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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. Awards are made on the merit of the proposal, which must be for work that is essential to the dissertation or thesis.
See the Graduate School Fellowship Calendar for important dates.
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.
Applicants requesting to use AGGRS funds to compensate human research participants must have applied for full IRB approval prior to submitting their AGGRS application.
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:
- quality of the project
- qualifications of the applicant;
- the evaluation of the candidate and the project by the advisor; and
- 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.
The budget request should be $5,000 or less. Most grants will be at the $2,000 to $3,000 level. The submitted budget must be rounded to the nearest $100 increment. 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 research participants, if justified
- Applicants must apply for IRB approval prior to submitting the AGGRS application if requesting to utilize AGGRS funds to compensate human research participants.
- 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. Applicants who wish to use AGGRS funds to compensate human research participants must have applied for full IRB approval prior to submitting their AGGRS application.
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.
Letters of recommendation may be uploaded with the application or submitted separately via email to Fellowship Services by the posted deadline on the Fellowship Calendar, at 11:59pm Eastern Time. All parts of your submission, including the letter of recommendation, must be received by the deadline to be considered.
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*.
*If the relevant bibliography makes the description of the proposed project section longer than five pages, that is permitted. The remaining other five sections should be containted to 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.
Detailed line-item budget that provides estimated costs for each item. Please include relevant categories for each line item (e.g. Essential Materials and Supplies, Photocopies of Required Materials, Travel for Data Collection, Equipment Essential to Research, Payments to Human Participants, Payments for Services Essential to Research, etc.)
Nominees who plan to use AGGRS funds to compensate human research participants must submit a copy of their IRB application and/or approval letter. If the applicant has not yet applied for IRB approval, the budget cannot reflect payments to human research participants.
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. All letters must be received by the application deadline. If more than one recommendation letter is received, only the first letter will be included for the award committee’s review.
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.
Final application materials must be submitted as one single combined PDF document*. The final packet may be uploaded by your Program Coordinator to the GradAwards Nomination System, or the packet may be emailed directly to firstname.lastname@example.org by the deadline listed on the Fellowship Calendar at 11:59pm Eastern Time. Any submission received after the deadline or containing multiple files will not be considered. By submitting your application packet for the AGGRS award to your Program Coordinator or email@example.com, you are signifying that the packet is complete and acknowledge that no changes can be made to the packet after the posted deadline.
*The GradAwards system is not able to load a PDF in portfolio PDF format. Combining files converts all files to PDF format. Submissions must be in a combined PDF format.
- Programs must provide assignee worktags from Workday for AGGRS awardees in order for funds to be disbursed.
- Funds must be disbursed to the program by the end of the fiscal year (June 30).
- Unspent funds are to be returned to the Graduate School.
- 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.
- Full IRB approval must be received before funds can be disbursed if the budget requested funds for payment of human research participants.