Application Form

Purpose and General Information

The purpose of the Thesis/Dissertation Grant Program is to support the scholarly research of graduate students at Northeastern University. This grant program is a collaboration among the Office of the Provost for Research and Graduate Education, the Graduate Student Government, and the individual colleges. It is designed to help full-time graduate students meet the costs associated with completing their thesis or dissertation research, to improve the quality and impact of their research, and/or to support research endeavors intellectually independent of the adviser.

Allowed expenses include, but are not limited to, research-related expenses associated with:

  • travel to special library or museum collections, archives, laboratories or other research facilities
  • access to libraries, databases, or other information sources not otherwise available
  • hiring consultants or special services
  • remuneration of research subjects or supporting undergraduate research assistants
  • the purchase of specialized reagents, supplies, software, or equipment not otherwise available (which will remain the property of the University)

Expenses not allowed on the grant include:

  • paying oneself a stipend or salary
  • tuition or fees
  • rent, car or commuter expenses, child care or allowances for dependents
  • routine living expenses or per diem (except those for research-related travel that are in excess of typical living expenses in the vicinity of the home campus—if this is the case, provide explanation in the budget justification)
  • conference travel
  • typing or duplication of the dissertation
  • purchase of software or specialized equipment that is already available on campus
  • purchase of computers or other routine or personal electronics, equipment or office supplies

Proposals to fund specialized training will be eligible for consideration only if such training is clearly necessary for the applicant’s thesis/dissertation research. Training that contributes to the applicant’s overall professional development but does not directly support the thesis/dissertation research is not eligible for funding. Students who require advanced training in language, statistics, or experimental methods should first consult the offerings of the relevant departments. Eligible training must not be available at Northeastern University. Moreover, use of funds to pay additional personnel (research assistants, consultants, special services) must be explicitly explained in budget justification.

Important Dates

Deadline for Summer/Fall 2019: March 1st, 2019 at 5:00pm 
Reimbursement Program Dates: May 1st, 2019 – April 30th, 2020


Applicants for the thesis/dissertation research awards must be full-time students in good academic standing. Master’s students or doctoral students who have not yet achieved doctoral candidacy are eligible to apply up to $1,500. Students who have completed required program course work & exams and have achieved doctoral candidacy at the time of application are eligible to apply for up to $3,000. Students enrolled in programs without dissertation/thesis requirements for graduation are not eligible (i.e. certificate programs, PSM programs, CPS). Students can be awarded only once.

Application Materials

  1. Project Title and Abstract
  2. Project Description
  3. Itemized Budget and Justification
  4. Letter of Support from Academic Adviser
  5. CV
  6. Human or animal subject research protocol approval (if applicable).

All documents should be submitted electronically. The project abstract, project description, budget, CV and protocol approval (if applicable) should come in one PDF file; the supporting letter needs to be mailed directly from the applicant’s adviser to the Vice Provost-340 Renaissance Park.


The abstract should be no more than 250 words. The abstract should include a very brief summary description of the project including and significance or potential impact of the proposed project, specific aims or goals, general methods to be employed, and expected outcome(s).

Project Description

This section should outline briefly the past work in the field (i.e. practical, theoretical and empirical work) as a framework for discussing why the work outlined in the proposal is important to the field of study and to the world in general. The project description should also include the specific aims or goals for the proposed project and provide a clear, detailed account of the methodology to be employed and how those methods will lead to the expected outcomes. A reference list should be included (if appropriate), but references are not subject to the page limitations.

The project description must be no longer than two pages, single-spaced, with 12 pt Times or Arial font. Page margins must be greater than 1 inch. The description should be written so that readers outside the discipline can comprehend the proposed research project. It should clearly indicate the relationship of the research project to completion of the degree.

Itemized Budget and Justification

Masters students and pre-candidacy doctoral students are eligible to request up to $1,500. Doctoral candidates may request up to $3,000. This section must contain itemized budget and describe how the potential award will facilitate the research project and why any supplies and materials expenses cannot be supplied by other sources within the University. If the budget exceeds the maximum for the Thesis/Dissertation Research Grant Award, please indicate other sources of support.

Letter of Support from the Adviser

The letter of support from the research adviser should describe the status of the research project and its prospective impact. If the student’s adviser is currently supported by external sources of funds (i.e., state, federal or private grants or contracts), the adviser must indicate to what extent the student is or is not able to be supported by these funds. The letter should also include a confirmation of the applicant’s degree objective and progress in the program.


A one-page description of the applicant’s education, honors, publications and presentations.

Human or animal subject research protocol approval (if applicable)

Proposed research involving the use of human subjects or vertebrate animals requires approval from Northeastern University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB), or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).

Sample Applications from Past Awardees

Review Process

Proposals are evaluated by an interdisciplinary review committee, and thus should be written for clear understanding by reviewers outside of the applicant’s field of study. Limit use of jargon and acronyms. The interdisciplinary review committee will consist of administrators, faculty, staff and peers (selected doctoral candidates).

Evaluative criteria shall include, but not be limited to:

  • Quality and feasibility of the proposed research project and design
  • Originality/creativity of proposal and potential for impact within and outside the field of study
  • Clear statement of the project objectives, methods and procedures to be used, accessible to reviewers from other disciplines
  • Clarity, rationality and appropriateness of the budget

Funding Period

Applicants should apply at the Summer/Fall or Spring deadlines for funding in the upcoming semester. Applicants will be notified after a review period of approximately one month. The award period is one year from when funds are made available.

Awards will be transferred to the applicant’s department. Normal rules and procedures for business expenses apply. The recipient’s departmental business office will be able to provide detailed information on how funds can be used to pay allowable expenses.

All award recipients must submit a one-page final report to the Office of the Provost for Research and Graduate Education at the conclusion of the award period. This report should describe the research that was actually facilitated by the availability of the funding and provide an update on the status of the research project.

Questions concerning the application or application process should be directed to the Office of the Provost for Research and Graduate Education.

Contact: Margaret Wald,