Dissertation Completion Fellowships

Dissertation completion fellowships provide advanced doctoral students in the humanities and social sciences with an academic year of support to write and complete their dissertation.

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Eligible students in the humanities and social sciences are guaranteed a dissertation completion fellowship (DCF) between the G4 and G7 years and must apply for the DCF in advance of the dissertation completion year.

Before applying, students should:

  • review DCF opportunities offered by Harvard research centers (see below) and search the CARAT database for DCFs offered by non-Harvard agencies
  • review dissertation completion fellowships policy
  • follow the instructions for dissertation completion fellowships and apply by February 9, 2024, at 11:59 p.m.

Award description and confirmation typically occurs in early May.

While there is no guarantee of a DCF beyond the G7 year, requests will be considered upon recommendation of the faculty advisor.

Instructions for departments can be found on the instructions for dissertation completion fellowships page.

Harvard Research Centers

Other dissertation completion fellowships are available through the Harvard research centers.

  • Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History Dissertation Completion Grants
  • Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Dissertation Completion Fellowships
  • Edmond J. Safra Graduate Fellowships in Ethics
  • Mahindra Humanities Center Mellon Interdisciplinary Dissertation Completion Fellowship
  • Center for European Study Dissertation Completion Fellowship
  • Radcliffe Dissertation Completion Fellowships
  • Weatherhead Center for International Affairs Canada Program Dissertation Research and Writing Fellowships
  • Weatherhead Center for International Affairs Dissertation-Writing Grants

External Dissertation Completion Fellowships 

Search the CARAT database for dissertation completion fellowships offered by non-Harvard agencies.​

The Fellowships Office and the Center for Writing and Communicating Ideas have merged to form the Fellowships & Writing Center. Students with questions about finding fellowship support should email [email protected] , while students looking for help with writing a fellowship proposal should visit the Fellowships & Writing Center .

Fellowships & Writing Center

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Dissertation Completion Fellowships

Types of fellowships, eligibility, selection criteria, award amount, how to apply, application guidelines.

Dissertation Completion Fellowships support final-year doctoral students. These non-service fellowships allow students to focus exclusively on their research and writing without service obligations. Fellows are expected to defend their dissertation by the end of the academic year.

Submit Application »

General Dissertation Completion Fellowships

  • Non-service fellowship
  • Supports dissertation research and writing

Royster Society of Fellows (SOF) Dissertation Completion Fellowships

  • Supports interdisciplinary learning and engagement
  • Opportunities for mentoring, leadership, and professional development

Royster SOF Dissertation Completion Fellowships are endowed through the generous gifts of many friends of the University, most notably Dr. Thomas S. and Mrs. Caroline Royster Jr.

Royster SOF Special Purpose Dissertation Completion Fellowships:

  • Membership in the Royster Society of Fellows
  • The Sequoyah Fellowship for American Indian Students/Research
  • The Fellowship for Diversity in the Sciences
  • The Fellowship for Diversity in the Humanities, Social Sciences or Professional Programs
  • The Jessie Ball duPont Fellowship for Adolescent Studies

Submit only one application. Select the fellowship(s) you are interested in being considered for on the application form and submit the required supporting materials as appropriate. You will be considered for all fellowships that you select on your application.

Eligibility criteria apply to all Dissertation Completion Fellowships. You may not combine the Dissertation Completion Fellowship with other funding without permission from The Graduate School.

You are eligible if:

  • You are a fully-enrolled, degree-seeking doctoral student in a residential program administered by The Graduate School.
  • You are engaged full-time with writing your dissertation.
  • You are able to complete your dissertation within the fellowship term.

Royster SOF 5-Year Fellows are NOT eligible to apply for continued support through a Dissertation Completion Fellowship.

Before applying, you must:

  • Complete course requirements
  • Pass written and oral preliminary exams
  • Have your Dissertation Prospectus formally approved

You cannot apply for both a Dissertation Completion Fellowship and an Off-Campus Dissertation Research Fellowship at the same time.

Your application will be reviewed according to the following criteria:

  • There is high probability you will be able to complete your degree within the fellowship term.
  • You have a strong graduate academic record.
  • Your materials are accessible to a general audience outside of your field.
  • Your research design is clearly outlined and appropriate.
  • Your final research project will contribute significantly to the scholarship in your field.
  • You have engaged in service to the UNC community.
  • Your application materials reflect an understanding of and commitment to the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

View an in-depth description of the review and selection process.

