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Grants/Outside Funding

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I've noticed that several of my applications are interested in knowing if applicants have received/applied for outside grants and fellowships, but in my preliminary searches, I've only been able to find awards that you can only apply to after you've been admitted to a PhD program. So:

Anyone have any insight about how this weighs in on an application?


Advice on where I can look for fellowships that don't require that you've already been admitted (obviously, if you aren't admitted then you don't receive the funds)?

I guess this goes without saying since I'm on the literature board, but I'm looking for any possible humanities grants. I have seen a lot of potential fellowships for sciences, but not many for humanities. They may not even exist! I just...want to be sure I'm not missing something, haha. 

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In the context of admissions, I think this question applies more toward science candidates, many of whom are expected to apply for outside funding throughout their careers. The only national fellowships or grants for the humanities I can think of require a firm idea of your project (for example, if you're dissertating or just about to start). I don't think this is criteria that the adcomms consider in English studies. 

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There actually are national fellowships for humanities PhD students, but they are rarer than they were even a decade ago. For example, Mellon used to have a national fellowship that no longer exists; this dead website tells you the status of this award: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/jacobjavits/index.html. But they do exist! For example, a friend of mine doing a PhD in history won a national humanities fellowship that college sophomores were eligible to apply for--he was granted a 30k fellowship to be paid out over the 5 years of his program (I forget the name). 

Edited by echo449
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re: Roquentin: I'd be interested in looking into all opportunities, if they're out there. The programs I'm applying to generally tout themselves as being fully funded, but the big blank spaces left for "Outside Funding You've Applied For" intimidates me, haha. I just wanted to make sure it wasn't some secret everyone knew but me.

It sounds like I shouldn't be too worried if I don't find any that I qualify for (my small liberal arts school only has one, and it's one of those "must already be accepted" grants) but I'll keep my eyes open just in case!

Thanks for the help, everyone! 

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I'm mainly familiar with the larger external grants available to Canadian students (and I don't know if you're Canadian. If you were, you'd probably already know about these grants - our departments tend to push them pretty hard).

Smaller international, short-term research grants are widely advertised (and highly competitive). Many (most? all?) are offered by field of study. So you might find a grant available to cover research in your particular field. Also, many research libraries offer grants for visiting scholars. If your work is the least bit archival, if specific libraries have collections that interest you, and (this is the big "if") if you're inclined to travel to conduct research, then you might apply for the funding that those libraries offer. I've seen lots of grants that simply have a "grad student" category for applicants (i.e. technically, you need not be a PhD student to apply).

Good luck!

Edited by Roquentin
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