PhD Fellowship Awards for COVID Relief

For many PhD students, the COVID-19 pandemic has created significant barriers to completion of their degree programs. Restricted travel, lack of access to libraries and archives, new caregiving responsibilities, and interrupted human subject research have been just a few COVID-related impacts and delays experienced by students.

In addition to other forms of assistance and support that schools and departments have made available to graduate students, the Provost’s office at Johns Hopkins University is sponsoring two COVID-relief fellowship awards. Eligibility for both of these award mechanisms is limited to PhD students in “time-limited funding packages.”  That is, some PhD programs at JHU provide a funding package to PhD students for a set number of years. Other programs provide funding for the entire duration of the PhD degree. The two award mechanisms below are open only to students in programs that provide funding for a set, or limited, number of years. Students in programs that guarantee funding for the duration of the PhD are not eligible to apply.

Students may apply either for a travel/research award or for a dissertation completion award. Students who are interested in applying for both awards (to be used in different time periods) should complete two separate applications.

1) TRAVEL AND RESEARCH AWARD

Travel and research awards are available for PhD students in time-limited funding packages who experienced COVID-related delays in planned dissertation-related travel, fieldwork, or human research conduct. These funds are designated for short-term travel and/or research needs.   

Applications must be submitted by March 1, 2022 and may be used any time from April 2022-Summer 2023. We expect the average award for this round of funding to be approximately $5000. In the previous round of travel and research awards (May 2021), funds were distributed to 87 PhD students and the average award was $5,175 (a total of more than $450,000). 

Travel and Research Award Eligibility:

  • PhD students must be in, or must have completed, a time-limited funding package. That is, PhD students whose programs provide them with a funding package for a finite number of years (e.g., for 3 years, or for 5 years) are eligible.  PhD students who are provided tuition, stipend, and health insurance for the duration of the PhD are not eligible to apply.
  • Students must provide description of how COVID or COVID-related restrictions delayed dissertation-related travel and/or the collection of dissertation-related data/materials.
  • Students must provide a timeline for expected travel, and for completion of the PhD degree and final defense.
  • Students must describe the type of travel/research they plan to conduct, its length, and provide a timeline and budget for proposed travel or research.  NOTE that these funds may not be used to simply replace lost time working on the PhD in Baltimore.  They are intended for external travel or to conduct or resume field work, archival work, or the equivalent that was delayed by COVID.  This field work or equivalent must be for the dissertation research itself (not for another type of relevant or required doctoral research experience). 
  • The student’s advisor and PhD program director must endorse the student’s timeline for travel and completion.
  • Students who previously were awarded a travel/research award are eligible to apply for a second travel/research award, but should justify in their application why a second award is needed beyond their initial funding. Students will only be granted a second travel/research award if their justification for further funding is compelling and if there are remaining funds after students applying for a first award are funded.

2) DISSERTATION COMPLETION AWARD

The dissertation completion award is for students whose time-limited funding packages have expired but who need additional time to complete their dissertation because of COVID-related interruptions. Most awards will include tuition, health insurance, and stipend for one semester or two JHSPH terms ($12,500 stipend will be allocated for one semester or two JHSPH terms, $6,250 stipend for one JHSPH term). Some awards will include only some of these components (e.g., tuition only, or stipend only), depending on students’ own situations.

There are three rounds of applications for awards equivalent to one semester:

  • May 2021 for Fall 2021 (Funding window for this award period has closed)
  • October 2021 for Spring 2022 (Funding window for this award period has closed)
  • March 1, 2022 due date for use in Summer 2022, Fall 2022, or Spring 2023 – Apply below

Dissertation Completion Award Eligibility:

  • PhD students must have been provided with a time-limited funding package, and that package must have been completed by the time the award will be used.  That is, PhD students are eligible whose programs provided them with a funding package for a finite number of years (e.g., for 3 years, or for 5 years) and for whom that package has ended by the time the award will be used.  PhD students who are provided tuition, stipend, and health insurance for the duration of the PhD are not eligible to apply.
  • Students must provide description of how COVID delayed completion of dissertation.
  • Students must provide a timeline for completion of the degree and final defense.
  • The student’s advisor and PhD program director must endorse the student’s timeline for completion.
  • Students who previously were awarded a travel/research award are eligible to apply for a dissertation completion award.

Dissertation completion awards will give preference to those not teaching or with no or very few other significant university obligations.  Students who receive dissertation completion funding are expected to be at the end of their program and able to finish in the period of the award.  As such, the assumption is that these students will receive no additional funding (as PhD students) from their home school or department after this award. While some programs may make exceptions in extraordinary cases, students should apply for the dissertation completion award only when completion during the allotted period is realistic and with the assumption that no additional funding will be provided to them by JHU sources while they are still a PhD student.

The application window for this award has closed

A selection committee will be convened from across the university to make decisions about awards.

For more information, contact vpgraduateeducation@jhu.edu.