The fellowship provides a stipend, tuition, fees, and health insurance for one academic year (fall and spring semesters only). Royster SOF fellowships may also provide funds for professional travel.

Depending on funding, this award may change from year to year.

Each program may nominate up to three students for consideration.

Deadline The nomination deadline each year is in late February . -->

Check with your department for an internal deadline. You must submit your application early enough for your department to submit their nomination to The Graduate School by the nomination deadline. Deadlines are posted on the funding deadlines calendar.

  • View Frequently Asked Questions about the online award application .
  • Prepare an abstract, research description, research workplan, statement of research significance, and curriculum vitae . If appropriate, prepare a Royster SOF interest statement . Arrange for a letter of recommendation from your dissertation advisor. Be sure to follow the application guidelines .
  • Before submitting your application, we suggest you get feedback on your materials from a person outside of your field.
  • Submit your materials to The Graduate School Award Online Application .
  • Once you submit your application, your recommender will receive an email notice to submit a letter of recommendation through the online system.
  • Once your letter of recommendation is submitted, the fellowship and award approver(s) for your department will receive an email notifying them that your application is eligible for nomination.
  • Your department must nominate you to The Graduate School by the deadline .
  • We will notify awardees in April.

We will not consider your application if you exceed any of the page limits and/or you do not follow the proper format.

In addition to the online application, a complete application includes the following:

Format: No more than ½ page. Double-spaced, 12-point font, 1-inch margins, numbered pages, your name on each page.

  • Briefly summarize your research

Research Description

Briefly describe your dissertation research and your progress toward completion.

Address your research description to an audience of intelligent reviewers who may not be familiar with your field. Clearly explain the importance of your research to a lay audience. Do not use jargon or technical, field-specific terminology.

Format: No more than 3 pages. Double-spaced, 12-point font, 1-inch margins, numbered pages, your name on each page.

Depending on your field of study, include:

  • A summary of key literature
  • General concepts
  • Frame of reference for your study
  • Your research questions
  • Description of the data or other materials which will be/have been collected and analyzed
  • Methods of collection and analysis
  • Design considerations
  • Description of any necessary approvals, such as Human Subjects Review

Research Progress, Work Plan, and Timetable:

Format: No more than 1 page. Double-spaced, 12-point font, 1-inch margins, numbered pages, your name on each page.

  • Describe your research progress to date and your planned sequence of tasks to be completed, with estimated timetable.

Significance of your Research:

  • Explain the significance of your research to your field of study

Curriculum Vitae

Format: No more than 2 pages. 12-point font, 1-inch margins, numbered pages, and your name on each page.

  • Include recent professional activities, awards, honors, courses you have taught, and research publications/presentations.
  • Departmental funding received
  • External funding (please note if received or pending)
  • Because University funding is limited, we encourage you to apply for external funding, and such efforts will be viewed positively by the reviewers.

Citations (optional):

  • May be included for important references
  • Can be either footnotes or endnotes
  • Can be single-spaced
  • Must be within the three-page limit of the Research Description

Royster Society of Fellows Interest Statement:

*Required only if you are interested in being considered for the Royster Society of Fellows*

  • Include a statement addressing your interest and ability to contribute as an active member of the Society of Fellows.

Letter of Recommendation from your Dissertation Advisor

Indicate the email address of your recommender in your application. Please note that only a single recommendation letter will be accepted. If you have joint advisors, they must submit a joint letter of recommendation.

Once you submit your application, your advisor will receive an email notice to submit the letter of recommendation. We can only accept letters of recommendation through the online system. Recommenders cannot submit letters directly to The Graduate School or to your department.

Instructions for recommenders: Each letter of recommendation should be no more than 4,000 characters (spaces included), which is approximately 600 words or one single-spaced page.

