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External Funding Opportunities

These awards are fellowships that are awarded by national organizations to an individual student. Contact for additional information.

For more information on GSBS-funded opportunities, please visit our GSBS Scholarships and Fellowships page.

Obtaining an external fellowship can be highly beneficial for graduate students for many reasons. Fellowships often provide financial support for tuition, stipends, and research-related expenses. Some fellowships even provide unique professional development opportunities (i.e. training, workshops and networking events), which can help graduate students build skills and connections in their field

To assist with this endeavor, the graduate school has curated some information and resources. 

Fellowship resources


    The GSBS offers support to students who are interested in applying for external fellowships. This includes…


     Have you decided to apply for an external fellowship? Students applying for external fellowships, including NIH F fellowships, are encouraged to complete the “GSBS Intent to Apply for an External Individual Fellowship” form. The GSBS uses this information to prepare your supporting documents when required by these fellowship applications. One month prior to your application deadline is recommended to give the GSBS ample time to prepare any required supporting documentation.


    The Office of Career Development will share specific upcoming opportunities monthly in the Career Connections newsletter. Additional information and opportunities are listed below in the Opportunities section.


    Undertaking a fellowship application is a major commitment. See below for some tips on writing successful fellowship applications:

    •  Talk to your research advisor: Graduate level fellowship applications often require detailed research proposals and training plans and are improved by the guidance and feedback from your research advisor. Discussing your intent to apply for an external fellowship with your research advisor ensures that you receive support and guidance for your application.
    • Start early: Many fellowship programs have long application timelines, so it is important to start the process well in advance. This will give you plenty of time to gather all the necessary documents, and ample time to write and revise your application essays.
    • Research your options: There are many different types of fellowships available, so it is important to research which ones are most relevant to your field and goals. Look for fellowships that align with your research interests and career aspirations, and be sure to read the eligibility requirements carefully.
    • Tailor your application: Customize your application to the specific fellowship program you are applying for. This may include writing a personal statement that highlights your relevant experience and explaining how the fellowship will support your academic and professional goals.
    • Seek feedback: Ask colleagues, advisors, and mentors to review your application materials and provide feedback. They can help you identify areas that may need improvement and offer suggestions for strengthening your application.
    • Follow the application instructions: Make sure to carefully read and follow all the application instructions. This includes submitting all required materials and meeting all deadlines. Failing to follow the instructions can significantly decrease your chances of being accepted. In some cases, failure to follow the instructions will result in automatically rejecting your application.

    Current program expires Aug. 30, 2024

    GSBS students who hold a GRA position at MD Anderson or UTHealth Houston, who are awarded funding from extramural sponsors will be awarded a one-time cash award of $1,000  in recognition of their achievement. GSBS students who received fellowships/grants with project start dates between Sept. 1, 2023-August 31, 2024 are eligible.

    Eligibility Guidelines

    On the date of the application deadline, the recipient must have held a GSBS graduate research assistant title at UTHealth Houston or MD Anderson. They must remain employed by UTHealth Houston or MD Anderson when the awards are disbursed.


    GSBS students must have received one of the following types of competitively reviewed extramural funding:

    • NIH F30/F31/F99 predoctoral fellowships
    • Equivalent predoctoral fellowship requiring a research proposal and providing stipend funds awarded by other extramural sponsors

     The Notice of Grant Award must:

    • Name the student as the fellowship recipient, or name the student as the primary investigator of the fellowship
    • Must list UTHealth Houston or MD Anderson as the recipient institution
    • Have an initial performance period start date in FY2024 (Sept. 1, 2023-Aug. 31, 2024)

    Selection for an institutional training grant, internal fellowship, or other internal funding mechanisms are not eligible. Examples of ineligible awards include appointment as a T32, TL1, or CPRIT Graduate Scholar or Fellow; internal fellowships/scholarships funded by endowments, gifts, or other soft funds; pilot grants; SPORE CEP/DRP awards. Administrative supplements, including NIH supplements to promote diversity, also do not qualify for this incentive program.

    Application and Review

    Applicants must complete a short application and upload a copy of the Notice of Grant Award.

    • Applicants whose awards have project start dates in FY2024 (Sept. 1, 2023-August 31,2024) may submit their applications on a rolling basis through 5:00 PM CT on Friday, Aug. 30, 2024.
    • We will continue to accept applications from students who received awards in the final quarter of FY2023 (grant start dates from June 1-August 31, 2023) through November 30, 2023.

