Category Archives: Workshops

SSRC- Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship

ssrc_logoThe Social Science Research Council funds many different programs for graduate students in the social sciences and the humanities. The DPDF is a great mid-program resource for those past the point of applying for early program grants and not yet dissertating.

From their website:

The Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship (DPDF) Student Fellowship Competition is organized to help graduate students in the humanities and social sciences formulate effective research proposals through exploratory research and exchanges with other scholars within interdisciplinary areas of study.

Each year, the program offers dissertation proposal development workshops led by pairs of tenured senior faculty who define emerging or reinvigorated interdisciplinary research fields. These research field directors lead groups of 12 graduate students through two multi-day workshops during the fellowship cycle. The spring workshop helps students focus their research questions and prepare them for summer exploratory research that will inform the design of dissertation proposals. The fall workshop helps students apply their summer research experiences to writing dissertation research proposals for their departments or funding agencies. Students may apply for up to $5,000 to cover summer research costs. Travel, accommodations, and meals for both workshops are covered by the DPDF Program.

Working together with faculty research directors, graduate students design research that will help to shape evolving fields in the humanities and social sciences. All of the program’s activities seek to create professional networks that will have value throughout the participants’ research careers.

Check out the DPDF and other SSRC programs at the SSRC website, including international research grants and field-specific research and writing grants.


Deadline: February 3, 2014.

Reminder: Intro to Grant Writing Sessions next week

72749_438069952943719_326566882_nIf you missed our Intro to Grantwriting session in February, you’re in luck! We are offering it again in April. This session is the second half of a 2-part series and focuses on the basics of grant proposal writing (if you need an introduction to seeking and applying for grants, check out Part I: Intro to Grant Searching). We are offering the Part II: Intro to Grant Writing session twice – with one session in the morning and one in the afternoon. Pre-registration is required. Please register via this link:

Intro to Grant Writing
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
9:30-11:00 am/Campus Center Rm 165-169

Wednesday, April 24, 2013
4:30-6:00 pm/Campus Center Rm 165-169

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) Info Session Next Thursday

nsf1Thursday, April 18, 2013
4:30-6:00 pm
Location: Machmer Hall W32

Register here.

Description: Information and advice on how to apply for the  National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship from a panel of faculty and previous fellows.

Sponsored by the National Science Foundation — but not for scientists only! — this program provides three years of support for graduate study leading to research-based master’s or doctoral degrees and is intended for students who have not yet completed the first term of their second year of grad school and do not yet have a graduate degree. Only U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible.

Eligible non-science fields (included under the heading “Social Sciences”) include: History of Science, International Relations, Public Policy, Philosophy of Science, Anthropology, Communications, Linguistics, and more.

Deadlines for these fellowships are in early and mid-November, and are grouped by field. See the complete program solicitation here. Check the Appendix for the complete list of eligible fields. For a user-friendly overview of the program, click here.

Note that this is a research-related fellowship. Disease-related research, clinical and counseling psychology, and other professional programs are ineligible for this fellowship.


Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Challenges Program Info Session

rCol_large_explorationsSandra Laney, program officer for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, will visit Smith College on Monday, April 22nd to share information about the Grand Challenges Explorations program with groups of Five College students, faculty and staff.  The program fosters innovation in global health and development research by awarding $100,000 grants in support of ideas that have the potential to fight our greatest health and development challenges.  Successful applicants have the opportunity to apply for a follow-up award of up to $1,000,000. The next deadline for applications is May 7th.

There will be an informal coffee hour and opportunity to talk with Sandra from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. on April 22nd.   Sandra’s presentation, Calling All Innovators:  Faculty, Students, Administrators, will be from 11 a.m. – noon.  A lunch will follow and Sandra will be available until 2 p.m. for informal conversation in smaller groups.

Date:        Monday, April 22nd

Location:  The Smith College Conference Center on Paradise Lane


10 a.m. – 11 a.m.    Coffee and conversation

11 a.m. – noon       Presentation on the Grant Challenges Explorations program

12 p.m. – 2 p.m.     Lunch and small group conversations

RSVP to Penney Roberts – – by April 11, 2013 if you will attend any or all of the events.  In particular, please indicate if you will be attending lunch.

Reminder: Register for Start Your Grant Writing Workshops


Want to start writing a grant application to an external (non-UMass) funder but don’t know where to start? Trying to get a proposal in shape to submit and don’t know how to get the reviewer’s attention with the all-important first paragraph? Then attend GrantSearch’s Start Your Grant Writing Workshop!

Choose the workshop appropriate to your field:

  • For STEM/Health Sciences Students
    • Tuesday, April 16th, 4:30-6:00 pm
  • For Humanities and Fine Arts, Isenberg School of Management, and Social and Behavioral Sciences students
    • Tuesday, April 17th, 9:30-11:00 am

This hands-on writing session will:

  • inspire and motivate you to get started on applying for external funding for your research;
  • show you how to craft a paragraph that will grab the reviewer and make him/her want to read more;
  • give you practice giving and receiving feedback with a peer partner (don’t worry – we encourage constructive critiques and establish a collegial atmosphere!);
  • provide you with a skill that will become part of your academic tool kit, which you can use to prepare funding proposals, apply for jobs, submit a conference paper, or impress that major scholar you got lucky enough to meet in an elevator.

This workshop is limited to 20 participants and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.  Please come prepared with at least a rough idea of the research you want to seek funding for.   

Please register here.
The location of the event will be emailed to the first 20 students who register (based on the time each student’s email is received by GSGS).  Once we have a list of 20, other students will be put on an alternate list and will also be notified of their alternate status.

NOTE: We will assume that you have a basic understanding of the application process for external grants and fellowships. No instruction on this topic will be given at the workshop. For general information on grants and fellowships, go to the Downloads page and review the “Intro to Grant Writing for Grad Students – the Basics” PDF file and other handouts available there (you’ll need a reader such as Adobe Acrobat).