I'm in the process of applying for admission to a PhD program this Fall after several years in industry. Due to the late timing of the application I'm looking at self-funding my first year, but after that I would rather not be doing so. What would my options be for funding after the first year beyond just TA and RA-ships?

  • 1
    You will get better feedback if you edit your post to include your location (e.g., US, Germany, etc.).
    – Mad Jack
    Commented Aug 1, 2015 at 16:15
  • @MadJack Yes, good catch! Updated.
    – anonymous
    Commented Aug 1, 2015 at 16:16
  • This depends on your field. In science and engineering, probably funding is available. But good luck getting funding to study medieval architecture ... besides RA and TA there may be AA (administrative assistant). They get some graduate student to do clerical work in the college office, for example.
    – GEdgar
    Commented Aug 1, 2015 at 19:27
  • In my Ph.D. program at Stanford, because I was married I wasn't offered any funding. But everything I did - RA, TA, etc. brought a certain number of tuition remission credits. In the end, I only paid for 3 units during my whole program. This will only work if you have a partner who works.
    – ewormuth
    Commented Aug 1, 2015 at 20:34
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    @ewormuth: "In my Ph.D. program at Stanford, because I was married I wasn't offered any funding." Wait, what? It sounds like you are saying that you were discriminated against based on your marital status. Could you clarify/confirm and also indicate when this took place? Commented Aug 1, 2015 at 21:03

1 Answer 1


In the US, various funding agencies (NSF, NIH, DOE, ...) have fellowships you can apply to for predoctoral students. They tend to be very competitive compared to internal sources (Teaching Assistantships, Research Assistantships, Graduate Assistantships), but they may offer a higher stipend.

Depending on your field, professional societies also offer fellowships: American heart association, Whitaker foundation, Gates foundation.

Industry also offers some in association with various schools: Siemens, Raytheon, Johnson & Johnson.

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