    GSBS students who hold a GRA at UTHealth Houston apply here.

    GSBS students who hold a GRA at MD Anderson apply here.

    Review and Processing

    MD Anderson Trainee Career Enhancement will fund awards for MDA-based GSBS students. GSBS will fund awards for UTHealth Houston-based students. Review and processing will be carried out in an identical manner. 

    A one-time award will be processed through Payroll and subject to taxation. 

    Institutional Contacts:

    GSBS: Raquel Salinas:

    MDA: Heather Brien:



    The overall goal of the NIH Ruth L Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) program is to help ensure that a diverse pool of highly trained scientists is available in appropriate scientific disciplines to address the Nation's biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs. These fellowships usually provide 2-3 years of support (partial stipend, tuition & fees, health insurance, some supply funds). The applicant must be a US citizen or permanent resident, and he/she must be in good academic standing. Submission deadlines occur in April, August, and December. Full list of award descriptions: 

    F31 Individual Predoctoral Fellowship - PA-21-051
    Funding available only during PhD training. 
    Submission Dates: April 8, August 8, December 8

    F31-Diversity Individual Predoctoral Fellowship to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research - PA-21-052
    Funding available only during PhD training. 
    Special criteria: applicant must be part of an underrepresented minority, from a disadvantaged background, or have a disability.
    Contact the Fellowship Team for certification letter.
    Submission Dates: April 8, August 8, December 8

    F31 Bioinformatics Interdisciplinary Predoctoral Fellowship in Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic DiseasesPAR-19-378
    Funding available only during PhD training.
    Special Criteria: For trainees who are applying and integrating bioinformatics, data science and/or computational approaches to a compelling research question relevant to the mission NIDDK's Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases.

    Submission Dates: April 8, August 8, December 8

    F30 Fellowship for Students at Institutions With NIH-Funded Institutional Predoctoral Dual-Degree Training Programs - PA-21-049
    Funding available for MD and PhD training phases. 
    Special criteria: applicant must be in first 48 months of formal dual-degree program. 
    Submission Dates: April 8, August 8, December 8

    The NCI Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Fellow Transition Award (F99/K00) - RFA-CA-21-059
    Special Criteria: only two students can be selected to submit an application (one UTHealth, one MD Anderson).  International students are eligible to apply.

    GSBS is hosting an internal selection process to select final nominees. 
    Internal Submission Deadline: September 1


    The overall goal of the NIH Dissertation Research Awards (R36) is to support the completion of doctoral research to ensure a strong future workforce.  These awards are offered by specific Institutes/Centers, and requirements vary.

    Aging Research Dissertation Awards to Increase Diversity

    PAR-19-025 National Institute on Aging (NIA)

    The purpose of this program is to provide dissertation awards in all areas of research within NIA’s strategic priorities to increase diversity of the scientific research workforce engaged in research on aging and aging-related health conditions.
    Special Note: Consultation with the listed NIA staff person (see Section VII, Scientific/Research Contact) prior to submission is strongly encouraged
    Citizenship: Applicant must be a US citizen or permanent resident.

    Support: Standard NRSA-level stipend ($25,320) and up to $20,000 for additional expenses (excluding tuition), for up to 2 years
    Submission Dates: February 16, June 16, October 16

    Drug Abuse Dissertation Research

    PA-20-208 National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
    The goal of this program is to enhance the diversity of the drug abuse research workforce by providing dissertation awards on topics related to the study of basic and clinical neuroscience, development, epidemiology, prevention, treatment, services, or women and sex/gender differences as they relate to drug abuse.
    Citizenship: Applicant must be a US citizen or permanent resident.
    Up to $50,000 per year, for up to 2 years
    Submission Dates: February 16, June 16, October 16

    AHRQ Grants for Health Services Research Dissertation Program

    PA-18-765 Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
    *Students with active T32 or F31 support may apply.
    The purpose of this program is to ensure a diverse pool of highly-trained health services researchers is available to address the research mission and priorities of AHRQ
    Citizenship: Applicant must be a US citizen or permanent resident.
    Support: Up to $40,000, for 9-17 months
    Submission Dates: February 1, May 1, August 1, November 1

    Mental Health Research Dissertation Grant to Enhance Workforce Diversity

    PA-18-894 Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (NIMH)
    The purpose of this program is to enhance the diversity of the mental health research workforce by providing dissertation awards in all research areas within the strategic priorities of the NIMH to individuals from groups underrepresented in biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences research. This award supports the completion of the doctoral research project.
    Citizenship: Applicant must be a US citizen or permanent resident.
    Support: Standard NRSA-level stipend ($25,320) and up to $15,000 for additional expenses (excluding tuition), for up to 2 years
    Submission Dates: Varies


    The NSF does not support research with disease-related goals.

