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External Awards

Prospective applicants are urged to apply for fellowships or grants from national, international, industrial or foundation sources. Receiving early external awards, such as the National Science Foundation Fellowship or the Ford Foundation’s Minority Fellowships, not only enable a student to supplement the funding received in the department but also make that student a more attractive candidate for future funding opportunities. Some fellowships can be applied to prior to being admitted; some require you to apply in your first year of the PhD. To learn more about external funding sources, discuss opportunities with your program and review the resources below.


SPIN: Vanderbilt Faculty, Students, and Staff have access to a powerful search database, SPIN, that lists thousands of funding opportunities. SPIN identifies a wide variety of funding sources according to your research interests and the search parameters you use.  This presentation provides instructions on establishing a SPIN profile and searching for funding opportunities. 


Outside Awards and Fellowships

David L. Boren Fellowships

Sponsored by the National Security Education Program (NSEP), Boren Awards provide funding for U.S. graduate students to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests and underrepresented in study abroad:

  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Central and Eastern Europe
  • Eurasia
  • Latin America
  • Middle East

Through long-term overseas study, Boren Fellows learn to communicate across cultures, and analyze economic, political, religious, and societal events from local, national and global perspectives.  In exchange for funding, Boren recipients agree to work in qualifying national security positions in the U.S. federal government for at least one year after graduation.

For complete details about the fellowships, including application requirements and award amounts, visit the Boren Awards website.

Deadline for graduate-level fellowships: January 27, 2021

Dan David Prize

The Dan David Prize is offering $15,000 scholarships to doctoral and post-doctoral students in the fields of History of Health & Medicine, Public Health, and Molecular Medicine. Please view more information and links here.

Scholarship application deadline: March 10, 2021