Address the letter of recommendation “To the Fellowship Committee.” Include:

  • The quality of the student's research
  • A rating of the student’s overall ability and potential based on the your knowledge of other students in the field
  • The likelihood that the student will complete the dissertation during the award period
  • The likely contributions of the student's research to the field
  • Sequoyah Fellowship for American Indian Students and/or research
  • The Fellowship for Diversity in the Humanities, Social Sciences or Professional Programs fellowship
  • Jessie Ball duPont Fellowship for Adolescent Studies

Graduate School Fellowships Office [email protected]

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Dissertation Completion Fellowships

Approximately one hundred and seventy (170) dissertation completion fellowships (DCFs) are available annually to allow students to devote full time to writing the dissertation with the goal that the dissertation will be completed during the tenure of the fellowship. Other MSU financial support, held simultaneously with the fellowship, cannot exceed a one-quarter time assistantship or the equivalent.

Unlike graduate assistantships, these fellowships do not include student health insurance or tuition/fee waivers.

Selection of fellowship recipients will be made by a student's college. The colleges will set the conditions and application procedures for the Graduate School Dissertation Fellowships and will notify the Graduate School of the recipients. The Fellowship awards will be dispensed by the Graduate School. Students should contact the associate dean's office of their college to find out their college's application procedure.

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Graduate School Dissertation Completion Fellowship

Arts & Humanities applicants: those students in Asian Languages and Civilizations, Classics, English, French and Italian, Germanic & Slavic Languages & Literatures, History, Philosophy, Spanish and Portuguese, and Theatre and Dance - should apply to the  Arts & Humanities Dissertation Fellowships  instead of to the Graduate School Dissertation Completion Fellowship.

This fellowship is intended to provide outstanding PhD candidates with financial support to assist in the process of completing their doctoral dissertations. The fellowship consists of full support for one academic semester (either fall or spring of the following academic year), and includes a monthly stipend equal to that of the current 50% GPTI salary, tuition coverage of up to five dissertation hours, mandatory fees, and coverage under the student gold health insurance plan.  Please note that students may not engage in other forms of paid employment (working, teaching, or off-campus employment) during the time they receive a Dissertation Fellowship. Additionally, any hours taken by students outside their dissertation hours will not be covered, and fellows may not accept another fellowship or grant during the same time period.  The purpose of the fellowship is to allow recipients to devote their full attention to the dissertation.


Doctoral students who have been advanced to candidacy (D status) by the end of spring semester 2024. Any student who is eligible may submit an application. 

Selection Criteria 

The Selection Committee will base their selection on the following:

  • The quality of the research project;
  • The quality of the candidate's CV (conference presentations, publications, awards, etc.);
  • The probability of completion within the period of the fellowship (the greater the probability, the better chance of receiving a fellowship);
  • Other teaching-free fellowships that the candidate has already received (the fewer the better).

Application Procedures

Applicants are required to submit the following information through the online application system as one PDF document:

  • Applicant's Curriculum Vitae.
  • References cited will not be included in the 750-word count.
  • A timeline for completion of the dissertation (one page maximum).
  • Information concerning any other research grants, internal or external, for which the applicant has applied, as well as information concerning any other support for dissertation writing that the applicant has already been awarded and used.
  • Transcript (official or unofficial). 
  • Letter of support: A statement of evaluation (750 word maximum) of the dissertation plans and the likelihood of completion within the fellowship period. This statement is to be written by either the dissertation advisor or another member of the dissertation committee.

All Documents must be in the above order and be clearly designated.

This application will open September 18, 2023 at 5:00pm Mountain Time, and the deadline to submit an application is October 27, 2023 @ 11:59pm Mountain Time.

Apply here:  https://grad.apply.colorado.edu/register/dissertationcompletionfellowship

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Dissertation Completion Fellowships (DCF)

Dissertation Completion Fellowships are funded by the Graduate School at Michigan State University and are intended to expedite the completion of strong dissertations by providing students additional funding and thus time to dedicate to the completion of their dissertations. The College may provide a small number of additional College-funded DCFs.


  • Students must be positioned to submit the final versions of their dissertations to the Graduate School within one year of receiving the fellowship (for a Spring 2024 DCF, the dissertation must be submitted by Spring 2025).
  • Students must have their “comprehensive exam passed date” entered in Grad Plan by Friday, November 10, 2023 at noon to be eligible for a spring or summer DCF via this competition.
  • The deadlines for proposal defense are new this year. Please note we are sharing these deadlines well in advance so that all are aware. If a student is not going to be eligible for a DCF, these deadlines allow them time to make arrangements for other funding and allow the College to repurpose the DCF to a student not originally funded. They also allow funds to be disbursed on the timeline required by the Graduate School.
  • Students must be writing a solo-authored dissertation, not a collaborative dissertation.
  • Students who have already defended their dissertation and are engaged in revisions at this time are not eligible for a DCF.
  • Students who plan to defend their dissertation in late spring and complete revisions during summer are only eligible for a DCF in spring, not a summer DCF. Summer 2021 was the last summer where that practice was permissible.

