Doctoral Dissertation
Assistantship (DDA) Program

North Dakota State University
Issued: February 25, 2009
Deadline: Noon, June 3, 2009
Award Start Date: August 16, 2009

Printable version

DDA Cover Page

Budget Form

TO: Faculty in the Sciences, Engineering, and Mathematics
FROM: David R. Givers, Co-Project Director, ND EPSCoR, NDSU Office

RE: Doctoral Dissertation Assistantship (DDA) Program Announcement

ND EPSCoR’s DDA program is designed to (1) increase the completion rate of Ph.D. students enrolled in the science, engineering, and mathematics disciplines at North Dakota’s two research-intensive universities; and (2) increase the number of competitive proposals submitted to the National Science Foundation.

Description of the Program:
Support will be available for up to 24 months to enable students to dedicate their time exclusively to dissertation research. The stipend level, not to exceed $1,500 per month, may be augmented from other sources. Up to $2,000 may be awarded for research supplies and to support student travel (presentations at national/international meetings). It is anticipated that up to three (3) Doctoral Dissertation Assistantships will be awarded at NDSU. A committee at NDSU consisting of the Vice President for Research, Creative Activities and Technology Transfer, the ND EPSCoR Co-Project Director, and two graduate faculty members will evaluate the applications.

Applications must be made by the students with supplemental information provided by their advisors, along with endorsement from their department graduate program director and department chair. Successful applicants will have research programs that are eligible for funding from the science, engineering, and mathematics research directorates at the National Science Foundation. The faculty advisor is required to submit a proposal to one of the research directorates at the National Science Foundation during the term of the assistantship.

Student Eligibility Requirements:
Students whose dissertation topics are in areas eligible for funding from the science, engineering, and mathematics research directorates in the National Science Foundation and who have been advanced to candidacy for the Ph.D. by the Graduate Dean at the time of application are eligible.

Primary Evaluation Criteria:
• Quality of the five-page Research Summary and Credentials of the Ph.D. Student
• Quality of the three-page Mentoring Plan
• Potential for increasing the number of Ph.D.s awarded in the applicant’s department
• Potential for the PI to submit a competitive proposal to the National Science Foundation

Proposal Requirements Checklist. Submit as separate items in the following order:
1. Cover Page. (See link at top of this page.)
2. Copy of the letter from the NDSU Graduate Dean verifying advancement to candidacy.
3. Departmental Endorsement Letter from the Chair, including an explanation of how this award will increase the number of Ph.D. students in the department.
4. Research Narrative. No more than five (5) double-spaced pages, font no smaller than 10. Must be written by the student and presented in the following order: a) Research Topic Title. b) Abstract--no more than 500 words. c) Research Description explaining the impact of the research in terms that an educated scientist, not in the proposer’s discipline, will understand the importance of the research and the approach taken to test the hypothesis.
5. Mentoring Plan describing how the graduate student will be supervised and consisting of no more than three (3) double-spaced pages. The plan, written by the advisor, must include details regarding the research environment and specific resources (including funds), beyond those provided by the DDA award, available for completing the proposed research as well as a timeline for completion.
6. Description of the student’s credentials, including copies of undergraduate and graduate transcripts and a list of any previous scholarly activity related to the proposed research project.
7. NSF style budget: (a) annual and cumulative budgets for stipend, fringe benefits, travel to meetings, and research supplies; (b) budget justification; and (c) statement indicating the department’s stipend level on record in the NDSU Graduate School. (See link at top of this page.)
8. Two-Page Biosketch and Current and Pending Support forms for the Ph.D. advisor (please use NSF Fastlane proposal style).
9. Anticipated NSF Proposal Title, estimated budget, and NSF research program to which the faculty advisor will submit a proposal (must identify the NSF directorate and the target date for submission).

Award Announcements and Additional Information:
Submit original + 5 copies (staple student and advisor as ONE submission) to the ND EPSCoR-NDSU Office, Room 142, R-1 on or before noon, June 3, 2009 Awards will be announced on or about July 9, 2009, and funds are expected to be available on August 16, 2009.

Awards are contingent upon availability of funds from the National Science Foundation and the State of North Dakota.

Please direct your questions to Mr. David R. Givers at 231-7516 or