Are you planning to become an undergraduate or graduate student, or do you wish to become a researcher in the university or research centre? 

Are you curious about scholarships and grants that may fully or partially cover the costs of your education or research?

If yes, this guide is for you. When I was a student and a researcher, I tried to find scholarships, fellowships and grants days and nights, and I have passed through all the mentioned steps before. They have worked for me, and I hope those steps to find scholarship announcements will also work for you.

Most of the scholarships require a high GPA level, previous volunteer experience, the applicant's financial need, or university activity. A scholarship opportunity can demand the applicant to be a citizen of a particular country or a country group. For example, for some scholarships, you must have citizenship of the Baltic States, Post-Soviet States, European Union, African countries, the United States of America and so on. 

Also, there can be a type of scholarship that requires an applicant's belonging to a developing or a developed country, or it can be a more specific requirement. For example, the applicant must be a woman from a commonwealth country.

So, let's see how you can find a scholarship announcement:

1. Surf the University Websites

The first thing that comes to our mind is the university's scholarship you have an invitation from. That scholarship can be designed for a current degree program or all kinds of university programs. Or, if you haven't been admitted to any university yet, you will likely visit the university website you prefer to find, for example, a master's degree scholarship program. All European or US universities most likely will have a separate scholarship page that will present all available scholarships of the university. Moreover, many universities have another “external funding” page, where they list all those scholarships, grants and other funding opportunities that have proved to work with that particular university. Also, every university most probably will have a funding and financial aid office. You can find the email of that office or an officer who deals with fundings and write an email to ask for more details and guidance. 

The scholarships and grants offered through the university channels may be full or partial. Full scholarships will cover mainly the tuition fees and you will still need to pay for accommodation and other relevant costs. Sometimes, mainly in the case of PhD studies in the US universities, the full scholarship will cover all costs related to the tuition fee and will also cover the living costs plus will provide a monthly allowance.

The partial scholarships may be considered as small or big discounts from the tuition fee. You may get discounts/scholarships from 10 to 90 per cent of the overall tuition fee. Thus, in general, even if you receive a full scholarship from the university you will still need extra funding to cover all other costs. Below I am presenting other ways to find funding for your studies or research. 

If you are already a student at the university, surfing the university website will help you to find university scholarships to study abroad as well as other local scholarship opportunities.

2. Subscribe in Academic and Professional Mailing Lists

Interestingly enough a huge bulk of scholarship and grant announcements are distributed via a mailing list and never appear publicly available on any of the websites. So it is quite important to not only check the university websites but also to subscribe to relevant mailing lists in order to have access to information that is circulated through the so-called “deep web”.

As we know, some scholarships are designed only for particular academic fields. The scholarship can be created for only physicists, artists, history, philosophy, or law students. For each of these academic fields, you can find its mailing list and subscribe to it. Each academic discipline most probably will have several associations that unite the people interested in that academic field. So in some cases, you will need to subscribe to many mailing lists to have access to the full information circulated worldwide about that discipline. Through these mailing lists, you can receive messages containing educational opportunities only in that particular area. So, if you are starting university in the field of philosophy, don't hesitate to subscribe to a philosophy studies mailing lists like these: PHILOSOP Mailing ListPHILOS -L. I am sure all disciplines will have several mailing lists so search and find those and subscribe. 

3. Browse the Websites of Scholarship Providing Foundations

If you already have an invitation from the university of your dreams but don't have money to pay the required tuition fee, never mind: there are lots of foundations (Open Society Foundation Grants, Scholarships and Fellowships, Ford Foundation, Bosch Foundation, DAAD) providing so many special scholarships for any applicant: partial scholarships or fully funded scholarships, need-based scholarships and even left-handed scholarships.

4. Check Regularly Scholarship and Grant Databases

When we are looking for something, we want to find all the possible options in one place. That's why, in this case, academic opportunities platforms seem to be the most effective and fast way to find a scholarship announcement. These kinds of platforms are Scholarship-positions, H-Net, Salto Youth, Armacad, Campus France.

You can see all available scholarships on such platforms by typing in the search bar the word scholarship or selecting scholarship from the opportunities section in the navigation bar. Or on the other side, you can do an advanced search by selecting a scholarship or any academic announcement, the preferable deadline for you.

