Penn Graduate Student Center

Navigating the Grant

Navigating the Grant Resources

We hope you find these resources useful and if you have any comments or suggestions, please let the Gnome know!

While researching grant opportunities and ultimately writing a grant narrative may seem daunting, you are not alone! Penn resource centers exist to assist you as you determine which grants to apply to, how to hone your skills writing in the "grant genre," and how to manage your time as efficiently as possible.

Despite the resources available on-campus at Penn, never forget the value of your advisor, committee, and colleagues within your department.

Penn Resources

Graduate Student Center

Our Navigating the Grant program provides a repository of information to help you get started. Use this site as a jumping off point.

If you are looking for feedback on the content of your grant narrative, your best bet would be to approach an expert in your field — someone familiar with the literature and lingo surrounding your topic. More advanced graduate students within your department/school who have sucessfully acquired funding may prove to be invaluable resources.

We also provide

Career Services

Not just for finding your future job, Career Services has a subscription to the Grants Advisor online database of funding opportunities relevant to different academic research disciplines, as well as links to other information about funding sources. Activate your Handshake account ( and sign up for the “Current PhDs in STEM fields” or “Current PhDs in the Humanities/Social Sciences” CareerMail to receive information about relevant career and funding opportunities

Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowship (CURF)

Often stigmatized by the "undergraduate" portion of its acronym, CURF does help graduate students. While the office is not the place to go for discipline-specific grant advice, CURF advisors can help you with the personal statement portion of your fellowship or grant application. Also, if applying for such fellowships as the Fulbright or Luce, you must go through CURF to have your application submitted to the appropriate agency. Although focused on fellowships, CURF provides a database of funding opportunities (still under construction).

Nobody likes a procrastinator!

If a third party (CURF, SAS, etc) has to administer your grant and you wait until the last minute to seek help, you will find yourself against deadlines with too much to do and too little time.

Give yourself plenty of time! Indeed, get help at Weingarten with managing your workload!


GAPSA offers limited travel grants and along with the Provost's Office, promote interdisciplinary research through summer reserach grants

Global Activities Registry

Before going abroad for academic work, register your trip details in Penn's Global Activities Registry. Your information will be provided automatically to International SOS (ISOS), the organization that provides assistance, including emergency evacuation, to Penn travelers free of charge. The information will enable the University and ISOS to assist you more quickly during emergencies.

Office of the Graduate Division

Thinking about applying to the Fulbright-Hays Fellowship, the DAAD Research Grant or the DAAD Study Scholarship? The Graduate Division of the School of Arts and Sciences administers these grants on behalf of Penn students. Contact us to let us know if you are working on an application. We will keep you ahead of that internal student deadline, answer your questions, and review your materials to be sure you didn't miss anything. The Graduate Division also oversees admissions, records, funding, and graduation for all Ph.D. and Master's students in the School of Arts and Sciences.

Science Outreach Initiative

The Science Outreach Initiative serves faculty and other researchers in the School of Arts and Sciences by helping them develop outreach program ideas and proposals, locating potential partners, and promoting information and resource exchange among all of Penn's STEM outreach programs. To help you become aware of the range of STEM Outreach Programs at Penn, the STEM Outreach Initiative has gathered basic information about them into a searchable list located on the STEM Outreach Matrix page.

Weingarten Learning Resources Center

Grants are all about time management and Weingarten Learning Resources Center can help you manage your time effectively. In addition, they can help you work through the strategy of grant writing – not simply the writing itself. Students can make appointments for one-on-one consultations with a Learning Instructor to address concerns and develop strategies for completing the grant researching/writing process.

"Time Management for the Grant" (PDF) by Dr. Pat Thatcher

Finding Grants

Career Services provides a funding database and other resources.

PennERA Sponsored Programs Information Network (SPIN) is an up-to-date listing of funding opportunities from national and international governmental and private funding sources. SMARTS (SPIN Matching and Research Transmittal Service) is an email alert system that allows investigators to receive email notifications about funding opportunities matching their specific requirements. Access both by logging on to PennERA.

Cornell University Graduate Fellowship Notebook offers a large repository of fellowships and grants.

Foundation Center is a national nonprofit service organization and maintains the most comprehensive database on U.S. grantmakers and their grants.

Grants.Gov is the single access point for over 900 grant programs offered by the 26 Federal grant-making agencies.

GrantsNet is a searchable database of grants to fund training in the sciences.

H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online provides announcements of funding for research in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.

Michigan State University Libraries Grants Guide

SRA International is a professional society dedicated to educating and supporting research administrators.

Vice Provost for Research has databases and other information geared to researchers.

Funding & Writing Guides

Penn Library's Research Guide to Funding

"Demystifying the World of Funding" (PDF) by Dr. Jennifer Wofford

Foundation Grants to Individuals compiled by the Foundation Center

From Idea to Funded Project: Grant Proposals That Work by Jane C. Belcher and Julia M. Jacobsen

Graduate School Funding Handbook by April Vahle Hamel

Proposals That Work: A Guide for Planning Dissertations and Grant Proposals by Lawrence Locke

The Art of Writing Proposals: Some Candid Suggestions for Applicants to Social Science Research Council Competitions

A Guide for Proposal Writing: Directorate for Education and Human Resources from the National Science Foundation

Sample Grant Applications



National Science Foundation

SAS Funding Request


Just for Fun!

Professor Writes Worst Op-Ed Ever

Have some more helpful resource suggestions? Tell the Gnome!

Thanks to Grad Center NavGrant Fellows who have worked on ensuring these resources are thoughtful, helpful, and up-to-date. A shout out to Kim S-T., Nicole M., Sarah S., John R., and Amruta I.

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Friday: 9AM - 6PM
Saturday-Sunday: 12pm - 6pm

Graduate Student Center

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