RFP for University-Based Dissertation Proposal Development Training Programs

The new University Initiative of the Social Science Research Council’s Dissertation Proposal Development (DPD) Program requests proposals from US-based universities to establish on-campus dissertation research proposal training programs. The University Initiative will partner with five universities over three years to design and institutionalize innovative, interdisciplinary approaches to research proposal training for humanities and social science graduate students. Programs developed at participating universities will serve as models for emulation by additional graduate institutions.

Drawing from the SSRC’s rich history of cultivating scholarship and research networks across disciplines, the University Initiative builds upon the DPD Program’s 10 years of experience creating training workshops and research opportunities for graduate students at the proposal development stage.

Program Terms

The University Initiative will take place over three years, during which the DPD Program will provide guidance and advice in program design, coordinate collaboration between participating universities, and subsidize most of the initial financial costs, with the expectation that each participating university will sustain their program independently by the initiative’s closing. More information on the initiative’s structure and timeline is available on its website.

The DPD Program anticipates covering costs of up to $130,000 per university over the three-year initiative.


The University Initiative is open only to institutions based in the United States. The primary target audience for the proposed training program must be students within PhD programs in the humanities and social sciences who have not yet defended a dissertation prospectus or submitted a funding proposal to conduct major dissertation research.

A proposed program may be housed within any appropriate institutional entity of the university (e.g., graduate school or research center). Only one application per university will be accepted. More information on eligibility and selection criteria is located on theUniversity Initiative’s website.

How to Apply

For more details about the University Initiative, including guidelines for applicants, please visit http://www.ssrc.org/fellowships/view/dpd-university-initiative/.

The deadline for applications is October 28, 2016. This will be the only opportunity for universities to apply to participate in the initiative.

DPD Program staff are available to work with interested universities as they prepare their applications. Please contact staff at uidpd@ssrc.org with any questions.


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