The Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences

MCIBS - External fellowships for graduate students

Public and private funding opportunities for life sciences graduate students
student working at computer

Why write for a fellowship?

Being awarded a fellowship that funds your stipend and tuition is a huge boost to your CV. It demonstrates that you can present your ideas and plans well enough to convince an agency your studies are worth paying for, and of course, it means you have funded part of your own grad school!

Timing and citizenship

Some fellowships are specifically for first or second year students, others may allow students at any stage to apply.


Training grants

In this section individual fellowships are considered. In addition to this type of fellowship, which is written to an outside agency with support (and a bunch of written materials) from your PI, you can apply to one of the training grants at Penn State.


Finding fellowship agencies

Many agencies fund only specific research areas, so you should search using a tool like COS: Community of Science funding search site can be used with key words specific to the anticipated research field to find funding opportunities. Anyone with a psu email address (e.g., extension) can use this site: After an individual creates an account, the advanced search mechanism enables the individual to restrict the search eligibility requirement to “Graduate student”  or “early career”, etc.


List of agencies that fund graduate students

This is a subset of agencies to which Penn State students have successfully applied:


National Science Foundation

Information about NSF research fellowships for graduate students can be found here...


National Institutes of Health

Information about the NIH grad fellowships can be found here...


American Heart Association

Information about AHA grants, including predoctoral fellowships is here...