Conferences are a great way for graduate students to build their academic and professional profiles, while also getting valuable experience for everyday activities. Whether you are presenting, chairing, or moderating a session, or just dropping in to listen to the ideas of other scholars, attending conferences is an essential activity for grad students to get and remain connected in the scholarly community and to learn the ropes from experienced scholars.
But what if you’ve been accepted to present at a conference, and you’re raring and ready to go, but are not super excited about dolling out the cash that it take to register and travel? Well, you’re going to have to figure out how to pay for it somehow, but most grad students don’t have extra money to spend spontaneously on travel, lodging, registration, and food — a two-day conference can quickly cost well over $500. Where should the money come from then? Read More
Whether your goals in a graduate program are strictly academic or involve something beyond what school has to offer, it is never a bad thing to expand your activities and workload, especially by taking the skills you’ve developed in undergrad and grad school and allowing them to guide your choices. Most graduate program stipends aren’t livable wages, and not all programs pay your way, so unless you’re lucky enough to be financially comfortable while earning your degree, it’s worth looking for ways to supplement income and boost the skills that will be most important to your future career endeavors. Read More
Fellowships, grants, and scholarships are the essential lifeblood of academia. In addition to helping achieve your immediate goal of securing funding for your thesis or dissertation, they enhance your – and your project’s – scholarly credibility in the eyes of the wider academic community.
However, major awards offered by prestigious institutions like Fulbright, the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), and the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) are extremely competitive. These groups receive thousands of applications each year and only a handful of those ever make it past the preliminary selection round, let alone result in an award offer. Even smaller organizations such as the Central European History Society or the Smith Richardson Foundation, for example, attract dozens of applicants for a relatively limited number of grants or fellowships.
Unfortunately, there is no “winning formula” for grant writing or fellowship applications; the entire process is more of an art than a science. Still, there are a number of steps you can take to ensure that you’re putting the strongest proposal possible forward and increase the likelihood that your project will be selected for an award. Read More