The Bruce and Mary Ann Gardner Dissertation Enhancement Award

The Bruce and Mary Ann Gardner Dissertation Enhancement Award is awarded annually in honor of Bruce and Mary Ann Gardner. The award is given to students to enhance the quality of their dissertations. The intent of the award is to provide funds up to $3,000 that would significantly increase the quality of the student’s dissertation or improve the student’s chances of obtaining outside funding for their dissertation research.

All students who will have completed their required coursework (not including the prospectus defense) by the date of the award are invited to apply. The grant can be used to support the purchase of data or efforts to collect data, including travel and field work as it is related to these endeavors. Applications are due by April 1. The graduate committee and the Director of Financial Services will review proposals and give priority to students whose dissertation proposals are in more advanced stages and for cases in which funds would allow the student to collect or obtain data that is otherwise unavailable. Awards will be announced by May 1.

Application materials are required to submit to the Director of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Program Coordinator in one PDF file including the following: a brief abstract of no more than 100 words, a proposal of no more than three pages, the most recent copy of their CV and one letter of recommendation from a professor within the department. The abstract should describe the proposal in plain, non-technical language. The proposal should address the following questions: What is the student’s proposed dissertation topic? What would the Enhancement Award allow the student to do that improves the dissertation? How would the funds be used? Students should indicate the status of their prospectus (defended, scheduled, proposed) in their application. The final section of the proposal should provide a proposed budget, budget justification, and a time line for expected expenses. If the award will assist the student in applications for extramural funding, this should be clearly indicated in the proposal along with a list of the sources of funding the student plans to apply to and details of those sources’ application process (due dates for receipt of proposals, dates at which funds become available, whether faculty support is needed and, if so, a statement from a faculty member indicating that such support will be provided, etc.).

Students who receive funding will have access to the funds in early July. More specific information as to the exact date and payment method will be provided to the selected student by the AREC Business Office.

Any changes to the approved budget will require approval in advance by the Director of Graduate Studies. Students will be required to submit a final report to the Director of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Program Coordinator no later than six weeks after the funds are spent. The final report should itemize expenditures and describe how the funds were used to enhance the student’s dissertation research and document any attempts to obtain extramural funding. Students are also expected to write a letter of appreciation to Mary Ann Gardner who funded this award.