External Funding Incentive Award

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This incentive program is designed to encourage graduate students to  develop and submit competitive applications to external agencies for research funding or fellowship support. The incentive consists of a $500 award for first-time submissions to a particular agency, and a $250 award for resubmissons of revised proposals to the same funding agency.


To be eligible for an incentive award, a student must:

  1. Be a full-time graduate student in Liberal Arts applying for a predoctoral grant or fellowship that is comparable in financial magnitude, duration, prestige and competitive nature to the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, NIH NRSA awards, and similar program. (to confirm eligibility of a program, consult the list below. Contact Keshia Kennelley (kak43@psu.edu) to check the eligibility of programs not listed).
  2. Exhibit exemplary academic achievement and accomplishments commensurate with those qualities that would position a student to be competitive.
  3. Have a defined area of research interest and the support of a graduate faculty mentor who will work with him/her to develop the application, including the research project plan.

NOTE: with sufficient justification, students are eligible to receive this award more than once.

Pre-Approved Eligibility List

AAUW Fellowship


Brookings Research Fellowship

Center for Retirement Research

Chateaubriand Fellowship

Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation

DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service)

Doris Duke Fellowships for the Promotion of Child Well-Being

Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowships for Minorities (Diversity Fellowship)


Graduate Research Fellowship for Criminal Justice Statistics

Guggenheim Foundation Dissertation Fellowship

International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF)

IREX (International Dissertation Research and Exchange Board)

Juran Fellowship for Joseph M. Juran Center for Leadership in Quality

Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship

Mellon Foundation Institute of Historical Research

Mind and Life Institute

National Foundation of Jewish Culture Fellowship

National Institute Of Justice (NIJ)

NIH Blueprint Diversity Specialized Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Advancement in Neuroscience

NIH Kirschstein NRSA Fellowship

NSF Fellowship

NSF Dissertation Research Funding

Spencer Foundation (Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation/Newcomb Fellowships)

SSRC (Social Science Research Council) Application Procedure

Wenner-Gren Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

William Orr Dingwall Foundation's Neurolinguistics Fellowship

A hard copy or electronic copy of the Intent to Submit Form and timeline and any corresponding material in PDF form must be sent to the CLA Graduate Office contact, Keshia Kennelley, at 105 Sparks Building or via kak43@psu.edu.

Download the Intent to Submit Form

  1. Prior to the student submitting a proposal to the respective external sponsor, the College must be notified of the student's intent. This notice must be submitted by the sponsoring faculty member with the following:
    • a completed "Intent to Submit" form, which includes the signature of the sponsoring graduate faculty member (download the Intent to Submit form);
    • a statement that clearly identifies the timeline for submission.
    NOTE: If a student has previously received the award, the sponsoring graduate faculty member is asked to explain why an additional award is merited.
  2. Once a completed proposal has been submitted to the funding source, the sponsoring graduate faculty member must provide confirmation of the submitted proposal (forwarding electronic confirmation of the application received from the funding agency by email is sufficient). Upon receipt of confirmation of submission, the student's award will be processed.
  3. Acceptance of the external funding application incentive award commits the student or faculty sponsor to communicate the outcome of the application to the College; that information can be sent via email to Keshia Kennelley at kak43@psu.edu.


Deadline for Applications

Applications are accepted at any time during the year, and allocations are made to meritorious students on a first come first serve basis June 1 through May 30.

All applications that require an official institution signature must go through this office, but all students (and their advisors) are welcome to seek advice on any part of the application process. Students should not wait until the last minute to seek advice. For applications submitted through this office, notification four weeks in advance of the deadline is recommended.

Additional Funding Resource

The Graduate School is often made aware of individual funding opportunities for graduate students. When the Office of Fellowships and Awards Administration receive information on funding prospects, it compiles the information into a database of external awards. This database, however, is limited to the information that is received by the office; therefore, it should not be considered inclusive. Your advisor, department faculty and staff are knowledgeable sources of additional information and should be consulted directly. Click here to access the Grad School External Awards Database.

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