The DGRG Senior Thesis Grant supports two categories of expenses related to the GLS senior thesis--(1) Research Grant: extraordinary expenses required to conduct research for a thesis, and (2) Production Grant: creative production costs, such as rental costs for equipment necessary to create a thesis in a medium other than print. Grants must fund specific items and/or services which are necessary for completion of the student’s thesis project, and which are not readily available through the use of university resources. Grant applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis by the Office of Academic Affairs, which makes award recommendations to the Liberal Studies Dean.
Eligibility and Restrictions
Applications for the Senior Thesis grant are limited to current GLS Seniors. For Academic Year 2020-21, completed applications must be submitted no later than four full weeks before the first funds would be needed; for research conducted over the Winter Break, applications must be submitted by 11:59pm on Sunday, November 1, 2020. Students may apply for a Research Grant OR a Production Grant, but not both; those who believe their proposal crosses grant categories will need to decide which expenses are most in need of funding. (For instance, a student whose project involves shooting a documentary would not be permitted to apply for the Production Grant to rent equipment for the documentary and a Research Grant to purchase foreign-language materials not available in the NYU Library; students would need to choose one.) Successful applicants will be required to submit a Grant Report and Expense Account within 30 days of the conclusion of the grant period.
Ineligible items and services. Certain items and services are ineligible for funding. Students should not request funding for:
- International or domestic travel (see “Travel Restrictions,” below)
- Research activities that would require the applicant to travel, even if the travel itself is being funded by another source
- Third-party services, including but not limited to editors, translators, and videographers
- Income replacement for part-time jobs undertaken during the school year
- Copies of books that are available in the NYU Library
- Items of unusual expense where a more modestly priced item would perform the same essential functions (e.g., professional-level video equipment)
- Publication and/or book-binding costs for multiple copies of a creative work. The evaluators will, however, consider requests for a single bound copy of a creatively produced work.
- Excessive rental costs for gallery spaces and event spaces
- Donations to communities and organizations who are affiliated with the student’s research in some way (e.g., an NGO whose members the students are interviewing for their thesis)
- Legal fees
- Website licensing and domain fees
All budgets will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis at the time of submission.
Travel restrictions. Per President Hamilton's communication on March 9, 2020 and Provost Fleming’s communication on March 3, 2020, the University is prohibiting all non-essential international and domestic University-sponsored travel until further notice. Research grant funds may not be used for international or domestic travel expenses of any kind in AY 20-21, including but not limited to airfare, ground transportation expenses, and lodging expenses. In addition, grant funds may not be used to support research activities that would require the applicant to travel, even if the travel itself is being funded by another source.
Application Form and Procedure
In order to apply for a grant, students must complete the online application, available at the link below:
Application: DGRG Senior Thesis Grant
Students must also ask their Senior Colloquium Instructor to email a letter of recommendation to firstname.lastname@example.org. (N.B.: As an alternative to writing a recommendation from scratch, faculty may opt instead to complete the “Faculty Recommendation for Dean’s Global Research Grant” Google Form, available from the DGRG administrators by faculty request.) An application will not be considered complete without the letter of recommendation and, in the case of projects involving interviews or surveys, any required IRB documentation (see “Special Instructions for Projects Involving Interviews or Surveys,” below).
In addition to completion of all identifying information requested by the application form, a completed application package must include the following:
Project Proposal. In 500 words or less, please describe your research project in detail and how it would be facilitated by a grant. You should describe the precise aspect(s) of your thesis research that the requested grant will support, and how those pieces fit into the project as a whole. The evaluators are interested in hearing why the items and/or services you are requesting are necessary to your research project.
Itemized Budget. Please submit a detailed, itemized budget that separately lists the amounts required for any expenses for which you are requesting support. Estimates for equipment purchase or rental must be based on actual price quotes or online pricing information. These costs cannot be merely speculative, but must be based upon pricing information that the student has made a good-faith effort to obtain. Students who are doing a creative production for their thesis must break out each category of materials being requested. The total amount requested may not exceed $2000.
Your budget must be completed in accordance with eligibility rules. Invalid items will be deducted from the maximum possible award; for instance, a student who has submitted a budget for $2000 which includes $750 for a videographer would only be eligible for an award of up to $1250.
If awarded a grant, you will be required to submit an expense account 30 days after the conclusion of the funding period showing the amount that was actually spent on each of the items/services you applied to fund.
IRB Documentation. This is only required if the applicant is planning to conduct interviews or surveys (please see the next section).
