IRP Graduate Research Fellows Program

About the Program

The IRP Graduate Research Fellows (GRF) Program is conducted for Ph.D. students in the social sciences (e.g., Economics, Social Work, Sociology, Political Science and any related disciplines) who have an interest in poverty research and expect to complete a related dissertation. In selecting fellows, preference is given to those who receive financial support through IRP and/or are working with an IRP affiliate.

The training seminar strives, in an interdisciplinary setting, to: (1) enrich students’ understanding of important research topics and design/ methodological issues and to expand their research skill set; (2) further develop students' ability to critically evaluate their own research and that of their peers and other researchers; and (3) assist students in preparing for the dissemination of their research. These goals are achieved through meetings with graduate student peers and a faculty director (about 14 times each year), attendance at research presentations and/or conferences, and presentations of students’ own work in a seminar or conference setting. The size of the program is kept small enough to promote meaningful group discussion but large enough to attain good representation from the various disciplines noted above (i.e., about 40 students).

There are four main activities or foci of the GRF program and meetings: (1) substantive policy and research discussions that are connected with the IRP seminar themes (e.g., welfare reform, economic and social inequality, etc.) and may at times include a guest speaker; (2) methodological training and discussions, which are also frequently linked with seminar presentations (e.g., interpretive research, econometric methods, case study/qualitative research approaches, etc.); (3) professional training sessions that focus on preparing students for responsibilities associated with their research careers (e.g., the IRB process, journal article submission and review process, proposal development, etc.), and (4) support of students’ dissemination of research.

Through a combination of University resources and IRP resources from the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services), active IRP Graduate Fellows are also eligible for financial support of their research training, including:

  • Up to $600 per year for conference travel and registration fees associated with attending a conference and presenting a poverty-research-related poster or paper [Conference Application]
  • Support of dissertation research expenses, such as data access fees and data collection.

Fellows are also eligible to become Co-Investigators on applications for research support submitted by IRP affiliates for research projects of mutual interest. Awards will provide support to the Graduate Research Fellow (as a project assistant), generally in their last or next-to-last year of graduate school. These awards will be judged on the merits of the research project, and will require, in addition to the standard application, the recommendation of the Training Seminar leader (the IRP Associate Director for Research and Training). [Application Guidelines for Dissertation Research Support]

First year graduate students and IRP visiting scholars with clear poverty interests can be invited to participate in the GRF seminars, but are not eligible for financial support. Please note that GRFs are not eligible for an IRP Social Science Computing Cooperative (SSCC) account unless they are working with an IRP faculty affiliate on their research project.

Time and Location

Most training seminar meetings occur on Thursday mornings at IRP during the academic year (10:45-11:45). Meeting times may change occasionally throughout the year to accommodate conference attendance and other events at IRP.

How to Apply to the GRF Program

To apply to IRP’s Graduate Research Fellows Program, please deposit as one file your curriculum vitae and a brief description of your graduate student status (including year in your Ph.D. program, faculty advisor(s), and department) and your research plans for your remaining time at UW and/or dissertation topic to IRP on the IRP GRF Application Form by August 18, 2014. Be sure to indicate how your research interests relate to the study of poverty and why you think you would benefit from participating in the GRF program. The application should be no longer than one page (excluding your CV). Applicants will be notified on or before August 27, 2014, of their application status/outcome.