External Funding

Funding your graduate education

We know a big part of your graduate school decision hinges on funding, both for your education and for research in your chosen field. We are dedicated to fully covering our Graduate students' needs, with most of our PhD students receiving a stipend and full tuition coverage. Even if you have guaranteed funding from the Graduate School there are several reasons to apply for external funding:

  • Distinguish your CV when you enter the job market.
  • Clarify your thinking about your research and expose you to valuable feedback.
  • Increase your flexibility in selecting advisors, choosing research projects, and conducting field work. 

Where to Look

Funding Opportunities

Resource for Research

Washington University has compiled information for researchers pursuing research funding. For additional information or questions please contact the Research Development Office.

Funding Database


The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research provides access to the SPIN subscription service. A database of federal, governmental, international, private and corporate funders.

SPIN Subscription

Funding Resource

Open Education Database provides a list of 100+ research grants, scholarships, fellowships, and other resources to fund research.

Education Database

Funding Opportunities for Science & Engineering

The Sigma Xi Grants in Aid of Research (GIAR) program provides undergraduate and graduate students in Science & Engineering. Annual Deadlines: March 15, and October 1.

Sigma Xi Grants

Fellowship Writing Workshops


The Office of Research Education and Information sponsors workshops each year to help students develop grant writing skills through step-by-step guidance, and a series of online lectures and mentored sessions.

learn more about Fellowship Writing Workshops


Graduate Research Fellowship Program 

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) is available to students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Fellows receive $34,000 annually in stipend support and $12,000 in Cost of Education for three years. Please note that graduate students are limited to only one application to the GRFP, submitted either in the first year or in the second year of graduate school. There are several workshops on NSF-GRFP applications held each fall. Calendar can be found here.


The Beineke Fellowship for Graduate programs in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Eligible students must be nominated by their undergraduate institution. Interested students should visit The Fellowships Office website for application information.


The German Academic Exchange Service provides the opportunity to do research or independent study in Germany, or to complete a full Master's degree program at a German university, in nearly any field. Award: The Study Scholarship offers a 10-month scholarship (750 euros/month plus additional payments towards health insurance, travel, etc.) to be used for a full master's degree program at a German university or for study at a German university as part of a postgraduate or master's degree program completed in the home country. 

Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fund Fellowships 

These fellowships provide funding for Graduate school fellowships in any recognized field of study in the humanities, social sciences or natural sciences (including law, medicine, engineering, architecture or other formal professional training). Students must be nominated by the University for this Fellowship. Please contact Rachel Pepe for more information.

The Eisenhower Roberts Fellowship 

The Eisenhower Roberts Fellowship seeks to support study and education dealing with the role of government in a free society, citizen public service, public policy, and improved understanding of America’s role in world affairs; primarily intended for those in an advanced stage of their doctoral candidacies. Students must be nominated by their University for this Fellowship. Please contact Rachel Pepe for more information on the application process.

Ford Foundation Fellowship Program 

Provides Pre-Doctoral Fellowship for Doctoral study in any field.

Fulbright-Hays Fellowship 

Supports graduate research abroad in modern foreign languages and area studies for periods of 6 to 12 months. Award: The applicant will submit a budget estimate of the expenses they will incur while conducting research overseas. This estimate will be made according to the maintenance allowance guidelines established by the Department of Education. Eligibility: A citizen or a permanent resident of the U.S.; advanced to Ph.D. candidacy prior to departure; conducting research in modern foreign languages and non-western area studies; planning a teaching career in the U.S. upon graduation. While applicants may apply to a western European country, they must research non-western studies at an institute which specializes in such studies. Overseas Programs has primary responsibility for the administration of the DDRA. Funding is provided to those who win awards through WU, NOT directly to the students.

The Hertz Foundation 

The Foundation supports graduate students working towards their PhD in the applied physical, biological, and engineering sciences. These fields include applied mathematics, statistics, and quantitative aspects of modern biology.

IRIS Research Awards 

Doctoral students are eligible for up to $15,000 in research funding. The Institute for Research on Innovation and Science (IRIS) seeks to fund researchers who will use the IRIS data to address questions about the social and economic returns to investments in research. For more information and to apply, please visit the IRIS website.

National Science Foundation 

Graduate Research Fellowship for PhD programs in science, engineering, and some social sciences fields.

Pathways to Science 

Pathways to Science provides education and career training opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

PEO Scholar Awards 

These awards are one-time, competitive, merit-based awards for women of the United States and Canada who are pursuing a doctoral level degree at an accredited college or university in the United States or Canada. In addition to recognizing and encouraging excellence in higher education, these awards provide partial support for study and research for women who will make significant contributions in their varied fields of endeavor. Priority is given to women who are well established in their programs, study or research. Students must be nominated by their department and the University for this Fellowship. Please contact Rachel Pepe for more information.

Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships 

The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans are open to immigrants and the children of immigrants who are 30 or younger and entering or are in their first two years of graduate school as of the November 1 deadline. Fellows receive up to $90,000 over two years in support of their education: $40,000 in tuition support and $50,000 in stipend support.

Please note: This is not a complete list of external fellowships. This list provides a good starting point to research fellowship opportunities. 


U.S. Department of Labor Scholarship 

Grant Forward

In addition to the Funding Database and SPIN subscription, Washington University in St. Louis maintains a subscription for graduate students at Grant Forward. Grant Forward allows you to access your account from anywhere, create a researcher profile, and find the right grants for you.

learn more about Grant Forward
students in library