    Graduate Research Fellowship Program

    Official Solicitation: NSF-20-587
    The purpose of the NSF GRFP is to help ensure the vitality and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce of the United States. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who have demonstrated their potential for significant achievements in science and engineering research and are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees in fields within NSF's mission. MD/PhD students are not eligible. Helpful Information & tips:

    Special Criteria: The applicant must be a US citizen or permanent resident, and must have completed fewer than 12 months of graduate training (inclusive of post-baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral training) as of August 1, 2019.

    3 years; $34,000 stipend; $12,000 education allowance

    Submission Dates:

    • October 19, 2020: Life Sciences
    • October 20, 2020: Computer and Information Science and Engineering, Materials Research, Social Sciences, STEM Education and Learning
    • October 21, 2020: Engineering 
    • October 22, 2020: Chemistry, Geosciences, Mathematical Sciences, Physics and Astronomy
    • October 30, 2020: Reference Letter Deadline

    The Department of Defense (DoD) is committed to increasing the number and quality of our nation's scientists and engineers.

    Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP): Horizon Award

    The goal of the PRCRP is to improve mission readiness and quality of life by decreasing the burden of cancer on Service members, their families, and the American public. To be considered for funding, applications for the  Horizon Award must address at least one of the Topic Areas as directed by Congress (Adrenal cancer, Melanoma and other skin cancers, Bladder cancer,Mesothelioma, Blood cancers, Myeloma, Brain cancer, Neuroblastoma, Colorectal cancer, Pancreatic cancer, Immunotherapy, Pediatric brain tumors,  Listeria-based regimens for cancer,  Stomach cancer, Liver cancer, Cancer in children, adolescents, and young adults, Lymphoma)

    In addition to addressing at least one of the required Topic Areas, applications for the Horizon Award must also address at least one of the Military Relevance Focus Areas. 1) Militarily relevant risk factors associated with cancer (e.g., ionizing radiation, chemicals, infectious agents, environmental carcinogens, and stress). 2)Gaps in cancer prevention, early detection/diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, and/or survivorship that may impact mission readiness and the health and well-being of military members, Veterans, their beneficiaries, and the general public.

    Eligibility: A predoctoral candidate within 2 years of completing required graduate coursework, having completed all laboratory rotations, successfully passed qualifying examinations (excluding time in residency or on family medical leave), and is working in his/her Mentor’s laboratory by the time of the application submission deadline. There is no citizenship requirement for this award.

    Support: up to $150,000 over 2 years
    Application Deadline: September 2020 expected (FY20 announcement yet to be released)

    The National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship Program (NDSEG)

    This is a highly competitive (6% of applications are funded), fellowship sponsored by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), the Army Research Office (ARO), and the Office of Naval Research (ONR), under the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (OSF) for Research and Engineering. Applicants must be US citizens or nationals (permanent residents are not eligible) who intend to pursue a doctoral degree in one of 15 supported disciplines. And, applicants must have completed fewer than 2 years of graduate study in the discipline in which they are applying. More information:
    Support: 3 years of stipend, tuition & fees, and partial medical insurance
    Application Deadline: November 3, 2020

    Science, Mathematics & Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship for Service Program

    This program aims to increase the number of civilian scientists and engineers working at Department of Defense (DoD) Laboratories. Applicants must be a citizen of the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or United Kingdom at time of application (permanent residents are not eligible) pursuing a degree in one of the supported disciplines. Applicants must be able to complete summer internships at a DoD Lab, and they must agree to post-graduation DoD civilian employment equal to the length of the Scholarship. More information:
    Support: 1-5 years of stipend, tuition & fees, partial medical insurance
    Application Deadline: December 1, 2020


