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Graduate Student Research Funding

Graduate Student Research Funding at the Stanford King Center on Global Development supports faculty-supervised Stanford doctoral student research activities, particularly field-based work on global poverty and economic development in middle- and low-income countries. Stanford students working on projects without a field-based component but otherwise topically relevant, including historical work, may also apply.

Research activities must be conceptualized and led by students, but in some cases student research activities may build on faculty projects. All research supported by this program is expected to be part of a doctoral dissertation.

Research focused on China is eligible for funding support by the King Center's China Program.

Research focused on topics of international economics, international finance, and economic development is eligible for funding support by the King Center's Ronald I. McKinnon Memorial Fellowship for Graduate Students** (**spring quarter applications only).

Funding and Travel in Light of the Pandemic

According to Stanford Health Alerts for Stanford Travelers, "Until further notice, Stanford has suspended all university-sponsored travel, both domestic and international." Stanford's travel policies must be followed and do not allow for the use of King Center funding until Stanford policy allows for graduate student travel using Stanford funding. Please note the following sources of information regarding the use of Stanford King Center funding and travel in light of the pandemic:

For the latest information, please visit healthalerts.stanford.edu.

Application

Applications are considered during the fall and spring quarters and must be made through the Stanford On- & Off-Campus Learning Opportunities (SOLO) website.

Application deadlines for the 2020-2021 academic year are:

  • Monday, October 26, 2020 at 11:59pm
  • Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 11:59pm 

Letters of recommendation have the same due dates as the application and must also be submitted as PDF filesApplicants are responsible for ensuring that their letter(s) of recommendation are submitted by the application deadline.

    Faculty advisor letters of nomination (one letter for exploratory awards and two letters for advanced awards) are requested by students within the application SOLO platform and a link is instantly sent to the faculty member who can then submit the letter via SOLO.

    Faculty may submit letters of recommendation at any time after receiving the link and do NOT have to wait for the student to submit the application. 

    There are two tiers of awards:

    Exploratory awards (up to $7,000) 

    Advanced awards (up to $25,000)

    Detailed budgets justifying funds requested must accompany applications, and emphasis will be placed on “value for money.” Partial awards may also be made.  The King Center budget template must be used. 

    Awards will prioritize projects requesting coverage of direct research costs (travel, field expenses, data acquisition, etc.).

    Awards will be announced within one month of the application deadline and funds awarded must be spent within 12 months of the award. If the project involves human subjects, no funds will be disbursed until the awardee obtains IRB approval.

    Eligibility and Requirements

    Stanford doctoral students in any discipline who are making satisfactory academic progress and are writing a PhD dissertation.

    Award recipients must be registered students during the quarter in which they receive funding. 

    Prior applicants may reapply for funding for different projects or may resubmit improved versions of earlier submissions.

    Requests must be for expenses that are not covered through other sources of funding from external or university sources.

    Applicants may simultaneously apply for other sources of funding but must note this in the application and may not accept multiple sources of funding for the same expenses.

    Proposals will be reviewed by a committee appointed by the King Center’s Faculty Steering Committee that will apply a general filter for alignment with the general themes of global poverty and development, and then use the following criteria to evaluate the proposals: (1) innovation, (2) academic rigor, and (3) whether the budget is commensurate with the value of the proposed research.

    Budget and Budget Justification (1 page):

    Upload one PDF document using the sample budget template.  

    The budget justification should include:

    • An itemized budget of all research-related expenses.
    • A list of anticipated sources of funding. Indicate which items would be supported by these funds and which are covered by other sources.

    The following expense categories WILL be considered appropriate for these funds:

    • Travel costs (either domestic or international) associated with the proposed research
    • Other special project costs such as purchase of datasets, production of questionnaires and surveys, or human subject costs
    • Data entry or transcription costs
    • Other activities directly related to the research (please give details)

    The following expense categories will NOT be considered appropriate for these funds:

    • Payments to undergraduate students
    • Equipment purchase(s)
    • Travel costs for dependents and/or spouses
    • Travel costs for job interviews
    • Travel costs to attend or present at professional conferences
    • Dissertation write-up grants
    • Health insurance
    • Course registration
    • Stanford tuition
    • Language training

    Please note:

    • All funds will be dispersed as “Stipend Funding” via the Graduate Financial Support (GFS) system.
    • Stipend funding may be considered taxable income for the recipient although no tax forms are generated by the university.
    • The tax obligation varies according to the student's total income, dependency status, treaty status for international students, and individual circumstances.
    • International students may have taxes deducted before funds are released. 
    • Residents of certain countries may be able to claim a tax treaty benefit for reduced federal taxation. 
    • For assistance with tax withholding, tax treaty and tax form issues, submit a Support Request.
    • For more information regarding tax considerations, please visit Student Financial Services.

    Please use this sample budget template.

    Award Conditions

    Upon receipt of award:

    • Submission of a 100-word abstract of the proposed research and a short biography written in the third person
    • Submission of a photograph of the recipient to be used on the center website and to inform donors.

    Upon completion of the award term:

    • Submission of a final budget that provides details regarding how the funds were spent.  You must use the budget template. 
    • Submission of a brief research report and several digital photographs highlighting the research which may be shared with donors.

    This final report should be five pages maximum, written in non-technical language, and should include:

    • The research topic
    • A summary of the research
    • The stage of the research and any findings
    • How the award enhanced or supported the research
    • Next steps including anything that may be of interest to the donor(s)
    • The recipient's future academic and/or professional career plans
    • Field photos (if possible)

    Additional Award Conditions

    In the recipient's dissertation, as well as any resulting publications, the award recipient agrees to acknowledge that the research was supported by the Stanford King Center on Global Development’s Graduate Student Research Funding. Funding recipients may be invited to present their work at a workshop or seminar organized by the Stanford King Center on Global Development.

    To apply, graduate students must submit an online application through Stanford On & Off-Campus Learning Opportunities (SOLO).  

    The application includes:

    • A 100-word project abstract
    • A two-page project description: Upload a PDF document that provides a cogent summary of the proposed research written in a manner clear to non-specialists. The selection committee is composed of a range of scholars and may not include specialists in the applicant's field. Project summaries must not exceed two pages. They should be single spaced, use conventional margins, and be in 11-point font or larger.
    • A detailed budget and budget justification (use only budget template)
    • Faculty advisor letters of nomination (one letter for exploratory awards and two letters for advanced awards). 
    • Faculty letters of nomination are requested by students within the application and a link is instantly sent to the faculty member who can then submit the letter via SOLO.  Faculty may submit letters of recommendation at any time after receiving the link and do NOT have to wait for the student to submit the application.  Out of courtesy to the faculty, please do not wait to add their name(s) until you are ready to submit your application; add the name(s) as soon as you know you will be applying and have requested letter(s).
    • Faculty letters of recommendation have the same due dates as the application and must also be submitted as PDF files.**
    • A PDF of the applicant’s CV or resume.
    • A PDF of the applicant’s transcripts.

    **Applicants are responsible for ensuring that their letter(s) of recommendation are submitted by the application deadline.

    Please direct any questions to Corinne Thomas at CorinneThomas@stanford.edu.