GradFund Blog

Our Blog is dedicated to providing timely information to the Rutgers University Graduate Student community about external grant and fellowship opportunities. For additional information visit our main website: and our Sakai site:

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Grad Fund 2010 Summer Mentoring Programs—Now Accepting Applications

Would you like to apply for external fellowships and grants but are mystified by the process?

Do you feel like you never have time to work on an application?

Jump start your funding applications this summer by participating in one of our Summer Mentoring Programs.

We are pleased to announce that this year; we are offering three Summer Mentoring Programs designed to help graduate students apply for nationally competitive grants and fellowships:    
  • Early Graduate Study Fellowship Mentoring Program
  • Dissertation Funding Mentoring Program
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship Mentoring Program 
Our Summer Mentoring Programs offer students a unique opportunity to be immersed in the proposal writing and application process in preparation for the fall and spring deadline seasons.

Space is limited and the deadline to apply to participate in one of the Mentoring Programs is May 14, 2010.   
As a part of the application process, all applicants must complete a Mentoring Program Consultation Meeting between March 1 and May 7.  Phone appointments will be available to students who are not yet on campus.  To schedule a Mentoring Program Consultation Meeting, send an email to gradfund at by April 30.

A copy of the application can be downloaded from our  Sakai site:  Current and incoming graduate students who do not have access to our Sakai site should send an email to gradfund at to request access.

If you have any questions about the Mentoring Program, please contact Assistant Dean Teresa Delcorso at gradfund at or 932-2705.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Apply to be a Fellowship Advisor

We are currently accepting applications for anticipated openings in our Fellowship Advising staff.

The Fellowship Advisor will have the following four key areas of responsibility:

  1. Assist with confidential proposal review and critique of graduate student external funding applications
  2. Assist with writing content for the Resource Center’s website ( and Sakai site (
  3. Assist with outreach to graduate programs and students
  4. Contribute to our on-line Funder Database by reviewing, cleaning, researching and entering new data.

We may have the following Fellowship Advisor openings:

1. A calendar year Graduate Assistant (GA) appointment that begins July 1, 2010 and ends June 30, 2011 (ABD applicants only)
2. An academic year Graduate Assistant (GA) appointment that begins September 1, 2010 and ends June 30, 2011 (ABD applicants only)
3. An hourly part time position that begins May 1, 2010. The applicant must be available to work during the summer as staff for our Summer Mentoring Programs (ABD or recent PhD applicants)


The applicant must be a Rutgers University ABD doctoral candidate or recent PhD who has secured external grants or fellowships as a graduate student or has received an alternate/Honorable Mention status for a graduate student competition.

The applicant should have an understanding of the external graduate fellowship and grant application process based on a track record of securing external grants and fellowships and should be comfortable with the application process. A Fellowship Advisor is expected to be able to confidentially provide review and critique of graduate student grant and fellowship applications from a variety of disciplines while offering advice and insights into the application process as well as sound proposal writing advice. The applicant should be able to demonstrate their ability to comfortably work across a number of subject areas in the humanities, social sciences, sciences and engineering in a deadline driven environment.

The applicant should have strong computer skills including the ability to work with web-based forms, to conduct internet research and to work with a pc-based design/publishing program. Careful attention to detail is a must.

The applicant should have strong writing skills and the ability to communicate ideas to a general audience.

The applicant must be available to work 2 full days a week.
To apply:

Email Assistant Dean Teresa Delcorso ( the following as attachments with “Fellowship Advisor Application” in the subject line, by March 12, 2010:

1. A letter of interest, explaining your qualifications a Fellowship Advisor position. In a brief narrative, summarize your computer skills and respond to the following questions:
• What is your experience applying for external funding? How would you imagine using these experiences as a Fellowship Advisor?
• What are your teaching and mentoring experiences and how do you see utilizing these experiences and skills in this position?
• Would you like to be considered a GA position (which one), the hourly position or both?
• What is your dissertation research (limit response to one paragraph, written for the non-specialist)
• If you are ABD: What aspect of your dissertation are you currently working on (research, writing, or both) and when do you plan to finish your dissertation? What is the dissertation work that you plan to complete during the 2010-2011 academic year?
• If you are a recent PhD: What other projects are you currently committed to working on?
• What experience do you have in doing interdisciplinary work? How does this or any other related experience give evidence of your ability to work and provide mentorship across disciplines?
• In which disciplinary fields do you feel most comfortable working and providing feedback?
• Do you currently have or anticipate support for the 2010-2011 academic year? If yes, please explain what your support is (grant, fellowship, TA/GA, other job) and the time commitment involved.
• Do you currently have fellowship applications pending (internal or external) and if yes, what are they?

