McNair Scholar Resources

Welcome, McNair Scholars! As you prepare to pursue graduate studies and embark on the next chapter of your academic journey, we've compiled a list of resources to help you along the way. From financial planning to academic preparation, our resources are designed to equip you with the knowledge and tools you need to succeed in graduate school and beyond.

We encourage McNair Scholars to explore these resources and seek out opportunities to gain valuable experience as graduate students. Please contact the McNair Scholars Program for additional support and guidance.


Fellowships are financial awards that support graduate study, research, or professional development. These fellowships can provide funding for tuition, living expenses, travel, and research materials, among other expenses.

Applying for fellowships is a competitive process that requires strong academic credentials, research experience, and a compelling personal statement. Explore our list of fellowship opportunities and learn more about how you can finance your graduate studies and advance your research goals.

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Fellowship and Scholarship Resource


Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation

Provides financial support for graduate students completing dissertations in the humanities and social sciences. The fellowship is intended to help students complete their dissertation work without being forced to work outside of academia.

Cultural Anthropology Program Senior Research Awards (CA-SR)

The Cultural Anthropology Program offers research experiences for graduate students among a host of opportunities. The expectation is that a graduate student applicant intends to continue graduate school through the PhD; requests for support of Masters students will be considered.

Ford Foundation Fellowship Program

Provides financial support for graduate study leading to a Ph.D. or Sc.D. degree for individuals who have demonstrated superior academic achievement, are committed to a career in teaching and research at the college or university level, and are from groups traditionally underrepresented in higher education.

Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship

Provides support for graduate study leading to a Ph.D. or Sc.D. degree in fields related to social justice, diversity, and community engagement.

Fulbright Program

Provides support for graduate study, research, or teaching in more than 140 countries.

Jacob K. Javits Fellowship Program

Provides support for graduate study in the humanities, social sciences, and arts.

Josephine De Karman Fellowship

Provides financial support for graduate students in any discipline who are in the process of completing their dissertation. The fellowship is intended to support students who demonstrate exceptional ability and achievement.

HHMI Gilliam Fellowships for Advanced Study

Provides financial support for graduate students in the life sciences who are pursuing doctoral degrees and who are committed to increasing diversity in science. The fellowship includes funding for research and training, as well as mentorship and professional development opportunities.

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Provides financial support for graduate students pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees in STEM fields, including a stipend and tuition support.

National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship Program (NDSEG)

Provides funding for graduate students in science and engineering fields who are pursuing doctoral degrees. The fellowship includes funding for tuition, fees, and a stipend, as well as opportunities for professional development and mentorship.

NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellowships (AAPF)

NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellowships offers the opportunity for fellows to engage in independent research and education. The Fellowship consists of a research and education plan focused on any area of astronomy or astrophysics and supports researchers for a period of up to three years with fellowships that may be taken to eligible host institutions of their choice. The program is intended to recognize early-career investigators of significant potential and to provide them with experience in research and education that will establish them in positions of distinction and leadership in the scientific community. Fellowship consists of a research and education plan focused on any area of astronomy or astrophysics.

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Fellowships (SSHRC)

Provides financial support for Canadian graduate students in social sciences and humanities fields who are pursuing doctoral degrees. The fellowship supports research that has the potential to make significant contributions to knowledge and understanding in the field.

Living Wage Calculator

The Living Wage Calculator is a useful tool that can assist McNair Scholars determine the minimum income necessary to cover basic living expenses such as housing, food, and transportation. By using this resource, you can gain a better understanding of the financial implications of pursuing graduate studies in different locations and make informed decisions about your academic and career goals. 

Living Wage Calculator

Preparing for Graduate Exams

The McNair Scholars Program assists scholars with GRE preparation, finding the right fit in a graduate program, completing application materials, and researching fellowship and other funding opportunities. Scholars learn how to navigate the application process, write a statement of purpose, and construct a curriculum vita.

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Preparation Resource



Provides comprehensive information and resources for prospective graduate students, including test preparation materials, school search tools, and scholarship information.


Offers a searchable database of graduate programs, as well as articles and resources on choosing and applying to graduate programs.

Graduate School Guide

Provides a comprehensive guide to graduate schools in the United States, including rankings, admissions requirements, and program information.

