Research

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, December 8, 2014, at 5:00 pm will be reviewed during the last two weeks of December. Proposals submitted by Friday, May 15, 2015 at 5:00 pm will be reviewed during the last two weeks of May.
  • Awards announced: During the last week of the Spring or Fall Semester
  • Maximum Award: $5,000
  • Download the Doctoral Dissertation Research Grant Application Form

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 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. 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.

How to Obtain an Application Package

Application packages are available online, and can also be obtained at the Office of Graduate Studies and Graduate Admissions located in the Campus Center, 2nd floor, room 2100.

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.

Submission Deadline

Proposals may be submitted throughout the year, but will be reviewed twice a year (in May and December). Proposals submitted by Friday, May 15, at 5:00 pm will be reviewed during the last two weeks of May. Proposals submitted by Monday, December 8, at 5:00 pm will be reviewed during the last two weeks of December. Please submit all materials online to Graduate.Studies@umb.edu.

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. Online submissions are preferred.

  • Cover sheet (form attached) with student and dissertation information, a 50 word abstract, and signatures of the dissertation committee chairperson and graduate program director or department chairperson.
  • Budget (form attached) presenting a breakdown of research expenses by category.
  • Budget narrative 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. Requests for professional consultants to assist in the design of the proposed dissertation research (e.g., research design or statistical analysis consultation) will 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.

Review of Proposals

A committee of faculty convened by the Vice Provost for Research and Dean of Graduate Studies will review all proposals. The committee will make recommendations to the Vice Provost for Research and Dean of Graduate Studies who will make all final decisions. Grant awards will be announced during the last week of the Spring or Fall Semester.

Proposals will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Significance – The extent to which the proposed dissertation research will make an original and important contribution to the field of inquiry it addresses.
  • Approach – The extent to which the conceptual framework, design, methodology, procedure, and data analyses are clearly presented and appropriate for the proposed research.
  • Budget and cost-effectiveness – The extent to which the funding requested is adequate and appropriate to the research objectives and activities.

Grant Management

Doctoral Dissertation Research Grants are administered in accordance with established university fiscal procedures and policies related to the conduct of sponsored programs. Accounts for awards made during the Spring Semester will be established by June 30th and project expenditures can begin on July 1. Accounts for awards made during the Fall Semester will be established by December 30th and project expenditures can begin on January 1st. All funds must be expended within a year.  The following conditions are attached to the award and must be accepted by the recipient at the time of the grant award:

  • A final project report must be filed with the Office of the Vice Provost for Research and Dean of Graduate Studies within three months of the grant expiration date summarizing the grant project activities, outcomes, and expenditures.
  • All documents, papers, and publications associated with the research activities supported by the grant award must acknowledge the assistance of the Doctoral Dissertation Research Grant Program of UMass Boston.

For additional information, please contact Associate Vice Provost for Research Laura Hayman at laura.hayman@umb.edu 617.287.7504.