Rutgers University: Graduate Grants and Grant-Writing Workshops


Are there grants for graduate students at Rutgers University?

Where can I find grant-writing programs in Northern New Jersey?

Dear GrantDoctor

I am a graduate student at Rutgers University in Camden, New Jersey. I am presently doing research on the GABA-receptor and thyroid hormone. I am in search of a grant that will sustain me until May 2001. I have looked into grants offered by private organizations and mainly found grants for postdocs. Can you offer some advice?

Dear Graduate Student,

A good rule of thumb for all grant seekers is that your own university can help you search for funds; it may even offer its own scholarships and grants. With that in mind, have you checked out Rutgers University's financial and student aid Web sites, for example? You might be eligible for example for Merit-Based Aid fellowships and scholarships. That said, you should be aware that some of these awards are student loans; others are given at the discretion of departments and deans. Regardless, call a Rutgers financial aid counselor at (856) 225-6039 to work through the specifics of your case.

There are a number of "predoctoral" awards and opportunities out there. I came across 122 predoctoral grant programs while searching the GrantsNet database; you might want to do the same, using the keywords and categories that best fit your interests.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has provided predoctoral awards, but you will have to check out each particular institute for specific opportunities in your field. Search NIH's Funding Opportunities pages and send an e-mail to NIH's Division of Research Grants at if you would like more specific information.

You may also want to take a look at the Association for Support of Graduate Students Web site for information on how to finish up your studies and write your thesis. Contact them to ask if they can assist your search for predoctoral funding opportunities.

Academic Research Information System Inc. provides an excellent set of links to governmental and nongovernmental Student Funding Sources--check these out, too.

Without knowing more about your research field and the aspects of thyroid hormone you are studying, it's a little difficult to narrow down specific funding opportunities. The American Thyroid Association may be of help. You've missed their 1 June submission deadline for grant applications, but then again, their awards are geared more toward new, independent researchers. You would do well, however, to contact them and ask about graduate funding resources.

I hope this is of help. Good luck finishing up!

--The GrantDoctor

Dear GrantDoctor,

I have tried to locate a grant-writing program in Northern New Jersey for over a year. Last year Rutgers University sponsored a program of this nature. I have tried contacting the university but no one seems to know what I am talking about. Would you please help me find a course in the New Jersey/New York area?

Thank You,


Dear Gwendolyn,

There are many grant-writing courses and programs out there, so it shouldn't be all that hard to find the resources you need! Searching on the Web, I note that Rutgers's Office of Research and Sponsored Programs lists workshops that they conduct--but unfortunately, according to their Web site, they do not have any lined up for the near future.

Rutgers's Faculty of Arts and Sciences Continuing Education department, however, is planning to hold a Fall course on Grant Proposal Writing, during which you will "learn the basic elements of developing a successful grant proposal." The course will be held in Scott Hall, 14 October. The fee is $164, and anyone can attend. Call (732) 445-4230 to find out more details.

I spoke with Robert DeMartino, the director of Sponsored Research at Rutgers Camden campus, who told me that his offices conduct their own workshops and that they offer grant development programs for the public. DeMartino also has personally counseled individuals at Camden regarding grant-writing issues and the grant submission process.

The National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA) provides grant components in their workshops, but an official I spoke with suggested you might want to post your request to their Research Administration Discussion Group (RESADM-L), which is viewed by more than 1200 research administrators. This audience will be able to offer specific advice on questions like yours, or at least point you in the right direction.

And if you are determined to attend a workshop, the Foundation Center offers proposal writing seminars across the country--check their Web site to find a program near you. Or head in to New York City for their free workshop, Proposal Writing Basics, which is an "introductory overview of the process for new proposal writers."

Finally, you can get sound advice on writing grants and grant writing without leaving your chair. Just visit the Grants and Grant Writing section of Next Wave's Career Development Center to find much of the information you'll need to write that winning grant.

Happy grant writing!

--The GrantDoctor

Due to the high volume of questions received, The GrantDoctor cannot answer all queries on an individual basis. Look for an answer to your question published in this column soon! Thank you!

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