The 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. Winners will be announced after the review committee has reached a decision in November. Winners may be asked to present their research results at a future Graduate School event.

Applications will be accepted online starting August 27, 2015. Applications are available here. Applications are due by September 24, 2015 at NOON.

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 overall quality of the research project will be the most important criteria in making the final selection.

Eligibility is restricted to doctoral students who have completed their second year of study 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  However, students who are awarded funding from this program will be withdrawn from consideration for Beverly Sears funding.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
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.

  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Confidential Letter of Support:  Request a confidential letter of support from your advisor or a faculty member familiar with your work by listing his/her contact information in the space provided on the online application. Your recommender will be sent a link to complete the recommendation. Do NOT have them send in letters separately as this will only cause delays in processing. Letters of support are due by the deadline; late letters will NOT be accepted so be sure to inform your advisor/recommender that his/her letter MUST be received 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. Advisors who are submitting recommendations for more than one student should make clear distinctions between students regarding the merits of each individual’s work.

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

Graduate School Dissertation Completion Fellowship

The application will be available here from October 7 through November 18, 2015. This fellowship is intended to provide outstanding PhD candidates with financial support to assist in the process of completing their doctoral dissertations. The fellowship consists of full support for one academic semester (either fall or spring of the following academic year), and includes a monthly stipend equal to that of the current 50% GPTI salary, tuition coverage of up to five dissertation hours, mandatory fees, and coverage under the student gold health insurance plan. Please note: students may not engage in other forms of paid employment (working, teaching, or off-campus employment) during the time they receive a Dissertation Fellowship. Additionally, any hours taken by students outside their dissertation hours will not be covered, and fellows may not accept another fellowship or grant during the same time period. The purpose of the fellowship is to allow recipients to devote their full attention to the dissertation.

Doctoral students who have been advanced to candidacy (D status) by the application deadline. Any student who is eligible may submit a nomination.

Selection Criteria
The Selection Committee will base their selection on the following:

  • the quality of the research project;
  • the quality of the candidate's CV (conference presentations, publications, awards, etc.);
  • the probability of completion within the period of the fellowship (the greater the probability, the better chance of receiving a fellowship);
  • other teaching-free fellowships that the candidate has already enjoyed (the fewer the better).

Application Procedures

Applicants are required to submit the following information through the on-line application system in a single PDF document:

1.    Applicant's Curriculum Vitae.
2.    Synopsis of dissertation (maximum 750 words). References cited will not be included in the 750 word count.
3.    Transcript (official OR unofficial).
4.    A timeline for completion of the dissertation (max one page).
5.    Information concerning any other research grants, internal or external, for which the applicant has applied, as well as information concerning any other support for dissertation writing that the applicant has already been awarded and used.

All Documents must be in the above order and be clearly designated. If your PDF does not follow the above format you will be removed from consideration.

6.   Letter of support: statement of evaluation (maximum 750 words) of the dissertation plans and the likelihood of completion within the fellowship period. This statement is to be written by: EITHER (a) the dissertation advisor OR (b) another member of the dissertation committee and uploaded prior to the deadline. In the application, enter the letter writer’s information in the appropriate section and they will be sent a link upon you submission of the application. Letters must be uploaded by November 18 at NOON.


The Deadline for submission of all materials is 12:00pm noon on Wednesday, November 18, 2015.

Applicants will be evaluated by a committee appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School. Awardees will be asked to submit a letter at the end of their fellowship tenure detailing their progress towards dissertation completion.

Graduate School Student Travel Grant

This application for travel occurring 7/1/16-12/31/16 will be open on:
May 12, 2016 from 8:30am-12:00pm for FIRST-TIME applicants only 
May 13, 2016 from 8:30am-1:30pm for ALL applicants
Domestic Travel Grant Application (including Mexico and Canada)
International Travel Grant Application (excluding Mexico and Canada)

The Graduate School offers partial funding for graduate students to present research findings at meetings or conferences outside Colorado. The Graduate School provides a travel grant of $300 for domestic conferences and $500 for international conferences. Funds will be applied directly to the student's tuition account. If the account balance is zero, a refund via direct deposit will be disbursed by the Bursar's Office. The grant is treated like a fellowship and reported to the Office of Financial Aid; therefore, please be aware it may affect your student loan package. The grant is contingent on account funding by the Graduate School.

