Get the Most out of the GradFund Knowledgebase (Throwback Thursday)

Series note:  The following post is part of the GradFund Throwback Thursday blog series.  From time to time, we will repost one of our most popular blog posts from years past. If you are interested in learning more about research grants and fellowships to support your graduate study, be sure to visit the GradFund Knowledgebase.

Hello Doctoral Fellowship Mentoring Program participants and GradFund Conversations readers! Today, I will be introducing you to a very useful tool that you can use to search for funding opportunities, the GradFund Knowledgebase!

The What?

First thing’s first: your friendly GradFund team maintains a database of approximately 3,800 funding opportunities ranging from multi-year predoctoral support fellowships to one-time cash prizes for essays in a given field. This database is fully searchable and can be tailored to a specific student based on criteria like program, discipline, and even stage of support. In this post, we will be going over some basic features of the database search engine as well as a few more advanced features.

The Where?

The first thing to note is that the database is accessible to anyone with an internet connection from the homepage of our website, gradfund.rutgers.edu, by clicking “FIND AWARDS” along the top ribbon. This will auto-scroll to the Find Awards section of the main page. Continue reading

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A Bronx Approach to Research and Funding

Success in Grant Writing Series Editor’s Note: Welcome to the next installment of our Success in Grant Writing series, which will feature guest blog posts written by Rutgers graduate student winners of prestigious fellowships and grants. If you would like to share your experience with successful grant writing, please contact us through our website, gradfund.rutgers.edu

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The author in the field in northern Mongolia.

“Scientist” doesn’t often come to mind when people ask me what I do for a living. As a native of The Bronx, NY, I sound a little like a cross between Tony Soprano and Robert DeNiro with all the less-than-academic language you’d expect from both! So, when I tell people “I’m an anthropologist who studies the culture and behavior of Mongolian nomads,” the most common follow-up question is “How does that happen?”

My name is Tom Conte and I am a second year PhD student in Rutgers’s evolutionary anthropology program. In keeping with the spirit of this blog, I’d like to tell you a little about my dissertation research, my successful quest to find outside funding for my work, and how you can use the attitude of a loud-mouthed Bronx Italian to do it too! Continue reading

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How to Navigate the Funding Landscape as a Graduate Student (Throwback Thursday)

Series note:  The following post is part of the GradFund Throwback Thursday blog series.  From time to time, we will repost one of our most popular blog posts from years past. If you are interested in learning more about research grants and fellowships to support your graduate study, be sure to visit the GradFund Knowledgebase.

Applying for extramural funding is an integral part of any graduate career.  Research grants and fellowships will provide you with crucial financial support as you pursue your course of study as well as bring distinction to your scholarly endeavors.  Grants will typically support research related expenses while a fellowship will provide you with a stipend which should free you from additional work obligations while you pursue your course of study and research.

Timing is a crucial element for securing grants and fellowships as a graduate student.  The grants and fellowships available to you will depend on your stage of study.  There are grants and fellowships specifically for pre-dissertation work, dissertation research, dissertation writing and postdoctoral work.  Each stage of funding will have different eligibility requirements, as defined by the funder, and the typical conventions for a stage of study.  In some ways, stages of graduate study can be fixed and in others, fluid.  Therefore, it is crucial to understand the funder guidelines and requirements for a specific award.  Your stage of graduate study may make you ineligible for some awards and the fact that you have applied for one type of funding may make you ineligible for another type of funding. Continue reading

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Applying for the Fulbright IIE: GradFund Conversations Roundup

Are you considering applying for Fulbright IIE Fellowship this season? If so, please contact Assistant Dean Teresa Delcorso immediately to receive critical information about the application process.

Please also review the following blog post from GradFund’s analysis of over 100 past Fulbright applications.

