These frequently asked questions will be helpful to PhD students who are considering applying for the APSA Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant. To download a PDF version of this page, click here.
APSA expects the Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grants to represent the wide range of methods and approaches to empirical political science, including, but not limited to, quantitative and experimental approaches, archival and historical research, interpretive and ethnographical approaches, and qualitative interview and field research. APSA also welcomes uncommon and emerging research approaches. Substantive areas of funded, research will include, but will not be limited to: American government and politics; comparative government and politics; Indigenous politics; international relations; race, ethnicity, and politics; urban and local politics; women and politics research; political violence; conflict processes; public administration; public policy; political behavior; political economy; political institutions; and sexuality and politics.
APSA Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grants are intended to support basic, empirically-oriented, research. This grant cannot support applied research. Basic research is experimental or theoretical work undertaken primarily to acquire new knowledge of the underlying foundations of phenomena and observable facts, without any particular application or use in view. Although basic research could result in a solution to a practical problem, that is not its primary aim. Applied research is designed to answer specific questions aimed at solving practical problems. Applied research is likely to directly make improvements on existing products, technologies and processes.
The APSA Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grants are available to all US-based graduate students who are at the point of initiating or are already conducting empirical dissertation research. Applicants must meet the following qualifications to be eligible for the grant:
- Applicants must be enrolled and in good academic standing at a doctoral degree granting university at the time of application.
- Applicants must be at a university accredited in and having a campus located in the United States.
- Applicants must have completed all preliminary degree requirements at the time of their application, including having successfully completed comprehensive exams and a dissertation prospectus defense.
APSA is committed to supporting the most promising dissertation research projects, with a particular focus on supporting a broadly diverse group of scholars by ensuring that the applicants, grant panel, and grantees represent diverse demographic backgrounds and scholars from underrepresented populations, institutions, geographic areas, research interests, and methodologies.
Yes, as long as you are at a university accredited in, and having a campus located in the United States, you are eligible for the grant.
Yes, you are eligible to re-apply so long as you still meet all of the application requirements. Grantees are not eligible to receive a second grant.
Yes, the grant can be held concurrently with other awards and funding sources, though you are required to inform APSA of all additional sources of funding.