IRP Dissertation Research Fellowship 2024–2025 Call for Applications – Deadline: 11:59 PM CDT 3/1/2024

View/download full RFP in PDF format

About Fellowship

The Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison is pleased to announce that as part of its institutional match in conjunction with being named the National Research Center on Poverty and Economic Mobility by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (U.S. DHHS/ASPE), IRP anticipates supporting one dissertation research project for 12 months, including the summer of 2024 or 2025 and the academic year 2024–2025, through IRP’s Dissertation Research Fellowship program. IRP invites proposals in support of all poverty-related dissertation projects, but special consideration will be given to projects that inform policy, possibly by providing estimates of program effectiveness.

About IRP

IRP is a center for interdisciplinary research into the causes and consequences of poverty and inequality and the impact of related policies and programs. As the National Research Center on Poverty and Economic Mobility sponsored by DHHS/ASPE, IRP coordinates the U.S. Collaborative of Poverty Centers (CPC) in an integrated set of activities with the ultimate goal of improving the effectiveness of public policies to reduce poverty and inequality and their impacts on the well-being of the American people.



Only doctoral students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison who are pursuing a poverty-related degree and are sponsored by an on-campus IRP faculty affiliate are eligible to apply. Applicants should expect to complete their required coursework by September 2024 and should reasonably expect to complete their Ph.D. in academic year 2025–2026 or 2026–2027. Preference will be given to students who have participated in the IRP Graduate Research Fellows program; however, any student with the sponsorship of an IRP faculty affiliate may apply.

All fellowship applicants must show proof of application for outside funding support from another source to be considered for this award. Acknowledgement of receipt of a dissertation or related grant proposal from you by another funder can be demonstrated by a letter or e-mail from the other potential funder, acknowledging receipt of your application. No student will be allowed to receive both the IRP award and a similar award from another organization.


Fellowships provide up to 50% Graduate Research Assistant support for 12 months.


IRP Dissertation Research Fellowship awardee will be asked to present their work at a Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF) seminar.

Award Info

IRP anticipates supporting one dissertation research project for 12 months, either beginning the summer of 2024 and running through academic year 2024–2025, or starting in the fall of academic year 2024–2025 and running through summer 2025.

Application Instructions

Submit proposals via the online Application Form

Have your sponsoring on-campus IRP faculty affiliate submit a letter of sponsorship via the online Submission Form.

Applicants should provide the materials outlined below as one PDF file, in the order listed, by the application deadline. Applicants are responsible for providing the link above to their sponsoring on-campus IRP faculty affiliate and asking their sponsor to directly submit their letter of sponsorship by the application deadline. Both the applicant and the advisor will receive a confirmation e-mail when the letter is submitted. Note that the letter of sponsorship can be completed before or after the application is submitted but both the application and the sponsorship letter must be completed by the deadline for the application to be complete.

Your application should include:

  1. Cover page listing the following:
    1. Student’s name, department, contact information, and history of participation in the IRP Graduate Research Fellows program;
    2. IRP faculty affiliate sponsor’s name; and
    3. Project title and abstract.
  2. Description of proposed work, no more than 10 double-spaced pages, to include:
    1. Research question, original contribution to the literature, and to poverty research;
    2. Research design, methodology, and data sources; and
    3. Current status/preliminary work and expected dissertation completion date.
  3. Current curriculum vitae.
  4. Documentation that the proposal was entered in at least one outside dissertation competition.
  5. Letter of sponsorship from an IRP sponsoring on-campus faculty affiliate, which should be uploaded directly (separately from the rest of the proposal) to the link specified above. The letter of sponsorship should address:
    1. The merits of the dissertation project;
    2. The IRP faculty affiliate’s level of involvement (g., chair of dissertation committee, collaborator on related project, etc.); and
    3. Expected dissertation completion date.


Questions should be directed to: IRP Apply |


Call Release January 25, 2024
Application Deadline March 1, 2024
Notification Early April 2024
Contract Begins Summer 2024 or Fall 2024
Contract Ends 12 months after award start date

Note: Contract dates and reporting requirement deadlines will be specified in the award letter upon notification.