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Accelerated Dissertation Completion Stipends

PhD in Adult, Professional, and Community Education Program


The purpose of the Accelerated Dissertation Completion Stipend is to provide a monetary award for short-term intensive work to facilitate timely and accelerated dissertation completion.

Range of Awards

Awards should typically range between $500 and $2,500. There will be two rounds: one to be awarded in fall; the second to be awarded in spring.

Examples of Types of Requests that may be supported

§ Funds to allow a brief leave of absence from current job.

§ Travel expenses (e.g. to expedite data collection or travel to more secluded writing location).

§ Expenses related to securing a location for temporary writing retreat (however, the program will be offering writing retreats throughout the year, as well – these retreats will not have a cost to students).

§ Childcare expense to allow concentrated writing time.

§ Funds for purchase of resources or services to expedite data collection and analysis (transcription, scoring, purchase of needed software for which university/department does not hold site license).


PhD students applying for this stipend must

  • be enrolled in the PhD in Adult, Professional, and Community Education Program (APCE).
  • be recommended by the Dissertation Chair.
  • have successfully defended the dissertation proposal by the date specified in the award letter.
  • successfully defend the final dissertation within 15 months of the proposal defense.
  • graduate within 5.0 years. Please note that this is graduation within five years of beginning the program, not five years to successful to defend the dissertation. This requires submission of the final dissertation to the Graduate College by the early July deadline of the 5th year.

Note: Awardees not successfully defending the dissertation by the specified timeline are required to repay all Accelerated Dissertation Completion Stipend funds to the University.  Payback requirements will generate a registration and transcript hold. Please give careful attention to the required deadlines, with particular consideration to your needs for data collection, analysis, and writing timelines. It is the responsibility of the student to know the required deadlines and work accordingly.

  • Students who do not expect to meet the 5.0 year graduation requirement may apply instead to the COE thesis/dissertation support program (up to $500). CLAS students who receive an Accelerated Dissertation Completion Stipend or who expect to apply for one are not eligible for the COE program (it is a backup option).  

Application Process

Once the call for proposals has been sent, submit the following materials electronically in a single PDF in the order specified below:

1) A title page with your name, project title, major and cohort, email, and phone number.

2) A rationale statement of 150-300 words indicating how the funds will expedite the completion of your dissertation and graduation in a more timely fashion than otherwise possible. Be specific.

3) A budget detailing, specifically, the amount of funds requested and how the funds will be used.  Be realistic. The committee will look for a well thought-out proposal and a realistic budget based on actual prices at the time you submit the budget.

3) A detailed work plan (1/2 page to 2 pages) with a timeline, detailing what steps in the dissertation process have been completed thus far and plans for completing remaining steps and successfully defending the dissertation by the dates in your Timeline. The work plan must make clear how funding will facilitate a timely and accelerated dissertation completion that would not otherwise be possible without this funding.

4) A statement of support from the dissertation chair specifically stating that the chair has reviewed the work plan, finds it feasible, believes that the dissertation can be successfully defended within 15 months of proposal defense and funds disbursement, is in-line with the student’s timeline, and supports the request for this stipend.  (Students should discuss their intention to complete this application with their chair in advance).

5) Place all of the above in one PDF document and submit that PDF document as an email attachment to the program’s administrative assistant and program director. Name the file as follows: DissStipend.APCE.[Last Name].  Example: DissStipend.APCE.Smith.pdf

Criteria for Selection

This is a competitive process with awards being made to applications of the highest quality in demonstrating how the funds will enable accelerated completion.  Evaluation of submitted applications will be based on the following:

•  A detailed work plan that provides evidence of progress toward completion of the dissertation and evidence that the dissertation is likely to be completed and successfully defended within the required timeframe as stated above;

•  A clearly articulated need that will be addressed through the awarding of this stipend. (How will the award make completion of the dissertation successful and more timely than otherwise possible?)

•  Dissertation Chair support (attach letter from Chair with your proposal; the clarity of your Chair’s support for your proposal and confidence that you will meet the required deadlines is a definite factor in the review committee’s deliberations).

Final Report

Students who receive a Dissertation Completion Stipend will be required to submit a 250-500 word narrative report at the end of the funding period detailing their progress in completing the dissertation, including a date when the final defense is scheduled or has been held. In particular, the report should describe the activities supported by the stipend. Up to three attachments may be appended as appropriate (e.g an updated work plan, an expense report, etc.).

Updated: September 4, 2018