SBE Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grants

Economics Program
Division of Social and Economic Sciences
Nancy A. Lutz, Program Director
Florenz Plassmann, Program Director
Andrew Feltenstein, Program Director

Economics Dissertation Target Dates: January 18th and August 18th

This program is designed to improve the quality of dissertation research. These grants provide funds for items not normally available through the student's university. Additionally, these grants allow doctoral students to undertake significant data-gathering projects and to conduct field research in settings away from their campus that would not otherwise be possible. The program does not provide cost-of-living or other stipends or tuition. Outstanding proposals specify how the knowledge to be created advances economics science.

Proposals for Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grants in Economics should follow the directions for submissions in the Doctoral Dissertation Program Announcement (NSF 06-605) and Grant Proposal Guide (GPG), especially the instructions for spacing (single-spaced), length (15 pages for the project description), font size (12 point is best, no smaller than 15 characters/2.5 cm), biographical sketches , and proposal summary. The summary must address in separate paragraphs the “intellectual merit” and the “broader impacts.” Proposals that violate these regulations, in an attempt to squeeze in more information, antagonize reviewers and may be returned without consideration.

The following bulleted items provide additional information on Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grants in Economics:

  • Target Date : January 18th and August 18th. Decisions about support or declines are made within six months of each target date.
  • List the dissertation advisor as Principal Investigator as Co-Principal Investigator. It should be clear however that the proposal is written by, and the research conducted by, the student.
  • Proposal Title should read, "Doctoral Dissertation Research in Economics: ...." All proposals must be submitted electronically via Fastlane or
  • If you have additional questions, please contact one of the program directors listed above.

Use a clear and concise writing style. Reviewers will include economists from a variety of specialty areas. It is possible that no specialist from your particular area of research will be on the panel. Defining key terms and keeping your proposal free of jargon will ensure that all reviewers will be able to understand your proposal and evaluate it fairly.

One of the areas in which the proposal will be evaluated is your competence to carry out the research. Be sure to include any other information that can help reviewers evaluate how well prepared you are to conduct the research.

At the end of the proposal, include only references cited. Do not attach any appendix unless you have received permission from the NSF program director. Proposals without explicit permission for appendices may be held up or returned. Remember that reviewers are not obligated to read appendices, so critically important information should be in the body of the proposal.

* Note: Students doing international research, having a formal affiliation with a foreign research institution, may be eligible for additional funding. Please contact the appropriate program in NSF's Office of International Science and Engineering (OISE)