Frequently Asked Questions: Pre-Dissertation Research Grant in International Studies

Learn more about IIS's programs and how to apply.

Pre-Dissertation Research Grant in International Studies

Who is eligible to apply?

UC Berkeley graduate students from all departments who will not formally advance to candidacy by the Fall of the fellowship term. Preference will be given to research proposals that are clearly focused on international studies, as described here (students who are not sure if their project counts as international studies are encouraged to apply, and may also consider fellowship funding from GIAS. For more details, please visit the GIAS website here

What is the award amount?

Up to $5,000.

What can the funds be used for?

Grants are intended to fund a variety of research-related activities for graduate students who are conducting research away from campus. This includes but is not limited to: travel, lodging, translation services, and other expenditures supporting the student’s research goals. However, tuition is excluded regardless of the rationale.

Will these funds have an impact on my tax situation (for international students) or my financial aid package?

IIS is not in a position to provide advice or guidance for tax related concerns or the impact of grant funding on financial aid packages. We do, however, encourage students to consult with their graduate advisor at their respective departments. 

Is there a timeframe within which the funds have to be used?

Generally, research activities should begin during the summer or fall of the year the award was granted, and significant progress should be made within a year. IIS understands and accepts that certain circumstances can put a temporary hold on research activities and therefore, no rigid timeline is being enforced.

How many IIS grants am I eligible to receive per year?

Applicants can receive a maximum of one IIS grant per year.

Can the funds be used for research-related work during the summer?

Yes, the funds can be used at any time during the year.

What is required to apply? 

  • Description of the proposed research (up to two pages);
  • CV (up to two pages);
  • One-page budget plan;
  • List of all other sources of financial support for the academic year (including summer);
  • Unofficial UC Berkeley transcript;
  • Name of one faculty member who is willing to serve as a reference, preferably the dissertation adviser or presumptive adviser.

Do I need a letter of recommendation from a faculty member?

A letter of recommendation is no longer required but you will be asked to enter the name and email address of your faculty recommender on the application form. 

When is the application deadline?


What are the next steps after I submitted my application?

A committee composed of IIS Directors and select affiliated faculty will be formed to review applications and select grantees based on the application materials provided. Applicants will be notified in the Spring.

What are the expectations of award recipients? 

Students who received a grant from IIS are required to submit a one-page report and give a brief presentation on their research at an event that will be scheduled for the following spring semester.