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Dissertation Proposal Development


The Dissertation Proposal Development (DPD) Program is an interdisciplinary training program that helps graduate students in the humanities and social sciences formulate dissertation research proposals through exposure to the theories, literatures, methods, and intellectual traditions of disciplines outside their own.

Learning from its 10-year history as a national student competition and fellowship program for graduate students across the humanities and social sciences, the program now works with universities to help them develop interdisciplinary dissertation proposal development programs on their campuses.

Through its University Initiative, the DPD Program is providing funding, advice, and other resources to five universities over three years to help them pilot similar programs for their own graduate students, sharing successful interdisciplinary pedagogical practices cultivated over a decade of experience. More information about the University Initiative and its institutional partners is available on the University Initiative's website.

Northwestern University-SSRC Dissertation Proposal Development Program​

Northwestern was chosen by the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) as one of five universities to bring together humanities and social science scholars in pre-doctoral research summer institutes. Faculty from across clusters, certificates, and disciplines actively guide twelve humanities and social science PhD students, who are in their second and third years, in designing effective research questions, methodologies, contexts, and interventions. Participants gain practical, theoretical, and writing insights from experienced faculty and other students outside their disciplines. Throughout this program, students build their professional networks and audiences, benefit from interdisciplinary mentorship, and engage in conversations that lead to innovative dissertation projects.

Summer Research Funding Opportunity: Applications were due March 2 for Dissertation Proposal Development Program

  • Up to $5,000 funding for 6-10 week summer research trip
  • Interdisciplinary faculty-led workshops: June 18-20, 2018 and September 13-16, 2018.
  • Professional network-building opportunities and guidance in designing effective, interdisciplinary research questions, methodologies, contexts, and interventions

Eligibility: second or third year Humanities and qualitative Social Science doctoral students who are prepared to research and write their dissertation prospectus or research funding proposal/fellowship application in summer 2018.

Summer 2018 Participants will be announced in April 2018.

For more information, contact Stephanie Brehm, PhD, at tgs-ssrc-dpd@northwestern.edu.

Dissertation Proposal Development (DPD) Program Summer 2017 participants

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