Contact the Team

Make an Appointment

To make an appointment with a graduate fellowship consultant please email gradgrants@nd.edu and we will be happy to assist you.

Our History

In 2011, the Graduate School formed the Office of Grants and Fellowships, a dedicated office open exclusively to graduate students with the goals of enhancing student experience relative to scholarly research and merit-based grants and fellowships. Consultations with our office led to our graduate students receiving more than $6.47 million dollars in external funding in AY 2016-2017 and we are second in the nation in the number of Fulbright fellowships received.

Our Services

We offer a wide range of services to support Notre Dame graduate students as they prepare and apply for external funding. We offer individual consultations, in-depth draft reviews, and advice for crafting individual comprehensive funding development plans. Other services include proposal workshops, department-specific programming and events, and informational and peer-review sessions. Notre Dame graduate students also gain access to our large collection of successful sample proposals through contact with our office.

Our Team

Our mission is to foster Notre Dame student success: helping our students to develop transferable skills, to craft a compelling narrative, and to share their research.  We assist Notre Dame graduate students in applying and winning prestigious external fellowships and grants using a peer-mentor model comprised of our multidisciplinary fellowship advising team. Our consultants are current Notre Dame graduate students and alumni who are experienced, successful grant and fellowship writers. Our consultants will work with you one-on-one to provide constructive feedback on applications. We offer flexibility in scheduling our consultation meetings, both in-person and online. We can also help you identify potential funding, generate a funding development plan throughout your graduate studies, and produce competitive external funding applications.

Start with Sakai

Our in-person and digital consultations are designed to accompany the Sakai self-directed tutorials. The tutorials provide specific, step-by-step instructions for grant application and grant writing. Once you have reviewed the relevant tutorials, email us at gradgrants@nd.edu to schedule an appointment. In your email, articulate your goals for the consultation.

Graduate School Staff

  • Samantha Lee

    Samantha Lee, Ph.D.

    Program Director, Office of Grants and Fellowships

    All grants, especially dissertation, completion, postdoctoral, and diversity-related fellowships

    *Appointment by email only (Samantha.Lee@nd.edu)

    Samantha Lee

    Samantha Lee, Ph.D.

    Program Director, Office of Grants and Fellowships

    (574) 631-2443
    Samantha.Lee@nd.edu

    • Representative for Nationally Competitive Grant and Fellowship Programs
    • Manage External Grant and Fellowship Selection Processes
    • Provide Strategic Leadership in Grantsmanship
    • Guide Students in Identifying and Obtaining Successful Extramural Funding

    Samantha Lee, Ph.D. is the Program Director of the Graduate School’s Office of Grants and Fellowships at the University of Notre Dame. As the Program Director responsible for the overall management of the office, Samantha provides leadership and expertise in grantsmanship, manages several prestigious fellowship competitions, and ensures that services provided by the office reflect the priorities of Notre Dame graduate students. Samantha has over ten years of experience in grant writing, advising students across disciplines, and designing in-person and online grant writing and training curricula.  In addition to serving as a grant reviewer for federal agencies and foundations, she has helped numerous undergraduate and graduate students generate successful merit-based grant and fellowship applications.

  • Kathryn Sawyer Vidrine

    Kathryn Sawyer Vidrine, Ph.D.

    Assistant Program Director, Office of Grants and Fellowships

    All grants, especially Humanities focus, Fulbright, and dissertation fellowships

    *Appointment by email only (ksawyer2@nd.edu)

    Kathryn Sawyer Vidrine

    Kathryn Sawyer Vidrine, Ph.D.

    Assistant Program Director, Office of Grants and Fellowships

    (574) 631-1713
    ksawyer2@nd.edu

    • Advise graduate students in identifying funding opportunities and crafting competitive applications
    • Oversee annual Fulbright application process
    • Design and implement office data collection and analytics
    • Manage communications, outreach, and administration for office programming

    Kathryn Sawyer Vidrine, Ph.D. is the Assistant Program Director of the Office of Grants and Fellowships. She obtained her Ph.D. in History from the University of Notre Dame in August 2018. Her dissertation examined how theology and belief were used in the construction of an Irish Protestant identity in the 17th century. During her time as a graduate student she won a number of grants and study abroad opportunities, including a year as a Fulbright fellow at the Institute for Reformation History in Geneva, Switzerland in 2015-2016. She works with students in all areas, with a special emphasis on Fulbright applications and dissertation completion awards.

  • Amanda Nowak

    Amanda Nowak, Ph.D.

    Postdoctoral Fellow and Fulbright Coordinator, Office of Grants and Fellowships

    *Appointment by email only (anowak2@nd.edu)

    Amanda Nowak

    Amanda Nowak, Ph.D.

    Postdoctoral Fellow and Fulbright Coordinator, Office of Grants and Fellowships


    anowak2@nd.edu

    • Develop and implement programming to promote graduate student wellbeing and success
    • Advise students, as well as develop and lead workshops, on the selection, application, and writing process for grants and fellowships
    • Provide project management for and serve on graduate-level Fulbright review committees
  • Demetra Schoenig

    Demetra Schoenig

    Director, Academic Enhancements

    Convene and Facilitate Professional Development

    *Appointment by email only (Schoenig.2@nd.edu)

    Demetra Schoenig

    Demetra Schoenig

    Director, Academic Enhancements

    (574) 631-7633
    Schoenig.2@nd.edu

    • Envision and oversee execution of Professional Development offerings for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars.
    • Innovate and design new offerings aimed at fostering intellectual community and clear communication.
    • Cultivate and successfully integrate professional development team comprised of faculty members and professionals representing 14+ offices, centers, and institutes.
    • Drive student and scholar engagement with events and resources utilizing collegial and consultative approach.
    • Develop and deliver workshops on topics ranging from Creating Shared Expectations to Strategic Planning. 
    • Integrate the Graduate School’s communications, marketing, and news strategy and collaboratively execute the “Your Research Matters/You Matter” ethos.
    • Facilitate the annual Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure process for T-TT faculty with a focus on continuous process improvement and the highest possible governance standards.
    • Administer the Kathleen Cannon, OP Lecture Fund and lectures.
    • Collaborate on design and direction of the ND Institute for Advanced Studies/Graduate School Fellows Seminar, a year-long program aimed at increasing students’ ability to conduct research in an interdisciplinary setting, developing their communication and professional skills and networks.
    • Supervise multiple teams, establish performance metrics, and manage resources. These teams include the Office of Grants and Fellowships, which serves graduate students and postdoctoral scholars and the Office for Postdoctoral Scholar which manages appointments and stewards policies for non-faculty researchers.