Dissertation Enhancement Grant

Deadline: Friday, March 7, 2014.
To apply for this grant you must be working on your dissertation full-time.

The Graduate School welcomes a proposal from you for a Dissertation Enhancement Grant. These grants are intended to enhance already outstanding dissertation projects by permitting the addition of a new dimension, additional breadth, or other worthwhile extensions. Funding will not be available from this source for aspects of dissertation work that is an integral or essential constituent of the research as described and understood in the dissertation proposal. Directions for completion of your proposal are included as a part of the application. If you use a PC to prepare your proposal, please use the format of the application. (You do not have to recopy the directions.) The Cover Sheet (I) and Budget (IV) must contain all the categories and information requested in the application. If your recommenders give you a letter of support in a sealed envelope, include this with your application and the Graduate School will make the necessary copies for members of the review committee.

Please keep these regulations/requirements in mind:

  1. In order to be eligible for consideration, you must have passed the Ph.D. qualifying examination AND you must have had your dissertation proposal approved by your Ph.D. committee BEFORE the application deadline.
  2. If a grant is awarded, you will be expected to use the funds within six months after the award date. A competition is held each fall and spring semester and you should submit your proposal to the appropriate competition.
  3. Awards are for a maximum of $2000. Any cost above this amount must be supported from other resources (i.e., personal funds, department funds, etc.).
  4. Students from programs in the School of Engineering and the School of Medicine must make sure that matching funds (one-half of the approved award) can be provided by their department, advisor's grant, or other source. The signature of your Department Chair or Director of Graduate Studies on the Cover Sheet of the application is taken as assurance that this requirement will be met.

If you have any questions about the suitability of a project for a grant, please contact Richard Hoover by phone (322-3944) or by e-mail before you begin to prepare your application. Examples of uses appropriate for a Dissertation Enhancement Grant include (but are not limited to) support for the following:

  • Travel to sites of unique sources of research material, archives, libraries.
  • Consultation or collaborative work with experts in the area of your research when such support is not available at Vanderbilt, for example: learning new research methodology, interviewing an author whom you are studying.
  • Unique services not available at the university, such as sophisticated data or chemical analysis.
  • Participation in a workshop directly relevant to your research (e.g., to learn methodology) or a conference specific to your area of study (e.g., NOT just to hear general discussion or to present a paper).
  • The purchase of specialized small equipment items, supplies, data sets, only if funds for such items are not available from other sources (i.e., advisor's grant, department funds). Note: Departments will be required to pay one-half of the cost of any equipment item (which must remain at Vanderbilt).
  • A research assistant or other personnel to carry out work that you could not reasonably be expected to conduct (extensive analysis of data, computer programming, etc.).
  • Payment of subjects participating in a research project, if the project is in addition to your basic dissertation research (e.g., is not required by your Ph.D. Committee) and if a strong rationale is provided to show that subject payment, although not required, will enhance markedly the quality, scope, reliability, etc., of the data collected.
  • A strong rationale/justification for the use of the funds is a very important aspect of the proposal.
Click here for an application.