Strategies for Funding Dissertation Research

Dissertation research costs a lot of money – at least, it does if you want to contribute something tangible to existing knowledge. Unfortunately, this money is not something you can easily pull out of your account or savings.

You can get grants to help fund your project. Several amazing dissertations and scholarly articles you read online were funded this way.

This article will show you different strategies for identifying and sourcing funds for your dissertation research. As for writing a dissertation proposal, you can find the help at reliable dissertation writing service like

Before You Search


Before you search for funding, you want to prepare your proposal or research plan. The proposal will include the topic you intend to work on and what you need for the project’s success. Creating a proposal helps give you a clear view of what you want to do and the type of grants to look for.

Also, setting a clear research plan helps determine whether you want to work alone or with a team. If you decide to work with a team, you’ll begin to look for collaborators and determine your role.

Start with a Local Search

Now that the research goals are clear, you can search for funding, going from local to national and international. Start your research fund search from your department, faculty, and university. While the available funds might be small, it’s still easier to compete for and access than national and international grants.

Go to your university’s website for any information about grants. You can also contact the college’s administrative support staff within your department for assistance.

Search for Foundations

You can also request funds from foundations, although that would depend on what you’re working on. For instance, if your topic touches on issues relating to a philanthropic foundation, check online databases for available research grants. Look for a foundation that would benefit from your research, see if they have grants available for research, and apply.

Go to the Federal Level


It might seem like a long shot, but the funding your research needs might be at the federal level. For instance, you research could fit in with the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH’s) research interests. Students can apply for two NIH grants. They are the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards.

  1. For Individual Predoctoral Fellows – also known as NRSAs or F31s, and
  2. For Individual Predoctoral Fellowships to Promote and Ensure Diversity in Health-Related Research.

If you get either of these grants, you’ll have partial assistance with paying your tuition. They also provide an allowance for books and travel and a stipend for living expenses.

In addition, you can source for funding from the SBE Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grants of the National Science Foundation.

There’s sufficient information on the available NIH and NSF grants online. Also, you can talk to graduate students who have previously applied for the grants and got them.

Alternative Funding Sources

In today’s diverse financial ecosystem, reliance solely on government grants or institutional aid can be limiting. There exists a vast array of non-traditional entities, encompassing private organizations, non-profits, and industry associations, ready to support ground-breaking work. Take, for instance, a non-profit dedicated to marine conservation. Such an entity might earmark grants specifically for pioneering environmental studies, aiding researchers in achieving their objectives. Therefore, it’s prudent to actively scout for these bespoke opportunities, ensuring you’re not missing out, especially if your research niche perfectly dovetails with their mission and vision.

Collaborative Research


There’s an old adage: Two heads are better than one. This couldn’t ring truer in the realm of research. Collaborative efforts, be it with revered professors, prestigious institutions, or fellow researchers, can prove to be a treasure trove of resources. A researcher with years under their belt may have untapped institutional funds or access to exclusive grants, which, when shared, can amplify the scope of a joint venture. This collaborative approach not only alleviates financial burdens but also enriches the overall research quality, imbibing it with varied insights and holistic perspectives.

Crowdfunding and Online Platforms

The advent of the digital era has been a game-changer for aspiring academics. Crowdfunding platforms, such as Kickstarter or GoFundMe, have risen to prominence, offering a fresh avenue to garner funds for scholarly pursuits. The key lies in weaving a riveting narrative around your research topic, a story that resonates and compels the public, enthusiasts, or those with vested interests in your field to contribute. However, a word to the wise: flourishing in the world of crowdfunding requires an amalgamation of potent storytelling, transparency, and periodic updates to maintain engagement and trust among backers.

Research on Scholarship Opportunities


In the quest for funding, researchers sometimes sideline an invaluable asset: scholarships from professional associations, foundations, or pertinent government bodies. These esteemed entities frequently extend scholarships that serve a dual purpose. Not only do they provide the much-needed monetary support, but they also often incorporate additional perks like exclusive networking events, enriching workshops, or pivotal conferences. Such platforms can be instrumental in fostering connections, gaining exposure, and gleaning insights – an absolute boon for researchers at any stage of their career.

Your Application

Your chances of getting approved for research funding depend on how you write your application and your eligibility status. To start with, ensure you read the directions for creating a proposal over and over before you apply. Get acquainted with the instructions, follow them, and ask your adviser to double-check to ensure you adhered completely.

Furthermore, only include requested information, remember to follow the word or page limit, and arrange the information in the required order. Also, when writing your application, be clear and concise and make your figures and legends readable. Direct your research grant proposal to experts and non-experts in your chosen field.

Conclusion: When You Get the Grant

Most research funding comes with strings attached –conditions you must fulfill after collecting the grant. Therefore, be sure of the grant terms before applying, and record how you spent it when you get it.