Funding Opportunities

Whether we like it or not, money makes the world go round. The lab you work in might have money in their budget to pay you. You also may be asked to conduct research for free or to be paid in experience. If you can’t afford to work without compensation, you might still be able to get your own funding and pay yourself.

Funding opportunities are targeted to experience level. Don’t worry, your application will only be compared against others at your level. Here are some common applications to start your search:

NIH HS-SIP is the high school student equivalent of the NIH SIP. I participated in this program and highly recommend it.

NIH SIP is an eight-week Summer internship with the National Institutes of Health for undergraduate, graduate school, and professional school students.

NSF GRFP is a three year fellowship for individuals applying to graduate school or in the first two years of graduate school.

HHMI Gilliam Fellowship is a three year fellowship for mid career graduate students.

Ford Fellowship is a one-three year fellowship depending on whether you are an early career graduate student, late career graduate student, or post-doctorate.

Other popular options include AAAS, DoD, NASA, etc. Often, the more competitive the grant/fellowship/award, the less likely you are to receive that money. Smaller or more specialized opportunities are excellent resources. Look for groups trying to support individuals just like you. (Think about your research institution, field, topic; ethnicity; ability; gender; etc.) If you don’t know where to turn in your specialized funding search, feel free to send me an email at

My current favorite funding search site is the Illinois Fellowship Finder. I’ve also been told that and GrantForward are good sites to try.

It never hurts to apply!

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