As the series note reads,

“Using a number of different statistical techniques, we were able to identify three variables that consistently contributed to success: affiliation depth, literature citations, and the strength and coherence of the applicant’s thesis in the statement of purpose. The following blog entries address each of these individually and explain how you can tilt the odds of success in your favor.”

Click on the links below to learn more about:

“Affiliation Depth” and the Fulbright-IIE Research-Study Grant

Literature Citations, Literature Reviews, and the Fulbright IIE Research-Study Grant

The “Thesis” Variable and the Fulbright-IIE Research-Study Grant

Next week we’ll hear from a Rutgers graduate student who was awarded a Fulbright IIE fellowship for the upcoming year. Stay tuned for his advice on how to write a successful application!

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Grant and Fellowship Bulletin Board

Series note:  Each Friday, we post our electronic bulletin board of grant and fellowship announcements that have arrived in the GradFund office.  This is a great way to keep up to date on new competition announcements.  The newly arrived information is listed at the start of the post and then we include an archive of recently posted grants and fellowships to provide you with a convenient list of upcoming deadlines.  This is not a comprehensive list of grants and fellowships for graduate students!  If you are interested in learning more about research grants and fellowships to support your graduate study, be sure to visit the GradFund Knowledgebase.

New

Upjohn Institute Dissertation Award (July 8, 2016)

Kaufman Dissertation Fellowship (August 17, 2016)

AAHD Federick J. Krause Scholarship on Health and Disability (November 25, 2016)

Upcoming

SAPA-Biopeptek Graduate Travel Grant (July 31, 2016)

SHRM Susan R. Meisinger Fellowship for Graduate Study in HR (August 15, 2016)

Grants-in-Aid for Research at the Rockefeller Archive Center (November 1, 2016)

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Using GradFund Over the Course of Your Graduate Study

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Consulting the card catalog for the James George Frazer papers at Trinity College, Cambridge.

The project I proposed during GradFund’s Summer Mentoring Program in 2009 is not exactly the dissertation I’ll be defending this summer, but it— and the work I continued to do with GradFund over the next six years— shaped that dissertation and the course of my graduate career. Even as one of the few incoming grad students with an idea for my future dissertation, I was stymied at first. Was I really ready to write a detailed project proposal and make big claims about my field— all without using jargon? Well, perhaps not— but through the mentoring program I wrote myself into readiness. By the end of the summer, I had a proposal I was proud of, a great working relationship with my advisor (without even having taken a class with her yet), and a new sense of myself as a scholar and researcher.

I didn’t win the predoctoral fellowship I’d been preparing for that summer— and I didn’t win the Fulbright I applied to three years later, or many of the various other fellowships I applied for over the next few years. (My CV of Failures, like that of anyone with any successes, would be an impressive document.) But through drafting those applications and talking them over with advisors in my department and at GradFund, I developed the best possible version of my project. Having to write concise literature reviews helped me focus my early research, and having to address the needs of specific funders led me to expand facets of my project I might otherwise have left undeveloped. And there’s no better way to sharpen one’s thinking about one’s research than having to articulate its “so what” early and often. All of this concision, expansion, and sharpening, not to mention the writing habits forced on me by meeting all those deadlines, not only improved the dissertation itself, but helped me when I had to write abstracts for conference proposals and clarify the contribution I was claiming to make in a journal article. Continue reading

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Scholarly Excellence and Enduring Commitments to Enhancing Diversity: Rutgers-New Brunswick 2016 Ford Fellows

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Carolyn Ureña, Rosemary Ndubuizu and Dara Walker, Rutgers-New Brunswick 2016 Ford Fellows

As the 2016 application season concludes, we are immensely proud to announce that three Graduate School-New Brunswick doctoral candidates have been awarded the prestigious Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship for 2016-2017: Rosemary Ndubuizu (Women’s and Gender Studies), Carolyn Ureña (Comparative Literature), and Dara Walker (History)!

The Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship offers one year of fellowship support for Ph.D. candidates during their final year of dissertation writing, and supports promising scholars whose commitment to diversity is evident in both their research as well as their teaching.

