Social Science Research Council (SSRC) Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship (DPDF)

Application deadline:   October 15, 2015

The Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship (DPDF) Program helps early-stage doctoral students in the humanities and social sciences formulate innovative dissertation research proposals through workshops, exploratory summer research, and writing guided by peer review and faculty mentorship. The program seeks young scholars who are interested in strengthening their dissertation research plans through exposure to the theories, literatures, methods, and intellectual traditions of disciplines outside their own. By the end of the fellowship, participating students will complete a draft dissertation research proposal that can be reviewed with academic advisors.

Program

During the DPDF fellowship period, fellows are required to take part in the following activities:

  • Spring workshop (early June): Fellows work together to hone their research questions and design exploratory summer research plans to identify appropriate methods to answer those questions.
  • Summer research (June to August): Fellows conduct a minimum of six weeks of research away from their home institutions to establish contacts, find sources, identify sites, review new literatures, and test the feasibility of their initial research questions, methods of investigation, and analytic approaches.
  • Writing (late August to early September): Fellows draft dissertation research proposals, using an online and interactive DPDF peer-review platform to critique one another’s drafts, in preparation for the fall workshop.
  • Fall workshop (mid-September): Fellows share their progress and challenges, critique one another’s latest research plans, and begin final revisions of their dissertation research proposals.

Workshops are led by humanities and social sciences faculty with extensive experience helping doctoral students across diverse disciplines refine research proposals. Participants work primarily with the same faculty and small multidisciplinary groups throughout their fellowship.

Financial Support

The DPDF program covers all travel, lodging, and meals expenses related to mandatory attendance at both workshops. Applicants may request up to $5,000 to support summer research expenses, including travel, lodging, meals, and some necessary equipment and supplies. Guidelines for allowable expenses can be found in the Summer Research and Financial Support section of the DPDF Frequently Asked Questions for Prospective Applicants.

Eligibility Criteria

All applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Applicants must be currently matriculated in PhD programs at accredited universities in the United States.
  • Applicants may be US citizens or noncitizens.
  • Progress within graduate program:
    • Applicants must have completed at least two full years of graduate study (MA and/or PhD) by the end of June 2016.
    • Applicants must be on track to obtain approval of their dissertation proposals after the September 2016 DPDF workshop but before the end of the 2016-2017 academic year.
  • Applicants must commit to attend the spring and fall workshops in their entirety and to conduct at least six weeks of summer research away from their home institutions between the 2016 spring and fall workshops.
  • Students who have already submitted dissertation research proposals to their departments for approval or to funding agencies for support of their dissertation research are not eligible to apply to the DPDF Program.

For complete information about this opportunity, including application materials, see:
http://www.ssrc.org/fellowships/dpdf-fellowship/

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