Graduate Grants-in-Aid Call for Proposals

This call for proposals is closed.

Georgetown Environment Initiative Graduate Student Grant-in-Aid

Award amount:          $15,000 maximum
Submittal deadline:     April 17, 2015
Funding period:           May 2015 – May 2016
Funding source:          Georgetown Environment Initiative

These graduate student grants-in-aid will support graduate student research related to environment across all Georgetown University doctoral programs. This opportunity is designed for doctoral students who have a demonstrated commitment to academic research related to the environment.

Proposals can be submitted for the following types of support:  

• Support for research supplies or instrumentation use costs.

• Support for travel directly related to research (e.g. field work, visit to archive or library).

• Support for travel to a conference or meeting where the applicant will present research work.

• Travel and registration costs for a specialized skills or methodology course (e.g. advanced statistical methods, GIS, or agent-based modeling) that directly enhances the student’s educational and professional development.

• Stipend support for one summer in order to engage in an off-campus internship or activity that involves a research or scholarship component where the student is mentored by a tenure-line faculty member and the research is directly related to the student's dissertation.

• Support for a summer research mentorship where a graduate student receives summer stipend support and a research supplies allowance in order to serve as a mentor to an undergraduate student working with the same faculty mentor. This type of request requires a formal mentoring plan and justification of how serving as a mentor will further the applicant's career goals.

• Stipend support for one academic semester or one summer, with justification of why such stipend support is required.

Applications must include a written proposal of a research project highlighting its environment components and clearly identifying specific objectives and goals. Applications should also provide a brief explanation of how the project relates to the applicants graduate work and career goals.

Applications should explain the timeline for their proposed activities in the proposal. An example would be a proposing research activities during the academic year followed by travel to a summer conference to present the results.

Applications that support interdisciplinary collaboration among graduate students or with faculty members from different departments or fields are especially encouraged to apply.

Eligibility: Open to current doctoral graduate students enrolled full-time in a doctoral degree granting program, and in good academic standing. Students who have an environment focus, broadly defined, in any graduate program are encouraged to apply.

Selection criteria: A panel of faculty from diverse academic fields will select grant-in-aid recipients. When writing your proposal, keep in mind that it should be accessible to a broad audience of academic readers. Do not assume that reviewers will have background in your field of study.

The selection criteria include:

  • Quality and clarity of the written proposal;
  • Intellectual merit of proposed fellowship activity;
  • Student motivation, demonstrated investment in environment topic, and relevance of project to academic interests and career development;
  • Suitability and involvement of faculty mentor;
  • Support provided by collaborators or host organization, if applicable;
  • Appropriateness and justification of funding requested. Requests greatly exceed available funds, so proposers should consider each budget item and their total budget carefully.

Application Materials: Students must submit the following items as one single PDF file:

  • Application cover sheet, with the title of the research proposal. (CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD)
  • A CV or resume including any relevant awards or recognitions (1-page)
  • Personal statement describing academic and professional goals and interests in an area of the environment (1 page, double-spaced).
  • A statement that describes the background and intellectual merit of the proposed research activities to be supported by the grant-in-aid, emphasizing how the work is related to the environment (3 pages maximum, single-spaced with one inch margins. Citations and references excluded from the 3 page limit). The statement should outline specific goals or questions and methodology that will be used to address them.
  • An itemized budget, with explanation and justification of budget items (1 page maximum). Reimbursement for past expenses cannot be requested.
  • A letter of recommendation from your primary faculty mentor describing the intellectual merit of the proposed research, student enthusiasm and interest in the topic, and evaluation of the student’s research proposal and funding request. Letters of recommendation must be signed and dated and sent directly to Rachel Yancey at
  • Failure to format proposals according to these instructions can result in a proposal being returned without review.

Expectations of graduate grant-in-aid recipients: All recipients of a graduate grant-in-aid are expected to participate in a monthly graduate student discussion group for the entire academic year of their award. The group meetings will foster interdisciplinary exchange and dialog among graduate students. Receipt of stipend support requires that the student be released from all service responsibilities such as teaching assistant duties for the period covered.

In addition, grant-in-aid recipients will be asked to 1) attend one or more Environment Initiative sponsored events, 2) give an oral or poster presentation on their grant-in-aid research project at the end of the award period, and 3) complete an evaluation of the program that will be used for program assessment.


Examples of Target Programs:       

History Department PhD Program

- Provide a fellowship to a PhD candidate with a thematic emphasis in environmental history.

Biology and Chemistry PhD Programs

- Provide fellowship and/or research supplies support for students in Biology who are engaged in fields such as ecology, evolutionary biology or in Chemistry working in fields such as catalysis for green chemistry, carbon neutral chemistry, clean energy generation and storage, catalysis for xenobiotics, and atmospheric and earth chemistry. In addition, both programs could have graduate students working on topics in outreach and policy through affiliation with faculty in programs such as STIA or SPI.

Global Infectious Diseases PhD program

- Provide a fellowship to a PhD candidate within the Global Infectious Diseases program who has an interest in understanding how environmental factors relate to disease transmission, prevention, and treatment or control.


Anticipated duration of program: This grant-in-aid program is expected to be offered each year through 2016.

For questions on completing the application or the review process, as well as guidance on budget preparation or allowable budget requests please contact Rachel Yancey, Program Coordinator for the Georgetown Environment Initiative.

Phone: 202-687-4429