Rosemary’s dissertation, “Where Shall the Monsters Live?: Understanding the Urban Politics of Black Women’s Disposability” is concerned with “the question around how politicians, developers, nonprofits, and even activist/organizers, are forced to have to deal with and confront these stereotypes about black women living in public and Section 8 housing” as well as “how the recent reforms to public and Section 8 housing actually have carceral effects that have justified increased surveillance, dispossession, and even evictions.”

In “Invisible Wounds: Rethinking Recognition in Decolonial Narratives of Illness and Disability,” Carolyn brings the theoretical contributions of “influential theorist, psychiatrist, and physician Frantz Fanon into conversation with U.S. and Caribbean narratives to examine how accounts that foreground the wounds and the embodied forms of knowledge that are the dual legacies of slavery and colonialism offer access to devalued or otherwise overlooked perspectives.”

Dara’s dissertation, “They Dared to Fight: Black High School Student Activism in Detroit during the Black Power Movement, 1966-1972,” examines “how young people of a different era grappled with questions about community control of schools and school desegregation” and she argues that “black adolescents’ intellectual development and experiences with segregated schooling, the carceral state, and the welfare state reveal the failure of the youth-centered racial liberalism that had informed the successes of the Civil Rights movement.”

In addition to our three awardees, twelve graduate students have been designated honorable mentions for the dissertation and predoctoral fellowships.  The Ford Foundation press releases detail the awardees and honorable mentions for the 2016 competition.

To have 15 of our graduate students recognized by the Ford Foundation for their scholarly excellence and deep commitments to enhancing diversity is a great honor, and in the coming weeks we will be sharing more on their research and commitments to diversity, so stay tuned!

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Our Ford Fellows are Revolutionary!

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Becoming Fulbright Competitive

If you are a U.S. citizen and you plan to apply for funding to support overseas research, now is the time to consider whether a Fulbright fits with your plans. The Fulbright-IIE competition for the 2017-18 year has opened and the on-campus deadline for graduate students planning to apply to the study/grant award is September 12th. Should you decide that you will apply for a Fulbright during this competition cycle, you will want to start working with GradFund as soon as possible.  

In the past, we have found that graduate students who use the summer to work on multiple drafts of the application components tend to be more competitive. It typically takes months to write and revise the personal statement and statement of grant purpose to high levels of polish. Getting an early start gives you the chance to conduct multiple rounds of revision — it also gives you more time to engage with your letter writers. Your letters of recommendation and affiliation need to support the case for you and your project.

To be competitive for the Fulbright, consider how you might articulate a compelling project narrative. Reviewers will want to know how you will spend your time in the country. Give them a vivid sense of what you will do and why it is significant. Since the Fulbright-IIE is funded by the Department of State, its grantees are considered ambassadors who help facilitate cultural exchange. As such, it is also necessary to convey your plans to engage with the local community during the grant period.

Check out our previous blog posts on the Fulbright and set up a meeting soon to learn more about how to develop a strong application.  

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On Fieldwork & Funding – Part Two

Success in Grant Writing Series Editor’s Note: Welcome to the next installment of our Success in Grant Writing series, which will feature guest blog posts written by Rutgers graduate student winners of prestigious fellowships and grants. If you would like to share your experience with successful grant writing, please contact us through our website, gradfund.rutgers.edu

This is Part Two of Diya’s reflections on Fieldwork and Funding. Click here to read Part One.

I am so glad my funding applications worked out. Receiving sufficient funding to carry out field work and having even one good local contact (or a network of contacts) in the field made preparing for the everyday so much easier. The American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS), formed in 1961, supports American scholarship on India. As a funding organization the AIIS is very supportive. In addition to linking fellows with affiliate institutes in India they also offer an opportunity to network and meet with other research scholars who are conducting short and long term research in India.

