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Summer Research Awards

Overview | Nominations | Eligibility | Application Materials | Application Submission | Reporting


The College of Arts and Science Summer Research Award (SRA) program is designed to help graduate students with outstanding potential to accelerate progress on their research, proceed to candidacy, and/or complete their dissertation research in a timely manner. SRAs provide funds for research expenses related to the doctoral thesis, other advanced research projects, or scholarly activities that significantly advance professional development. SRAs are granted on a competitive basis.

SRAs are not a substitute for, nor a supplement to, graduate stipends. Award funds will either be provided directly to vendors upon receipt of an invoice or will be provided to award recipients in the form of reimbursement for expenses. Funds are intended to support students’ work for the dissertation, dissertation proposal, or other scholarly projects; they are not to be used to support Vanderbilt coursework. 

Students may request awards of up to $5,000; however, the college may not be able to grant the full sum requested by every successful applicant. In determining the amount of each award, the Committee on Graduate Education will consider the degree of need demonstrated by the proposal and budget, the number of successful applications, and the total available funds.

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The College of Arts and Science Dean’s Office relies on departmental expertise to procure and rank nominations for these awards. Each department is given a maximum number of nominations to submit to the Committee on Graduate Education and the Office of the Dean. This process will most likely vary for each department, and can include all faculty members, the DGS only, or a committee tasked with selecting the top nominations. We will not be proscribing a nomination process; rather, the departments can define their own process for gathering nominations. Each DGS should submit a single PDF with ranked nominations, including a written rationale for the rankings, a short summary of the nomination process, and a justification for each ranking.

The information listed below, including CV, proposal, budget, and letters of support for all nominations should be sent in a separate PDF file. The Committee on Graduate Education will evaluate the departmental rankings along with the applicant’s application packet.

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Doctoral students in good standing making satisfactory progress toward the degree are eligible for the SRA. A student may receive this award no more than twice during her or his career at Vanderbilt. 

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Each application should include the following:

  1. CV (2-page maximum). The CV should include year in Ph.D. program, education, relevant experience, and products (publications, presentations, software products, performances, and other forms of creative expression).
  2. Proposal (1-2 pages). This should be intelligible to non-specialists, convey the nature and importance of the research, language training as it is broadly defined, and describe in specific terms the activities to be pursued during the summer. A brief explanation of how this additional training is integral to your degree completion (i.e., to advance to candidacy and/or to complete dissertation research) should also be included.  NOTE: If other funding sources are available to supplement SRA support (for example, Graduate School Travel Grants, departmental awards, or relevant external fellowships), the proposal should identify them and indicate that the applicant will apply for them. If no other funding sources are available, the applicant should provide a statement to that effect.
  3. Budget. This should outline in detail the costs to complete the proposed research: travel, lodging, equipment, supplies, and/or other expenses.
  4. Letters of support (2 letters, 1 page each). One of these must be from a faculty member who will supervise the proposed research.

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Award recipients must submit a two-page final report to Dean David Wright, care of Zoe Canales and their DGS. The report is due no later than the deadline listed on the call for applications. Department DGSs can provide this date for each academic year. Reports should provide an account of the outcome of the efforts supported by the award and a description of how the recipient will develop this work in the future. 

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Please direct questions to your department's DGS.

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