Provides resources and information for those pursuing a Ph.D., including advice on choosing a program, finding funding, and preparing for the academic job market.

Graduate Schools - US News

Provides annual rankings of graduate programs in various fields, as well as information on admissions requirements and program offerings.

Graduate Admissions Essays

4th Ed., Donald Asher

Free Download

Provides tips and guidance on crafting successful graduate school admissions essays, including sample essays and advice from admissions experts.

Applying for Graduate School

There are typically 5 components to a graduate application. They are:

  1. The Application
    Graduate School applications usually need three letters of recommendation from individuals with first-hand knowledge of the applicant's potential for graduate study. The letters should assess the applicant's research skills and coursework abilities. Two letters should be from current or recent institution faculty, while letters for master's programs can come from academic or non-academic sources. Check program listings for specific details.
  2. Personal Statement
    Most applicants are required to submit a personal statement regarding their interests and/or intended areas of study. Some programs ask applicants to address specific questions in their personal statements. Please review the listings for the Ph.D. or master’s program in which you are interested for details. 
  3. Transcripts
    Applicants must provide an official transcript(s) with their applications. Applicants who have attended international institutions must submit transcripts or certified attestations of study, with certified English translations. Once translated, the original transcript and the certified translations are to be sent to the Graduate School admission office. College seniors should submit current official transcripts, followed by a final official transcript showing the award of the baccalaureate degree prior to matriculation, as is required and mentioned above. 
  4. Letters of Recommendation
    Most Graduate Schools require three letters of recommendation by persons well qualified to speak from first-hand knowledge about the applicant's potential for graduate study. All letters should comment on an applicant’s ability to do research and perform in the program’s required coursework. At least two of these letters should be from faculty at the institution of current study or, if the applicant is not in school at the time of application, at the institution most recently attended. Letters of recommendation for applicants to master’s programs may be from academic or non-academic sources; please consult individual program listings for details. Recommenders should be given the following:
    • Necessary recommendation form
    • Copy of your statement of purpose for each program you are applying
    • Resume
    • Respectful, detailed requests to have them address specific skills or topics within their letter of recommendations
    • Stamped and addressed envelopes
    • Application deadlines and the dates by which you need the recommendations
    • It is recommended that you waive your right to view your references as many graduate programs will weigh such recommendations more favorably and view them as being more honest.
  5. GRE
    Applicants must have their results from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test sent to the Graduate School. Please check program requirements regarding subject tests or supplementary materials.  A guide for how to look up ETS school codes can be found here. The TWU McNair Scholars program, Graduate School Preparation Services offer GRE Workshops during the academic year.

Useful Apps/Software for Graduate Students

As a McNair Scholar, you are embarking on a rigorous academic journey that demands the utmost organization, productivity, and research skills. This section provides a curated list of apps and software that are particularly useful for graduate students, including productivity tools, research databases, studying and note-taking apps. 

By utilizing these resources, you can improve your writing, research, and organization, and stay on track as you work towards your academic and professional goals. Most of these services offer both free and paid plans, with premium users receiving access to additional features and benefits. Explore our list today and discover the tools that can help you succeed as a McNair Scholar.

  • Canva
    A free, graphic design platform that allows users to create professional-looking designs and graphics for presentations, posters, social media posts, and more using pre-designed templates, stock photos, and fonts.
  • Grammarly
    A writing assistant that checks grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors in real-time, suggesting corrections and offering suggestions to improve writing clarity.
  • Google Slides
    This free online tool is similar to PowerPoint and offers many of the same features, with the added benefit of being easily shareable and accessible from anywhere with an internet connection.
  • Mendeley
    A reference manager and academic social network that helps students organize their research, cite sources, and collaborate with peers.
  • Prezi
    This presentation software offers a unique, zoomable canvas that can help create visually engaging and interactive presentations.
  • Zotero
    A free, open-source reference manager that allows students to collect, organize, and cite sources from a variety of databases and sources, including books, articles, and websites.
    A type of background music that features calm and relaxing instrumental music, with a focus on low-fidelity audio production techniques, often used by students as a way to focus and study.

Page last updated 4:03 PM, August 16, 2023