The Award Lifecycle

Funding Source Databases

This page lists several online funding databases available to graduate students looking for external funding opportunities for research and scholarly projects.

Grant Forward
This database allows you to search by academic level, so that you can find funding opportunities specifically for graduate students. You can also set up an alert service so that new opportunities that match your keywords/categories are emailed to you on a weekly basis.
 
To search:

  • See the instructions (downloadable file at the right under Related Content) to create an account, select Categories for search results, save searches, and set up the email alerts.
  • To narrow the search results to those funding opportunities applicable to graduate students, by “Type of Applicant,” select “graduate.”

GrantSearch
GrantSearch  is another user-friendly database for funding opportunities. You need to be connected to an NIU server to access GrantSearch.  If you are performing funding searches from off-campus, contact the Research Development Specialist for your department/college for login information to access GrantSearch. 
To search:

  • Use the Instructions at the right (under Related Content)
  • By “Select an Activity,” select “Graduate and Dissertation Support.”

Graduate and Postdoctorate Extramural Support (GRAPES)
UCLA sponsors this database, which catalogues over 350 major awards, fellowships, scholarships, and internships for graduate and postdoctoral scholars. Some awards are only for UCLA students.

Grants.gov
Grants.gov is the site on which all federal grant opportunities are posted. For doctoral students, if you are seeking a dissertation grant from a federal agency, use Grants.gov.

Agencies with dissertation grants include Housing and Urban Development, National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Justice. If you are planning to apply for a dissertation complete grant from a federal agency, it is extremely important to contact the Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) as soon as possible. Most of these applications must be submitted by OSP. See the section on “Apply for funding” for details on who to contact and information on working with OSP.

To search for dissertation grants:

  • Go to the main website, click on “Find Grant Opportunities”
  • Select “Basic Search”
  • By keyword ”type in “dissertation” 

Note: this search will return opportunities that are both upcoming and those that are closed (deadlines have passed).  Check the “close date” column as the opportunity will most likely be offered within one year from that date. The previous funding announcement may be used for general guidance, but be aware that agency priorities and interests may change from one year to the next. Be certain to monitor for the new announcement and new guidelines.   

FastWeb 
This site offers access to over 375,000 awards and other funding opportunities, but requires that you offer personal information and open a FastWEB mailbox so that you may check your search results. This site is geared towards undergraduate students, but some scholarships for graduate students are available.

Scholarsite.com
This website offers detailed and up-to-date information on approximately 600,000 financial aid opportunities. Registration is not required. Also provides Spanish search engine as well.

GrantsNet
This is a searchable database of biomedical and science education funding opportunities.