    NASA Fellowship Activity 2020

    Official Solicitation: NNH20ZHA001N 
    The purpose of the NASA Fellowship Activity supports the vitality and diversity of the STEM workforce of NASA and the United States by training and funding graduate students during their STEM academic endeavors and providing access to NASA, its content, unique facilities, and STEM experts. The NASA Fellowship Activity expands the reach of NASA budget by leveraging funding sources and collaborating with other Federal Agencies to support graduate student research and the educational development of selected individuals. The NASA Fellowship Activity provides financial support to graduate students pursuing a Master’s or Doctoral degree in STEM while partaking in graduate unique research projects under the guidance of an institutional Principal Investigator in collaboration with NASA Technical Advisers. 

    Citizenship: Applicant must be a US citizen or permanent resident.
    Next Submission:
    Anticipated January 2021
    1 year of stipend, tuition & fees, training-related, and health insurance allowances;

    NASA Space Technology Graduate Research Opportunities (NSTGRO)

    Official Solicitation: NSTGRO20 
    The purpose of the NSTGRO is to sponsor graduate student researchers pursuing or planning to pursue master’s or doctoral (PhD) degrees in relevant space technology disciplines at accredited U.S. universities. NASA Space Technology Graduate Researchers will perform innovative space technology research and will improve America’s technological competitiveness by providing the Nation with a pipeline of innovative space technologies. The ideal candidate has a commitment to space technology and is conducting research specifically aimed at space technology that aligns with one of 14 Space Technology Roadmaps (listed here).  Applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents in good academic standing, and have completed fewer than 3 years of graduate training as of October 1, 2020. 

    Citizenship: Applicant must be a US citizen or permanent resident.
    Next Submission:
    Anticipated November 2020
    Support: 1 year of stipend, tuition & fees, training-related, and health insurance allowances; renewable for 3 years.


    Graduate Research Fellowship Program

    *Visa holders may apply*

    Program Solicitation:

    The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is seeking applications for funding innovative doctoral dissertation research that is relevant to preventing and controlling crime, and ensuring the fair and impartial administration of criminal justice in the United States. This program furthers the Department’s mission by increasing the pool of researchers who are engaged in providing science-based solutions to problems relevant to criminal and juvenile justice policy and practice in the United States.

    Next Submission: Anticipated April 2021

    Support: $35,000 stipend and related costs (e.g., fringe benefits or health insurance), up to $12,000 for Cost of Education expenses; and up to $3,000 in Research Expenses; for up to 3 years support.


    Graduate Fellowship Award

    The Graduate Fellowship Award supports outstanding students pursuing a PhD in applied physical, biological, and engineering sciences, including applied mathematics, statistics, and quantitative aspects of modern biology. MD/PhD students may apply for support during PhD training years. Successful applicants will need to make a moral commitment to make his/her "skills available to the United States in times of national emergency." Because this award provides five years of support, students should apply within the first year of graduate study. More information:

    $34,000 annual stipend; tuition; renewable up to 5 years
    Citizenship: Applicant must be a US Citizen or Permanent Resident
    Application Deadline: October 


    These fellowship programs, offered through the National Academy of Sciences, seek (1) to increase faculty diversity at US colleges and universities by increasing their ethnic and racial diversity, (2) to maximize the educational benefits of diversity, and (3) to increase the number of professors who can and will use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students. Fellowships are made at the predoctoral, dissertation, and postdoctoral levels to students who demonstrate academic excellence, a commitment to pluralism, and a strong interest in teaching and research. While it is not a requirement for the applicant to be a member of an underrepresented minority group, such membership is encouraged. Only US citizens, nationals, or permanent residents in research-based fields are eligible. Dual-degree (e.g., MD/PhD) students are not eligible for support. More information:

    Ford Predoctoral Fellowship 
    Eligibility: at least 3 years of PhD training at the time of application
    Support: 3 years of stipend ($24,000), as well as expenses paid to attend at least one Conference of Ford Fellows
    Application Opens: September
    Application Deadline: December 
    Support Begins: following Fall semester 

    Ford Dissertation Fellowship 
    Eligibility: Expected degree completion in the current academic year 
    Support: 1 year of stipend ($25,000), as well as expenses paid to attend at least one Conference of Ford Fellows
    Application Opens: September
    Application Deadline: December
    Support Begins:  June 1 or September 1


    Sponsored by the US Department of State, this program provides US graduate students the opportunity to conduct a portion of their studies/research internationally.  Grants are awarded to support one academic year of study/research abroad.  To be eligible applicants must be US citizens with a baccalaureate degree, in good health, and proficient in the written/spoken language of the intended host country.  Website:

    Deadline: October 13, 2020


    Last Updated: August 2020







    American Association of University Women: American Dissertation Fellowship

    US Citizen or Permanent Resident

    November 1, 2020

    Open to female students with "permission to write" at time of submission; Fellowship used for final year of PhD while writing dissertation.

