Doctoral Student Research Fund

The Doctoral Student Research Fund (DSRF) is designed to support KU doctoral students on the Lawrence/Edwards Campus who need assistance to carry out research that advances progress toward the degree. Funds are limited, with an average of only 30 awards per year. A doctoral student is eligible to receive one (1) award during their doctoral career. Award amounts vary, with a maximum award of $1,500. 

The application is currently closed.


Any KU doctoral student who meets all of the following criteria is eligible to apply:

  1. Is in good academic standing.
  2. Enrolled in a Lawrence/Edwards-based degree plan.
  3. Has passed the comprehensive exam prior to the application deadline.
  4. Is requesting funding to conduct research that will contribute directly toward the completion of the doctoral degree.
  5. Has not received funding previously through the DSRF.

Eligible expenses:

  • Travel-related expenses (e.g., airfare, ground transportation, lodging)
  • Supplies and equipment, including software
  • Expenses related to archival work (e.g., printing costs)
  • Expenses related to survey research
  • Incentives for research participants (payment must be arranged through KUCR)

Other costs may be considered on a case-by-case basis, assuming they are not included under ineligible expenses.

Ineligible expenses:

  • Salaries
  • Per diems
  • Gift cards (e.g., to provide incentives to research participants)
  • Computers and related hardware
  • Books
  • Conference attendance, whether or not the student is presenting research

Application and Selection Process

The application portal will open in the early fall. Students will receive communications from the Office of Graduate Studies with specific dates prior to the application portal opening for submissions. 

 All applications submitted during this time period will be added to a pool, from which winners will be selected at random. Selected winners must meet all eligibility criteria to receive the award. In the event a selected winner is not eligible, another will be drawn at random.   

Once the portal is open, the application form may be accessed  through the button below.

Applications must be submitted using this online form. No exceptions will be made. Students are strongly encouraged to apply early so that we may assist with any technical difficulties.

Students should be prepared to provide/upload the following:

  1. One-page abstract in PDF format describing the research project. If your abstract is not in PDF format you may experience technical difficulties uploading the form.
  2. A signed statement of support from your primary faculty advisor (form will be provided by OGS when application portal opens). Please do not submit letters of recommendation as these will in no way impact the award decision.
  3. Detailed information about the anticipated research expenses for which you are requesting funding, including cost estimate and justification based on the research objectives. DSRF will not cover costs incurred prior to the date awardees are notified of selection for the award.  
  4. Start and end dates of travel and a basic schedule of research activities, if applicable.

Applicants will receive a system confirmation that their application was successfully submitted upon completion of the application.

All applicants, successful or otherwise, will be notified via email by November 1st. 

Please do not contact Graduate Studies to inquire about your application prior to this date, as we will have no information to provide.


Administration of the Award

  1. Funds are distributed to awardees as reimbursements for expenses outlined in the application, or awardees may work with their department to request direct payment for the expense(s). A reminder email will be sent each month to all awardees to ensure that you submit proper documentation within a resonable time frame. It is the awardees responsibility to follow all documentation requirements listed in the KU Travel Policy and submit documentation to their SSC contact within 30 days of purchases or transactions.
  2. The student's department and Shared Service Center (SSC) representative will assume responsibility for working with the student to request reimbursement, file receipts, and, if warranted, complete necessary purchases. Students should contact their department’s graduate advisor, office manager, or budget coordinator for assistance.
  3. Only expenses included in the approved application are eligible for reimbursement. If changes are needed, then an updated budget needs to be submitted to for review and approval.
  4. Students must use all of their award funding by March 1, 2021. Any unspent amounts after that date will revert to the Office of Graduate Studies and be used to support future DSRF awards.



Please contact us at


Doctoral Student Research Fund

The fund is currently closed. Information about the fund application period will be sent to students in early fall 2022.