The Graduate School administers two grant funds that support the research, scholarship, and creative work of graduate students from all departments. Made possible by the generosity of our donors, these funds are:

Cynthia H. Schultz Graduate Student Grant Fund

Beverly Sears Graduate Student Grant Fund

Grants are for either $1,000 or $5,000, and are competitive. If you apply for a $5,000 grant you must provide a budget that fully justifies the request. The deadline for receipt of all materials is October 22, 2021 (at 11:59PM MST).

The application will be available from September 14 through October 22, 2021.

Eligibility

Any full-time, Boulder campus, degree-seeking graduate student with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 may apply for an award. Applicants should submit an original proposal based on their research or creative work. Students in joint Bachelor’s/Master’s programs may apply for a grant if they have been admitted to graduate status and if the grant is to support Master’s degree work (such as a Master’s thesis).

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 directly related to work on a master's thesis or doctoral dissertation generally receive priority, although other projects also receive funding.

Conference travel must contribute to the applicant’s research or creative work. Grants are not awarded to present findings of research that has already been completed. Conference travel may be given lower priority in some disciplines.

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 50 miles of Boulder),
  6. computer hardware or software that is easily accessible to the student, and
  7. CU tuition expenses.

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.

Award Criteria

Applications will be evaluated by committees of faculty 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, and
  6. letter of support.

Applications that are incomplete or that do not adhere to the format will be disqualified

To Apply

The application 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.

  1. Prepare all the files to be uploaded during the online application process upload as 1 PDF:
    1.  Include a two-page description of the project for which you are requesting funds, following these guidelines:
      1. Write your proposal in language a non-expert can understand;
      2. Write a maximum of two single-spaced pages, figures and tables must be included within the two page limit;
      3. Use a type font of 11 points or larger;
      4. If your proposal requests funds to attend a conference, explain how the conference will materially benefit your thesis or dissertation research.
    2. Include a reference or bibliography page only for citations of the work of other scholars found in your project description.
    3. Include an itemized budget explaining the expenses of your project. Quote specific prices, etc. You may request either $1,000 or $5,000 per proposal. You should include information regarding other sources of funding for your project.
    4. Include your current academic transcript (official or unofficial). Graduate students who are completing their first semester may also submit a copy of their undergraduate transcript.
  2. Request a confidential letter of support from your advisor or from another faculty member who is familiar with your work. Provide your advisor's (or other faculty member's) e-mail in the space allotted in this application, and they will automatically be sent a link prompting them to attach their letters to your application.  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. Be sure to tell your advisor that his/her letter must be received by the proposal deadline (at 11:59PM MST). The Graduate School will no longer accept letters of support after the posted deadline. Do not have your recommender email his/her letter separately. 
  3. 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.