IRP PhD Student Research Fellowship 2019–2020 Call for Applications (Due 2/1/2019)

Application Deadline: February 1, 2019

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 Office of the Assistant Secretary of Planning and Evaluation (U.S. DHHS/ASPE), we anticipate supporting at least one dissertation research project for the academic year 2019–2020 through our PhD Student Research Fellowship program. We invite proposals in support of 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 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 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.



Proposals should be submitted by doctoral students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and must be sponsored by an on-campus IRP faculty Affiliate. Students should expect to complete their Ph.D. within the next two years. Preference will be given to students who have participated in the IRP Graduate Research Fellows program; however, any student with sponsorship of an IRP faculty Affiliate may apply.

In addition, all IRP 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.

Funding is available to students who will have completed their required coursework by September 2019 and can reasonably expect to complete their Ph.D. in academic year 2020–2021 or 2021–2022.

Funding Period

Dates flexible and may cover summer 2019 and/or 2019-2020 academic year 12-month fellowship.


Funding will be at the level of a 50% Research or Project Assistant for 12 months. Additional awards for 50% RA/PA for the three months of summer 2019 may also be awarded.


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

We anticipate supporting at least one dissertation research project for the academic year 2019–2020.

Application Instructions

Submit proposals via the online Application Form.  

Have your sponsoring on-campus faculty Affiliate submit letters of sponsorship via the online Submission Form.

Applicants should provide the following materials as one PDF file 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
    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 poverty research
    2. Research design, methodology and data sources
    3. Current status/preliminary work and expected completion date
  3. Current curriculum vitae
  4. Documentation that the proposal was entered in at least one additional 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. 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 date of completion of the dissertation.


Questions regarding the fellowship should be directed to:
Jeff Smith |

Questions regarding the submittal process should be directed to:
Vee Yeo |


Deadline for proposal receipt February 1, 2019
Notification of award March 1, 2019
Fellowship dates Dates flexible and may cover Summer 2019 and/or 2019-2020 academic year 12-month fellowship
Quarterly progress reports due October 1, 2019; January 7, 2020; and April 1, 2020; and July 1, 2020
Final summary due Within 60 days of your project end date