Doctoral Dissertation Research Grants

Doctoral Dissertation Research Grant Program

  • Eligibility: Doctoral Students whose dissertation proposals have been formally approved by their dissertation committees
  • Application deadline: Applications can be submitted at any time, but will only be reviewed twice a year. Proposals submitted by Monday, January 15, 2018, at 5:00 pm will be reviewed during the last two weeks in January. Proposals submitted by Friday, July 13, 2018 at 5:00 pm will be reviewed during the last two weeks of July.
  • Awards announced: First week of February and First week of August, 2018 .
  • Maximum Award: $5,000
  • Download the Doctoral Dissertation Research Grant Application

General Information

These grants provide support for dissertation research activities of doctoral students. Doctoral Dissertation Research Grants are funded through a reallocation of UMass Boston research trust funds obtained from the recovery of facilities and administration costs of sponsored programs. A committee of university faculty drawn from various disciplines and program areas reviews all applications and makes recommendations to the Vice Provost for Research and Strategic Interests & Dean of Graduate Studies for the allocation of these grant funds. Allocations for grants are based on the significance of the research, the merits of the research design, and the reasonableness of the budget request.

Nature of the Doctoral Dissertation Research Grant Program

A total of $50,000 has been allocated from the university’s research trust funds for these awards for each cycle of applications. Each student may request up to $5,000 in grant funds. Examples of eligible budget items include technical assistance and clerical support beyond that normally available through the student’s department or program, research supplies, travel expenses for data collection, transcription costs, acquisition of specialized datasets, and communications. The Doctoral Dissertation Research Grant Program will not fund student’s salaries and research equipment. Costs for presenting the research results or accepting awards at regional, national, and international conferences will not be considered. A separate conference travel grant program for undergraduate and graduate students will be established in the near future.

Who May Submit a Proposal?

Any UMass Boston graduate student who is enrolled in a doctoral program at the university and whose dissertation proposal has been formally approved by their dissertation committee is eligible to submit a proposal for consideration. An UMass Boston doctoral student may receive only one doctoral dissertation grant at the university.

What to Submit

In order to expedite review of proposals, students are required to submit proposals in the following format.  Please note that only one copy of the proposal is required. 

  • The Doctoral Dissertation Research Grant Application includes:
    • Cover sheet with student and dissertation information, a 50 word abstract, and signatures of the dissertation committee chairperson and graduate program director or department chairperson.
    • Budget presenting a breakdown of research expenses by category.
    • Budget justification explaining each item requested on the budget form. Requests for salary for the student and equipment will not be considered. Budget requests for travel to present the results of the doctoral dissertation research at a professional meeting will not be considered. Budget requests for statistical analysis software available on campus for student use (e.g. SPSS, Stata, Mathematica) will not be considered.
  • A project narrative describing the doctoral dissertation research for which funding is being requested. The project narrative is the core of the proposal. Members of the review committee will make their recommendations based on their understanding of your research as described in the narrative. It is to the student’s advantage to provide background information in enough detail to convey why the research is significant, what will be accomplished, the schedule of activities, and how the requested funding will enhance the research.  Applicants should be as clear as possible, remembering that the review committee will be made up of faculty members from various disciplines and not all will have expertise in the subject matter of the proposal.  If the work of others is referenced, include a list of the sources cited. The project narrative should be no more than 8 double spaced pages and must include the following:
    • Significance of the proposed research;
    • Brief review of the relevant literature;
    • Project goals and objectives with a timeline for accomplishment;
    • Research design, methodology, sample, procedure, and data analysis that will be used to carry out the proposed project; and
    • Qualifications of the student that speak to the potential for success of the project.
  • Letters of support are required from the chair of the doctoral dissertation committee and from the Graduate Program Director of the program in which the student is enrolled. These two letters must address the merits of the proposed research and explain how the support will assist the student in completing the research.
  • Other documents such as letters of commitment from other organizations, departments, agencies or units that may be collaborating in the proposed project, as well as other potential secured funding sources.
  • All Documents including application, project narrative, and letters of commitment from other organizations or agencies and required letters of support should be assembled into a single pdf document and submitted to
  • For additional information, please contact Professor Laura L. Hayman at or 617-287-7504.

Thanks to the generosity of donors and members, the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies is sponsoring up to ten grants annually, at a maximum of $5000 each, for the purposes of conducting doctoral dissertation research in Eastern Europe and Eurasia in any aspect of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian studies in any discipline.  These awards may be held concurrently with other partial funding sources, but are intended to support students whose projects have not yet been fully supported. The grant recipient cannot concurrently hold the Cohen-Tucker Dissertation Research Fellowship, Fulbright-Hays DDRA, SSRC IDRF and other similarly fully-funded fellowships.  The grant is for primary dissertation research, not for dissertation write-up.


  • Applicant may be a graduate student of any nationality, in any discipline currently enrolled in a PhD program in the United States
  • Applicant must have successfully achieved PhD candidacy (ABD status) by the start of the proposed research travel
  • Applicant must have language proficiency to conduct the proposed research
  • Applicant must be a student member of ASEEES at the time of application
  • Applicant must plan to conduct research in one or more of countries within the region covered by ASEEES, including: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyz Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan
  • Applicant must plan to start the research travel within the same calendar year following the receipt of the fellowship (Ex: Upon notification of the fellowship in the summer of 2018, the grant recipient must start his/her research travel no later than December 31, 2018)
  • Applicant must not hold the Cohen-Tucker Dissertation Research Fellowship, Fulbright-Hays DDRA, SSRC IDRF and other similarly fully-funded fellowships for the same research project

Grant Amount

The grant amount is maximum $5000, which must be spent on expenses outside the US conducting research in the eligible country or countries, listed above. NOTE: The fellowship does not support tuition and fee payments to the applicant’s US home institution. 


Applications must be submitted by April 30, 2018 (Notifications will be made by June 1, 2018)

To Apply

Complete the online application, which includes:

  • a two-page, single-spaced, 1000-word (excl footnotes, bibliography) description of the research scope, analytical framework, methodology, budget, and timeline;
  • a CV no longer than two pages;
  • Graduate transcript(s) (unofficial copy allowed);
  • two letters of professional reference due May 6 (one mus be from the main dissertation adviser);
  • a section on the status of all grants to which one has applied for the research period and/or a statement of ineligibility for key funding opportunities. (Prior to disbursement of funds, ASEEES will contact the home department to verify candidate’s standing and funding levels.)


All files are reviewed by an interdisciplinary panel that values clarity of argument to both specialist and non-specialist audiences.


Please contact with any further questions.


Please feel free to print these flyers or to email them to eligible students.

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Thank you for your help getting the word out about this important opportunity.


This grant program is made possible by the ASEEES General Investment Fund. Please consider contributing to the General Investment Fund.   

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