Grants for PhD Research

The Schar School of Policy and Government may award student research grants for dissertation research and other expenses related to their studies at the Schar School. Activities considered for support include:

  • Expenses associated with original data collection
  • Dataset purchases
  • Presentation of a paper at a professional conference
  • Supplemental training programs/short courses (methodology, etc.) unavailable through George Mason University, considered necessary for dissertation research
  • Professional conference attendance (restricted to students in their first year of the program; limited number of awards available)

Any enrolled Schar School doctoral student is eligible to apply for grants to fund paper presentations and doctoral research. The average grant amount is $800, although more funding may be available.

Refer to the Schar School PhD Research Grant Guide as you prepare your application and submit reimbursement requests. Reach out to John Washington ( if you have questions about the grant or application. In order to be considered for funding, applicants send the following items attached via e-mail to John Washington (

  • Itemized List for Use of Funds (Itemized List of Projected Expenses)
  • Statement of support from advisor/committee chair
  • Supporting Documentation:
    • Congratulations acceptance e-mail
    • Reservation for hotel OR screenshot of conference with price ranges for conference hotels
    • Brief web search of flights OR flight ticket/e-mail confirmation
    • In case of field work: invitation letter from host institution
    • For Dataset Purchase: screenshot of purchase or list of contract (e.g. month, year, perpetual license)
    • For Short Course: description of workshops

We review applications on a rolling basis throughout the academic year. After the application has been evaluated, you will receive an e-mail stating your award status. Applications must be submitted and approved prior to travel/purchase.