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Graduate Program

Research Funding

G. Bingham Powell and Lynda W. Powell Applied Research Grants

The Powell Applied Research Grants are available for all University of Rochester political science PhD students seeking to fund empirical research. The grants are designed to help enable students to conduct field experiments, survey research, field research, and/or data collection. Priority will be given to students seeking funding for their dissertation research. Grants of up to $6,000 per student can be used for research expenses. Proposals will be reviewed two times per year. Please submit applications by email to the director of graduate studies by November 1 and May 1.

To apply, please submit the following information:

  • A title and brief description the proposed research project and how the funding will be used to support it (roughly 500 words)
  • The name(s) of the graduate students applying for the funds
  • A detailed budget for the funds requested
  • The names of a couple of faculty familiar with the project

Beck Grants

PhD alumnus, Doug Beck, has generously provided money to support graduate research. Specifically, a limited number of $1,000 grants are available to PhD students to help support empirical work (including activities such as survey research, acquiring data sets, field research and experiments) and to provide funding to hire undergraduate students to assist PhD students with empirical research. This money is to be used by the end of the academic year in which is it awarded (June 30). Preference will be given to projects that are directly related to dissertation work. Please submit applications by email to the director of graduate studies by November 1.

To apply, please submit the following information:

  • A title and brief description of the proposed research project, including how the funding will be used to support the research (roughly 250 words)
  • The name(s) of the graduate students applying for the funds
  • A detailed budget for the funds requested
  • The names of a couple of faculty familiar with the project

Fenno Travel Grants

In honor of Professor Richard F. Fenno, the department offers PhD students grants of up to $3,000 to cover short-term travel research expenses related to gathering data or conducting interviews for dissertation projects or other research intended to produce peer-reviewed scholarship. Please submit applications by email to the director of graduate studies by November 1 and May 1.

To apply, please submit the following information:

A title and brief description the proposed research project and how the funding will be used to support it (roughly 250 words).

  • The name(s) of the graduate students applying for the funds
  • A detailed budget for the funds requested
  • The names of a couple of faculty familiar with the project

Peter D. Watson Center Grants

Peter D. Watson Center funds are available for research on “international conflict and cooperation,” broadly construed. The research should be intended to produce peer-reviewed scholarship.

Students may be in any year of the program and in any subfield. Grants of up to $2500 can be used for research expenses, including fieldwork. The research need not be related to the student’s dissertation. There is no cap on the number of individual grants or the total amount of money a student can receive through the Peter D. Watson Center while they are matriculated at the University of Rochester.

To apply, please submit the following by email to the Watson Center director:

  • A title and abstract of the proposed research project (maximum of 200 words)
  • The name(s) of the graduate students applying for the funds
  • A detailed budget for the funds requested

Proposals are reviewed two times per year. For consideration in the first annual round of funding, please submit applications by January 15. For consideration in the second round, please submit applications by May 15.

Skalny Center Grants

The Skalny Center provides travel grants of up to $5000 for research conducted in Central and Eastern Europe. Applications are the same as for the other grants, and they are accepted on a rolling basis.

Lanni Summer Grants

All PhD students* and tenure-track faculty are eligible for summer research support through the Political Science Department’s Lanni Fund. Average awards are between $2,000-$3,000 for each project (or roughly 100-150 hours). In order to request summer Lanni research support, please send an email to the DGS by the last day of classes in the spring semester. The email should include the following information:

  • PhD student name
  • Faculty name
  • Description of the work that will be performed by the student; include the nature and objectives of the work/project(s)
  • Maximum hours (at $20/hour)

*Second-year students: The successful completion of a 2nd year paper is a requirement of our program, and students should plan on spending a substantial amount of time during the summer working on their 2nd year papers. To protect the time needed for the 2nd year paper, second-year students may work no more than 15 hours total per week for faculty members during the summer. To supplement this, all second years will receive additional write-up support during the summer provided that meet the department deadlines for a one-page 2nd year paper proposal, submitted to your faculty sponsor and me no later than June 1, and a draft of the paper, submitted to your faculty sponsor by August 1.

PEPR Grants

The Wallis Institute of Political Economy provides funding for graduate students to undertake joint empirical research with faculty through its Program in Empirical Policy Research (PEPR). Applications are submitted by the supervising faculty to the program coordinator, and they should specify the project’s goals, what the students' responsibilities would be, and what pedagogical benefits the proposed research would have for the students. The purpose of the program is to encourage graduate students to develop empirical research skills, so proposals are evaluated primarily with pedagogical criteria in mind. The scientific merit of the project in question is of secondary importance. Junior faculty and faculty who have not recently received support are given first priority.