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Alumni Grants for Graduate Research and Scholarship

The Graduate School’s Alumni Grants for Graduate Research and Scholarship (AGGRS) Program provides small grants up to $5,000 to support the research and scholarship of doctoral or terminal master’s degree candidates for their dissertations or theses.

Most grants will be made at the $2,000 or $3,000 level. Only a small number of awards will be made at the $5,000 level.

The competition is held once each year, during autumn semester. While eligibility is tied to financial need, awards are made on the merit of the proposal, which must be for work that is essential to the dissertation or thesis. 

Applications and deadlines for the 2022 competition will be posted during the summer 2022 semester. The 2022 AGGRS competition will take place during the autumn 2022 semester.

Previous AGGRS Recipients


Post-candidacy doctoral or terminal master’s degree candidates are eligible to apply. Terminal degree is defined as the highest degree available in a particular field.

Funding must be for work that is essential to the dissertation or thesis. Students receiving stipends from associateship, fellowship, or traineeship appointments may apply for AGGRS funding. Previous AGGRS awardees are not eligible for a second award.

Review Process and Criteria

The Graduate School Awards Committee is comprised of graduate faculty from across the disciplines. After reviewing AGGRS applications, the committee makes award recommendations to the Dean of the Graduate School for final decisions. Awards are based on merit, according to the following criteria:

  1. quality of the project
  2. qualifications of the applicant;
  3. the evaluation of the candidate and the project by the advisor; and
  4. budget and need. Need is defined as having no other source of funding for work that is required for completion of a dissertation or thesis.


Submitted applications will be reviewed for completeness, and distributed to the committee for review. Final decisions will be delivered by email approximately six weeks after the application deadline.


The budget request should be $5,000 or less. Most grants will be at the $2K to $3K amount. The student’s graduate program must ensure that all use of AGGRS funds comply with Ohio State spending guidelines and those established by the Graduate School for the AGGRS competition. Any requested items that are not allowed will be removed from the proposed budget, and the award will be reduced by that amount.

The student’s department may reimburse only those expenses that have been approved by the Award Committee and the Graduate School. Expenses incurred before the notices of award may be reimbursed if:

  • Expenses are incurred after passing the candidacy examination
  • Expenditures are listed in a budget approved by the AGGRS Award Committee
  • Original, dated receipts are provided

The student assumes the risk in making any expenditure prior to notification of an award. If the proposal is not funded, expenses incurred will not be reimbursed.

Allowable budget request items

  • Essential materials and supplies not available from student’s graduate program
  • Photocopies of required materials (e.g., of surveys, forms, etc.)
  • Travel to another state or country. 
    With rare exceptions, all travel must be necessary for collection of data for research. Support for travel within the state of Ohio must be relevant to research and will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Travel within Franklin County will not be reimbursed.
    If local funds for presenting dissertation research at meetings, conferences, symposia, etc., have been exhausted, requests for these funds will be considered. 

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the ongoing public health crisis, the Ohio State University is currently operating under modified, restricted travel guidelines. These guidelines are subject to change due to the evolving nature of the pandemic. While applicants are not prohibited from requesting funds for travel, the selection committee will take these restrictions into account when reviewing applications. If you have questions, please contact Fellowship Services.

  • Equipment essential to the research. 
    If equipment is requested, the student must provide a written justification from the department fiscal officer indicating why the requested equipment is not available through the department and cannot be purchased by the department. Equipment and non-disposable materials obtained with AGGRS funds are university property and must be retained by the department after use by the AGGRS award recipient.
  • Payments to human subjects, if justified
  • Payments for services essential to the successful conduct of research. 
  • Such budget items must be justified by the applicant and will be reviewed by the selection committee. Appropriate items may include foreign language transcription, statistical analysis assistance, or technical assistance.

Prohibited budget request items

  • Expenses that are typically covered under a faculty member’s research grant (for students funded as graduate research associates)
  • Repair and maintenance of equipment
  • Direct financial support of applicant
  • Phone costs
  • Routine office materials and general supplies
  • Standard lab materials, chemicals, and glassware

Institutional Review Boards

All projects involving human subjects and/or laboratory animals must be approved by the appropriate Institutional Review Board before graduate student’s research begins. For more information, see the Office of Responsible Research Practices.

Application Packet Requirements

Applications that do not contain all of the following parts in the order specified will not be considered.

Please use 12pt font and 1-inch margins for the description of your project.

All parts of your submission, including your letter of recommendation, must be received by the deadline to be considered. 

Letters of recommendation may be uploaded with the application or submitted separately via email to Fellowship Services.

  • Completed AGGRS Application


  • Description of Proposed Project

    Five or fewer double-spaced pages and written in language that can be understood by a faculty selection committee that represents a wide range of fields. Include the following six sections: 1. hypotheses and/or objectives, 2. significance to the field, 3. methodology and rationale for that methodology, 4. expected outcomes, 5. timetable for project, including how it fits into your expected graduation date, and 6. relevant bibliography.

  • Letter of Recommendation

    One letter from your advisor that addresses the significance of your project, the relevance of your project to the field of study, your unique/original contribution to the field, an evaluation of your plan of work and timetable, and an explanation of why funding is needed. Letters of recommendation may be submitted separately (if preferred) via email attachment to Fellowship Services.

  • Curriculum Vitae

    Two-page maximum including degrees received, professional employment, types of financial support received, publications, presentations, juried exhibits, or performances;  awards received; membership in honor societies and professional organizations.

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