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 competitive basis by a Faculty Committee, 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 2021-22, completed applications must be submitted no later than 11:59pm on Friday, October 29, 2021. 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 travel to or within a country in which a Level 3 or 4 State Department Travel Advisory is in place, unless the applicant falls within the exception described by “Travel Restrictions,” below
- 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
- High-end equipment, software, or other items where a more modestly priced item would perform the same essential functions (e.g., professional-level video equipment; see “Equipment and software purchase and rental,” below)
- 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 the University’s Travel Policy in effect for AY 2021-22, most domestic and international travel is permitted for this academic year. DGRG applicants may apply to fund travel or research in any domestic location, or any international location in which a Level 1 or 2 Travel Advisory is in place, as rated by the U.S. Department of State. Travel to or within a country that has a Level 3 or 4 Travel Advisory in place is prohibited, except in the circumstance where an applicant is already studying away at an NYU Global site in Fall 2021 that is located within a country subject to a Level 3 or 4 Travel Advisory. In this circumstance, a senior may apply for funding to travel within that country.
Equipment and software purchase and rental. Students who are applying for a Production Grant may request reasonable expenses for the rental or purchase of basic equipment or software that is essential to creating their project. Interested students should consult the DGRG A/V Equipment and Software Guide before filling out their application form and email email@example.com with any questions, as requests for high-end items will be disqualified from consideration.
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 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
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. 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.
Please note that the DGRG may be used to fund in-person research with participants in the field in AY 2021-22, but students must work closely with their thesis advisors to ensure that their own and participants’ health and safety are prioritized and that protocols align with health and safety guidelines. Conducting remote rather than in-person interviews will still require obtaining IRB approval if your research falls within the definition of human subjects research.
The DGRG is subject to a two-step review process. A DGRG Faculty Committee comprised of one faculty member from each concentration will first review all applications submitted by the October 29 deadline. The Committee will determine a list of winners and alternates based solely upon academic merit, feasibility, and adherence to grant guidelines.
The Faculty Committee’s recommendations will then 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. The DGRG is a competitive grant program, and the total number of grants awarded will be based on the number of qualified proposals received.