2. CV

3. Copy of a successful/alternate/honorable mention grant or fellowship proposal that you have written as a graduate student for a graduate student focused grant or fellowship competition.

4. Unofficial graduate transcripts.

5. The names and contact information for 2 references

Evaluation of applications will begin March 12, 2010. 

Please contact Assistant Dean Teresa Delcorso at delcorso at or 932-2705 if you have any questions.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Fulbright IIE and Fulbright Hays Fall 2010 Information Sessions

Fulbright IIE and Fulbright Hays
Fall 2010 application season

Fulbright IIE

The Fulbright IIE gives graduate students who are U.S. citizens an opportunity to pursue their academic and research interests in a foreign country. Both Master's and Doctoral level students in all fields including humanities, sciences, social sciences and fine arts are encouraged to apply. The on-campus deadline for the Fulbright IIE will be in early September 2010.

Graduate Students who plan to apply for the Fulbright IIE must complete a pre-screening meeting with David Pickens by July 1, 2010.  To schedule a Fulbright IIE pre-screening meeting contact David Pickens at d.s.pickens at Please place "Fulbright IIE Pre-Screening Meeting" in the subject line of the email.

Fulbright Hays
The Fulbright Hays Dissertation Research Fellowship supports 6-12 months of dissertation research in modern foreign languages and area studies.  The Fulbright Hays is open to US citizens and US permanent residents.  The on-campus deadline for the Fulbright Hays will be in Fall 2010

Doctoral students who plan to apply for the Fulbright Hays Dissertation Fellowship, _must_ complete a pre-screening meeting with Teresa Delcorso by July 1, 2010.  To schedule a Fulbright Hays pre-screening meeting contact Teresa Delcorso at gradfund at  Please place "Fulbright Hays Pre-Screening Meeting" in the subject line of the email.

Fulbright Information Sessions
We will hold general information sessions on both Fulbright Programs on Monday, March 22, from 12:00-1:00 and Tuesday, April 13, from 5:00-6:00 at 25 Bishop Place, CAC.

To register for an information session, email Jay Rimmer at jrimmer at


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Learn More About Our Services

At GradFund, we offer the Rutgers graduate student community a large range of services from individual appointments to electronic resources and workshops. Our goal is to provide graduate students with the information, assistance and resources that they need, through a platform that is most helpful to them. Whether you are on campus or off, interested in individual assistance or group mentoring, we have a service or resource to help you with your funding applications.

We offer services to Rutgers graduate students at all stages of study and in all disciplines. We encourage Rutgers graduate students to visit our on-line resources early in their graduate careers and to plan to incorporate working with us into their course of study. Highlighted here are several of key resources we offer the graduate student community:

On-line Resources
We offer the Rutgers Graduate School communities a number of on-line resources these include:

GradFund Funder Database
Our on-line funder database, which is continually updated, includes several thousand fellowships and grants to support graduate students. Students can perform keyword searches for awards that are general in nature or are specific to a discipline or level of study. All graduate students—regardless of their discipline or level of graduate study—will find the database useful. Once a student has found an appropriate award(s), GradFund will then assist them as they prepare their application(s). If you learn about a fellowhip or grant from outside of our database, we can also assist you with applying.

Sakai Fellowship Guide (
The Sakai Fellowship Guide an on-line space where graduate students and their faculty mentors can access detailed information on applying for graduate student external grants and fellowships. The site includes information on major funders, links to relevant sites and proposal writing tools. To request access to the site, send an email to: gradfund at

GradFund Wiki (
GradFund Wiki is host to our institutional knowledge on grants and fellowships for graduate students. We have designed this site to give graduate students and their faculty mentors the opportunity to share their experiences and knowledge about external grant and fellowship competitions. Members of this community will have an opportunity to contribute to our knowledge library and over time, this site should prove to be an invaluable resource for students who are in the process of working on their fellowship and grant applications. To request access to the site, send an email to: gradfund at

GradFund Blog (
Our Blog is dedicated to providing timely information to the Rutgers University Graduate Student community about external grant and fellowship opportunities.

Proposal Writing Tools
The proposal writing tools section of our Sakai Fellowship Guide hosts a number of items to facilitate the proposal writing process. Our tools include exercises to help students begin to write fellowship application essays and workbooks to help a student begin to begin to frame their project as a grant proposal.

Meetings with GradFund Staff

In addition to various group-based events, GradFund offers to graduate students three types of individualized appointments: a Planning Meeting, a Help-with-a-Funder Meeting, and a Proposal Review Meeting.

