• Awards BG

Pre-Dissertation Travel Award

Application Deadline: February 12, 11:59 pm EST


These awards help students early in their doctoral studies do preliminary explorations of potential research materials/sites/methods in preparation for writing their dissertation proposal. These awards therefore not fund dissertation field research.

The ideal time to hold this award is after passing comprehensive exams and before defending the proposal. 


Only UNC Ph.D. and professional doctoral students (such as Ed.D. and Dr.PH) preparing to write a dissertation proposal are eligible to apply.


  • Students proposing dissertation field research are NOT eligible.
  • Students planning to take language training, attend conferences, or enroll in coursework are NOT eligible.
  • Past winners of a Pre-Dissertation Travel Award are NOT eligible.
  • Latin Americanists are NOT eligible because the Center for Global Initiatives supports the Institute for the Study of the Americas' Tinker Pre-Dissertation Field Research Grants Program.  Latin Americanists should therefore apply for a Tinker through ISA.
  • Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

Available Funding

Estimated Available Funds: $20,000
Typical Range of Awards: $2,000 - $4,000
Typical Number of Awards: 5
Typical Number of Applicants: 18

The Center for Global Initiatives is not bound by these estimates and is often unable to award the full amount of funds requested.

Evaluation of Applicants

Reviewers assign points to each application based on the following rubric:

Need and Impact (max. 5 points)
  • Is there a clear need for the applicant to receive this award at this point in his/her studies?

  • With this award, will the student make significant progress toward completing a dissertation proposal and a subsequent dissertation?

Academic Merit and Intellectual Contribution (max. 5 points)
  • Does the proposal clearly present an important research question and explain the theoretical and/or policy relevance of the work?

Feasibility and Methodology (max. 5 points)
  • Is the research method and plan adequate and appropriate to achieve the student's expected goals?

  • Does the student have the language and/or technical skills to carry out the proposed research?

Budget (max. 5 points)
  • Is the budget clear, adequate, reasonable, and justified?

Notification of Award

Applicants will receive funding decision notifications 4-6 weeks after the deadline via email. 

Reporting and Award Requirements

Award recipients will be required to submit a final report at the end of the project using the Center for Global Initiative’s Online Reporting System. This system collects narratives and data about funded projects to enable the Center to determine whether its programmatic purposes are being met. A summary of award requirements will be presented to award recipients before funds are disbursed.

Application Instructions

Please write your proposal so that it is understandable to a broad audience of researchers.

Specific instructions and details are included as part of the online application.  The major parts are:

  • Basic bio/demo data
  • Current resume/C.V. 
  • Current unofficial transcript (info)
  • Brief academic timeline
  • Project title and abstract
  • Project narrative (1200-word maximum)
  • Detailed budget
  • Details on country and dates of proposed travel
  • Project timeline
  • Contact information for three references (letters should not be solicited)
  • Certification form to be completed by your primary adviser
    (Upon submission of your online application, your adviser will receive via email a required certification form. This form is brief and must be submitted by your adviser on or before February 17, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. EST. Once your adviser submits the form, you will receive a confirmation email. Please follow up with your adviser in advance to make sure the form gets submitted on time.)

Contact Information

Niklaus Steiner
Director, Center for Global Initiatives

Pre-Dissertation Travel Award Info Session

Hear from Center for Global Initiatives Director Niklaus Steiner about creating a successful application for the Pre-Dissertation Travel Award. For full details see http://cgi.unc.edu/awards/pre-diss

Pre-Dissertation Travel Award Info Session 2

Hear from Center for Global Initiatives Director Niklaus Steiner about creating a successful application for the Pre-Dissertation Travel Award. For full details see http://cgi.unc.edu/awards/pre-diss


CGI aims to significantly increase the number of traditionally underrepresented students who have access to and benefit from global opportunities. As such, we actively encourage applications from these populations.