Graduate Research Associate Award


The purpose of this internally funded Graduate Research Associate Award is to provide direct financial support to enhance scholarly outcomes for research-active faculty and professional development for graduate students. This funding support is provided in two forms: 1) a research associate position for an incoming master’s student and 2) travel support for both the faculty member and the student.

General Information

  • The graduate research associate will have the opportunity to collaborate on a scholarship project with a faculty member.
  • Faculty from all disciplines are encouraged to apply.
  • Students will receive a stipend of $13,400 a year for 20 hours of work each week.
  • Support is available for up to two academic years during fall and spring. Summer support is not provided.
  • Students supported through a Graduate Research Associate Award must meet the requirements for holding a GRA appointment.
  • Five awards will be made in spring 2018 to begin in fall 2018.

Faculty Eligibility

  • Faculty mentors must be tenure/tenure track faculty.
  • Faculty mentors must hold graduate faculty status.
  • Faculty mentors must have a clear record of mentoring student (undergraduate or graduate) scholarship successfully.

Student Eligibility

  • Students must be admitted unconditionally to the Graduate School and maintain good academic standing. 
  • Students must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 hours per fall and spring semesters at TWU.

Amount of Award

In addition to funding a graduate research associate for $13,400 fall and spring for up to two academic years (summers not included), the faculty mentor and the student will each receive $1,500 in travel funds (travel funds total to $3,000) to be used to disseminate their work during the second year of the project.


Proposals should be submitted via email ( to the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs by Friday, February 16, 2018. Awards will be announced at the beginning of March. The funding for the research associate will begin the fall 2018 semester. Projects should be completed by conclusion of the spring 2020 semester.

Elements of the Proposal

Applications should be single-spaced and use 11 point font and one-inch margins for all pages. Applications should include items 1-8 in the order shown below and the entire proposal cannot exceed 10 pages total. Applications not following these specifications will not be considered for funding.

  1. Cover Page signed by department chair/unit director and dean of the college (1 page). Graduate Research Associate Award Cover Letter Template.
  2. Description of the Proposed Research
    Briefly describe the following:
    a. rationale and methods;
    b. scholarship goals, specific aims, or objectives;
    c. procedures, including plan for analysis/evaluation; and
    d. references.
    The description of the proposed project will also be evaluated on originality, creativity, and propensity to make significant contributions to the discipline.
  3. Expectations: Outline the specific expectations of the graduate student (e.g., expected hours per week in the lab or studio, expected skills to be mastered, expectations for participation in research meetings, expected dissemination of research). Graduate students will be expected to work 20 hours a week on this project.
  4. Professional Development and Dissemination: Describe how the experience will give the research associate opportunities for one or more of the following: work that will enhance a master’s thesis or capstone project; conference presentation; juried exhibition or performance; publication as co-author; and/or leadership experiences. Indicate the specific plans for dissemination for the project.
  5. Project Timeline: The major milestones of the project should be identified with estimated completion dates; the timeline should include completion of Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training and any additional university requirements needed to initiate the project, such as human subject approval.
  6. Student Selection: Describe how the research associate will be recruited and selected.
  7. Mentor CV: The 2-page CV should clearly demonstrate the faculty member’s expertise in the proposed project and a record of mentoring student scholarship. See the NIH, NSF or NEH biographical sketch templates as examples.
  8. Mentor Responsible Conduct of Research Training Certification: All faculty mentors must complete RCR training through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) online prior to submission of the application. The student will be required to complete the RCR training as prescribed in the project timeline.

Evaluation of the Proposal

Proposals will be reviewed by a committee consisting of 5 members. The members will include the Dean of the Graduate School, the Vice Provost from Research and Sponsored Programs plus 3 other individuals from the Academic Division. The other members will be selected by the Dean of the Graduate School.

The committee will incorporate the following criteria in their evaluation of the proposals.

  • Mentorship: The work should involve mentoring students in area of faculty expertise with significant faculty and student collaboration. The faculty member must articulate clear goals with a focus on the student’s professional development.
  • Originality: The work should advance the discipline and allow for significant contribution from the graduate research associate.
  • Acceptability: The work should employ techniques and methodologies that are appropriate and recognized in the discipline.
  • Dissemination: The work should result in the creation of a final tangible product. Both the process and the product should be peer-reviewed and/or critiqued, juried, or judged. The student will be expected to present their research at the Creative Arts and Research Symposium, held annually in April.

Only those proposals that adhere to the guidelines will be considered.

Participation Requirements

In accepting the award, the faculty member must agree to provide a one-page progress report at the end of each semester. The graduate research associate will be surveyed about the value of their experience in their last semester.

Questions should be directed to Dr. Carolyn Kapinus, Dean of the Graduate School,; 940-898-3415.