This is a topic that has kept me wondering for some months. In grad school one of my friends said that when he was applying to study for his Ph.D, one of the first things one must find out before applying was if funding was available. Where I went to study, many professors were available for advising students for their thesis/dissertations. However, almost no one had funding available. Several professors could not promise that their prospective student can receive funding at the moment they apply. I have two questions: 1.) What funding are they referring to? Is it related conducting research or just grants or scholarships to cover tuition costs + room and board? 2.) Do they mean assistantships? If so, how can one obtain an assistantship whether it is teaching or research and what are some tips?