Graduate Student Research Awards (GSRA)

These awards are available to assist graduate students with expenses related to their research that their departments are unable to meet. Expenses that qualify include those associated with conducting research in the applicant’s field of study and/or doctoral dissertation. GSRAs can not be used retroactively; that is, they can not be used to pay for research expenses which have already been incurred. Funding for the purchase of computers, cameras, and other electronic equipment will not be provided.

Maximum value: $4,500

Application deadlines:  October 9, 2015 & March 4, 2016

Application procedure

Graduate students should submit all application documents as email attachments to Therese Blacketor.  Applications should be clearly written and carefully proofread and should include the following items:

  • A GSRA Cover Sheet completed legibly and accurately
  • curriculum vitae that describes your education, work experience, etc.
  • A project description of no more than 3 double-spaced pages in length, 11 or 12 point font, with 1 “ margins. An effective proposal will answer the fundamental questions: what question/problem does the project address?; how does the applicant propose to answer/solve it?; why does it matter?  The proposal should be written in prose accessible to an educated nonspecialist reader. Clarity, critical rigor, and originality count. Do not assume that because the proposed research pertains to an approved dissertation topic, its worthiness will be self-evident to a reviewer outside your discipline.
  • The introduction should provide a statement of the proposed work's objectives and anticipated significance.
  • The background section should provide a brief review of work/literature that has been done in the area of your project, together with complete references in appropriate professional style. Your previous research or experience pertinent to the proposal should also be noted in this section. If applying for a project in visual arts, music, theater or film, you may include two examples of previous work in the form of slides, photos, audio, or video.
  • The methodology section should give a detailed description of the research methods/approach or creative techniques to be used, and include a justification for this specific approach: How will these methods answer the questions you have posed, test the hypothesis, or lead to the desired goal? You should also provide a schedule that includes specific dates for the initiation and completion of each phase of the project.
  • A clear statement of your research goals must be provided. What will be the outcome of this work? Do you expect it to contribute to a seminar or other class-based research paper or to a dissertation chapter? Do you expect to present your findings at a conference? If so, which one and when? Do you intend to submit your work for publication in a journal? Are you planning a public performance of your work?
  • Your budget should list estimated costs of all materials, travel, and other expenses likely to be incurred while completing the project. The budget proposal should itemize and justify each expense. If an item is denominated in a foreign currency, please provide the USD equivalent, including the exchange rate.
  • Transcription and translation fees are acceptable in a proposal's budget when accompanied by a compelling rationale for the expense in terms of the applicant's research goals. 
  • Documentation should be provided for airfare and accommodation costs. However, we do not want pages of potential costs, so please distill and synthesize the best travel prices and itineraries for reviewers. Foreign currencies should be converted to USD, indicating the exchange rate. If travel will be done with your own vehicle, provide an estimate of your fuel costs and tolls; ISLA cannot reimburse the current mileage rate.  To estimate the cost of meals and incidentals, we would reimburse 1/3 to 1/2 of the U.S. government per diem rates
  • If you are applying for funding from other sources for the project, you should indicate that in the proposal, specifying the amounts your have requested as well as the dates by which you expect to know the outcome of those applications.
  • A letter of recommendation from your faculty advisor should be sent as an email attachment to Therese Blacketor. Applications cannot be considered until the letter has been received. If the faculty advisor has been asked to write a letter of recommendation by more than one applicant, he/she should write a single letter evaluating and ranking the projects of his/her advisees and indicating where funding would best be allocated.
  • Copy of IRB approval if your research involves interaction with people (e.g., interviews, surveys, or observing non-public behavior) OR an email from your advisor stating that your specific research project does not need IRB approval.  To determine if your project requires IRB approval, please review this flowchart. The IRB meets once a month and requires at least 10 business days before the meeting to review submitted protocols. Please use the Office of Research's online application form for Human Subjects (IRB) Approval. If IRB approval is required, grant funding will not be disbursed until the Office of Research approves your IRB application. IRB approval must be specifically given to YOU the student. We can no longer accept IRB approvals simply made in the name of a supervising professor.  If you are working on a project for which your professor has IRB approval, please ask the professor to have your name added to the IRB protocol. Questions regarding the necessity of IRB approval for your research may be sent to