Check the links below for various internal and external funding opportunities, as well as grant-writing resources.

Internal Funding Opportunities

The University of Iowa offers the numerous funding opportunities for graduate students. Visit the Grants for Students page for additional application information and deadlines.

External Funding Opportunities

The following foundations offer funding opportunities for faculty and graduate students in the areas of education and psychology. 

3M Foundation – The 3M foundation supports organizations involved with arts and culture, education, the environment, employment, youth development, human services, and minorities. Special emphasis is directed toward programs designed to help prepare individuals and families for success.

AIR – With support from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Postsecondary Education Cooperative (NPEC), AIR sponsors a grant program titled: Improving Institutional Research in Postsecondary Educational Institutions. The goals of this program are to provide professional development opportunities to doctoral students, institutional researchers, educators and administrators, and to foster the use of federal databases for institutional research in postsecondary education. 

American Association of University Women Educational Foundation – The American Association of University Women (AAUW) Educational Foundation provides grants for professional development and projects designed to advance females’ achievement in math, science, and technology.

The American Educational Research Association (AERA) – AERA is pleased to announce the AERA Grants Program, which provides small grants, fellowships, and training for researchers who conduct studies of education policy and practice using quantitative methods and including the analysis of data from the large-scale data sets sponsored by National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). 

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation – Grants on a selective basis for higher education; cultural affairs, including the humanities, museums, art conservation, and performing arts; conservation and the environment; and public affairs. Graduate fellowship program in the humanities administered by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, which makes all awards. 

Annenberg Foundation – The Annenberg Foundation’s focus is on the restructuring and reform of grades K through 12. 

Arthur Vining Davis Foundations – The Arthur Vining Davis Foundation provides financial assistance to educational, cultural, scientific, and religious institutions. 

Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA) – AIEA is a membership organization formed in November 1982, is composed of institutional leaders engaged in advancing the international dimensions of higher education. The purposes of the Association are to: 1. provide an effective voice on significant issues within international education at all levels, 2. improve and promote international education programming and administration within institutions of higher education, 3. establish and maintain a professional network among international education institutional leaders, 4. cooperate in appropriate ways with other national and international groups having similar interests. 

AT&T Foundation – AT&T is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its philanthropic initiatives and partnerships, AT&T and the AT&T Foundation supports projects that create opportunities, make connections and address community needs where we — and our customers — live and work. Supporting education has been a major focus for AT&T for more than a century, and education is our key philanthropy focus. We are driven to help students succeed — in school, in the workforce and in life. 

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – The Bill & Melinda Gates foundation is building upon the unprecedented opportunities of the 21st century to improve equity in global health and learning. The foundation clusters its giving around four program areas: Global Health, to ensure that lifesaving advances in health are created and shared with those who need them most; Education, to foster students prepared for college, work, and citizenship through academic rigor and personal attention; Global Libraries, to close the digital divide by providing access to knowledge through public libraries; and Pacific Northwest, to effect positive change for the region’s most vulnerable residents.  

Carnegie Corp of New York – Andrew Carnegie’s charge that the Corporation dedicate itself to the “advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding” has led it, over nearly 100 years of work, to support efforts to improve teaching and learning that have the potential to make a lasting and long-term contribution to the field of education. That history resonates throughout our current work in education, which is focused on three major areas: 1) advancing literacy, 2) urban school reform, and 3) teacher education reform. A theme that unites these subprograms is the overall goal of increasing access to quality education and a rich educational experience for all students that will prepare them for success in today’s knowledge-based economy. 

Comcast Corporation – Each Division of Comcast has its own programs and involvement in community affairs, responding to the needs and interests of the local communities where Comcast does business. The Foundation primarily funds programs that utilize communication technologies to effectively address community needs in the areas of education, literacy, arts/culture, and community service/volunteerism. 

Empowering Minds Foundation – The Empowering Minds Foundation focuses on bringing opportunities to developing areas through new technology and sustainable educational programs. 

The Ford Foundation – The Ford Foundation’s mission is to serve as a resource for innovative people and institutions worldwide. Its goals are to: strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. Grants are made primarily within three broad categories: (1) asset building and community development; (2) knowledge, creativity, and freedom; and (3) peace and social justice. Local needs and priorities, within these subject areas, determine program activities in individual countries. 

Foundation Center – Founded in 1956, the Foundation Center is the nation’s leading authority on philanthropy and is dedicated to serving grant-seekers, grant-makers, researchers, policymakers, the media, and the general public.

Fund for Teachers – Fund for Teachers is a nonprofit organization providing educational grants to teachers for summer sabbaticals. 

Howard Hughes Medical Institute: Grants and Special Programs – The Howard Hughes Medical Institute offers grants to students and institutions to promote science education. 

International Educational Research Foundation – The goal of the International Educational Research Foundation (IERF) conduct research and disseminate information on world educational systems and to facilitate the integration of individuals educated outside the United States into the U.S. educational environment and work force. Grants are upwards of 5,000. The closing date for applications is February 1 each year. 

Johnson & Johnson Corporate Giving Program – Johnson & Johnson makes charitable contributions to nonprofit organizations involved with arts and culture, education, the environment, health and human services, substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, medical research, employment, international relief, and disabled people. Support is given on a national and international basis. 

