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Predissertation Research Grants

ICGC Pre-Dissertation Research Grants provide support for ICGC Scholars at the University of Minnesota undertaking short-term exploratory research in preparation for dissertation research related to the goals of the ICGC Program. The awards will enable students to conduct preliminary research —typically between the second and third years of graduate study—to investigate research facilities and fieldwork conditions, check availability of archives and other sources of information, test project ideas and methodologies, make contact with scholars and informants, determine skills needed for field research, improve language competency, and adjust their proposed dissertation topic. Please note that these grants are not intended to provide support for the candidate's final dissertation research.

The ICGC Program approaches global studies from an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural perspective. Its focus is on developing societies, particularly in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Middle East, and on minority communities within North America. It emphasizes study and research on four broad dimensions of world society: global governance and transnational norms; environmental sustainability and social justice; war and peace in historical context; and production, performance, and representation of identities. This involves examining processes in developing societies affecting:

  • Economic, political, environmental, and social change and conflict and their consequences for national and international peace and security
  • The sustainability of ecosystems, human-environment relationships, and development processes
  • The capacity of institutions to undergo redesign and reform to cope with tensions caused by political, economic, cultural, environmental, and technological change
  • Popular empowerment and the enhancement of human rights, justice, and freedoms
  • The role of disaffected and disadvantaged sectors experiencing change and conflict
  • The significance of race, class, ethnicity, and gender
  • Transnational linkages and informal networks

Award Description

Awards will vary based on the applicant's original ICGC Scholar fellowship terms. Grants will help with travel, maintenance, and research expenses for trips of at least one month. Notification will be given by the end of March. Applicants are encouraged to apply to other funders for additional support if needed.


These grants are restricted to current ICGC Scholars.

The grants are intended to support exploratory research, and are not suitable for students who either have already fully developed their research proposal, or have not yet chosen a topic that they are testing for further development. The grants are not to be used for dissertation research or initial language training. Proposed topics must relate to the themes of the ICGC Program.

Students must give evidence of prior contact with in-country institutions, scholars, or programs, or at least of correspondence initiating such contacts.

Application Process

Applications Due: February 14, 2022 by 4:00pm CDT

The following information is required:

  1. A completed online application form.
  2. A 2-3 page essay describing:
    • your proposed research topic
    • the questions you will try to answer in this trip
    • the specific activities you expect to conduct
    • the language skills and other methodological or technical skills you will need to do this and your current level of competence
    • the interdisciplinary connections that will inform your work
    • how the fieldwork experience will enable you to define and refine your eventual dissertation proposal
    • the stage you currently are at in your doctoral program and when you expect to carry out dissertation fieldwork
  3. Letter of reference from your adviser concerning your ability to carry out the field program you describe and its potential usefulness; letters should be addressed to ICGC Pre-dissertation Grant Selection Committee and sent directly to ICGC. (icgc@umn.edu)
  4. Transcript(s) of your graduate work (unofficial transcripts are acceptable).

Notification will be given by the end of March/early April. 

Travel Approval

University policy requires approval for student travel to locations designated as Travel Advisory Level 3 or 4 by the U.S. Department of State. If your project involves travel to one of these locations, you must seek special permission from the International Travel Risk Assessment and Advisory Committee. You should apply as soon as possible, as the committee review process commonly takes several weeks. ICGC cannot release your funds until you have received approval from ITRAAC.

Human Subjects Approval

In addition, if your project includes research involving human subjects, you must apply to the University's Institutional Review Board for approval before commencing your work. This process can also take several weeks to complete, so if your project needs approval you should start your application as soon as possible. ICGC must receive notification of your IRB approval status in order to release your funds.

Reporting Requirements

The grant recipient will submit a 2-3 page report on the field trip to the Director of the ICGC Program within a month after return to campus. The report is to describe the activities undertaken, significant discoveries made, and the impact the trip will have on the eventual dissertation research project. The student will attach a brief account of how the grant moneys were spent and a list of other support received.