Terms of award

  • Spring DCF: $9,000 fellowship.
  • Summer DCF: $7,000 fellowship.
  • Both Spring and Summer fellowships are funded and disbursed by the Graduate School (or possibly the College) in Spring or Summer semester. The funding differential between Spring and Summer reflects length of time for work.
  • Under federal law, a student must be enrolled in at least one credit during the semester they receive the fellowship. 1
  • While receiving a DCF, a student may not hold more than a quarter-time assistantship or other appointment consisting of more than 10 hours of work/week. Additionally, a student who works full-time, whether at MSU or elsewhere, is welcome to explain how this funding will create additional release time for them from their full-time employment, during which they will focus on their dissertation.
  • A student may receive only one DCF during their time at MSU.

1 If a student plans to receive the fellowship during summer semester, the student must be enrolled during summer semester. If a student will not be enrolled during summer, then the fellowship will be initiated in late spring for use during the summer. If and only if issuing the fellowship during the spring would have an adverse impact on the student’s financial aid, the College will pay for 1 credit of summer enrollment so that the fellowship may be disbursed during summer.

Submission, selection, and key dates

  • Students submit applications to their department by a deadline announced by the department.
  • Departments may require students to submit the dissertation director’s statement, or may allow the dissertation director to submit the statements directly to the department.
  • Departments review and rank the applications; departments submit these rankings to the College by Friday, December 1, 2023, at noon.
  • The Office of the Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs selects recipients based on departmental ranking and allocation of fellowships across the College.
  • By mid-December, the Office of the Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs notifies recipients and departments/programs of decisions.
  • By mid-December, the Office of the Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs notifies the Graduate School of the recipients; the Graduate School makes the award in Spring or Summer (if College-funded, the College makes the award).

Application requirements

  • Discuss the dissertation research, overall 
  • Include a timeline for completion with major benchmarks
  • MSU transcript for all PhD program coursework.
  • Reaffirm (a) the proposal and (b) the timeline for completion
  • Summarize the dissertation’s strengths

Selection Criteria

  • Please inquire with your department for more information used in ranking decisions.
  • The Office of the Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs reviews select applications to confirm their completeness as indicated above in “Application Requirements.”
  • The Office of the Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs allocates awards roughly proportionally to the number of full-time doctoral students in each department; the Office defers to departments’ rankings of nominees within departments.

Additional Information

  • During summer 2021, students beginning their dissertation writing process became eligible for DCFs for the first time. Students cannot be simultaneously eligible for a DCF and an SRF.

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  • Dissertation Completion Award

The Graduate School is pleased to offer the Dissertation Completion Award to support outstanding domestic or international doctoral students who are in the final stages of their dissertations. This award is offered on a quarterly basis, and is available only in situations where graduate assistantship opportunities do not exist or where grant funding is insufficient to fund the student’s final term.

The award also aligns with and supports development in the OSU Grad Advantage core competencies for graduate students. Nominees are encouraged to complete the OSU Grad Advantage Self-Assessment Tool at the time of their nomination, or in the case of prospective students after they have been formally admitted to gauge their ongoing professional development.

There are two versions of this award: the Thesis Completion Award (for master’s students) and the Dissertation Completion Award (for doctoral students).

Award Details

The Graduate School anticipates awarding 4-7 Dissertation Completion Awards each term. Awards cover the cost of three graduate credits of tuition at the student’s tuition rate and mandatory fees for one academic term only. This tuition-only award does not include a health insurance subsidy of any kind.

This award may not accompany a graduate assistantship, fellowship, or any tuition support from the college, academic unit, or external training grant.


