IDRF Frequently Asked Questions
- Application Process
- Application Components
- Technical Support - Proposal and Bibliography Document
- Technical Support - References and Language Evaluations
- Fellowship Awards
Am I eligible to apply for the IDRF grant if I am not a citizen or permanent resident of the United States?
Yes. The IDRF welcomes proposals from full-time graduate students in the humanities and humanistic social sciences who are enrolled in PhD programs in the United States, regardless of citizenship.
If I have not yet obtained ABD status at the time of application, can I still apply?
Yes. Applicants for the 2013 competition must achieve All But Dissertation status (completed coursework and passed qualifying exams) by the time the proposed fieldwork begins or by December 2013, whichever comes first. They must also fulfill all other eligibility requirements.
Am I eligible for IDRF funding if I am a student in a discipline such as art history, literature, or philosophy?
The IDRF accepts proposals from all disciplines within the humanities and humanistic social sciences. All applicants should specify why site-specific research is critical to the successful completion of the proposed doctoral dissertation. If you have any questions about whether your discipline or topic is eligible for IDRF funding, please contact us.
Does the IDRF program have any geographical restrictions?
No. The IDRF program has funded research in all areas of the world. However, your proposal should address any potential challenges to security, access to information, or visa support, as necessary.
Will the IDRF fund applications that propose research within the United States?
Proposals that identify the United States as a case for comparative inquiry are welcome; however, proposals which focus predominantly or exclusively on the United States are not eligible. Please note that the required minimum research outside the United States is dependent upon your discipline. For select humanities disciplines (Art History, Architectural History, Classics, Drama/Theater, Film Studies, Literature, Performance Studies, Philosophy, Political Theory, and Religion), that minimum is three months. For all other disciplines (including Anthropology, History, and Political Science), funding for US sites will be considered for short durations.
Do I need to be enrolled as a full-time student in order to be eligible for an IDRF grant?
Applicants are expected to be affiliated with a university and progressing toward a PhD and in good standing. They do not need to be paying semester fees.
I am already conducting research overseas. Can I use an IDRF to extend my research?
Applicants who will have completed significant funded dissertation research in one country by the start of their proposed IDRF research may not be eligible to apply to the IDRF to extend research time in the same country. Applicant eligibility will be determined at the discretion of the program. Applicants who have undertaken unfunded research in the same country, funded research prior to obtaining ABD status, or research in a different country are eligible to apply.
What is the minimum length of research?
Fellowships provide support for nine to twelve months of dissertation research. No awards will be made for proposals requiring less than nine months of research. The IDRF-funded research must take place in a single continuous period within the eighteen months between July 2013 and December 2014.
How do I apply for the IDRF award?
The IDRF application must be filled out online and can be accessed through the SSRC Online Application Portal. You will also use this portal to contact your referees and language evaluator(s), complete the research relevance section, upload your research proposal and bibliography, and send reminders to referees and language evaluators.
When is the deadline for the 2013 IDRF application?
Applications must be complete and submitted online before 9:00pm (EST) on November 7, 2012. The reference letters and language evaluation(s) must also be submitted online by the same deadline.
I applied last year. Can I edit my old application and resubmit it?
No. You will need to start over with a new online application, and request new reference letters and language evaluation(s).
Where do I find the reference and language evaluation forms?
There are no forms. You must use the “References & Language Evaluations” sections of the online application to contact referees and language evaluators. Once you have entered your evaluators’ contact information, they will receive emails with instructions on how to submit the reference letters or language evaluation(s) online. The submitted material will be automatically added to your application.
Do I need to complete the application all at once?
No. You may return to the application as many times as necessary until the application deadline. Be sure to save your work after you finish each section of the application. Once the application has been submitted, you will no longer be able to alter the information.
Do you have examples of proposals that have been awarded fellowships?
No. The IDRF program does not provide examples of proposals that have been awarded fellowships. However, you may visit our website to learn more about the research that current fellows are conducting. For suggestions on proposal writing, we encourage you to consult The Art of Writing Proposals.
Can I submit my online application even if my reference letters and language evaluation(s) have not been received?
Yes. You are strongly encouraged to submit your online application well in advance of the deadline. There is no need to wait for your reference letters and evaluations to be received in order to submit your application – they will be automatically added to your application. You may continue to check the status of your references and language evaluations and you can send reminder requests through the "Track References" section of the application portal, even after your application has been submitted.
How many references do I need and whom should I ask to write references for me?
Two. One reference letter must come from your principal faculty advisor and the second reference letter from someone who is familiar with your work and academic interests. Follow the instructions on the "References" section of the application portal to send an electronic request to the referees.
Please note that the online application portal allows applicants to invite only one principal faculty advisor. Once you have invited an advisor you may not invite another. You may, however, invite up to two people as a second reference. Whichever second reference letter is submitted first will be accepted; any additional letters from second references will be discarded.
Do I need to submit a language evaluation?
You do not need to submit a language evaluation form if you will be conducting research in English or your native language(s). Applicants conducting research in another language are required to submit a language evaluation with their application.
Language evaluators should be qualified individuals who are able to test your proficiency in the language(s) needed for your on-site research at the time of your application. Ideally, your evaluator will be a language instructor at a university, in the UNITED STATES or abroad; however, exceptions can be made for less commonly taught languages. Departmental language exams will not be accepted as proof of language proficiency. Please note that referees may not submit language evaluations on your behalf.
