Graduate Student Research Development Grants


MPC invites applications for Graduate Student Research Development Grants. The purpose of these grants is to help MPC Student Members develop independent research projects toward their dissertations, theses, or publishable papers. MPC supports research in population studies within our mission and with a focus on five primary research areas:

These small grants ($500 - $2,000) are designed to help graduate students access the resources they need to develop, conduct, or complete a research project. Funds may be used for travel for field work or other research, to purchase data, to hire field researchers or pay participants, or to hire a translator or transcriber. Other similar expenses may be eligible. Software may be an eligible expense depending on the title and the situation. If the funds will be used to interview or survey study participants and/or pay someone for services, describe how the participants/service provider will be selected.  If you are hiring someone to provide a service, we will follow up after funding has been awarded with best practices for supervision. Resources for this will be available. Funds may not be used to cover dissemination travel, training, or professional development expenses. All funds must be spent within 12 months from the start date of the grant. Please contact Lindsey Fabian ( if you have questions about allowable expenses.

MPC expects to make two to four Graduate Student Research Grants per year. If awarded an MPC grant, funding is contingent upon proof of IRB approval or proof that the project is deemed not human subjects research. Applications will be reviewed biannually at the March and November Advisory Board meetings. All applications must be received by February 20 or October 20 to be considered in the respective, spring semester/fall semester, cycle.


All MPC Graduate Student Members (Master’s and PhD) are eligible to apply. University of Minnesota graduate students who are not currently affiliated with MPC can request affiliation (and thus become eligible to apply) by filling out our MPC Membership Application Form. Individuals are not eligible for more than one grant in an academic year, though applicants may reapply if not funded. To be considered for a second grant, applicants must demonstrate that they accomplished all they promised for a previous grant.

Evaluation Criteria

Applications for MPC Graduate Student Research Development Grants will be evaluated by the MPC Advisory Board based on the promise of the project to lead toward a dissertation or thesis chapter, a publishable paper, and/or a proposal for external funding. Specific criteria include

  • Research question or questions are clearly defined.
  • The gap in the research literature is clearly identified as is the contribution to the literature of the proposed project.
  • The significance of the research question(s) is clear as is the relevance to one of the themes and the mission listed above.
  • Expected outcomes are clearly articulated.
  • Student’s contribution to/role on project is clear as is other sources of funding that are available to the project/student. 
  • Budget is well thought out and expenses are clearly justified.

Submission Instructions

MPC Graduate Research Development Grant applications must be sent to by midnight on February 20 or October 20. MPC Research Development Grant applications must include: 

1.  A two-page project description, including

  • Project title Executive summary/abstract (less than 150 words)
  • Specific aim(s) or research question(s)
  • A statement regarding the significance of the research to be proposed
  • A brief discussion of likely methods and data to be used in the research plan
  • A discussion of the anticipated outcome of the funded activity
  • A description of the student’s contribution to the project, the role of the mentor, and other sources of funding available for the research/project; describe how the proposed work is distinct from already funded research and what is the unique contribution to be undertaken with the requested funding.

2.  A one page description and justification of funds requested; please outline exactly what you need and why, as related to the proposed project. If you are requesting funds to hire someone to help with data preparation (data cleaning, restructuring, etc) please make sure your advisor explicitly states in the letter that this is approved.

3.  Up to one page of references and/or tables and figures.

4.  A two-page curriculum vitae.

5.  A letter from student’s advisor approving the proposed project and activity. This letter should be a maximum of one page and should provide evidence that the advisor is supporting the research and mentoring the process.