How to Find Funding for Student Research and Summer Experiences

  1. First, ask your department if they have funds for summer research and internships. Many departments will offer small grants to students who are majors or minors. Often, the application process for departmental grants is comparatively simple and the accounting expected of the grantee is minimal. Do be polite, but don’t be shy about asking for funding – the most the department will do is tell you no.

  2. Next, consider asking other departments and/or programs that might be related to your work. For example, you might email the administrator of a Program in African Studies if you want to participate in an excavation in Ghana, or you might talk to the director of a Museum Studies Program if you want to do an internship at a museum. Again, be polite but not shy. You’ll never know if resources exist and are available to you if you don’t ask.

  3. Third, consider other institutions at your university: University’s have many institutions that aren’t academic departments, and many of these institutions offer funding for students to do research or hold internships in fields related to the institutions' goals. Find out what kinds of institutions exist at your university and evaluate whether they might support your research. Look for institutions that support:

    Humanities and/or Social Sciences

    Interdisciplinary Collaborations: Many universities have institutions that support interdisciplinary research, and archaeological projects often combine aspects of many disciplines: anthropology, history, Classical and Near Eastern studies, art history, biology, geology, geography, demography, health and medicine, environmental studies, etc.

    Area Studies: Many universities have institutions that support area studies, such as a Center for European Studies or a Mesoamerican Workgroup.

    • The Honors Program: If your university has an honors program, it may offer funding for students to pursue research or experiences related to writing their honors thesis.

  4. Look for sources outside the university. These are usually specialized by discipline, so start by looking at the web pages of professional organizations in your field. If you don't know what the major professional organizations in your field are, ask your professors what professional organizations they belong to. The Department of Classics here at Miami University maintains a list of opportunities that include external sources of grants and scholarships.

  5. Consider applying for opportunities that will fund your participation. If you’re open to what experience you engage in, you can sometimes find projects that offer their own funding. Some of the best examples of these are the National Science Foundation's Research Experiences for Undergraduates.