Off-Campus Dissertation Development Awards

Off-Campus Dissertation Development Awards are intended for SGS students at the beginning of their doctoral research who would materially benefit from field-specific research opportunities. It is also designed to connect graduate students with our GradFund office, providing seed funding that will help our students secure additional grants and fellowships from external funders.

The Off-Campus Dissertation Development Award will replace our Pre-Dissertation and Special Study awards, making it the primary award for doctoral students who need to:

  • visit a special archive or collection for preliminary research
  • explore an important research site
  • participate in highly specialized workshops or summer programs in advanced methods
  • enroll in rare language courses not offered at Rutgers
  • conduct preliminary qualitative interviews or develop pilot studies

These new awards will come with up to $2,000 in funding per student. Graduate students are limited to one award total during the course of their graduate careers.

Graduate students who are awarded funding should plan to work with GradFund to identify dissertation level grants and fellowships that they will apply for during the 2018-2019 academic year to support dissertation work during the 2019-2020 academic year.

Students who have previously won Pre-Dissertation and Special Study funding may apply for Off-Campus Dissertation Development Awards; however, the review committee will take into account their previous funding to ensure that they do not exceed the $2,000 limit.


The Fall 2018 competition will open in early October. For more details, please check back in a few weeks, sign up for our GradNews e-newsletter, follow us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook.


Application Review Criteria

The purpose of this award is to provide seed money to support graduate students in the early stages of their dissertation project development.

Your two-page statement should clearly describe your project, stage of study, and use of funding. Your application will be reviewed by a multi-disciplinary committee, and the reviewers will consider the following: 

  • relevance of the proposed off-campus project to the student’s dissertation research
  • potential for off-campus project to contribute substantially to the development of the dissertation
  • potential of project to lead to future extramural funding
  • availability of other funds to support the project