You can choose the country where you want to start a university with a scholarship, the level of study you want to get, the discipline of announcement you need, and many other filters to make your search more effective.

It happens quite often, that these databases present scholarships and grants that are not available even on the university and foundation websites. The reason for this is that many universities and foundations cooperate with these scholarship websites and as soon as the scholarships are open for applications the university officials send the details of the scholarships to these databases instead of publishing it on the university websites. So it is very important to follow these databases and get the scholarship announcement on time. Many scholarship databases also have mailing lists. ARMACAD is one of the leading scholarship opportunity databases in the world. You can choose the relevant disciplines and subscribe to ARMACAD’s academic newsletter

5. Look at Governmental funding websites

Governments are the biggest investors in education. Every country allocates a certain amount of its budget to fund the education in all levels․ The prosperity of countries is calculated also through the allocations for education compared with the GDP.

On the other hand, research and development matters are also fully or by majority depending on governmental grants and finances. The majority of top-notch research in the world is done by the grants provided by the governments.

So why not to check governmental programs, websites and databases for scholarship opportunities and research funding?

There are lots of scholarships provided by governments of particular countries. On the Governmental funding websites, you can find financial support such as scholarships by the Ministry of Education, Embassy scholarships, Research grants for individuals and institutions and so on. 

You will need to search and find the websites of relevant ministries or agencies of the government you want to conduct your research or continue your studies and check all the opportunities available online. These are some examples of governmental scholarship and grant websites:,,   

6. Fundraise on Crowdfunding Portals

You have probably thought about making money from relatives after the invitation from the university. But have you ever thought you could do this with crowdfunding platforms such as Patreon, IndieGoGo, Kickstarter, and Crowdcube? In platforms like these, you can get financial support from people from around the world who will believe in your success and in your academic progress.

Moreover nowadays facebook offers advanced technologies to easily crowdfund any cause. I have seen many wonderful students successfully fundraising for their education on Facebook.

If you decide to start a campaign to collect money for your education on any of those platforms, please take into consideration the following points

  1. Before starting a crowdfunding campaign it is better to already have secured a particle scholarship from a university or a foundation and ask for a small amount during the campaign

  2. Before starting the campaign ask many individuals if they’d support you as soon as your campaign goes live. For people who do not know you personally, it is more comfortable to donate to causes that already have gathered 30 to 50 per cent of the required amount. 

7. Be Active on Professors’ Individual Blogs

When a professor receives an academic grant or another type of funding for his scholarly activity, he can turn it into a scholarship and place an announcement about this financial opportunity on his academic blog (Professor Michael Roberto's Blog) or social media page. Also, this kind of blog will be useful throughout your academic life as you can stay in touch with the professor who will most probably become your supervisor in future, comment on his posts and make clever suggestions. 

8. Follow Groups and Pages on Social Networks

It's not a secret that every kind of foundation, academic institution, every scientist or in general, every type of organization has its own social media page on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, and so on. For example, you can follow the Stanford University Official Facebook Page or academic opportunities platforms on social media pages like Diplomacy OpportunitiesScholarships in the USA, Mentors, Scholarships for Ethiopians, ARMACAD on Facebook, ARMACAD on Twitter

These places post about an opportunity on the social media page after placing an announcement on their website. You can even find some Facebook or Twitter pages that don't have a current website but only a social media page like Law Conferences, Seminars, and Opportunities. So, social media pages are also helpful for your scholarship searching actions.

9. Become a Member of Professional Associations

Professional associations are a group of people who represent the same profession and interests. Here people hold discussions, form networks, develop ideas within their occupation, and provide entry opportunities into the job. 

Within their activity, professional associations very often provide scholarships to their members only. Therefore, along with other opportunities they give, a scholarship or a travel grant is another advantage you can get from such associations. Every industry has its association, usually with minimal price or free. To find one for you, google an association related to your profession or consult with your academic advisors.

10. Stay in Touch with Individuals

Good networking and familiarity with the industry's successful people may open new doors for you. Some entrepreneurs provide scholarships within their charity initiatives. There may be businessmen interested in specific professionals and would be willing to finance your education if they find good potential in you. 

There may be plenty of opportunities, and the more you monitor the field, the more options you can use.

Published on Jan 11, 2021