Getting Funded as a Postdoc
Finding funding for your postdoctoral research, whether internally or externally, offers several benefits:
1. By securing your own funding, the lab funds that would've been used for your salary can be used to support graduate students or technicians, as well as be reinvested into the research itself.
2. Having successful fellowship/award applications, regardless of value, are a boon to your CV.
3. Since most fellowships and small grants require a successful project proposal, obtaining extramural funding demonstrates the ability to both design projects and market it to others, key skills for positions in a wide variety of job positions.
Although most US fellowships, such as the Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship and some of the NIH Ruth-Kirschtein Fellowships, are only available to US Citizens and Permanent Residents, others, such as the UC Presidents/Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellowships and International fellowships like Human Frontiers, are open to all postdocs regardless of nationality. It is always important to confirm eligibility before applying for a fellowship.
When applying for an extramural fellowship, postdocs need to submit the application through a Sponsoring Institution (such as UC Davis). Usually this is done through an office with a name like "Office of Sponsored Programs"; or "Office of Research"; For fellowships at UC Davis, the Office of Graduate Studies serves this purpose.
Here are a few links that can help you get started in looking for a grant or fellowship:
- Graduate Studies Grants and Fellowships Listing (covers Postdoctoral grants and fellowships)
- GrantsNet at ScienceCareers.Org - A list of several grant databases, as well as several articles on the dos and don'ts of grant writing.
- Grants.gov - a repository of a variety of grant types. Includes a mailing list to get updates on grant information from specific organizations and disciplines.
The PSA hosted a Fellowship workshop in Fall 2015, discussing several fellowships and advice for applying for these fellowships. The audio recording, as well as panel slides, can be found below: