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External Funding

External awards are prestigious and a valuable acknowledgement of intellectual pursuit and promise. Writing a fellowship proposal can clarify your thinking about your research and improve your ability to communicate its essence and potential impact, and the competition can expose you to valuable feedback. Receiving a competitive external fellowship is an honor that stays with you throughout your career and can improve your professional prospects.

The Graduate School also offers financial incentives to students who apply for and are awarded external funding. While external funding typically does not affect a student’s funding clock, students in the Humanities and Social Sciences receiving funding from outside of the university who would like to pause their funding clock may be eligible for Advanced Status. This option should be reviewed closely with their Director of Graduate Study (DGS) and the Graduate School.

Finding External Funding
The Graduate School collaborates with the University Library and other University partners to maintain a Grant Finding Guide with links to a variety of external funding opportunities across all divisions and stages of graduate study. This Guide also includes a section with tips and suggestions specifically for international students. The listings include access to subscription services, such as SPIN, a database of opportunities from federal, governmental, international, private and corporate funders. This Guide should be one of your first stops in looking for funding opportunities. 

Master’s and doctoral students are encouraged to work with their programs and advisors in preparing their applications. The offices below offer some support for students applying to external fellowships, particularly for fellowships which only allow a limited number of applicants from Brown in each application cycle:

The Graduate School also works directly with students who are pursuing external fellowships which require institutional endorsement. These include

Look at the Graduate School's newsletter and social media accounts (primarily Twitter), where we post notices of fellowship opportunities.

Steps for Students with External Funding
Students who have received external funding should promptly forward a copy of their award letter and any supporting documentation to both the Graduate School (at [email protected]) and their Program Administrator. The award letter and supporting documentation must:

  • be in English or be accompanied by an English translation
  • include the total amount of funding
  • indicate the start and end dates of funding
  • specify if funding will be paid directly to the student or through Brown University

Steps for Program Administrators

  • Confirm that the external funding documentation meets the requirements above and that the student has provided the documentation to the Graduate School.
  • Review with the Graduate School if the student will be receiving top-up funding or an incentive payment (see the Incentive Program for Doctoral Students webpage). 
  • Update the student’s appointment in GSIM to reflect the external funding and any incentive payments (contact [email protected] with any questions).

External Funding Links