Dissertation Grants

The Awards and Scholarships Committee offers dissertation grants to support the research needs of WSU Ph.D. students. These grants will be awarded on a rolling basis to help cover expenses generated as students work to complete their dissertation projects.

These expenses include but are not limited to; purchasing or renting equipment, licenses for data analysis software, data collection, printing questionnaire, and compensation for participants who completed questionnaires, interviews, focus groups, or other experiments.

A maximum of $500.00 will be awarded for the entire academic year. Award amounts are also subject to application volume and fund requests.

Awards may only be used towards the costs associated with the student’s dissertation research. Awards cannot be used for tuition, living expenses, journal publication fee, printing dissertation, books that are available through WSU library or interlibrary loan, and travel not directly related to the completion of the dissertation preparation.

These grants are to recognize the hard work of Ph.D. students and their valuable dissertation research.

Apply for a Dissertation Grant


Funds are available to WSU Ph.D. students for the 2023-2024 academic year who meet the following criteria:

  1. Pay the Pullman S&A fee
  2. In good standing with WSU and the Graduate School
  3. Have completed at least one semester in the doctoral program (at the time of application).
  4. To allow all graduate students to use this fund, we prioritize the applicants who have not received the Dissertation Grants in the last academic year (2022-2023). 

Reason for Rejections at the Primary Stage

  1. The submitted proposal does not have the required content (Look at Step II- Submit PDF of Dissertation Grants Proposal for more information)
  2. The requested fund is for the purpose that A&S Committee can not approve it (Listed above)
  3. Applications without reference and citation are not accepted to be reviewed, and the applicant will be banned from applying for a dissertation grant for this academic year. 
  4. As graduate students, we should be careful about plagiarism in our writing. If we notice any plagiarism in your application, we will reject the application. 
  5. If you apply for a book for your class or any book available from the WSU library, your application will be rejected. (You cannot use the dissertation grant to buy Grammarly, Overleaf, or Zotero subscriptions.)
  6. You will not be eligible for the grant if you are not a Pullman S&A fee-paying student.
  7. To create a fair reviewing environment, all the evaluation processes are double-blinded, and the general information of the applicants is separated from the context of the application form. So, suppose we find any sign in the application context that makes the applicant's identity visible to the reviewer. In that case, the application gets rejected, and the applicant will be banned from applying for a dissertation grant for this academic year. 

If you are rejected from the first screening stage, you can resubmit only once more. After the second rejection, your application will no longer be reviewed for the semester that you submitted. 

Reason for Rejection Application after Being Reviewed by Committee Members

  1. Here are the common comments of reviewers on the application based on criteria Rubric
  2. There is NO explanation of how essential receiving this award is to completing the Ph.D. thesis.
  3. The applicant has not mentioned how important or relevant this study is to the discipline as a whole.
  4. No other funding sources are explained in the proposal.
  5. It would be recommended if the applicant could provide the source (website links) for the expenses.
  6. The novelty of the research is not mentioned.
  7. The Budget Narrative does not explain clearly how the money will be spent on the particular study.
  8. Plagiarism in any form won't be acceptable.

Submitting an Application

Completed applications are to be submitted through CougPresence. It is recommended that interested students discuss award criteria with their advisors before applying. Applicants are also encouraged to work collaboratively with their advisors to ensure that the application accurately describes how the award will be used towards the completion of their dissertation.

Application Steps

The applicants should use the following link to apply for the Dissertation Grant, 2023-2024. The form asks for general information and has fields for uploading the recommendation letter and the proposal. Please review the requirements (stated below) for the recommendation letter and proposal BEFORE applying for the dissertation grant.

The applicants need to provide one letter of recommendation to the main advisor of their research project. This recommendation letter should be uploaded on the application form in a non-encrypted PDF format, and it should follow the suggested guidelines:

  • The length of the recommendation letter should be NO more than 350 words.
  • The letter should have the WSU heading and the name of the department or college.
  • The letter should have the name of the advisor with his/her signature
  • The name of the student should be mentioned in the letter. (Applicant should NOT highlight or hide his/her name on the uploaded recommendation letter. This process will be done by the Chair of the Awards and Scholarships Committee on the primary review before sending it to the committee members for the application review).
  • It should mention the importance of the requested money to GPSA for completing the Ph.D. program.
  • Reason for asking for this funding from GPSA and why another funding source for student research cannot pay for it.
  • The letter should mention whether the timeline described by the student in the proposal is viable.
  • The letter should also briefly discuss the overall soundness of the research method described in the proposal."

This dissertation grant proposal should be uploaded on the application form as a non-encrypted PDF format, and it should follow the suggested guidelines:

  • It should be a single, non-encrypted PDF file, and it is broadly used to let the GPSA committee know about the applicant's research and how the applicant plans to use the fund if awarded
  • The proposal sections are the title, purpose statement, objectives summary, methodology and research plan, timeline, budget narrative, and reference.
  • It must be double-spaced and should be less than 1000 words. (The timeline sections, budget narrative, and reference will not be counted for the 1000-word limitations).

Your proposal should be anonymous to the reviewers, so if the chair of the A&S Committee finds any sign in the proposal that shows your identity, your application will not be considered for review by our committee. Also, the rejected applicant cannot resubmit the proposal for the same academic year. 

Application Timeline

Applications for the 2023-2024 academic year will be accepted from October 2, 2023, at 11:00 PM (PDT) through April 1, 2024, at 11:00 PM, or until funds run out. 

Review Process

Each proposal will be briefly reviewed by the chair of the committee to be sure that the proposal is made based on the requirements described on the website and that there is no information on the identity of the applicant in the application form. Two GPSA Awards and Scholarship Committee committee members will review the well-formatted proposals. 

The reviewers use the criteria rubric for their evaluation; then, they report the score to the committee chair. The committee chair made the final decision based on the reviewer’s comments and scores. 

Please allow up to 15 business days for the committee to review the applications and make a final decision. If accepted, awards will be dispersed in check or direct deposit at the end of each semester.

If you have any additional comments, questions, or concerns, please get in touch with the Chair of the GPSA Awards and Scholarship Committee, Amir Hossein Moadab (gpsa.scholarships@wsu.edu).

**Limited funds are available and may not last until the closing date for applications, as funding will depend on volume of applications. We have a limited number of funds for GPSA Dissertation Grants. GPSA reserves the right to close applications early, if at any point during the academic year the GPSA Dissertation Grant funds are exhausted.