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Graduate School Doctoral Dissertation Completion Grants

Program Summary

The Doctoral Dissertation Completion Grant program provides both funding and intensive mentoring to doctoral candidates who are within six months of completing their dissertations. It is designed to enable candidates to focus full time on the writing of their dissertations, improving the quality of the dissertation and shortening the time required to complete the doctoral degree.


  • This grant is for students who have demonstrated difficulties in completing the dissertation and would benefit from the intensive mentoring and the six months dedicated to writing that are provided by this program.
  • Grants are available to doctoral candidates (ABD) who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents in any field of study.
  • To be eligible for a grant, students must have collected all data, completed all major research, and be in their final year of dissertation writing and must have completed all course requirements, as well as preliminary written and oral exams.
  • Eligibility is limited to those who have the potential for completing the dissertation within the 6-month grant period.
  • Grant recipients may not simultaneously hold assistantships or be engaged in outside employment during the tenure of their awards.

The student’s committee chair must be prepared to participate fully in this program and do all he or she can to expedite the student’s progress, including meeting with the student frequently and returning drafts in a timely manner.

Program Requirements

As grantees, the students must agree to:

  • Attend all biweekly small group writing meetings
  •  Read and comment on three (3) other group members’ drafts and share feedback at the meetings. 
  • Attend all regularly scheduled, counseling center-facilitated support group meetings with other program participants;
  • Reach out to meet individually with the designated writing coaches as needed
  • Actively support other grantees in meeting the shared goal of completing their dissertations.

Participants’ progress towards completion of the dissertation, as well as the extent to which they are participating in all program activities, will be continually evaluated. Should a student not be making satisfactory progress and/or participating in program activities, the grant may be terminated.


A total of 16 grants will be awarded to doctoral candidates in 2023-2024. Eight awards will be made for the period July 1 to December 31, 2023, and another eight awards made for the period January 1 to June 30, 2024. Students will receive a stipend in the amount of $10,000 during their grant period, which will be disbursed in monthly installments. In addition to the stipend, health insurance and tuition will be covered by the grant.

Application Process

Students may be nominated for only one grant period. The Graduate School will send a call for nomination to the Directors of Graduate Programs for the grant. For more information about the grant, please contact Dr. David Shafer in the Graduate School via e-mail at

Application Deadlines and Review

Applications will be reviewed by a committee appointed by the Graduate School. Grant periods for 2023-24 are as follows: July 1 to December 31, 2023, and January 1 to June 30, 2024. The deadline for receipt of nominations for the first grant period is May 18, 2023, and for the second grant period is October 17, 2023. Awards will be announced by June 2023 and November 2023, respectively.

For further information, please contact Dr. David Shafer, Assistant Dean of the Graduate School, at 919-515-4462 or via e-mail at