To be eligible, nominees must:

  • Be a doctoral student in the final year of their degree and completing a dissertation
  • Be making satisfactory academic progress, as determined by their graduate program
  • Have completed all coursework requirements
  • Have passed written (if required) and oral preliminary exams (if required)
  • Have passed a dissertation proposal defense (if required)
  • Be able to successfully defend the dissertation within the award period

Nominees are ineligible for funding if:

  • They have ay type of tuition support available to them from the college, academic unit, or external training grant during their final academic term specifically intended to cover the cost of tuition
  • They have previously received Graduate School Dissertation Completion Award funds
  • They have not successfully defended their dissertation and are preparing for a re-defense
  • They will not be enrolled in at least three graduate credits during the term for which the funds were requested

Evaluation Criteria

  • Quality of the letter of nomination
  • Impact and quality of the nominee’s research including its likelihood of contributing to the field of study or discipline
  • Please note: Nominees who have formally scheduled exams with the Graduate School demonstrate a greater likelihood that they will be able to successfully defend during the award period. Nominees who have not submitted an  Exam Scheduling Form  with the Graduate School are encouraged to do so prior to the submission of this nomination.
  • Quality of the nominee’s résumé or curriculum vitae

Nomination Periods

  • Fall 2023: Open 07/10/23 to 08/14/23
  • Winter 2024: Open 11/06/23 to 12/04/23
  • Spring 2024: Open 02/05/24 to 03/04/24
  • Summer 2024: Open 04/15/24 to 05/20/24

Nomination Procedure

Nominations may be submitted by the nominee's graduate program director or unit chair/head. Students may not apply directly for this award. Each unit (as defined by university major code ) may nominate no more than one nominee  (total) per award cycle. 

In the online nomination form, nominators will be required to prepare/upload the following materials as  one PDF document  using the following file name convention: "Nominee's Last Name_Department_DCompletion.pdf" , and upload it through the nomination form.

  • the nominee’s research, including its quality and likely contributions to the field of study or discipline.
  • the nominee’s timeline for completion of the dissertation including the likelihood the student will successfully defend the dissertation within the award period.
  • how the award will assist them in their final term and why the funds are necessary for degree completion.
  • the status of their dissertation including their proposed timeline for completing their degree during the award period. 
  • A copy of the nominee’s résumé or curriculum vitae.
  • Abstract of the nominee’s dissertation.
  • Optional: a copy of the student's Exam Scheduling Form . 

Nomination Form

Submit a nomination

Nomination form overview

For questions about this award or any Graduate School administered awards, please contact our  Graduate Scholarships and Fellowships team

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Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowships

This award opportunity is made available through the Ford Foundation Fellowships administered by the Fellowships Office .

Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowships provide one year of support for individuals working to complete a research-based, dissertation-required Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) or Doctor of Science (Sc.D.) degree that will prepare them for the pursuit of a career in academic teaching or research. Practice-oriented degree programs are not eligible for support. The fellowship is intended to support the final year of writing and defense of the dissertation.


2023 Predoctoral, Dissertation, and Postdoctoral Fellowship Awardees and Honorable Mentions

Predoctoral, dissertation, and postdoctoral scholars have been awarded fellowships in the 2023 Ford Foundation Fellowships competition administered by the Fellowships Office.

  • View the 127 Awardees for 2023
  • View the 521 Honorable Mentions for 2023
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No publications are associated with this project at this time.

No projects are underway at this time.


Scope of the award.

Dissertation Fellowships provide one year of support for individuals working to complete a research-based, dissertation-required Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) or Doctor of Science (Sc.D.) degree that will prepare them for the pursuit of a career in academic teaching or research. Practice-oriented degree programs are not eligible for support. The fellowship is intended to support the final year of writing and defense of the dissertation.  

Award Details

Fellowships can be held at any fully accredited not for profit U.S. institution of higher education offering a Ph.D. or Sc.D. degree in an eligible discipline. A limited number of dissertation fellowships will be awarded for the 2024-2025 academic year and will include these benefits:

  • One-year stipend: $28,000 
  • An invitation to attend the 2024 Conference of Ford Fellows, a unique national conference of a select group of high-achieving scholars committed to diversifying the professoriate and using diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students
  • Access to Ford Fellow Regional Liaisons  (PDF, 132 KB) , a network of former Ford Fellows who have volunteered to provide mentoring and support to current Fellows
  • Access to other networking and mentoring resources   
  • Application deadline:  December 12, 2023 at 5:00 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST) 
  • Supplementary materials deadline: January 9, 2024 at 5:00 PM EST

Application and supplementary materials deadlines: The online application system will close promptly on the deadlines stated above. All required materials must be successfully submitted online by these deadlines in order for an application to be considered for review. Applicants should take the time zone into account if they or their letter writers will be submitting materials from a different time zone. It is strongly recommended that applicants and letter writers submit their materials well in advance of the deadline. Out of fairness to all applicants, we regret that we cannot consider requests for extensions for any circumstances for anyone (applicants or letter writers) who is unable to successfully submit their materials by the stated deadlines.

