Doctoral Dissertation
Assistantship (DDA) Program

North Dakota State University
Issued: January 12, 2012
Deadline: Noon, May 31, 2012
Award Start Date: August 16, 2012

Printable version (pdf)

DDA Cover Page

NSF Style Budget Form

TO:        Faculty in the Sciences, Engineering, and Mathematics
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 four (4) Doctoral Dissertation Assistantships will be awarded at NDSU. The Vice President for Research, Creative Activities and Technology Transfer, Dean of Graduate School, the ND EPSCoR Co-Project Director, and an external review panel 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 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) 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 are eligible. Students must have advanced to candidacy for the Ph.D. before funding can begin.

Primary Evaluation Criteria:
• Quality of the Research Narrative and Credentials of the Ph.D. Student
• Quality of the 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

Checklist Requirements (Submit both paper and electronic versions).
Paper Submission: Original + 2. Staple all copies. Submit items in the following order as ONE submission to
ND EPSCoR, Suite 142, Research I:
1. Cover Page. Available at
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, and a statement indicating the department’s stipend level on record in the NDSU Graduate School.
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– 500 word limit. 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. Bibliography and any appendices are counted in the 5 page limit and can be single-spaced.
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) cumulative budget for stipend, fringe benefits, travel to meetings, and research supplies;
(b) budget justification. Budget form is available at
8. Biosketch (two page limit) 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).

Electronic Submission: Also submit complete proposal in a single PDF file to via e-mail attachment.

NOTICE: ND EPSCoR may refuse to review any proposal that does not comply with the checklist.

Award Announcements and Additional Information:
Proposals are due on or before noon, May 31, 2012. Awards will be announced on or about July 10, 2012, and funds are expected to be available on August 16, 2012.

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

Please direct questions to Elizabeth Jung at 231-1048 or