The Social Sciences Research Institute provides Pre-Dissertation Research (PDR) grants of up to $3,000 to support expenses related to preliminary dissertation research for graduate students in the School of Social Sciences. All subject areas and methodologies within the School will be considered equally. Normally, PDR applicants will be in their second to fourth year of graduate study. The PDR grants are intended for exploratory research that will enable the student to conduct pilot or other preliminary projects in order to better formulate a dissertation plan. This preliminary work should enable the student to prepare a stronger dissertation and/or submit more competitive dissertation research applications to other internal or external funding sources. For students who are ready to fully embark on their dissertation research project, the SSRI’s Dissertation Research Improvement Grant competition is more appropriate.
Proposals will be evaluated by the School’s Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC), chaired by the Dean of Social Sciences and a six-member panel of faculty, one from each department (Sport Management excepted).
Awards have a duration of 18 months, beginning 1 January and expiring on 30 June of the following year. No-cost extensions will not be granted and any remaining funds will be reclaimed by the SSRI. Students may only receive one PDR grant during their graduate career at Rice.
Estimated Number of Awards: TBD
Anticipated Funding Amount per Award: $3,000
Students must be a currently registered Rice University graduate student in a Social Science discipline other than Anthropology.
Submit the completed online PDR application by the deadline (the online PDR application may be found at the bottom of this page). Incomplete applications will not be considered for funding.
Prepare all materials using a minimum of 11 point Arial or Times New Roman font, with one inch margins all around. Upload as a PDF. Be sure to include the following:
The primary criteria are the significance of the proposed research, its feasibility within the planned timeframe, and its potential to enhance or improve future dissertation research and competitive funding applications. The FAC panel will more readily appreciate these aspects of the proposal if it is written clearly and for a non-specialist, academic audience.
Those who receive a PDR grant are required to submit two additional pieces of information:
1) A 1-2 page research report should be submitted to the SSRI within 60 days of the expiration of the award. There is no specific report format that must be followed, but reports typically include information such as a summary of the research and results, how the actual results differed from the expected results (if applicable), and how the preliminary results have impacted the dissertation plans. It is not necessary to provide a detailed financial report of how the funds were spent, but it is helpful to include a summary of how budget needs changed during the course of the research in the report.
2) If additional dissertation support is received from an outside agency or a Rice funding source after the SSRI PDR grant is received, please notify Chris and provide award information (sponsor, amount received, etc.).