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Graduate student working on a lab.

On-Campus Grants and Funding

The Office of Student Research provides funding to support student research, scholarly inquiry, and innovation at Illinois State. Whether you are applying for a research grant or funding to support travel to conferences to present your work, we want to contribute to the success of your research experience.

Application deadlines

Grant/ Term Fall Spring Summer
FIREbird Third Friday in September Last Friday in January First Friday in March
BirdFEEDER Last Friday in September Last Friday in February First Friday in May

Pinion (Travel Funds)

Rolling Rolling Rolling
  • FIREbird Awards

    These awards provide undergraduate students with funds for Faculty-mentored Independent Research Experiences (FIREbird). Summer funds (up to $3000) and Academic Year funds (up to $1500) may be used for student hourly wages, research incentives, supplies, or travel. See current full competition details and FIREbird budget template prior to applying. Applications must be submitted online via the InfoReady platform. Faculty mentors automatically receive a "request for review" once the student submits an application and must submit a FIREbird faculty mentorship plan.

    Apply Now
  • BirdFEEDER Awards

    BirdFEEDER awards (Fund for Experimentation, Enquiry and the DEvelopment of Student Research) provide graduate and undergraduate students with up to $500 to use for research supplies, materials or travel to conduct research. See full competition details and the FEEDER budget form prior to applying. Students must identify a faculty supervisor and must submit the application and supporting materials online via the InfoReady platform. Faculty supervisors automatically receive a "request for review" once the student submits an application.

    Apply Now
  • OSR's Pinion Travel Grant

    Pinions are a bird's flight feathers. OSR's Pinion grant gives student researchers wings by offering up to $300 for undergraduate and graduate students to travel to present their research or creative products. Travel funds may also be available through your home department, school, college, and the Graduate School's University Research Symposium Grant.

    When you apply for an OSR Pinion grant, you will need proof of your acceptance to the conference/event (your name must appear in the program), as well as a completed Travel Estimated Expenses/Travel Voucher Form. You'll update this form after you travel with your actual expenditures and will submit it along with receipts to Matt Upholz (

    See also OSR's Conference Travel Guide for Students, and See an example of a completed Travel Voucher Form.

    Apply Now
  • Additional Research Funding Sources for Graduate Students.

    Graduate students should also visit the Graduate School website for funding opportunities. In particular, graduate students may be interested in the Dissertation Completion Grant and the Ora Bretall Scholarship.

External Funding

  • National Institutes of Health

    The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Undergraduate Scholarship Program (UGSP) offers competitive scholarships to students from disadvantaged backgrounds who are committed to careers in biomedical, behavioral, and social science health-related research.

  • National Science Foundation REU's

    The National Science Foundation and Research Experiences for Undergraduates are special programs for undergraduate students funded by the National Science Foundation or host institutions. Programs are also funded specifically for graduate students.

  • Pathways To Science

    Use the database at Pathways to Science to search 1,200 fully-funded opportunities in the STEM fields.

  • Barry Goldwater Scholarship

    The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship is open to sophomore and junior students who intend to pursue a research career in natural science, mathematics, or engineering. Scholarships of up to $7,500 are provided to help cover costs associated with tuition, mandatory fees, books, and room and board. Illinois State University may nominate up to four students.

    Nominees for Goldwater Scholarships must include in their online application a statement of interest in a research career in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering detailing how their academic program and their overall educational plans will prepare them for their chosen career goal. It is expected that students selected as scholars will pursue advanced degrees.

    Gina Hunter is the Goldwater Campus Representative. Please email her at or call the Office of Student Research to schedule an appointment, (309) 438-0787.

See who has won a FIREbird Award.