Graduate Research Awards

Graduate Research Awards

Graduate Research Awards


The Graduate Academic Review Committee [Chair: Todd Scanlon (Fall)/Howard Epstein (Spring)] oversees graduate research efforts in the department. This committee manages requests for travel awards and the annual competition for research awards supported from the Department’s research overhead account, the Moore Research Endowment, and other sources.

Note that in all cases, application for the research awards or grants must be submitted with a signed letter of support from the student’s advisor. The letter should indicate the current status of the student’s progress, the advisor’s evaluation of the proposed work, and any additional information or materials described in the guidelines for preparing the proposal as indicated below. Each award is limited to one per granted degree, and the award must be spent within one calendar year from the date awarded. A student who transitions to the PhD program without receiving an earned masters degree is eligible for only one award.

Format and guidelines for preparing your proposal
Travel Support Awards for Students

Each graduate student in good standing with the department is eligible to apply for up to $650 in support of travel to a major meeting where he/she is presenting a paper/poster as senior author. The basis of the paper must be research accomplished during the student’s tenure as a graduate student in the department. This allotment is a one-time, nonrenewable award for each degree ( one $650 award per degree ). Request guidelines are as follows:

1. A letter requesting authorization to expend funds must be submitted to the Chair of the GARC; at least 30 days prior to the time of travel.

2.The letter should specify the title and authorship of the paper and itemization of the anticipated expenses and must contain the student’s major advisor’s signature.

Exploratory Research Awards

Exploratory Research Awards are merit-based prizes for proposals from graduate students submitted in the spring. Graduate students, prior to the defense of their research proposals, may apply for financial support for exploratory research leading to a thesis or dissertation proposal. Awards are limited to a one-time per degree amount usually not exceeding $1,500.

The Exploratory Research Award proposal should be not more than three pages of text. The three page limit includes figures and tables but does not include references, the abstract/summary, and the budget. One copy of the proposal for exploratory research support must be digitally submitted to the Chair of the GARC no later than 5:00 p.m. on the first Friday in April. An applicant must have established a committee prior to the April deadline. A signed cover letter from the student’s advisor indicating strength of his/her support for the project and the necessity of the preliminary research that will lead to a thesis or dissertation proposal should be provided. This proposal should describe the concept of the proposed research, define the special need for the preliminary research to be funded and include a detailed budget. Items requested in the budget may include research equipment, materials and supplies. Travel to collect preliminary data may be supported. No salaries of any type will be paid. Only costs incurred after the award date will be permitted.  Ownership of non-expendable equipment purchased from these funds will reside with the Department and under the oversight of the student’s major professor and will be available to future students.

Exploratory Award Application Checklist:

1. Proposal (up to 3 pages, at least single-spaced, 12-point font, including all tables and figures)

2. Detailed budget

3. Signed cover letter from advisor*

Proposals that do not adhere to these guidelines will not be considered for funding.

(*Advisors who choose to submit a cover letter directly to the GARC should submit a copy digitally to the GARC Chair by the proposal deadline.)

Department Overhead and Moore Awards and Thomas Jefferson Conservation Awards

The Department Overhead and Moore Research Awards are merit-based prizes for proposals from graduate students that must be submitted in the spring. Graduate students, who have successfully defended their research proposal, may apply for these research awards. Awards are limited to a one-time per degree amount usually not exceeding $5,000.

A student must have defended a thesis proposal before applying for research overhead support. Students who have not successfully defended their research proposals on or before the application deadline will not be considered for these awards.

A research award proposal, not exceeding three pages of text (including all tables and figures but excluding references), must be accompanied by a committee research proposal that has been defended and is approved by the student’s committee. The research proposal will serve as a reference resource for the 3-page proposal. One copy of the proposal for exploratory research support must be digitally submitted to the Chair of the GARC no later than 5:00 p.m. on the first Friday in April. A signed cover letter from the student’s advisor indicating the basic intrinsic merit of the research idea and strength of his/her support should be provided. The three-page proposal should describe the concept of the proposed research, define the component of the research to be funded and include a detailed budget. Items requested in the budget may include research equipment, travel, materials and supplies. If the funds are awarded from the Moore Research Award account, some stipend support might be allowed.  The GARC will rank the proposals in a competitive fashion and determine the most meritorious proposals each year.

Moore/Overhead Award Application checklist:

1. Proposal (up to 3 pages, at least single-spaced, 12-point font, including all tables and figures)

2. Detailed budget

3. Signed cover letter from advisor*

4. Thesis or dissertation proposal

Proposals that do not adhere to these guidelines will not be considered for funding.(*Advisors who choose to submit a cover letter directly to the GARC should submit a copy digitally to the GARC Chair by the proposal deadline.)

Both MS and PhD students may submit proposals for these awards. Students are limited to no more than one Exploratory/Garstang award and one Moore/Overhead/Jefferson Conservation Award . Awards will usually not exceed $5000. Requests for funding for travel to scientific meetings is strongly discouraged. The Department Overhead and Moore Research Awards are not related to the travel awards, and it is possible for a student to receive funding from both sources.