  • Notification of 2024 awards: March 2024
  • Expected fellowship tenure start date: June 1, 2024 (for 12 months) or September 1, 2024 (for 9 or 12 months)  


All applicants must:

  • Confirm holding a previous Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship;
  • U.S. citizen or U.S. national
  • U.S. permanent resident (holder of a Permanent Resident Card)
  • Individual granted deferred action status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, 1 Indigenous individual exercising rights associated with the Jay Treaty of 1794, individual granted Temporary Protected Status, asylee, or refugee
  • Demonstrate an intent to pursue a career that includes teaching and research at a U.S. institution of higher education; 
  • Be enrolled in a research-based Ph.D. or Sc.D. program at a not for profit U.S. institution of higher education.
  • Expect to complete the Ph.D. or Sc.D. degree in a period of 9-12 months during the 2024-2025 academic year; 2
  • Have completed all departmental and institutional requirements for their degree, except for writing and defense of the dissertation by December 12, 2023;
  • Upload a signed Verification of Doctoral Status Form  (PDF, 92 KB) by the January 9, 2023 Supplementary Materials deadline ;
  • Provide evidence of superior academic achievement (such as grade point average, class rank, honors, or other designations); and
  • Not have already earned a prior doctoral degree at any time, in any field.

Receipt of the fellowship award is conditioned upon each awardee providing satisfactory documentation that they meet all the eligibility requirements.  

Dissertation fellowship awards will not be made for work leading to terminal master’s degrees, the Ed.D. degree, the degrees of Doctor of Fine Arts (D.F.A.) or Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.), or professional degrees in such areas as medicine, law, and public health, or for study in joint degree programs such as the M.D./Ph.D., J.D./Ph.D., and M.F.A./Ph.D. This program does not support the Ph.D. portion of a joint/concurrent/articulated program.

[1] Eligibility includes individuals with current status under the DACA Program, as well as individuals whose status may have lapsed but who continue to meet all the USCIS guidelines for DACA. 

[2] Dissertation Fellows are expected to spend the majority of their time working on the writing and defense of the dissertation. Applicants enrolled in a program that requires an internship in addition to completion of a dissertation are not eligible for the Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship if they plan to participate in a full-time paid or unpaid internship during the fellowship year . Applicants who undertake internships required for degree completion  after  completion of the dissertation are eligible to apply. On the Eligibility page of the online application, applicants should enter the date they expect to complete all requirements for the dissertation, and in the Proposed Plan essay, they should clarify, for the reviewers’ benefit, the timeline for their dissertation work during the fellowship year and the subsequent requirement for an internship.  

Conditions of the Fellowship

Dissertation Fellows are expected to be enrolled in a full-time program leading to a Ph.D. or Sc.D. degree in an eligible discipline. Dissertation awards are intended to support Fellows who will be spending the majority of their time writing and defending the dissertation during the fellowship year. Participation in full-time paid or unpaid internships or other paid activities, even if required for degree completion, should not be undertaken during the fellowship year.

Those who accept a dissertation fellowship must agree to the stipulations in the Terms of Appointment for Ford Foundation Fellows that accompany the award notification.  

How to Apply

Application process  .

The deadline for online application submissions is December 12, 2023 at 5 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST).

  • To ensure a complete application, applicants should carefully follow the  Application Instructions  (PDF, 202 KB) .
  • Applicants can also follow step-by-step instructions for navigating the online application (PDF, 435 KB) .
  • Applicants will receive a confirmation e-mail once their application has been successfully submitted.  

Required Supplementary Materials

The deadline for the online submission of required supplementary materials is January 9, 2024 at 5 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST).

