What requirements should I meet to get a Doctoral dissertation grant?

Writing a doctoral dissertation grant can be challenging but with these tips you are sure to succeed.

  1. It is important to get to know your agency. Look at their calls for proposals to see what funding priorities they have. Call their grant representatives to confirm that you actually qualify for the project. Do not hesitate to make this call. You will regret it if you don’t make it.
  2. Take some time to think about your grant and to talk it over. Discuss it with anyone and everyone before you begin writing so that you know your experimental design is solid. Have a handful of people review the application proposal once you are done writing including friends and family and mentors.
  3. If you are doubtful at all remember that of the 63% of students who failed to receive their grant had between one and three people review their proposal while the 21% that was successful in getting their grant had seven people review it minimum before they submitted it. The remaining 32% of students who received their grants had an average of four people review their proposal.
  4. Talk to your advisers. They might be busy people too but chances are they want you to get the funding as well. They are probably writing their own grants in the meantime. So try and get together even if it is sparingly and review what you have done. Take time to review student grant proposals that are on file and see if you can learn anything from them.
  5. Be specific when you state your hypothesis. Add some of your preliminary data. Show that you can do the project and that you have thought it through. Also include relevant literature. You want the reviewers to see that you are familiar with the research in your topic.
  6. Remember to start your application well in advance. Do not try and put it all together at the last minute. You want to spend at least three months preparing the application. Very few students spend one week or one day preparing so don’t be that student. Also: make sure you do not wait just minutes prior to the deadline to submit the application. If it is done then submit it even if you have days before it is due. You do not want to leave server issues or electricity issues to chance.

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