Tips for Grads: Finding fellowships

By Olivia Gacka, PhD Student

It’s no secret that funding can be a huge source of stress for graduate students. Even if we have it now, where it’ll come from in the future, what it will cover, and a myriad of other concerns are never too far from the mind. University statistics from last year tell us that in spring 2022, 87% of doctoral students and 33% of master’s students had full university funding. What those numbers often don’t tell us as graduate students is how to keep tabs on the opportunities coming our way.

Here are some resources and ideas on how to keep tabs on future funding opportunities:

  • The UW–Madison Graduate School Fellowships page: A great place to start is the Graduate School Fellowships page, which not only offers important information on available sources of fellowship funding for graduate students, but also direct links to places like the Wisconsin Scholarship Hub, FastWeb, and more.
  • The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Fellowship Finder: The UW–Madison Graduate School especially encourages our students to check out the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Fellowship Finder which, while maintained out of the University of Illinois, is accessible to everyone. It lets you search for external fellowship opportunities by field, stage of study, and a variety of other factors that impact your eligibility.
  • Ask the people in your department: Don’t be afraid to tap into the wealth of knowledge in your own department. Faculty and grad coordinators are an obvious place to start, but even asking other grad students who are a few years ahead of you might tip you off to a great funding opportunity you didn’t know you would be eligible for.
  • Remember the Libraries: Is there anything the library can’t do? Be sure to keep up with the Grants Information Collection for help with your funding search.
  • The Fellowships section of GradConnections: Scroll down just a bit further to find a curated selection of upcoming funding opportunities specifically for graduate students. They change every week, so don’t miss us in your inbox on Tuesdays!

Tips for Grads is a professional and academic advice column written by graduate students for graduate students at UW­–Madison. It is published in the student newsletter, GradConnections Weekly.