My research examines the production and maintenance of unintended wildlife habitats with a focus on the diverse landscape matrix and everyday livelihood practices of rural people in the Eastern Ghats in India.  Conservation efforts, and the fortress model in particular, hinge on a clear demarcation between what is social and what is natural. This ontological binary informs policies and strategies for managing people, wildlife and space. Yet, biodiversity exists in everyday, anthropogenic landscapes where humans and wildlife share resources and co-constitute spaces. In my study area these include several endemic and threatened wildlife species, including the four-horned antelope, sloth bear, wild boar, the slender loris, wild dogs, and migratory leopards. Hence, I interrogate both the physical/biogeographic landscape and social practices that co-produce these spaces in the absence of conservation mechanisms. I use a mixed methodological approach that includes the use of satellite imagery and remote sensing techniques to characterize the landscape matrix, household surveys and semi-structured interviews with forest dependent communities living around these unprotected forests to understand the social landscape and the ways in which humans and wildlife coexist in anthropogenic landscapes. The results point towards an urgent need to acknowledge the value of wildlife conservation in anthromes, and shift the debate and praxis of conservation beyond protected areas.

I spent six months in the field located in Arogyavaram (close to Madanapalle town in Andhra Pradesh, India) generating data on land use practices of local communities who live around forests through household surveys and interviews. Along with investigating the social, I also undertook land use and faunal surveys (which involved being excited about seeing animal scat) in the forests to understand the physical

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Four-horned Antelope scat

landscape and presence of wildlife in the unprotected, fragmented landscape matrix of the Eastern Ghats in India. At the end of six months, I had learnt a lot and worked on all the different aspects of my proposed project with minor changes and adaptations on the way.

But most of all I had a wonderful team who helped me do all of this. The funding I received from AIIS helped me compensate these individuals for their time and effort. The interdisciplinary focus of my work and mixed methods meant that I had to navigate both the physical and social landscape. In a perfect world, this could have been one person, but since reality is different, I had help from three people who were all involved at different stages in the process. This is in addition to all the others across six villages who volunteered with their time to answer my questions.

Sajeeda is a young nursing student who had never been to the forests in the area before working with me, but she has a good grasp of three languages making her the perfect translator and field assistant.

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Sajeeda, Suresh & Anji

Suresh is a good friend and local naturalist who runs a small NGO that works on conservation in the area. And finally, Anji is a farmer with an amazing depth of knowledge on local biodiversity. He is also an ace wildlife tracker.

Field work involves a learning curve as no amount of preparation really prepares you for the experience. There are good and bad days, delightful surprises and disappointments. Along the way, I learned to deal with curious villagers, difficult to reach bureaucrats, and learned about interesting lives and livelihoods. I also developed multiple ways to explain my research objective and what I was doing, to people in the field. Overall, I think applying for funding in graduate school is critical not only for actually getting to the field, but also as an exercise that lets us preview what we may be doing in the future in or outside academia.

 

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Grant and Fellowship Bulletin Board

Series note:  Each Friday, we post our electronic bulletin board of grant and fellowship announcements that have arrived in the GradFund office.  This is a great way to keep up to date on new competition announcements.  The newly arrived information is listed at the start of the post and then we include an archive of recently posted grants and fellowships to provide you with a convenient list of upcoming deadlines.  This is not a comprehensive list of grants and fellowships for graduate students!  If you are interested in learning more about research grants and fellowships to support your graduate study, be sure to visit the GradFund Knowledgebase.

New

Peter and Patricia Gruber International Research Award (May 20, 2016)

Fellowship in Translation and Publishing (June 15, 2016)

Upcoming

SAPA-Biopeptek Graduate Travel Grant  (July 31, 2016)

SHRM Susan R. Meisinger Fellowship for Graduate Study in HR (August 15, 2016)

Grants-in-Aid for Research at the Rockefeller Archive Center (November 1, 2016)

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