Graduate Student Research Awards (GSRA)



GSRA awards assist graduate students with expenses related to their research that their departments are unable to meet. Qualifying expenses include those associated with conducting research in the applicant’s field of study and/or doctoral dissertation. Those enrolled in doctoral programs are not eligible for funding in their first year of study. GSRAs cannot be used retroactively; that is, they cannot 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.  Applicants are required to notify ISLA of any funding received from another source; in most cases ISLA will adjust or rescind its award.

Maximum value: $4000

Application deadlines:  October 11, 2016 & March 6, 2017

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 project description of no more than 3 double-spaced pages in length, 11 or 12 point font, with 1“ margins (ANYTHING OVER THE 3 PAGE LIMIT WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED). 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 project description should include all of the following:
  1. An introduction that provides a statement of the proposed work's objectives and anticipated significance.

  2. A background section that gives 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.

  3. A methodology section that offers a detailed description of the research methods/approach or creative techniques to be used, and includes 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.

  4. A clear statement of research goals which answers the following: 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?

  5. PLEASE NOTE:  If you are applying for funding from other sources, you must indicate this in the proposal, specifying the amounts you have requested and the dates by which you expect to know the outcome of those applications. 

  • curriculum vitae that describes your education, work experience, etc.

  • letter of recommendation from your faculty advisor. This 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 letters for more than one applicant, the advisor should write a single letter evaluating and ranking the projects of the students and indicating where funding would best be allocated.

  • A budget that lists 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