Lumina Foundation for Education, Inc. – Lumina Foundation for Education gives primarily to support and expand access to postsecondary education in the United States, particularly for students of low income or other underrepresented groups. The three main themes focused on are:  access, success, and adult learners. 

National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance – The National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance provides a grant program supporting colleges and universities teaching invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Additionally, it funds curriculum development and the work of teams of student inventors. 

National Foundation for the Improvement of Education – The National Foundation for the Improvement of Education provides grants and assistance to teachers, education support personnel, and higher education faculty and staff to improve student learning in the nation’s public schools. 

National Science Foundation – The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…” With an annual budget of about $5.5 billion, they are the funding source for approximately 20 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America’s colleges and universities. In many fields such as mathematics, computer science and the social sciences, NSF is the major source of federal backing. 

The Procter & Gamble Fund – The Procter & Gamble Fund supports organizations involved with education, youth development, human services, community development, and public policy research. 

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation – The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is devoted exclusively to health and health care and concentrates its grant-making in four areas: assuring access to quality health services for all Americans at reasonable cost; improving quality of care and support for people with chronic health conditions; promoting healthy communities and lifestyles; and reducing the harm caused by substance abuse – tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs. 

Schott Foundation – The Schott Foundation works to develop and strengthen the movement for equity in education and child care.

Spencer Foundation – The Spencer Foundation grants funds to support research which contributes to the understanding and improvement of education. Grant programs include funding for faculty research and a variety of fellowship programs. 

W. K. Kellogg Foundation – The W.K. Kellogg Foundation was established in 1930 “to help people help themselves through the practical application of knowledge and resources to improve their quality of life and that of future generations.” The foundation bases its programming on the following values: 1) The foundation believes all people have the inherent capacity to effect change in their lives, their organizations, and their communities. The foundation respects individuals and value their collective interests, strengths, and insights. 2) The foundation believes stewardship requires fidelity to the spirit and intent of the founder, and the wise use of resources. The foundation believes in being responsible, prudent, selfless, and exercising good judgment. 3) The foundation believes innovation of thought and action leads to enduring and positive change in both formal and informal systems. 4) The foundation values integrity of purpose and action and believes it is essential to all of its affairs. To achieve the greatest impact, the foundation targets its grants toward specific areas: health; food systems and rural development; youth and education; and philanthropy and volunteerism. Within these areas, attention is given to exploring learning opportunities in leadership; information and communication technology; capitalizing on diversity; and social and economic community development. 

The Wallace Foundation – The Wallace Foundation’s mission is to enable institutions to expand learning and enrichment opportunities for all people. The foundation does this by supporting and sharing effective ideas and practices. To achieve their mission, they have three objectives: strengthen education leadership to improve student achievement; improve after-school learning opportunities; and expand participation in arts and culture. 

William T. Grant Foundation – The mission of the William T. Grant Foundation is to help create a society that values young people and enables them to reach their full potential. In pursuit of this goal, the foundation invests in research and in people and projects that use evidence-based approaches. Current grant making for research, policy analyses, and evaluations of interventions is restricted to the three interrelated topics that follow: 1) Youth Development: Understanding how youth develop strengths and assets such as the skills and relationships that contribute to their development and well-being; 2) Improving Systems, Organizations, and Programs: Understanding how to improve the quality of youth-serving systems, organizations, and program; and 3) Adults’ Use of Evidence and Their Views of Youth: Understanding how adults who are key constituents (influential policymakers, practitioners, scholars, advocates, and members of the media) view youth, and the policies and services that affect youth. The foundation also supports promising post-doctoral scholars from diverse disciplines through the William T. Grant Scholars Program, and through Youth Service Grants. Support also for local programs in the Tri-State area that actively engage young people and enable them to reach their full potential. 

Useful Websites

The following websites may help graduate students in their search for funding. A brief description of each site is included below.

Grants 4 Hawks
Grants 4 Hawks is The University of Iowa’s Graduate Services for External Funding blog. Grants 4 Hawks shares funding opportunities, resources on how to write a successful grant, and success stories from other University of Iowa students. 

DSP Pivot Funding Database
The Division of Sponsored Programs Pivot Funding Database is a fantastic resource for searching for grant opportunities. Search for grants by category and find other useful links.

The Foundation Center
The Foundation Center has several free resources for students, including helpful guides on how to fund your education. Students may also use the Foundation Center's Foundation Directory Online, but access requires a paid subscription to their services.

American Educational Research Association
AERA is committed to capacity building for & nurturing of future education researchers. AERA is home to more than 7,000 student members, including approximately 6,500 graduate students and 500 undergraduate students.  Students represent over 28% of all AERA members.

AERA offers a rich array of programs and services for students through its divisions, special interest groups, and the Graduate Student Council, a standing committee of the Association.  Students interested in exploring opportunities in professional development, mentoring, and networking are strongly encouraged to puruse websites of divisions, special interest groups, and the Graduate Student Council for details.

National Council of Teachers of English
NCTE is a professional association of educators in English Studies, Literacy, and Language Arts. The NCTE offers grants and various resources for prospective English teachers.

American Psychological Association of Graduate Students
APAGS develops, endorses and disseminates information to psychology students about relevant education and training issues, legislative positions and developments, and future directions or changes in the field, through printed resources and the website. APAGS creates and supports opportunities for students in the form of scholarships and awards, association advocacy work and a host of development activities.