Dean Grad Student Research Grant 2013-2014


This contest is closed.

Dean’s Graduate Student Research Grant Awards

The Dean’s Graduate Student Research Grant Awards are competitive awards sponsored by the Graduate School that support the research, scholarship and creative work of graduate students from all departments.  Grants range up to $10,000 per proposal.  Funding is limited and we anticipate making a small number of awards in the $5,000-10,000 range.  


Eligibility is restricted to doctoral students who have advanced to candidacy by the date of the application deadline, or graduate students in other terminal degree programs (e.g., MFA).  Applicants must be full-time, Boulder campus, degree-seeking graduate students with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5.   Funds will be placed in a research account for awardee’s use, and must be utilized prior to graduation.  Any funds not utilized by this date will be returned to the graduate school.

Applicants may also apply for a Beverly Sears grant this fall.  However, students who are awarded funding from this program will be withdrawn from consideration for Beverly Sears funding.

All proposals that involve the use of human subjects or animals must be approved by the appropriate committee before an award can be made.  If you are in the process of receiving approval when you apply, you must state that in the application and notify the graduate school once you have the approval.  Students whose human research has been approved must include their IRB protocol number on the application form.

Types of Projects Funded

Almost any type of research or creative project may be funded. Projects must directly relate to work on a thesis or doctoral dissertation.

Types of expenses not eligible for funding:  (1) reimbursement for expenses incurred before awards are announced (2) thesis or dissertation preparation expenses such as typing or copying, (3) salary or stipend payments to the applicant, (4) salary to others for work that the applicant should do for professional development, (5) local travel expenses (travel within 60 miles of Boulder), (6) computer hardware or software that is easily accessible to the student, (7) CU tuition expenses, (8) Conference travel.

 Any equipment purchased with a Graduate Student Grant becomes the property of the university. All university fiscal policies regarding purchasing, travel, etc., apply to the distribution of funds for these awards.

Application Format

There are two components to the process.  The online application for initial consideration and an oral presentation for those applicants selected to move to the second phase of the contest.

 I) Online application

The application for a Graduate Student Research Grant has several parts:  project description, reference or bibliography page (if appropriate), budget page, transcript, and confidential letter of support.  Do not include a cover page, appendices, or any other additional documentation. (inclusion of material not requested or allowed by these guidelines will disqualify the application)  Fine Arts students may attach up to 3 pages of photos of their work and Music students may provide links to audio files.

 v  Project Description: Write a two-page description of the project for which you are requesting funds, following these guidelines:

          write your proposal in language a non-expert can understand  

          write a maximum of two single-spaced pages; figures and tables must be included within the two page limit

          use a type font of 11 points or larger

 v  Reference or Bibliography Page:  Include a reference or bibliography page only for citations of the work of other scholars found in your project description. This page is not included in the two-page maximum limit.

 v  Budget Page:  Upload an itemized budget request and explain the expenses for which you are requesting funds. Quote specific prices, equipment model numbers, etc. Budget requests must be for a minimum of $5,000 and for a maximum of $10,000. Include information regarding other sources of funding for your project.

 v  Transcript:  Obtain a current academic transcript (official or unofficial). Transcripts must include the current, active semester.  If the transcript does not show the current semester, students may submit a transcript showing past work along with separate proof of current enrollment. Transcripts may not be sent separately from your proposal. Transcripts downloaded from MYCUINFO will be accepted. Graduate students who are completing their first semester may also submit copies of their undergraduate transcripts.

 v  Confidential Letter of Support:  Request a confidential letter of support from your advisor or a faculty member familiar with your work. Ask your advisor to email the letter separately from the proposal and to send it as an attachment. These should NOT be sent in the body of the email. Be sure to tell your advisor that his/her letter must be received by the proposal deadline. The Graduate School will no longer accept letters of support after the posted deadline. It is the student’s responsibility to make sure that all materials have been received by the Graduate School by the deadline.  The advisor's letter should address the specific merits of the proposal and the abilities and potential of the student applicant. The advisor should also provide information about other financial support the student is receiving for his/her research. Advisor’s who are submitting recommendations for more than one student should make clear distinctions between students regarding the merits of each individual’s work.  Letters of support can be emailed to

Online application materials are due by Friday, October 4th at 12:00 pm.  

 II) Presentation at the Dean’s Research Symposium, November 15, 2013, 3:00-6:00. (for those selected to advance)

Students chosen to advance to the second part of the selection process will be invited to the Dean’s Research Symposium on November 15, 2013 from 3:00-6:00 to give a five minute presentation on the project that they are requesting funding for.  Presentations should be geared towards a wide audience.  Attendance at the symposium is mandatory in order to be eligible to receive an award.  While there will only be a select number of proposals that will be fully-funded, all other presenters will receive a set award amount for participating in the symposium.  Those proposals selected for full-funding will be chosen and announced at the end of the symposium’s program.

Award Criteria

Applications and presentations will be evaluated by a committee according to the following criteria:  (1) overall quality and clarity of proposal, (2) importance of project to the student's professional development, (3) student's academic record, (4) appropriateness of the proposed budget, (5) adherence to the prescribed format, (6) letter of support. Applications that are incomplete or that do not adhere to the format instructions will be disqualified. 

The oral presentation will be considered by the committee, but it will not be determinative. The overall quality of the research project will be the most important criteria in making the final selection.


Online application deadline is October 4, 2013.  Applicants who are selected to move forward to the presentation phase will be notified by November 1, 2013.  Winners will be announced at the conclusion of the Dean’s Research Symposium on November 15, 2013. 


 Contact Patty Krus in the Graduate School,  for assistance with questions about the program.