Are there formatting requirements for the research proposal and bibliography?
Yes. Your research proposal and bibliography should be collated as one continuous .PDF file not exceeding twelve pages in total. Research proposals must be double-spaced and not exceed ten pages in length (including any appendices or end notes). The bibliography must not exceed two pages and must be in standard bibliographic format.
The proposal and bibliography must be in Times New Roman 11-point font type with at least one inch margins on all sides. Proposals must be formatted with double-spacing. Footnotes and endnotes may be single-spaced but must be included within the ten pages. The bibliography may be single-spaced. Proposals not adhering to these guidelines will not be considered.
Can I submit photographs or charts with my application?
Yes, but any non-textual material must be included within the ten-page limit.
Do I need to submit transcripts with my application?
No. Transcripts are not required at the time of application. Relevant coursework and grades should be listed in the course report section of the online application. However, you should be prepared to submit one official transcript for each graduate-level school you have attended (including any degree certificates from graduate institutions outside the UNITED STATES) upon request of the program.
Do I need to send letters of affiliation with my application?
No. Do not submit letters of affiliation with your application.
How will I know that my application is complete?
After you have successfully submitted your application, you will receive a confirmation email from the SSRC. You may continue to check the status of your references and language evaluation(s) and send reminder requests through the “Track References” section of the application portal, even after your application has been submitted.
Technical Support - Proposal and Bibliography Document
Do I need to convert my proposal and bibliography document into a .PDF file myself? I don’t know how to do it.
Yes. You must convert your proposal and bibliography document into a .PDF file. You may do so by using Adobe Professional, or an online program such as Adobe Online, CutePDF, or Zoho Writer. Please note that Word 2007 and Mac computers can also convert documents to .PDF files. If you are unable to convert your documents yourself, please contact your university IT services for assistance.
My proposal and bibliography document was exactly the correct length in my word processing program, but when I convert it to a .PDF file, it exceeds the page limit. Is that acceptable?
No. Your combined proposal and bibliography may not exceed twelve pages in total as a .PDF file.
I added page numbers to my proposal document, but when I converted it to a .PDF file, the formatting changed.
We recommend that you use the footer function for page numbering, rather than the header function.
I uploaded my proposal and bibliography onto the application form, but when I print out the application, only my bibliography appears. Was my proposal uploaded?
No. Your proposal and bibliography must be collated as one continuous .PDF file. If you try to upload two separate documents, the second document will replace the first. Please combine the two documents into one document and then upload again.
I use Mac OS X and I am having difficulty uploading my proposal document. What should I do?
There is a known problem – specific to Mac OS X – with uploading files over a secure connection. You may upload files using one of the following options:
Use Apple's browser, Safari
Upload your file using another computer not running OS X
Technical Support - References and Language Evaluations
What should I do if one of my referees and/or evaluators cannot send in the letter s/he agreed to?
You may check the status of your references and language evaluations and send reminder requests through the “Track References” section of the application portal. The online application portal allows applicants to invite only one advisor. Once you have invited an advisor, you may not invite another.
If one of your designated second referees and/or language evaluators cannot submit a letter on your behalf, you may send a request to someone else using the References section of the application portal. Please note that the second reference that is submitted first will be accepted. Any additional second references will be discarded.
My referee/evaluator cannot (or refuses) to use an online system to submit a reference/evaluation. What should I do?
Please follow the instructions in the References section of the application portal. Your referee/evaluator will receive an email from us with information on how to contact us if s/he cannot use the online system. We will work with your referee/evaluator to ensure that the necessary materials are submitted in a timely manner.
When will award announcements be made?
Incomplete and ineligible applicants will be informed of their status by December 2012. All other applicants will be contacted by the program, via email or USPS, about their status in February 2013. Fellows will be notified by May 2013.
What happens if my project is selected for funding?
You will be asked to submit an estimated budget outlining the funds you will need to complete your project. This will be taken under consideration, along with any other funds you may have received, when your final award amount is determined.
When can I begin my IDRF research if I am selected for funding?
IDRF-funded research may begin as early as July 2013 (research conducted prior to July 2013 will not be supported by IDRF). All 2013 fellows must commence fieldwork by January 2014.
What is the IDRF grant amount?
Fellowship award amounts will vary depending on the research plan. The 2013 per-fellowship average award amount is $20,000.
What does the IDRF grant cover? Conversely, what doesn't the IDRF grant cover?
The IDRF grant will cover fellows’ travel, research, and living expenses for nine to twelve months of dissertation research. The IDRF grant will not cover tuition costs, dependent living expenses, taxes, or dissertation write-up.
I am applying for multiple grants. Should I be awarded an IDRF grant, can I also accept funding from other sources?
Yes, but fellows cannot accept funding from IDRF and another organization for the same expenses at the same time. The IDRF program will work with fellows to construct a budget that is acceptable to IDRF and to other funding organizations.
Do IDRF awards go directly to the fellows or are they channeled through a university?
All awards are paid directly to the IDRF fellows.
Does the IDRF offer support for visas and IRB clearances?
No. Fellows are responsible for their own travel arrangements and research clearances.