The DPD Program is accepting proposals from US-based universities to establish on-campus programs with innovative, interdisciplinary approaches to dissertation proposal development (due October 28)
The SSRC requests proposals from US-based universities to establish interdisciplinary training programs that will assist humanities and social science graduate students to prepare cogent and effective dissertation research proposals. The University Initiative of the Council's Dissertation Proposal Development Program will partner with five universities to design and institutionalize innovative, interdisciplinary approaches to research proposal training that can serve as models for emulation by additional graduate institutions.
The University Initiative will take place over three years, during which the DPD Program will provide guidance and advice in program design, coordinate collaboration between participating universities, and subsidize most of the initial financial costs, with the expectation that each participating university will sustain their program independently by the initiative's closing. The DPD Program anticipates covering costs of up to $130,000 per university over the three-year initiative.
The University Initiative of the DPD Program is made possible by grant funds provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
For nearly a decade, the DPD Program coordinated fellowship competitions, workshops, and exploratory summer research for graduate students in the humanities and social sciences in order to help them prepare dissertation research proposals. Central to the DPD Fellowship Program's approach was exposing students to multiple perspectives grounded in the theories, literatures, methods, and intellectual traditions of different disciplines. The program's workshops fostered peer critiques within small groups under the guidance of faculty with extensive experience working with doctoral students in interdisciplinary contexts. See the DPD Program's student and faculty competition pages for further information.
In assessing the DPD Fellowship Program's benefits for students, program staff found that alumni were, on average, significantly more successful in winning dissertation research grants and quicker in obtaining doctoral degrees than were students who did not participate in the program. Student participants also reported overwhelmingly that the program's activities helped them to develop professional skills in writing clearly and explaining their research to broad audiences, giving and receiving critiques from colleagues, and developing academic networks that furthered their career advancement.
The DPD Program's University Initiative will work in partnership with universities over three years to establish similar interdisciplinary training programs, adapted to their own particular educational goals, organizational structures, and available resources. The DPD Program's goal is to expose students to multiple disciplinary perspectives in order to help them clarify the basic questions, intellectual contexts, methodologies of investigation and analysis, and broader significance of their own particular research project, whether it is based in one or multiple disciplines.
Only universities based in the United States are eligible to submit applications to this initiative. The proposed dissertation proposal development program may be housed within any appropriate institutional entity of the university (e.g., graduate school or research center); however, the DPD Program will only accept one application per university. Additionally, please note the following:
Potential applicants are encouraged to contact DPD Program staff with any questions regarding eligibility, organization, program design, and participation well before the application deadline.
Priority will be given to applications that provide evidence of:
Universities interested in participating in the DPD Program's University Initiative should submit an application and supplemental documents through the program's application portal.
Universities will be asked to address the following elements within the application:
The deadline for submitting applications is Friday, October 28, 2016. All applications must be submitted through the DPD Program's application portal. Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact DPD Program staff (firstname.lastname@example.org) before the deadline with any questions about proposed programming.
Each application will be reviewed by DPD Program staff and an advisory committee comprised of administrators and faculty who have experience designing and implementing interdisciplinary programs for graduate students at US research universities.
Following a preliminary review of applications, DPD Program staff may contact the lead administrator submitting the application to clarify issues or answer questions that may arise. Finalists will be selected and applicants notified by December 2016.