Frequently Asked Questions about Grants and Fellowships

Why should I apply?

  • Successful applications demonstrate that your research potential has been validated on a national or international level.
  • The process itself aids in defining and refining your research agenda.
  • It also provides valuable feedback and networking experience.
  • Successful grant and fellowship applications tend to result in other successful applications.

When should I apply?

  • When you are in a position to make a good application and can accept the award.
  • Begin the process at least two months in advance of deadlines.
  • October, November, and January are the most common deadline months.

What are the typical components of an application?

  • Letters of recommendation, CV, transcripts, GRE scores, etc.
  • Personal statement
  • Project proposal statement

These statements should answer the questions:

What now?

  • What is the thesis or central claim of your research project?
  • What is the greater significance of your project?
  • Where does this project fit within your discipline?
  • What exact steps will you take to execute this project?

Why now?

  • Why is right now the perfect time for you to undertake this project?
  • What skills, training, and experience do you have that make you qualified to complete this project?
  • How will this help you realize your future career goals?

These statements should also directly address your audience:

  • Understand the granting institution’s mission and goals and speak to them.
  • Keep in mind the make-up of the review committee.
  • Realize readers will likely spend only ten minutes or less on your application.