Scholarships for PhD students looking for help to continue their higher education are one avenue that is really heating up lately because of an economic slowdown. If you’ve completed your undergraduate degree and you have or will receive your master’s degree, why wouldn’t you go further and get your PhD at this time? Most of those who receive a master’s degree do not further their education to the PhD due to financial concerns. By that time, not only do they need to start making a living, but they are also tapped out in terms of paying for their education, and often have a slew of student loans to repay as well. You can continue on in school and receive your PhD, however, if you know how to find and win PhD scholarships. Here’s how.
Start your search in your department at school. Most schools maintain lists of PhD scholarship opportunities by field and by your level at the school, and this makes it easier to narrow down the scholarships that are designed for PhD students. Apply for all of the PhD education scholarships that you are eligible for through your department.
Look to field related organizations for scholarships for PhD students. Most non-profit and professional organizations have some type of PhD scholarship program, and some are quite lucrative. There is the possibility that you will have to be a member of the organization before you are eligible to apply, so you should actually start looking into these PhD scholarship program opportunities while you are getting an earlier degree – before you are about to enter your PhD course of study.
Consider any minority group or groups that you may belong to, and look for organizations that exist for the purpose of supporting or promoting those groups. Most of these organizations will also have PhD scholarship programs. While many will have scholarships available for undergraduate, there are also many that have opportunities for advanced students as well.
If you already have career plans for after you receive your PhD, think about the company where you will work, if you will work for a company. Approach that company and inquire about an internship and a possible PhD scholarship, with the understanding that you will go to work for this company upon your graduation. You may be amazed at the PhD education scholarship opportunities that you find in this way.
Take advantage of fellowship opportunities for PhD’s as well. The department head at your school should know about PhD fellowship opportunities that apply to your field of study, and they will most likely be willing to provide you with recommendation letters as well when you apply for those opportunities.
You also need to think in terms of research, so that you can really narrow down the field for your PhD scholarship search. Most PhD students will participate in some form of research through the University that they attend. Sometimes, just being a part of that research will get you a scholarship through the department at the school, and other times, it will simply help you to win outside scholarships for PhD students. Think very carefully about what types of research you would like to be involved with, and don’t be afraid to propose your own research project to your department head.
The tighter you can narrow your field or specialization, the more likely you are to win PhD scholarships. When the field is tightened or specialized, the competition becomes less in most cases. This does not, however, mean that you should ignore the PhD scholarships that are available for broader subject fields. 2010 PhD scholarships are more a reality now that you know where to start looking.