Funding Your Research

no image available

All graduate students, particularly those pursuing a doctorate, should begin the process of seeking research funds as early in their graduate education as possible. This type of support can reduce financial stress and help you improve the quality of your thesis. NRES is a very diverse department, so this page provides general resources. Students should talk with their advisers and other students in their research areas about opportunities that may be available.

Research Funding Opportunities

  • Master's Project Travel Grants from the Graduate College of the University of Illinois
    The Graduate College's Master's Project Travel Grants provide reimbursement for travel-related costs incurred for the completion of an off-campus, short-term project required of one of the University's master's degree programs.  Approximately 10 grants of up to $500 will be awarded given sufficient funding.
    Master's Project Travel Grants Fall competition 
    Master's Project Travel Grants Spring competition
  • Dissertation Travel Grants from the Graduate College of the University of Illinois
    Dissertation Travel Grants provide reimbursement to subsidize travel and associated costs necessary for doctoral dissertation research, whether for exploring a potential dissertation topic (i.e., before extensive research has been done) or for conducting dissertation research. Approximately 12 grants at amounts up to $5,000 will be awarded given sufficient funding.
    Dissertation Travel Grants Fall competition
    Dissertation Travel Grants Spring competition
  • Research Support Awards from the Campus Research Board
    Only faculty can apply for these awards, so work with your adviser to determine if he or she is willing to submit a proposal on your behalf.
  • Grants-in-Aid of Research awarded by Sigma Xi: The Scientific Research Society
    The program awards grants of up to $1,000 to students from all areas of the sciences and engineering.
  • Small Grants Program from Prairie Biotic Research, Inc.
    PBR funds individuals researching any species in U.S. prairies and savannas with small grants up to $1000. Competition is conducted once per year, with the deadline in January.
  • Urban Rivers Research Institute
    The Urban Rivers Research Institute offers graduate students a platform to study urban river ecology, partnerships to leverage, advisors to work with, in-kind donations (kayaks, use of the floating gardens, tec.), and three annual $1,000 research grants. To apply, click the link above, scroll down to the bottom, and click the learn more button to open a form to complete.

Conference Travel Funding Opportunities

  • Conference Travel Awards from the Graduate College of the University of Illinois
    The Graduate College will provide awards, not to exceed $300, for students to travel to professional conferences. The application process is competitive, and NRES generally receives only three of these awards per semester. These Conference Travel Awards are intended to support students who will be presenting papers, posters, or creative work at the conferences they attend. Please note that the award amount from the Graduate College is based on the distance between the University of Illinois Urbana campus and the student's conference destination. Conference Travel Awards are supported by Students for Equal Access to Learning (SEAL) fees.
  • Educational Opportunities Grant from the Department of NRES
  • NRES provides financial support for graduate student travel that enhances your training and career opportunities. Applications for funding can include attendance at professional conferences, workshops, events, or for training to learn research techniques at other laboratories. Application instructions are e-mailed to eligible students each August and February.

Other Resources

  • Proposal Advising provided by the University of Illinois Graduate College
    The Office of External Fellowships provides one-on-one review of proposal drafts. They will critique your proposal and advise you on how to refine it so you can submit the most competitive application you can.
  • Grant Funding Library Guide provided by the University Library
    This page provides web pages, databases, and books that are useful in identifying and applying for research grants.
  • Fellowship Database maintained by the Graduate College
    Fellowships come in many different forms, and some of them provide funding for graduate student research. This searchable database provides information on hundreds of opportunities.
  • Grant Forward (Formerly IRIS)
    Free to University of Illinois students, faculty, and staff, Grant Forward allows you to search its database for funding opportunities in every field from agriculture to zoology. You can also set it up to alert you to new opportunities that meet your criteria.