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Doctoral Student Support

Many doctoral students in the College of Education have successfully located funding for their research, dissertation, travel, and other scholarly activities. IRTL supports doctoral students in the College of Education by enhancing their knowledge of funding opportunities and grant writing.


Brett Say is available to meet with doctoral students about grant funding opportunities. Brett has extensive grant writing and proposal management experience from working in both higher education and industry. E-mail him to schedule an appointment to discuss funding opportunities, assistance with conceptualizing, writing, or revising grant proposals, preparing budget requests, and more.

Please send an e-mail to set up an appointment.

Subscribe to be added to the weekly IRTL funding announcement list.

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Funding & Grant Workshops:


Workshops on identifying funding opportunities and preparing grant proposals are offered periodically throughout the year. Small group or individual workshops can also be scheduled by emailing Brett Say.


The following are examples of potential workshop topics:


Identifying Funding Opportunities

An introductory workshop for COE doctoral students who are beginning to explore options for internal or external research funding. This workshop will provide an introductory overview of the strategies and resources available for identifying grants and fellowships relevant to your research.


Writing Competitive Grant Applications

An introductory workshop for COE doctoral students on how to effectively write for grant and fellowship opportunities. The workshop will discuss how to navigate solicitations and requests for proposals, align your application with the funder’s goals, and how to make your proposal “reviewer friendly.”


Planning for Research

Learn about how to plan for dissertation grant and fellowship opportunities and deadlines for common dissertation funding resources. Review grant seeking & writing resources at MSU, how to plan a research timeline, and more. Doctoral students finishing their second or third year are highly encouraged to attend.


Video and Online Resources:

"Preparing Compelling Proposals for Grant Writing: Tips from a former program officer." You can find the video HERE!


Navigating Funding Solicitations: NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship


MSU Library Research Guides: Grants and Related Resources


If you have workshop or panel discussion suggestions, please contact Brett. Guest presenters are also welcome!


Previous Workshop Examples

Grants & Fellowship Workshop Series

  • Part 1: Introduction to Grants & Fellowships (slides)
  • Part 2: Budget Preparation for Research Projects - (slides)
  • Part 3: How to Write a Competitive Grant Application (slides)
  • Part 4: Planning Ahead for Grant & Fellowship Deadlines (slides)


Other workshop examples:

  • CAFFE: Individual Development Planning (slides)
  • Managing Citations: What's Actually Helpful? (slides)
  • Conflict of Interest Reporting & Review Systems (RCR) (slides)
Funding Announcements

Weekly emails are typically sent to doctoral students who have subscribed to the IRTL listserv. Each email includes funding announcements and research opportunities throughout the College of Education and Michigan State University. These alerts help students identify what opportunities are coming in the next several months so they can plan their submittals.


Below is an example of a recent weekly email alertare examples of email alerts sent in recent monts as well as previous years.


Weekly Funding Announcement Example (March 15th, 2019)


Examples of Potential Doctoral Funding Opportunities by Month












The Grant Funding Process

Below is information regarding the general grant funding process including useful video tutorials, resource materials, and key information about each stage.


Exploratory Stage Planning Stage Writing Stage


Exploratory Stage

Decide What You Want To Fund

Choose What You Want To Fund

Consider what stage you are in your doctoral program and decide what you are hoping to fund.

List of Grant Opportunities

Review List of Select Grant Opportunities

Review selected opportunities and know the award deadlines. View opportunities for training, research grants, international research, dissertation data collection, dissertation write-up, dissertation awards, and postdoctoral fellowships.

Search For Funding Opportunities

Resources and Links For Funding Opportunities and the Grantwriting Process

Search online databases for funding opportunities, explore resources, and sign up for grant announcements from IRTL.

Planning Stage

Plan Your Proposal

Plan Your Proposal

Know what makes a proposal competitive; form an informal grant committee; and draft a timeline.

Writing Stage

Write Your Proposal

Write Your Proposal

Write the project summary, project description, personal statement, and prepare supporting materials.

Prepare Your Budget

Prepare Your Budget

Know major budget categories and finalize budget.

Additional Resources

Writing Competitive Dissertation Grant Workshop Presentations


Practical advice about writing competitive grant proposals from:

Dr. Kristen Renn Mike DeSchryver
Kristen is an associate professor of Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education (HALE). She directed the ASHE Lumina Dissertation Fellowship program – awarding 54 dissertation grants to doctoral student applicants. Mike is a doctoral student in Educational Psychology and Educational Technology (EPET), and recipient of a 2011-12 dissertation fellowship from the Spencer Foundation.