humanities, arts, creative writing, and humanistic social sciences. These lists are curated and updated annually. Additional opportunties for graduate students can also be found here. The HGDO provides a number of other services for students including one-on-one assistance in proposal development for NSF DDIGs, information of effective search techniques for finding funding opportunities, and a number of workshops throughout the academic year to help students perfect their proposals. More information on their services for students is available here. 

Pro tip! Read through the great list of Proposal Development Advice guides the HGDO has compiled as you start preparing to apply for funding and fellowship opportunities.


Social Sciences:

The KU Institute for Policy and Social Research (IPSR) has created a fantastic self-evaluation guide for scholars who are considering applying for external funding  -  we strongly suggest you review this guide and complete this self-assessment. Additionally, IPSR has a visual research proposal assessment tool to help scholars think through the steps they should take when exploring and preparing to apply for external funding. 

Students interested in applying for an NSF Doctoral Disseration Improvement Grant should review IPSR's overview for preparing and submitting an NSF DDIG. Please keep in mind that these are extensive applications that can take nine months to a year to prepare a competitive application. 
Students in social and beahvorial science should also check with their faculty advisor, director of graduate study, or graduate support staff as many departments offer courses dedicated to instruction on grant writing and obtaining external funding. 


Natural Sciences and Math:

There are a number of resources on the Pathways to Science website both in listing current grant and fellowship opportunities and webinars to help students craft strong fellowship applications and personal statements

Students in the Natural Sciences and Math should check with their director of graduate study and graduate support staff about specific courses in their degree program on grant development. Many departments in the natural sciences and math do offer these courses or offer grant development and grant writing as part of other departmental courses and proseminars. 

The Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology also maintains and extensive list of funding opportunities listed by the deadline. This list is useful to students throughout the natural sciences and includes internal and external funding opportunities.

For a great overview of writing a research grant proposal for students just beginning to explore grant writing, please see this presentation from the American Chemical Society. 


 School of the Arts:

Students in the Arts should explore the resources provided by the Humanities Grant Development Office. Many of these resources are developed for research and work in the creative arts. We also recommend reviewing the extensive list of Proposal Development Advice guides the HGDO has compiled as you start preparing to applying for funding and fellowship opportunities.

Students should also be aware of the internal travel and research funding provided by SOTA. Guidelines, deadlines, and other information can be found on the Student Resources section of the SOTA website.