Off-Campus Dissertation Development Awards

Fall 2020 Update

The Off-Campus Dissertation Development Award is currently suspended due to COVID-19.


Program Purpose

The School of Graduate Studies’ Off-Campus Dissertation Development Award is designed to provide support during the early stages of doctoral research to students who would materially benefit from off-campus, field-specific research opportunities. It is also designed to connect graduate students with GradFund by providing seed funding to incentivize applying for external fellowships and grants to support the dissertation project.

The Off-Campus Dissertation Development Award supports summer research activities including:

  • visiting a special archive or collection for preliminary research;
  • exploring an important research site;
  • participating in highly specialized workshops or summer programs in advanced methods;
  • enrolling in rare language courses not offered at Rutgers;
  • conducting preliminary qualitative interviews or developing pilot studies


SGS students may receive one Off-Campus Dissertation Development during their graduate program of study.  The maximum award for a student will be $2000.00.



SGS doctoral students (School 16) who plan to undertake off-campus dissertation development activities during summer 2020 are eligible to apply. 


Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be reviewed by a multi-disciplinary committee, and the reviewers will consider the following: 

  1. Demonstrated excellence of the applicant
  2. Project quality
  3. Significance of off-campus activity
  4. Feasibility of proposed activity and schedule
  5. Timeline to complete dissertation project
  6. Financial need
  7. Potential of project to lead to future extramural funding application
  8. Validity of proposed budget
  9. Quality of written proposal
  10. Graduate program endorsement



Application Components:

The Off-Campus Dissertation Development Award application consists of the following items:

  • A completed application form;
  • CV;
  • Transcripts (unofficial) of all graduate work;
  • A 2-page (single-space 11-point font) proposal that describes the project, off campus activity, stage of study, and use of funding and responds to the evaluation criteria;
  • Project Bibliography (1 page)


Application Submission Process

The Off-Campus Dissertation Development Award application portal is located here.  Students will need to create an account and then log into the site to initiate an application. 


Review Process:

Only completed applications will be reviewed. The review process is a three-stage review process.

In stage one, a technical review will confirm applicant eligibility to be considered for the award. Only eligible applicants will be moved forward to stage two.

In stage two, the application is reviewed and ranked by the applicant’s graduate program or track.  (After the March 1 deadline, Graduate Program and Track Directors who have Off Campus Dissertation Development Award applicants will be added to the application portal to access their program/track applications for evaluation and ranking.)

In stage three, the application is reviewed by the multidisciplinary SGS Off-Campus Dissertation Development Award Committee.

All decisions by the SGS Off-Campus Dissertation Development Award Committee are final and confidential.


Program Timeline

Application Deadline: December 17, 2019

Graduate Program Deadline to return rankings and comments: January 31, 2020

Applicants and Programs notified of decisions: April 8, 2020



Please send your questions about the competition or application process, to