Funding Opportunity: Lewis-Burke Catalog of Federal Programs that Support Graduate Students September 2017 Edition


Fulbright Grants for Graduate Study and Research Abroad (part of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program)

  • Overview: This program is an international educational exchange program designed to increase mutual understanding between Americans and people in other countries. The program provides participants, chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential, with the opportunity to study, teach, conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. Fulbright projects span every major discipline, and recipients carry out a wide variety of unique projects and activities while on their grant.
  • Eligibility: The Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers fellowships for U.S. graduate students to study, conduct research, and/or teach English abroad. The Fulbright Foreign Student Program offers opportunities for foreign graduate students to study, conduct research, and/or teach their native language in the U.S.
  • Citizenship: U.S. applicants (U.S. citizens) apply either through their university or college or at-large to the cooperating agency responsible for the program in which they are interested. Non-U.S. applicants (non-U.S. citizens) apply to either the Fulbright Commission in their country of citizenship or the U.S. Embassy in their country of citizenship (in countries where there is not a Fulbright Commission).
  • Award/Program Size: The Fulbright Program awards approximately 8,000 new grants annually. In FY 2017, the congressional appropriation was $240 million. Foreign governments and private organizations also contribute funding.
  • Due Date: Applications are due October 6, 2017.


Source:, accessed July 7, 2017.

USAID Research and Innovation Fellowship Program

  • Overview: USAID launched its Research and Innovation Fellows (RI) program as part of the U.S. Global Development Laboratory (USGDL). This program provides fellows with the opportunity to undertake research and other innovative projects at “universities, private sector corporations, research institutions, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations” in seven different countries across the developing world for a period of two to 12 months. The goal for the program is for fellows to “amplify a broad-based knowledge network, catalyze learning, and foster the positive exchange of information and experiences.” Students may choose from a wide variety of specific abroad opportunities, ranging from the biological sciences to the social sciences.
  • Eligibility: Applicants must be pursuing a degree at a U.S. academic institution at one of the six universities initially selected to partner with USAID for this program (Rutgers University, University of Chicago, the University of Notre Dame, University of California – Berkeley, University of California – Davis, and Arizona State University). Previously, NSF Graduate Research Fellows could also apply, but that partnership has been discontinued.
  • Citizenship: Applicants must be U.S. citizens, nationals, or permanent residents.
  • Program/Award Size: Fellows can be granted up to $24,000 in travel funding.
  • Due Date: For students attending one of the identified schools above, information regarding deadlines is available through the institution’s website.


Source:, accessed July 7, 2017.


Donald M. Payne International Development Fellowship Program

  • Overview: The USAID Donald Payne Fellowship Program honors the late former congressman by providing support for graduate students interested in careers in international development. The program supports students seeking master’s degrees in international affairs or subjects such as economics, development, history, political science, environmental studies, agriculture, public health, urban studies, public administration, or public policy. Applicants must commit to at least five years working for USAID as a member of the Foreign Service as a requirement of the program. The Payne Program specifically seeks applicants from minority groups historically underrepresented among international development professionals. The Program supports graduate study for students who want to work across a broad array of international development topic areas.
  • Eligibility: Applicants must be U.S. citizens, be seeking admission to a two-year graduate program, and have a GPA of at least 3.2 (on a 4.0 scale) at the time of application. Applicants cannot already be enrolled in graduate school at the time of application.
  • Citizenship: Applicants must be U.S. citizens. Additionally, fellowship money can only be used at U.S. institutions of higher education.
  • Program/Award Size: The Payne Program provides up to $93,000 over two years for graduate school, internships, and professional development activities. USAID awards approximately five fellowships per year.
  • Due Date: Applications are annually due in January.


Source:, accessed July 7, 2017.