Planning Meeting
  • For this meeting, the graduate student provides us with a description of their research, a list of possible funder options from the database, and their c.v.
  • Our staff will discuss with the student their funding options, general application strategies, and the basic requirements for drafting a competitive grant or fellowship application.
  • The goal of this meeting is to help the student identify and prepare themselves to meet the necessary requirements for an application(s) well in advance of the deadline.
Help-with-a-Funder Meeting 

  • For this meeting, the graduate student provides us with a description of their research and the url for the award(s) they are interested in applying for.
  • Our staff will discuss with the student their research plans and how to write a competitive application.
  • The goal of the meeting is to help the student understand the mechanics of writing a compelling proposal for a highly selective competition and/or how to prepare for an application that contains complex procedural components (e.g., NIH or NSF awards).
Proposal Review Meeting 

  • During this meeting, our staff will review a proposal in detail with the graduate student and provide feedback on the proposal’s clarity, structure, adherence to the funder’s requirements and expectations, and overall effectiveness, as well as feedback on other application elements (e.g., budget). We help graduate students frame their research project to meet the funder’s guidelines and goals, consider their audience of reviewers, and eliminate jargon from their writing.
  • Because we do not critique the intellectual content of a student’s proposal, we will advise the student to direct all questions about a project’s discipline-specific content to faculty mentors.

Throughout the year, the GradFund offers additional group-level activities to complement our individualized appointments, the workshops section of our site details our offerings. Faculty may also arrange to have Resource Center staff visit their graduate program, or a cluster of related graduate programs, to deliver a talk on applying for external funding.

Take some time today to explore our sites or to schedule an appointment to learn more about the world of external grants and fellowships.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Workshop: Applying to the National Science Foundation to Support Your Dissertation Research-- February 9, 2010

On Tuesday, February 9th, we will offer a workshop on  Applying to the National Science Foundation to Support Your Dissertation Research

The workshop will take place from 1pm to 3pm in the Busch Campus Center, room 174, Busch Campus

NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grants
are grants available to doctoral students to improve the quality of their dissertation research. These grants provide funds for items not normally available through the student's university. Additionally, these grants allow doctoral students to undertake significant data-gathering projects and to conduct field research in settings away from their campus that would not otherwise be possible. Proposals are judged on the basis of their scientific merit, including the theoretical importance of the research question and the appropriateness of the proposed data and methodology to be used in addressing the question.

Award time period: 12-24 months Award Size: $7,500-$20,000 (depending on program)

Eligibility: Open to all graduate students in eligible fields enrolled in a US-based graduate program.

In this workshop learn how to apply for NSF funding to support your dissertation research.

Registration is not required

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Workshop on Proposal Writing Basics: January 29, 2010, 1-3pm

On Friday, January 29, 2010 we will offer a workshop on Proposal Writing Basics from 1:00-3:00pm.

The workshop will be held in Center Hall in the Busch Campus Center on Busch Campus.

The workshop will provide an overview of proposal writing. We will cover the basic elements that go into a successful funding proposal.  This lecture-based workshop will guide the participants through all the essential components that go into a successful proposal for external funding. The workshop will also provide an introduction to GradFund services and how to identify research grants and fellowships to support graduate students.

Registration is not required to attend.


Friday, January 15, 2010


Welcome to our blog! We are starting the New Year with a new look and focus for the GradFund Blog. In my posts I will share with you information on our services and activities along with advice and thoughts on applying for merit-based research grants and fellowships as a graduate student. GradFund, the Resource Center for Graduate Student External Support is a service of the Graduate School-New Brunswick Dean’s office and is dedicated to supporting scholarly excellence and professionalization for Rutgers University graduate students.

Since our founding in 2000 we have helped hundreds of our graduate students apply for and secure nationally competitive fellowships and grants to support their masters and doctoral work.

We encourage all graduate students to apply for external funding and to learn how to integrate the process of applying for funding into their academic careers.

Students who apply for external funding are engaged in an essential professionalization practice as they develop into leading scholars in their fields. For the students who are successful, their achievements bring distinction to their work and the university and provide them with the resources needed to conduct cutting edge and innovative research that advances their discipline. All students who apply for fellowships and grants, regardless of the outcome, have learned an essential skill that they will use throughout their careers. The process of applying for funding has also helped them to move forward on their dissertation by accelerating their research and writing, fine-tuning questions, solving challenging issues, and developing a plan for more timely completion of their degree.

We offer a number of on-line resources as well as in-person services to help Rutgers graduate students with their application endeavors. I invite you to utilize our services and resources throughout your time at Rutgers. You can learn more about our services by visiting In the coming weeks, I will post more about our services and how to best utilize them.

Whether you are just starting your graduate studies, preparing to start your dissertation research or in the final stages of study, I encourage you to take some time to explore our website and to begin to work on a funding application. I am sure you will find it to be a challenging and yet rewarding experience. Best of luck in your endeavors!