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Nationally Competitive Awards

There are a number of national awards that offer funding for current graduate students, and the search for them can be stressful and somewhat overwhelming. In order to make the process of searching for an applicable award easier, we have compiled a list of national awards that directly pertain to current graduate students. The following awards are separated by specific interest. Click on the title of each award to read detailed information about the award, eligibility requirements and application deadlines. 


Graham Foundation Carter Manny Award

For doctoral students that focus their scholarly work on architecture and its role in arts, culture and society.  Two types of Carter Manny Awards are offered: a research award ($15,000) and a writing award ($20,000).

Sir John Soane’s Foundation Traveling Fellowship 

This fellowship is for someone who wants to travel to London to study the Sir John Soane collection, museum or research a topic that concerns either of the two. 

Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Arts Award

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Arts Award is for students that show great creativity and promise, and who have financial need. The Award is for up to three years and can be used here at UC. 

Kate Neal Kinley Memorial Fellowship

This fellowship is awarded in three areas: music; architectural design and history, art and design, theatre, dance, or instrumental or vocal music; and art, architecture, dance, landscape architecture, theatre, or urban and regional planning. 

World Studio AIGA Scholarships

These scholarships are for undergraduate and graduate students and are meant to help minority students fund their studies within design and arts disciplines.


American Association for University Women (AAUW) Educational Fuding and Awards

There are six different fellowships and grants available through the AAUW that support education, international students and community action.

Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellowships

There are three options for Fellowships throught the Spencer Foundation: postdoctoral fellowships, dissertation fellowships and exemplary dissertation award essays. The focus of these fellowships is the improvement of education.

Ford Foundation Diversity Fellowships

Fellowships are available at the predoctoral, dissertation and postdoctoral level.

Jack Kent Cooke Dissertation Fellowship Award

This scholarship supports doctoral students working on dissertations that "further the understanding of the educational pathways and experiences of high-achieving, low-income students." You must have successfully defended your dissertation proposal to receive this award.


GEM Fellowships

GEM offers three fellowships: one for an MS engineering student, one for a PhD engineering student and one for a PhD science student.

National Defense Science & Engineering Fellowship

The DoD will offer three-year graduate fellowships to approximately 200 graduate students in any of the fifteen scientific disciplines that relate to areas of DoD interest. See the website for a complete list.

Whitaker International Program

This program offers two types of graduate fellowships, but both are offered to students who want to travel abroad to finish some of their coursework. See the website for full details.

Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship

The Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship "provides outstanding benefits and opportunities to students pursuing doctoral degrees in fields that use high-performance computing to solve complex science and engineering problems."

Exploration Fund of the Explorer’s Club

This award helps fund field research and travel for graduate students just starting their research careers.

Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Scholarships

Scroll through this list of scholarships to find those for graduate students. There are multiple pages and multiple options, but be sure to check the requirements before applying.

William Proctor Prize for Scientific Achievement

Awarded by Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society, this prize goes to a scientist who has made a significant contribution to scientific research. The award recipient must also be ready to communicate their results to researchers across disciplines.

Environmental Concerns

Environmental Research and Education Foundation

Awards are given to master's, doctoral and post-doctoral students doing excellent work in the field of waste management research and education.

Health Fields

Judson Daland Prize

This prize is awarded for outstanding patient-oriented research by the American Philosophical Society. 

International Foundation for Ethical Research

These grants are offered to support "the development and implementation of scientific methods that advance science and replace the use of animals in research, testing, or education." Both master's and PhD students in the sciences and human or veterinary medicine are eligible.

Tylenol Scholarships

Tylenol offers more than $8.9 million in scholarships for those seeking a degree in the healthcare fields. Graduate students are eligible to apply.


Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting

Up to five $35,000 fellowships are awarded each year to students/writers with exceptional screenplays.

National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship

This fellowship program offers $25,000 in prose and poetry grants every year. The program runs on a two-year cycle, alternating between prose and poetry fellowships. Check the website to see which type of fellowship is currently offered.

Public Service

Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship

For graduating graduate students that want to spend 6-9 months in Washington D.C. to get the "Washington perspective" on the major issues in peace and security today. 

Donald M. Payne International Development Fellowship Program

This program supports promising graduate students who want to go into Foreign Services of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). It's for those interested in working on the front lines with issues like poverty, hunger, injustice and disease. 

Fulbright-Clinton Fellowship

Formerly the Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship, this fellowship provides the opportunity for a graduate student to spend a year in a professional placement at a foreign government ministry or institution. See the fellowship page for more detailed instructions.

Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Program

For graduate students interested in working for the Foreign Service after graduation. Students must be working towards a degree in a relevant area for future work with the Foreign Service. See the fellowship page for the detailed components of this program.

Social Sciences

Violet and Cyril Franks Scholarship

For full-time graduate students doing scholarly projects focused on understanding and reducing stigma related to mental illness using the psychological perspective.

Upjohn Institute of Employment Research 

This award goes to the best dissertation focused on employment-related issues. The dissertation can come from any discipline, but it must have a substantial focus on policy.

Scott and Paul Pearsall Scholarships

For all full time graduate students whose work focuses on increasing the public's understanding of psychological pain and stigma associated with dealing with physical disabilities. 

Lizette Peterson-Homer Injury Prevention Award

This award supports research into psycological and behavioral aspects of injury prevention in children and adolescents. See the award site for more specific requirements.

Various Disciplines

Fulbright Program

The Fulbright program provides a grant to fund students, scholars, teachers, and professionals to conduct research projects in another country. See the Graduate School's Fulbright Program page for more information on applying.


The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP) recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions. See the Graduate School's NSF GRP page for more information on applying.

More Information

Some of the above information is from the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards, while some is from The Chronicle of Higher Education. If you have any questions about specific national awards, please contact the person listed on the award's page. If you have questions about applying for national awards, please contact Pam Person:

Pam Person, Director of Nationally Competitive Awards