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Financial Aid

External Fellowships

Sources of Fellowship Information

First, be sure that you thoroughly review the information on the HGSE Financial Aid website, including need-based and merit-based grant awards, fellowships requiring application through the HGSE Financial Aid Office, and funds available through the Harvard Committee on General Scholarships. You can contact the financial aid office at or at 617-495-3416.

The HGSE External Fellowship Database

The HGSE External Fellowship Database has been created as a resource for the support of graduate studies in the field of education. The searchable database can be used on two terminals in the Reference/Research Department of Gutman Library. For a brief introduction to the database, call or e-mail the HGSE Financial Aid Office. Login information is also located at each terminal in Gutman Library.

A selection of entries from the HGSE Fellowship Database can be found in the online document The HGSE Directory of External Fellowships (332KB pdf).

These listings are most useful for doctoral students, especially those beyond the second year of study, reflecting the fact that much outside funding supports research and writing of the dissertation.

The listings in both the database and the selected listings document are organized chronologically by month of application deadline. However, it is critical to note that deadlines change. Updates to this compilation are made periodically, but do not keep pace with changes in competition requirements, deadlines, etc. Always refer to the sponsoring organization for current official information.

Harvard's Subscriber Database Access

One of the most accessible databases is the Cornell University Fellowship Database. This large, well-organized list is easy to search and available to everyone.

Harvard subscribes to the Sponsored Programs Information Network (SPIN) and Community of Science (COS) network databases for its students. The lists provide thousands of funding possibilities. (Harvard students must use Harvard computers. Out-of-town alumni and prospective applicants may be able to obtain permission for use of these and similar databases, e.g., IRIS, through nearby colleges, universities, or public libraries.)

Online Search Engines and Websites

Among the many online options, some students find it helpful to utilize search engines such as also contains a good amount of useful information and is a useful departure point.

There are many reputable and valuable online resources. Unfortunately, scams exist for fellowships and scholarships just as they do in other areas of the online world. You should never pay a fee in order to compete for a scholarship. Any group that asks for even a small payment is suspect.

Creative keyword searches online can be used in the same way the subscribed databases use them, and may provide listings of smaller or more specialized awards. To tailor a search to your academic or personal profile, use words that describe your research and writing interests and professional goals and skills, and, in a personal search, affiliations with organizations which may have funds to support students who share your interests and background.  Consider who may benefit by the study or work you hope to do.

Try combinations of keywords (pre-dissertation, graduate fellowships, pre-doctoral grants and scholarships); use advanced search options to refine your ideas. Look up relevant professional societies; see if your undergraduate institution offers help.  Consider and search your affinity groups (religious, ethnic, gender, racial) for opportunities as well.

External Funding Sources for International Students

International students should review the International student section of this website, particularly the section on Outside Funding Sources for International Students. The International Scholarships website may also be a helpful resource.