IRP Ph.D. Student Research Fellowship 2020–2021 Call for Applications (Due: 1/26/2020, 11:59 PM CDT)

Application Deadline: January 26, 2020, 11:59 PM CDT

View/download PDF version of the call

About Fellowship

The Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison is pleased to announce that with the financial support of 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 at least one dissertation research project for the academic year 2020–2021 through IRP’s Ph.D. Student 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 and 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 Poverty Research Center 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 2020 and can reasonably expect to complete their Ph.D. in academic year 2021–2022 or 2022–2023. 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 in order 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 Assistant support for 12 months. Additional awards for the three months of summer 2020 may also be awarded. Award dates are flexible and may cover summer 2020 and/or the 2020–2021 academic year.


Receipt of a dissertation fellowship or summer dissertation support from IRP will require a commitment to submit brief quarterly progress reports and a final summary of your dissertation progress. The final summary (e.g., copy of dissertation abstract, link to publication of dissertation section in a journal, etc.) will be due within 60 days of your project end date. This summary as well as the quarterly progress reports will be shared with the ASPE Program Officer and IRP Executive Committee.

Award Info

IRP anticipates supporting at least one dissertation research project for the academic year 2020–2021. 

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 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. Faculty 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. Note: Affiliates are asked to sponsor no more than one project per year. The letter of sponsorship should address:
    1. The merits of the dissertation project;
    2. The faculty Affiliate’s level of involvement (e.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 November 1, 2019
Notification April 1, 2020
Contract Begins Dates flexible and may cover Summer 2020 and/or 2020-2021 academic year
Quarterly Progress Reports Due On the 1st of the month of each quarter during the contract period
Final Dissertation Summary Due Within 60 days of award end date
Contract Ends Dates dependent on award duration

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