    Award Amount: $20,000

    American Association of University Women: International Fellowship

    International Only

    November 15, 2020

    Provides support for women pursuing full-time graduate or postdoctoral study in the United States who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

    Award Amount: $18,000-$20,000

    American Epilepsy Society: Predoctoral Research Fellowship

    no citizenship requirement

    January 14, 2022

    Open to students pursuing dissertation research with an epilepsy-relevant theme under a mentor with expertise in epilepsy research.

    Award Amount: up to $20,000 for 1 year

    American Heart Association (AHA): Predoctoral Fellowship

    US Citizen, Permanent Resident, or Visa 
    (see site for details)


    Proposals are encouraged from all basic, behavioral, epidemiological, and community and clinical investigations that bear on cardiovascular and stroke problems At the time of activation student must have completed all pre-candidacy coursework. Award Amount: $24,816 stipend, $4,200 towards health insurance, and $2,000 project support for up to 2 years.

    American Physiological Society: Porter Physiology Development Fellowship

    US Citizen or Permanent Resident

    January 15, 2021

    Porter Physiology Development Fellowships are open to underrepresented racial and ethnic minority applicants. The applicant must be conducting research related to physiology at the time of the application. The applicant must also be a Student Member of the APS or have an application in process.  

    Award Amount: $28,300 stipend per year for up to 2 years.

    Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds: PhD Fellowship

    European Citizen

    February 1, 2021; June 1, 2021; October 1, 2020

    The PhD project must be experimental, in the field of basic biomedical research and aimed at elucidating basic biological phenomena of human life and acquiring new scientific knowledge.

    Children's Tumor Foundation: Young Investigator Award

    no requirement

    LOI: January 3, 2020

    Open to basic, clinical or translational research focused on neurofibromatosis.

    Pre-Application is required

    Award Amount: up to $32,000 for stipend and fringe benefits per year for 2 years

    Josephine de Karman Fellowship Trust

    no requirement

    expected January 2021

    Open to students in any discipline, including international students, who will defend their dissertation in or about June 2021.

    Award Amount: $22,000 for 1 year

    Krell Institute & Department of Energy: Computational Science Graduate Fellowship

    US Citizen or Permanent Resident

    expected January 2021

    At time of application, student is in 1st year. Program encourages applicants in engineering and physical, computer, mathematical or life sciences.

    Award Amount: $36,000 stipend, full tuition and fees, and $5,000 academic allowance for up to 4 years

    Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans

    New American [see website for criteria]

    October 29, 2020

    Open to college senior or graduate student <31 years old. If currently a graduate student, must be in 2nd year or earlier.

    Award Amount: $25,000 and 50% tuition and fees for up to 2 years

    PhRMA Foundation: Health Outcomes Research Predoctoral Fellowship

    US Citizen or Permanent Resident

    expected February 2021

    This award provides support to promising students  during advanced stages of training and thesis research and for the career development of scientists prepared to engage in health outcomes research.

    Stipend: $25,000 per year, up to 2 years

    PhRMA Foundation: Drug Discovery Predoctoral Fellowship

    US Citizen or Permanent Resident

    LOI expected May 2021

    This award provides support to promising students  during advanced stages of training and thesis research and for the career development of scientists prepared to engage in drug discovery research.

    Stipend: $25,000 per year, up to 2 years

    PhRMA Foundation: Drug Delivery Predoctoral Fellowship

    US Citizen or Permanent Resident

    LOI expected May 2021

    This award provides support for students in advanced stages of training and thesis research in drug delivery research, including basic pharmaceutics, biopharmaceutics, pharmaceutical technology, pharmaceutical biotechnology or biomedical engineering.

    Stipend: $25,000 per year, up to 2 years