Does your research require travel to a research site? There are a wide range of grants and fellowships that fund dissertation research at archives, ethnographic work, and scientific training abroad. As such, if your doctoral training will require travel at some point, we suggest that you get an early start identifying grants that will facilitate this work.
An important fellowship that will support most graduate students who are US citizens and who seek to spend 9 to 10 months overseas working on a research or artistic project or teaching English as a second language, the Fulbright-IIE US student program is a good place to start. To be competitive for this award, it is crucial that you start the process well before the September deadline as you will need time to establish a connection with a host contact from the country and develop the application essays. In addition to the Fulbright, there are other country-specific awards that provide funding for students conducting graduate study including the Chateaubriand in France, the DAAD in Germany, and the Rome Prize in Italy. There are also awards that are made specifically for archival research including the Huntington Library, Mellon-CLIR and the McNeil Center for Early American Studies. Make sure that you conduct a comprehensive search for grants that fund research at your research site, and consider setting up a pre-application appointment with GradFund to identify possible sources of grant money to travel.
Develop a Persuasive Project Narrative
The reviewers of your grant or fellowship application will want to know what you will accomplish at your research site, when you will complete it, and why it is essential that you receive funding for the project. This means that you will need to work closely with your advisor to create a narrative, timeline, and budget that convinces reviewers that your project will achieve its goals. Again, starting the process early and working through multiple sets of drafts with your advisor and with the GradFund fellowship advisor team will go a long way in maximizing your chances to secure external funding for travel. Once you develop a draft of your research proposal for the grant or fellowship application, consider setting up an application review appointment with us.