• Make sure your proposal is original, well-written and can be understood by an educated layperson. Ask a friend from outside of your department to read your proposal and explain its significance.
  • Choose a project of limited scope. For example, ask for a grant to fund the data collection phase of your dis­sertation; don’t ask for $1,000 toward the total expenses of your entire thesis or dissertation work. If your project has a large budget, identify a specific element that can be funded within the limits of this program and that will allow you to move forward with your work.
  • In the first paragraph, state your project’s basic idea or problem, its relationship to your research (thesis, dis­sertation, and creative work), the amount of funding you are requesting, and what the funds will be used for.
  • Describe the relevance of your project to research in your field or your own creative development. What is unique about your research or creative project; how will it contribute to your field?
  • Describe the methodology you will use to conduct your study.
  • Comment on your own individual skills and experience (such as foreign language skills, if relevant) and how they will contribute to your project.
  • If your project involves access to special collections or interviews with specific people, state that you have received permission to use the collections or to conduct the interviews.
  • If you request funds for conference travel, state how the conference travel will contribute to your re­search or creative work. Grants are not awarded to present findings of research that has already been completed. Grants are generally not awarded to students who are not presenting their work at the confer­ence or completing a specific element of their research by attending the conference.
  • Use the full two pages to describe your project. Use section heads to organize your proposal rather than writing two pages of straight narrative.
  • Your advisor’s letter of support is very important. Be sure to give him/her enough time and information to write a strong letter. Please make sure your recommenders are aware of your request so they may prepare properly. Support letters must be submitted by the deadline.


  • Reviewers scrutinize the budget page; itemize your expenses and quote specific prices.
  • If you request funds to cover only a portion of your budget, please explain other sources of funding. (Make it clear that your project will be able to be completed.)
  • You may add narrative to your budget page to explain or justify items in your request.
  • Please note:  equipment purchased with a Graduate Student Grant becomes the property of the univer­sity.


Be sure to read and follow submission procedures. The Graduate School cannot accept proposals that are submitted in an incorrect format. In addition, the Graduate School cannot accept proposals from students who do not meet all eligibility requirements at the time of the deadline.

Do not include additional materials beyond items described by the application format guidelines. All figures and tables included in the proposal must remain within the page limit for the project description.