Structure & Resources

Workshops and Summer Research
Fellows who received the Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship were required to take part in the following activities:

  • Spring workshop (early June): Fellows worked 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 conducted 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 drafted dissertation research proposals, using an online and interactive peer-review platform to critique one another’s drafts, in preparation for the fall workshop.
  • Fall workshop (mid-September): Fellows shared their progress and challenges, critiqued one another’s latest research plans, and began final revisions of their dissertation research proposals.

Each year’s workshops were led by humanities and social sciences faculty with extensive experience helping doctoral students across diverse disciplines refine research proposals, and fellows worked primarily with the same faculty and small multidisciplinary groups throughout their fellowship period.

To view previous workshop agendas used in the DPDF trainings, please visit the Workshop Agendas page in the Resources section of this site.

Resources Provided
SSRC organized centralized workshops for fellows each year, and therefore graduate students receiving a DPDF received compensation for travel, lodging, and meals expenses related to mandatory attendance at both workshops. Fellows could also apply for up to $5,000 to support summer research expenses, including travel, lodging, meals, and some necessary equipment and supplies.

From 2011 to 2014, DPDF alumni – both former research directors and student fellows – were also eligible for small grants to support follow-up activities that strengthened student research and professional development within their DPDF research field. Such grants supported partial support for travel to conferences for group presentations, preparation for joint publications, and other collaborative activities between junior and senior scholars.

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