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Apply for an External Fellowship

How Do I: Apply for External Funding

Every external fellowship has its own unique set of rules and requirements – the External Fellowships team in Graduate Studies is here to help you navigate this.  Below you’ll find the basic steps you’ll need to take to apply for external funding.  Remember, you can always go to your External Fellowship Analyst with questions.

  1. Find the opportunity.  We recommend you start looking for funding 6-12 months in advance.  Many fellowships and grants, especially larger and federal funds, take this long to develop a competitive application and then get reviewed.  Discuss the opportunity with your mentor and decide if this fellowship is appropriate for you and your research.
  2. Contact your external fellowships analyst.  Once you’ve decided to apply, get in touch with your external fellowships analyst, either Maria J. Garcia or Amineh Helalian, and tell them the grant you intend to apply for, along with its deadline and a link to the call for proposals.  They will read through the fine print before you apply, making sure the grant won’t violate UC codes or policies.  For many grants, especially those from federal agencies, their assistance is also necessary for setting up an account for you in online application systems.
  3. Complete your application and required internal forms at least five business days ahead of application deadline.  Another service provided by the external fellowships team is application review.  We read through all requirements and rules for your fellowship and will comb through your materials for compliance.  We require five business days to review your application so you can have enough time to make the necessary edits before submission.  In addition to the application, you need to get us the below forms by this deadline:
    • External Fellowship Data Sheet. This is an internal form Graduate Studies requires you to email prior to application submission.  All signatures are required.

    • Conflict of Interest. All UC PI’s who engage in research must fill out the appropriate conflict of interest forms and training online.  For instructions on which online form is required for your research, please visit the Office of Research’s website.

  4. Coordinate with External Fellowships Analyst to submit final application.  Once your application is in its final state, your analyst will check submission requirements for your fellowship.  Some applications require your analyst (often called an Authorized Organizational Representative, AOR, or Signing Official, SO) to submit on your behalf, some may be submitted by you with a signature or stamp from your analyst, and some may be submitted by you independently.  If at all possible, aim to submit your application before the due date in case of last minute technological errors.

Common Program Application How To's

  • How Do I: Apply for NIH Funding
  • NIH offers a lot of funding for graduate students and postdocs.  To find a full list of NIH grants, visit their website.  Below you’ll find the basic steps for applying to an NIH grant or fellowship.  Remember, individual grants have their own requirements, so be sure to read the funding announcement thoroughly.  You may always go to your External Fellowship Analyst with questions.

    1.  Email External Fellowships Analyst to get eRA Commons account set up.  Once you’ve found an NIH grant you’d like to apply for and discussed it with your mentor, email your External Fellowships Analyst to obtain an eRA Commons account.  This account is necessary to use the NIH application system, ASSIST.  You may already have an eRA account, but please check with your analyst to make sure it includes the PI role so you can initiate an application.  Make sure you also have the appropriate and most recent FOA (funding opportunity announcement) number for the grant you plan to apply for.

    2.  Complete your application in ASSIST and send required internal forms at least five business days ahead of application deadline.  Another service provided by the external fellowships team is application review.  We read through all requirements and rules for your fellowship and will comb through your materials in ASSIST for compliance.  We require five business days to review your application so you can have enough time to make the necessary edits before submission.  In addition to the application, you need to get us the below forms by this deadline:

            External Fellowship Data Sheet.  This is an internal form Graduate Studies requires you to email prior to application submission.  All signatures are required.

            Conflict of Interest.  All UC PI’s who engage in research must fill out the appropriate conflict of interest forms and training online.  For instructions on which online form is required for your research, please visit the Office of Research’s website.

    3.  Coordinate with External Fellowships Analyst to submit final application.  Once you have corrected any errors that your analyst found during review, your analyst will contact you for the final go ahead to submit.  NIH applications require your analyst (in their role of Signing Official, SO) to submit on your behalf.  If at all possible, aim to submit your application before the due date in case of last minute technological errors.
  • How Do I: Apply for NSF Funding
  • NSF offers many grants for graduate students and postdocs – you can look through their offerings on their website.  Below you’ll find the basics steps for applying to an NSF grant or fellowship.  Remember, individual grants have their own requirements, so be sure to read the funding announcement thoroughly.  You may always contact your External Fellowships Analyst with questions.

    1.  Email External Fellowship Analyst to get a FastLane user account. Once you’ve found an NSF grant you’d like to apply for and discussed it with your mentor, email your External Fellowships Analyst to obtain a FastLane user account.  This account is necessary to use the NSF application system, FastLane.  Please login to the system once you have access and familiarize yourself with it, as it can be difficult to navigate.

    2.  Complete your application in FastLane and send required internal forms at least five business days ahead of application deadline.  Another service provided by the external fellowships team is application review.  We read through all requirements and rules for your fellowship and will comb through your materials in FastLane for compliance.  We require five business days to review your application so you can have enough time to make the necessary edits before submission.  In addition to the application, you need to get us the below forms by this deadline:

            External Fellowship Data Sheet.  This is an internal form Graduate Studies requires you to email prior to application submission.  All signatures are required.

            Conflict of InterestAll UC PI’s who engage in research must fill out the appropriate conflict of interest forms and training online.  For instructions on which online form is required for your research, please visit the Office of Research’s website.

    3.  Coordinate with External Fellowships Analyst to submit final application.  Once you have corrected any errors that your analyst found during review, your analyst will contact you for the final go ahead to submit.  Most NSF applications require your analyst (in their role of Authorized Organizational Representative, AOR) to submit on your behalf.  Contact your analyst ahead of time to verify the submission process for your particular grant.  If at all possible, aim to submit your application before the due date in case of last minute technological errors.