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Fellowships to USA Doctoral Candidates for
Research on Disability and Retirement

Dissertation Fellowship Program

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Center for Retirement Research at Boston College

Deadline Date:

01/31/22 5:00 PM EST Receipt


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Fellowships to USA doctoral candidates for research projects related to disability or retirement. Proposals are encouraged from applicants in all academic disciplines. The purpose of the program is to improve the quality of scholarship in this field of studies and to promote the next generation in retirement or disability policy research. Historically underserved or underrepresented individuals are encouraged to apply.

The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College sponsors the annual Dissertation Fellowship Program in the field of retirement or disability research.  The program is funded by the U.S. Social Security Administration and provides funding opportunities for doctoral candidates to pursue cutting-edge research on retirement or disability issues.  

Research focal areas include:

  • Trends in disability;
  • Work in the modern economy;
  • Disabled beneficiaries and return-to-work;
  • Informing long-term projections and models;
  • Improving communication and outreach;
  • Economic security of SSA beneficiaries;
  • Disparities by race and ethnicity; and
  • Improving service delivery.

Specific topics of interest include the following:

  • Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Outcomes for Denied SSDI and SSI Applicants
  • Characteristics of Those Reapplying for Disability Benefits
  • Individuals Who May Be Eligible for SSDI But Have Not Applied
  • Recent Drop in Disability Applications and Incidence Rates 
  • Programmatic Interactions

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 193360

Number of Grants:

Up to three

Estimated Size of Grant:

$28,000 fellowships

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Fellowships are awarded to doctoral candidates enrolled in an accredited program at a U.S. university. Doctoral candidates from all academic disciplines are encouraged to submit a proposal.

Minimum Requirements for Fellowship Applicants:
1. Applicant must be enrolled in a qualified doctoral program at a U.S. university.
2. Applicant must have completed all coursework and have completed the appropriate examinations or qualifications to be considered A.B.D.
3. Applicants must have a dissertation proposal focused on one of the Social Security Administration’s Research Focal Areas.
4. Applicants must have a dissertation advisor and committee.
5. Applicants must have the chair of the dissertation committee approve the research methodology using the provided form.
6. Applicants cannot be receiving other federal funding concurrently with this fellowship. Please contact the CRR if you have a potential conflict.

Pre-Application Information:

Submissions must be received through the online system by 5:00pm (EST) on Monday, January 31, 2022. Awards will be announced in April 2022.

Grant recipients may be required to present their work to the Social Security Administration in Washington, DC or Baltimore, MD.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply Online:

Submit Letter of Support:

Please contact Marina Tsiknis with any questions about the Dissertation Fellowship Program at 617-552-1092 or

Hovey House
258 Hammond Street
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
phone: (617) 552-1762
fax: (617) 552-0191

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

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