Recommendation Letter. The student’s Senior Colloquium instructor should provide a brief recommendation letter that addresses his or her assessment of the student’s planned research; any reservations the faculty member may have about the research, the project scope and/or ambition; and their overall impressions of the student and their ability to complete the proposed research in a thorough, timely, and thoughtful manner. The instructor’s opinion of how crucial the planned research is to the success of the thesis overall would also be welcomed. As an alternative to writing a recommendation from scratch, faculty may opt instead to complete the “Faculty Recommendation for Dean’s Global Research Grant” Google Form, which faculty may request a copy of by emailing email@example.com.
Students may email the DGRG administrators at firstname.lastname@example.org to verify that a recommendation was submitted. Supplemental letters in addition to the Colloquium Instructor’s letter will not be accepted.
Students are responsible for ensuring that their application is detailed and complete at the time of submission, for submitting the application at least four full weeks in advance of the intended research, and for following up with their colloquium instructor about the required recommendation letter. Applications containing project proposals that Academic Affairs deems too vague to evaluate, or which are missing one or more application components, will be disqualified from consideration.
Special Instructions For Projects Involving Interviews or Surveys
Special note: Due to the ongoing pandemic, we strongly discourage conducting in-person interviews for Academic Year 2020-21; virtual or phone interviews should be used whenever possible. Any grant proposals that include in-person interviews must include a rationale for why the intended research cannot be conducted remotely, and a detailed description of the student’s plans for maximizing the safety of the student and any research participants in accordance with current health guidelines. Should the university revert to remote instruction, in-person interviews will become a prohibited grant category from that point forward, and any grant proposals including in-person interviews that had already been awarded a grant must be revised to convert the in-person interviews to virtual or phone interviews. In addition, any grant proposal that had been submitted but was pending a decision will need to be revised and resubmitted; a DGRG administrator will contact you if revision becomes required.
Projects that involve conducting interviews or surveys--whether virtual or in person--must comply with federal regulations governing human subjects research; in some cases, this may require applying to NYU’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) for approval. All applicants for a grant who are conducting interviews or surveys MUST attach evidence of compliance with human subjects research regulations. This may take the form of one of the following:
- A completed “Checklist for Determining Whether a Project Involves Human Subjects Research,” which may be downloaded from the IRB website here. As a first step, all students who are conducting interviews or surveys should complete this form in consultation with their thesis adviser. The form provides a series of yes/no questions which allows you to determine whether your planned uses of interviews and surveys may constitute human subjects research. If your research is NOT human subjects research, you and your thesis adviser should sign the form. Please scan the fully signed document, attach a scan of the document to your Grant application, and keep the original for your personal records. You should fill out the form as carefully as possible; any application that should have gone through the IRB approval process but did not will be disqualified. You may only attach this document if the form shows that your research does NOT constitute human subjects research.
- Proof of submission of a completed IRB application through CAYUSE, the IRB’s online submission system for IRB applications. A confirmation email from the IRB that your application is under review, or a screenshot of your CAYUSE IRB application showing that your submission is in “Pre-review” or “Under review,” are both sufficient to satisfy this requirement; you may view a sample screenshot here. If you have questions about whether your documentation is sufficient, please email email@example.com with a request for review.
- An IRB decision letter.
Consulting with the IRB about your particular project may provide valuable information about the need for IRB approval, but only the three document categories above will suffice for showing human subjects research compliance. Please note that conducting remote rather than in-person interviews will not excuse you from needing to obtain IRB approval if your research falls within the definition of human subjects research; it will, however, allow your research to proceed without pause.
While you do not need to have received an IRB decision letter prior to submitting your grant application, you will need to attach evidence of having submitted your IRB application, if needed. For students whose grant applications require applying for IRB approval, funds will not be released to successful grantees unless and until you have received a favorable IRB decision letter.
The DGRG is subject to a two-step review process. The Office of Academic Affairs will first review the application for feasibility, academic merit, and adherence to grant program guidelines. It will then make recommendations to be passed on to the Office of the Associate Dean for Student Affairs, who will determine the eligible amount of each student’s award based on an assessment of the student’s financial need.
All applicants will be notified by email of the outcome of their application. This may come in one of three forms:
- Notice of Award
- Conditional Award Notice. Applicants who have been recommended for an award pending IRB approval will receive a conditional award letter, and must submit an IRB approval letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. Once the DGRG administrators have received and reviewed the approval letter, students who initially reviewed a conditional award letter will receive a Notice of Award.
- Rejection Notice
Funding amounts will vary by project, but no project may receive more than $2000. Grants will be awarded until funding is exhausted for the 2020-21 academic year.