Frequently Asked Questions: Simpson Research Grant in International Studies for ABDs

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

Who is eligible to apply?

Open to any UC Berkeley graduate student in good standing who will formally advance to candidacy (will have satisfied all requirements of the Ph.D. except the dissertation) 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

Students must be registered with the Graduate Division for their award term. Student applications need to be compliant with human subject research requirements, if applicable.

What is the award amount?

Up to $15,000 (requests for tuition and fee costs as separate items will not be considered).

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. 

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.

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.

Does it matter if I already receive funding from other sources?

Students are eligible for support regardless of previous fellowships or fellowships from other sources.

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.