Doctoral Grants

Posted on January 25, 2017 in Scholarships

Maneuvering through the labyrinth of applications for undergraduate grants and scholarships is the hard part for college students. Once you continue your education and pursue a doctoral degree, you'll know how to approach financial aid, scholarships, and fellowships with more confidence.

Financial aid and merit-based scholarships and fellowships for doctoral students are often funded by corporations and professional associations who have a need to recruit promising talent for their organizations.

Doctoral grants are normally geared by a specific subject or research project, or for women or a minority group.

Grants for doctoral students are available from:

  • Philanthropic organizations
  • Colleges and Universities
  • Alumni Associations
  • Professional and Trade Organizations
  • Public Agencies

Search for doctoral degrees in a specific subject or from a specific university. Certain schools offer continuing grants for students already attending graduate classes at their campuses.

Check with your state’s financial aid program department. The same financial aid you applied for as an undergraduate may be available for doctoral study, and you won’t have as much competition, depending on the nature of the grant and application process.

Doctoral Grants by Subject

The National Physical Science Consortium offers doctoral grants in science, math, and engineering. The grant includes an expense allowance of up to $120,000 over six years with a research or teaching assistantship. The NPSC has awarded 503 graduate fellowships since 1989, with 82% percent of recipients being minority, female or both.

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation ( offers doctoral grants for students performing original research in technology, science or economics. The Sloan Foundation currently offers two-year, $60,000 fellowships for promising early career scientists.

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers Auxiliary Inc. sponsors the Elisabeth M. and Winchell M. Parsons Scholarships ( to full-time graduate students studying for a Ph.D./Doctoral degree in engineering. One or two $3,000 awards are given each year to students studying Metallurgy, Materials Science or Engineering.

The Nursing Economic$ Foundation Scholarships ( are open to U.S. citizens in a Doctoral nursing program with an interest in administration or management at a nursing school in the U.S. Up to four $5,000 scholarships will be awarded each year.

Doctoral Degree Scholarships in Cancer Nursing ( are awarded by the American Cancer Society, Inc. to doctoral students in the field of cancer nursing research. Each scholarship is for up to four years with a stipend of up to $15,000 per year. The applicant must include a general audience summary and technical abstract, biographical information and professional goals with the submission.

Phi Alpha Theta Doctoral Scholarships ( are aimed at graduate members of the Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society. This scholarship is restricted to students studying history, and students need to include a transcript, references, a writing sample, resume, and dissertation prospectus with their application. The scholarship amount is between $750 - $1,000, and four scholarships are awarded each year.

The Wenner-Gren Foundation ( offers Doctoral Grants for Anthropology students. They include provisions for dissertation fieldwork and advanced research. Students of all nationalities, enrolled in a doctoral program are eligible to apply. Gants are non-renewable, and the maximum grant amount for Dissertation Fieldwork is $20,000.

Doctoral Degrees by College or University

The University of Illinois Champagne- Urbana has fellowships for doctoral students, searchable by subjects. Areas of study include fine arts, science engineering, math, and professional programs. The grants may be unrestricted, for underrepresented students, us citizens, international students or women.

Doctoral Grants for Women

Zonta International, a global organization of professionals empowering women through advocacy and education, offers several doctorate grants for women. The Amelia Earhart Fellowship ( for women in the Aerospace Industry is open to all Women of pursuing a Ph.D./doctoral degree in aerospace sciences or aerospace-related engineering. The $10,000 fellowship is awarded to 35 women annually from the U.S. and around the world.

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. National Educational Foundation offers the General Graduate Scholarship for graduate women working on a doctoral or post-doctoral degree. Applicants must be female and attend a U.S. university. The award is $2500. Zeta Phi Beta also offers a fellowship ( for which doctoral students are eligible.

Doctoral Grants for Minorities

The Congressional Black Caucus sponsors the CBC Spouses Education Scholarship ( for African-American or black students who go to school or live in a CBC member district. It is open to full-time students pursuing a doctoral, graduate or undergraduate degree. Applicants must live in Alabama, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, or Wisconsin.

Applicants must include two letters of recommendation, a personal statement, a resume, and a copy of their Federal Student Aid Report.

The American Physical Therapy Association’s Minority Scholarship Fund ( offers five to ten scholarships for American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian/Pacific Islander, Black or Hispanic students pursuing a doctoral degree in physical therapy, or completing their final year of physical therapy education. Each scholarship is between $2,000 and $6,000.

Doctoral degrees are expensive, and this expense may carry on for a few years. Loans may be too problematic and take too long to pay back, so applying for doctoral grants or fellowships may be your only choice to fund the remainder of your education.

Applying for a doctoral grant is a highly individual process. While it's possible to apply for undergraduate grants using a scattershot or cookie-cutter approach, that's impossible to do once you are at the doctorate level. The grants themselves are so specialized at this point, and there really is no reason for anyone to apply unless they really have knowledge of and a desire to receive the grant and complete original research and independent study. Regular classroom learning is a thing of the past now; it's about putting what you've learned into action.

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