  • Applicants will be able to upload transcripts and the  verification form  (PDF, 92 KB)   only after they have submitted the main portion of their online application . Letter writers will be able to upload letters as soon as they have received the notification link sent by the applicant up until the Supplementary Materials deadline.
  • To ensure their application will be considered for review, applicants should carefully follow the instructions for required supplementary materials  (PDF, 168 KB) .
  • Applicants may share the instructions for the expected content of letters  (PDF, 171 KB)  with their letter writers. These instructions will also be available to letter writers once they gain access to the online application. Applicants must send request notifications to their letter writers through the online application.
  • Applicants will not be required to re-submit their application by the Supplementary Materials deadline. After the deadline has passed, applications will be checked for completeness to determine if they can be forwarded to the review panel.

All application materials become the property of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and will not be returned. Applicants should retain copies of all submitted application materials for their personal records.


Selection process.

Applications will be evaluated by review panels of distinguished scholars selected by the National Academies. The review panels will use all materials included in the application as the basis for determining the extent to which applicants meet the eligibility requirements and the selection criteria.  

Selection Criteria

The following will be considered in choosing successful applicants: 

  • Evidence of superior academic achievement
  • Degree of promise of continuing achievement as scholars and teachers 
  • Capacity to respond in pedagogically productive ways to the learning needs of students from diverse backgrounds 
  • Sustained personal engagement with communities that are underrepresented in the academy and an ability to bring this asset to learning, teaching, and scholarship at the college and university level 
  • Likelihood of using the diversity of human experience as an educational resource in teaching and scholarship 
  • If applicable, how experience as a member of an underrepresented group through discrimination, inspiration, resilience, etc. may inform participation in the fellowship
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Graduate School Doctoral Dissertation Completion Grants

Program summary.

The Doctoral Dissertation Completion Grant program provides both funding and intensive mentoring to doctoral candidates who are within six months of completing their dissertations. It is designed to enable candidates to focus full time on the writing of their dissertations, improving the quality of the dissertation and shortening the time required to complete the doctoral degree.


  • This grant is for students who have demonstrated difficulties in completing the dissertation and would benefit from the intensive mentoring and the six months dedicated to writing that are provided by this program.
  • Grants are available to doctoral candidates (ABD) who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents in any field of study.
  • To be eligible for a grant, students must have collected all data, completed all major research, and be in their final year of dissertation writing and must have completed all course requirements, as well as preliminary written and oral exams.
  • Eligibility is limited to those who have the potential for completing the dissertation within the 6-month grant period.
  • Grant recipients may not simultaneously hold assistantships or be engaged in outside employment during the tenure of their awards.

The student’s committee chair must be prepared to participate fully in this program and do all he or she can to expedite the student’s progress, including meeting with the student frequently and returning drafts in a timely manner.

Program Requirements

As grantees, the students must agree to:

  • Attend all biweekly small group writing meetings
  •  Read and comment on three (3) other group members’ drafts and share feedback at the meetings. 
  • Attend all regularly scheduled, counseling center-facilitated support group meetings with other program participants;
  • Reach out to meet individually with the designated writing coaches as needed
  • Actively support other grantees in meeting the shared goal of completing their dissertations.

Participants’ progress towards completion of the dissertation, as well as the extent to which they are participating in all program activities, will be continually evaluated. Should a student not be making satisfactory progress and/or participating in program activities, the grant may be terminated.

A total of 16 grants will be awarded to doctoral candidates in 2023-2024. Eight awards will be made for the period July 1 to December 31, 2023, and another eight awards made for the period January 1 to June 30, 2024. Students will receive a stipend in the amount of $10,000 during their grant period, which will be disbursed in monthly installments. In addition to the stipend, health insurance and tuition will be covered by the grant.

Application Process

Students may be nominated for only one grant period. The Graduate School will send a call for nomination to the Directors of Graduate Programs for the grant. For more information about the grant, please contact Dr. David Shafer in the Graduate School via e-mail at [email protected] .

Application Deadlines and Review

Applications will be reviewed by a committee appointed by the Graduate School. Grant periods for 2023-24 are as follows: July 1 to December 31, 2023, and January 1 to June 30, 2024. The deadline for receipt of nominations for the first grant period is May 18, 2023, and for the second grant period is October 17, 2023. Awards will be announced by June 2023 and November 2023, respectively.

For further information, please contact Dr. David Shafer, Assistant Dean of the Graduate School, at 919-515-4462 or via e-mail at [email protected] .


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