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Office of Graduate Student External Grants and Fellowships | GradFund

The National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant (NSF DDRIG) is a type of funding offered by many programs within the National Science Foundation. These awards are designed to extend the reach of dissertation research, allowing graduate students to obtain better training and make a greater contribution to their fields. Details of this grant competition will vary depending on which NSF program you apply through. Learn more here.

Is NSF DDRIG the Right Fit for You?

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What are they looking for?

The NSF DDRIG is designed to improve the conduct of dissertation research in many STEM fields (including many social sciences) in order to enhance doctoral training and advance knowledge.

What does this fellowship include?

While exact amounts and allowable expenses vary from program to program, the DDRIG provides several thousand dollars to support the conduct of research, such as travel for field work and experimental equipment.

Who is eligible to apply?

Applicants must be enrolled in a Ph.D. in a STEM field at a university in the USA (international students are eligible). Additional requirements vary by DDRIG program.

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When should I apply?

Plan to apply at least six months in advance of when you will need these funds, should you win. Many students apply just they begin their dissertation research, or when they have already begun their research and need support for an further work.

Ready to apply? Scroll down for GradFund Resources.

GradFund Resources for your NSF DDRIG Application

Keep in Touch

Let us keep you up to date about funding competitions and new GradFund resources! Sign up for our newsletter or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

Step-By-Step Tutorial

The GradFund NSF DDRIG will take you step-by-step through the process of writing your application. From getting to know the NSF to completing the last piece of the application, this guide will help get you there.

Forums & Chat

Use our forums to exchange ideas with your peers and GradFund staff about applying to the NSF DDRIG.  We also offer an online chat service called ‘Ask a Fellowship Advisor,’ where you can ask quick questions about our services, your scheduled meetings, or application procedures.

Meet with Us

Meet with a GradFund Fellowship Advisor for a ‘Help with a Funder’ or ‘Application Essay Conference’ meeting. Learn more about our meeting types and other services here.

NSF DDRIG Proposal Writing Tutorial

We have developed the NSF DDRIG tutorial to assist you in the development of a NSF DDRIG application. Our tutorial is designed to teach you best practices in proposal development, to understand how to navigate the NSF DDRIG application process, and to help you with the task of writing a competitive application.

Proposal Writing 101

Articles & Advice

First Steps in Revising (Advice from the Archives)

Advice from the Archives Series Note: Occasionally, we dig into the archives to uncover a post we feel holds relevant and timely information worthy of a repost. If you are interested in learning more about research grants and fellowships to support your graduate...
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The Reviewer’s Perspective: What You Should Know As You Write Your Application

  I recently had the opportunity to serve as a peer reviewer for a national fellowship competition. It was an interesting and even enjoyable experience and in this post, I would like to share with you some of the things that I learned while serving as a reviewer....
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The Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows Program: Strategies for Writing a Competitive Application

The Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows Program is a unique opportunity to apply to spend two years working with a public or private organization committed to advancing the public good and to hiring recent humanities PhDs.  Dr. John Paul Christy, Program Director for Public...
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A Fellowship to Do Some Cool Things

We typically write about fellowship and grant opportunities that are designed to support you and to advance your work on a scholarly project.  In this post, I want to share with you the benefits of a different type of fellowship:  one that will support you as you gain...
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Signposting for Success: Writing Tips for Funding Applications

No one likes being lost. Whether it’s looking for a classroom in a new building, visiting your great aunt in Pittsburgh for the first time, or trying to track down the fabled secret bowling alley in the basement of Loree Hall on Douglass Campus. After enough time...
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Three Common Pitfalls when Writing Abstracts

Abstracts are a challenging but important part of any fellowship application. The abstract is often the first (or one of the first) components of your application that the reviewer sees. Therefore, it is important to use the abstract to give the reviewer the best...
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Kill Your Darlings! Why You Should Feel Good About Deleting Your Work

Irrelevant. Unnecessary. Redundant. Delete. If you’re a writer and you’ve asked someone to review your work, you may have heard these words or seen them scribbled beside selected sentences and paragraphs of your draft. No matter how tactfully they are communicated,...
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Ideas for Expanding the Reach of Your Research

Many fellowships and grants require you to explain your commitment to “diversity” or “outreach,” whether this is through your research or extracurricular activities. It can be difficult to think of ways to engage with the community and to do so meaningfully, but there...
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Proposal Writing 101: Strategies for Developing a Competitive Application

We are pleased to launch a new GradFund service, proposal writing webinars.  The first in our series is on proposal writing 101 and it will provide you with a general overview of developing a fellowship or grant application and all of its components. Whether you are...
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The Challenge with “Broader Impacts”

Even if you are very engaged with community outreach, diversity work, and mentoring, it can be hard to communicate the “broader impacts” of your work. This post in particular applies to fellowships that require you to address how your research will benefit others,...
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NSF DDRIG Proposal Writing Workbook

Once you’ve watched Proposal Writing 101, dive into our extended NSF DDRIG Proposal Writing Workbook. The workbook will take you step-by-step through the development of a NSF DDRIG application.

Login for Access!

In order to access the step-by-step guidance found in our NSF DDRIG Proposal Development Workbook, please log in to our website using your Rutgers Scarletmail credentials.

GradFund Forums

Use our forums to ask questions about the NSF DDRIG and exchange application tips!

Join the Discussion

Sign up for our Newsletter

Our newsletter will keep you informed about new funding opportunities and upcoming deadlines, as well as information about GradFund services and other resources that will help you search for and apply to funding opportunities.

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Schedule a Meeting

Request a ‘Help with a Funder’ meeting if you would like to meet with a GradFund fellowship advisor to learn more about the NSF DDRIG application process and review criteria. Once you have draft materials ready for feedback, schedule an ‘Application Essay Conference’ for in-depth review and discussion of your drafts. Learn more about our services here.

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      Use this forum to exchange advice and ask questions about applying for the NSF Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grants.
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