PhD Program Grant/Fellowship Preparation/Submission Support for Students

The School of Social Work is committed to assisting students in applying for and obtaining grant/fellowship support during their doctoral studies. As early as the second year in the program, students should meet with their primary mentors and begin to seek out funding opportunities for their training and later dissertation research. Our students have had a strong history of success over the past decade, with grants from wide-ranging sources: e.g., ACF, AHRQ, CDC, DHUD, Hartford Foundation, NIH, NIJ, both dissertation and training grants and smaller grants.

Policy on Matching Support for Doctoral Student Grants/Fellowships

In some instances, if a student in Years 1-3 is awarded a school-year (9-month) grant/fellowship from any source external to the UWSSW, the funds awarded may be insufficient to cover the standard GSSA stipend level, health benefits, and tuition.  The school commits to providing shortfall support for students in Years 1-3, provided the grant will cover 50% of the 9-month cost and the student notified the PhD Program Office prior to applying for the grant/fellowship. Some smaller awards may qualify for tuition support at the resident rate for at least one quarter. The support provided in most cases will be what is needed to supplement the award funding for any one quarter in which the award funds a stipend and the necessary amount to cover health benefits. (The stipend must be at least $800 per month to be eligible for benefits.) Some dissertation grants specifically do not allow tuition to be paid from them. In such cases, the school will fund full resident tuition in the autumn, winter, and spring quarters, with the possibility of funding 2 credits of summer tuition, depending upon the grant guidelines and available funds during any one fiscal year. In other cases, grants/fellowships may allow some tuition support but not full coverage; in such instances, the school will provide the supplement needed to cover full the 9-month school year costs (summer not included unless funds are available as described above).

Tuition Support Restrictions

This commitment to matching tuition support is contingent upon the student informing the PhD Program Office when a grant/fellowship proposal is to be submitted that would require an SSW funding supplement and upon the student working with the Program Office for submission, whether the proposal goes through the University OSP or not. (In some cases, for example CSWE fellowships, the award is paid directly to the student, and so the School must apply for a special nonresident waiver.) The school will only support shortfalls at the resident tuition level.

PhD Program Office Support

The Assistant Director works with doctoral students on the preparation and submission of their independent training or dissertation grants, or any type of research or special travel grant to an agency or foundation. Whether the grant goes through the University submission process or the student is directly submitting to the agency/foundation depends on individual procedures. No matter what kind of grant support is being sought, the student must inform the Phd Program Director and Assistant Director if any matching SSW funds will be sought to supplement the grant.

Early Notification

In addition, the Assistant Director assists with budget planning, preparing forms for submission, and editing the grant text. Students should inform the Assistant Director as soon as they decide to submit a specific grant proposal and arrange a meeting at least 6 weeks before the proposal is due. The Assistant Director is responsible for ensuring that the University of Washington procedures are followed and serves as the students' liaison with the University


For your information and to aid you in planning your grant, we are outlining below the technical assistance and support that you can expect. This assistance is available for all grants submitted through the University or directly to a foundation/agency by the student.

The early start mention above is critical, especially for grants that must go through the University OSP. OSP requires final financial figures and a rough draft of the grant text for institutional review and signature no less than two weeks ahead of the funding agency's due date.

Initial Meeting: When you decide that you'll apply for a grant, contact the Assistant Director immediately to set up a meeting to discuss the proposal requirements, a budget, and timeline for completion. At least 6 weeks before the deadline is necessary; e-mail the link to the request for proposals to the Assistant Director, and bring to the meeting any relevant materials: e.g., a copy of the request for proposal, application guidelines, a website address, or whatever written material you have that describes the program to which you are applying.

Budget Preparation: Even dissertation grants often have budget requirements. And all grant submissions that go through the University must have a budget submitted, even if the agency/foundation does not require one. After the initial meeting, the Assistat Director will prepare a preliminary budget spreadsheet for your review. After you approve of the budget figures, they will be transferred to the funding agency's budget forms and the University EGC-1 form will be started, if required. The EGC-1 is the UW form that transmits your grant paperwork to OSP, where it will undergo institutional review and signature.

Human Subjects: The Research Development Office can help you decide what level of clearance your project requires, although the final decision rests with the Human Subjects Division (HSD). The HSD has an excellent websiteSome sponsors, including NIH, will accept new grant proposals with the understanding that the researcher will proceed with the human subjects review process upon receiving notification of a score in the fundable range. This is called the Just-in-Time review process, which requires no human subjects paperwork at the time of grant submission. All Human Subjects forms can be downloaded from this site. If you have questions about a complex application that are not answered by the website, consult the Research Development Office, or call the HSD directly at 3-0098.

Miscellaneous Grant Pages: The Assistant Director will complete any required Face Page or Cover Sheet and any other required forms, along with your assistance. They will make the initial pass through the forms and then send them to you with queries, so that you can fill in any gaps in information.
We have boilerplate text for requirements such as UW training resources, which we can modify to fit your grant needs.

Proposal Content: The student's primary mentor(s) will assist in the proposal development. This can range from talking through ideas, to reading and commenting on drafts, to arranging a full "mock review" of the proposal. This latter option is especially recommended for students who may be writing their first proposals. In addition to the assistance with the technical aspects of grant preparation, the Assistant Director will provide editorial assistance if you are able to prepare the proposal content so that there is time for them to edit, usually 1 week before the due date.

Grant Submission: Many grants are now submitted online, whether through OSP or directly by the student to an agency/foundations.

Our Admin Staff will copy and mail your grant, if it is still to be submitted via ground mail; however, in order to assure that the grant meets the funding agency's deadline, plan to provide us with a final copy of the grant text and other related pages at least 48 hours ahead of the mailing date. UPS picks up at the School after 2:00 p.m. If you miss this deadline, the responsibility for mailing the grant becomes your own! You can deliver your grant to UW Mailing Services for overnight mailing, but note that it must arrive at Mailing Services at 3900 7th Avenue N.E. by 4:30 p.m. (Directions to Mailing Services are available at There is also a late-night U.S. Post Office near the airport, but there you're really on your own; plan to contact them yourself for their cut-off time!

Templates for crafting funding/grant proposal: 

Crafting a Strong Application for Graduate Funding
Personal Profile Worksheets
Statement of Purpose Worksheet
Funder Profile Worksheet 



The University of Washington Health Sciences Library

Grants & Funding Services for UW Graduate Students (GFIS)
Cooperative Project of the Graduate School and University of Washington Libraries to support UW graduate students who are seeking any type of general or research funding.

Useful article
Hasche, L.K., Perron, B.E., & Proctor, E.K. (2009). Making time for dissertation grants: Strategies for social work students and educators.
Research on Social Work Practice, 19(3), 340-350; accessible through the University Library e-journals.