Eligibility Requirements:

If you received travel grant funding from the Graduate School during the last application cycle (May for current fall applicants, November for current spring applicants) you may not apply during this cycle. You will need to wait until the next application cycle to apply.

    • The applicant must be a full-time graduate student in good standing, and the travel must occur while the applicant is a current student.
    • The applicant must be traveling to a meeting or conference to present his/her own work or work on which he/she is the primary author.
    • An applicant receiving significant funding (over $500 for domestic travel and $1,000 for international) from an outside source (fellowship, stipend, scholarship, grant, departmental travel grant) is not eligible.  
    • The applicant must be enrolled during the term that the travel occurs (excluding summer).  If the travel occurs during the summer (and the applicant is not enrolled), the grant will be applied to the fall bill.

Here are the required elements on the application:
1) Applicant ID and contact information
2) Dates of Conference
3) Location of Conference
4) Department travel liaison contact information
5) Academic Advisor contact information
6) Applicant must confirm in writing by marking a checkbox that they have received their advisor’s approval for the travel
7) Supporting documents showing that you will be presenting at this conference (e.g. acceptance letter/email, program, abstract etc.) 

Note: If you are planning to attend a conference, but do not have an acceptance letter/email yet – you should still apply during this window! Contact for further details on this special circumstance.

Beverly Sears Graduate Student Grant

The application will be available here from September 14 through October 28, 2015. Beverly Sears Graduate Student Grants are competitive awards sponsored by the Graduate School that support the research, scholarship and creative work of graduate students from all departments. All funding is provided by private donations. Grants range from $100 to a maximum of $1,000 per proposal. Please be sure to review the Beverly Sears Graduate Student Grant Award Guidelines and Tips for Writing Graduate Student Grant Proposals as you prepare your application package. The deadline for receipt of all materials is Wednesday, October 28, 2015 at 12:00 pm NOON.

You will need both of these forms in order to complete the application correctly:

John W. Marr Ecology Fund

Purpose: To provide grants of $300 to $1,000 for Ph.D. candidates doing field research in plant ecology in the Rocky Mountains or the Arctic and attending one of the specific universities listed below.

Biography of John W. Marr

Applications must include:

    • Curriculum Vitae
    • Research proposal of no more than 5 pages which includes: scientific goals, methods to be used, timetable and selected current literature citations
    • Itemized budget including the use of Marr fund and other potential sources of funding
    • Support letters from your major advisor and another committee member

Application deadline: Solicitations for applications are sent out each year with a submission deadline in early March.

Submit applications electronically to David Buckner (
or mail to:

John W. Marr Memorial Ecology Fund Committee
5360 Manhattan Circle, Suite 200
Boulder, CO 80303

For more information contact:

Eligible Universities:

    • University of Colorado, EBIO, Dept. of Geography, Institute of Arctic & Alpine Research
    • Colorado State University, Dept. of Biology, Dept. of Forest, Rangeland, and watershed Stewardship
    • University of Denver
    • University of Idaho, Dept. of Biological Sciences
    • Montana State University at Bozeman
    • University of Montana, Division of Biological Sciences
    • University of New Mexico, Dept. of Biology
    • University of Utah
    • Utah State University at Logan
    • Washington State University, Dept. of Botany
    • University of Wyoming, Dept. of Botany

Office of Contracts and Grants

The Office of Contracts and Grants (OCG) is available to assist Graduate Students in applying for funding from sponsors outside the University. Visit the OCG website for more information and to contact the proposal analyst assigned to your department.

<< return to top