The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in disruptions to many areas of research, presenting a new set of challenges to doctoral students. As part of a suite of resources for supporting the resumption and reorientation of research, The Division of the Social Sciences has established the Doctoral Research Innovation Fund to defray expenses associated with the necessary reorientation of doctoral research agendas due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and resulting restrictions to travel and direct human subjects research.

Grant funding will be limited to direct research expenses associated with the restoration or reorientation of research by doctoral students who: 1) were in the field when research was disrupted; 2) were preparing for field or direct human subjects research, but now have to redesign their projects; or 3) are advanced students whose dissertation research can no longer take place as originally planned. This funding is dedicated to students who do not have access to other resources for reorienting and restarting their research.

The Division will award grants, with budgets not to exceed $5,000, to meritorious projects with compelling, demonstrable need for reorientation. Funds will become available on September 1, 2020.

University of Chicago PhD candidates from any department in the Division of the Social Sciences whose work requires reorientation are encouraged to apply.

Please submit your application via uchicago.infoready4.com no later than 5 p.m. Central Time on Saturday, August 1, 2020. All applications require a narrative of no more than three pages including description of the following:

  • original research plan
  • disruption to the original research plan due to COVID-19
  • revised research plan
  • budget for research reorientation
  • budget justification
  • advisor endorsement (to be completed by primary faculty advisor)
  • summary of resources already in place to support the work, including external grants and fellowships, departmental funds, faculty research grants and funding from Centers and Institutes at the University of Chicago.

The deadline for the advisor to submit the endorsement form has been extended to Friday, August 7 at 5 p.m. Central Time.

Grantees agree to submit a summary of research pivot and progress at the end of the grant term.

If you have any questions, please contact Sarah Niemann, Associate Director, Social Sciences Research Center and Research Development Specialist at sniemann@uchicago.edu.

Support for the Doctoral Research Innovation Fund may be given through contributions to the SSD Graduate Student Emergency Fund.