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Boyd Williams Dissertation Grant for Research on Women and Work


The Boyd/Williams fellowship is awarded to a U-M doctoral student writing a dissertation related to women and work. Through this award, IRWG seeks to support projects that promote knowledge about and enhance understanding of the complexities of women’s roles in relation to their paid and unpaid labor (e.g., philanthropy, volunteerism, community involvement, domestic work, and political activity).
This prestigious dissertation fellowship is named for two sisters: Ruth Rodman Boyd (1892-1981), a longtime community activist, and Shirley Rodman Williams (1894-1999), who had a long career in the Detroit business community.


Information for 2018 awards will be announced in Summer 2017. Please check back for more details.


Grants of $2,000 will be awarded in Winter 2018 for doctoral dissertation expenses such as books, travel, production or exhibition costs, software, data collection, payment of subjects, or other types of support needed to complete the project. 


Applicants must be University of Michigan Ph.D. students who have advanced to candidacy in any field. Students who have received this award in the past are not eligible to apply.

Students applying for a Boyd/Williams Grant may also apply for an IRWG/Rackham Community of Scholars fellowship.

Criteria for Awards:

  • Centrality of focus on women and work
  • Anticipated contribution of the project to scholarship or creative work on women and work
  • Inclusion of appropriate attention to issues of race/ethnicity, sexuality, class, nationality, or other differences among women or men
  • Quality of the scholarship or creative activity
  • Clarity of the project description
  • Use of an interdisciplinary approach to scholarship or creative activity
  • Plausibility of the proposed budget
  • Good standing in the applicant’s academic program
  • Contribution of the project to the applicant’s professional development

Application Procedure:

Complete the IRWG Graduate Funding Online Application (available Fall 2017) and submit it along with additional documents:

  • Statement of how your project fits into your graduate career and professional development
  • Project Title
  • Abstract (100 word summary)
  • Project Description (800 words)
    • The description should include the goals, methods, and significance of your project in terms that are understandable by scholars from many disciplines.
    • This will be reviewed by an interdisciplinary committee.
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation from professors addressing your overall educational and career plans.
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Transcript(s) of graduate work

Additional Information:

  • You may apply for all graduate student funding opportunities with a single application.
  • The application form and accompanying documents (CV, letters of support, and transcripts) only need to be submitted once. 
  • Please note that you cannot make changes to the application form after you've clicked "Submit."
  • Letters of support may be sent directly from the letter-writer to IRWG through campus mail or email (irwg.grad.funding@umich.edu), or can be submitted by the applicant in sealed envelopes, signed across the seal by the letter-writer.
  • U-M transcripts may be official or unofficial, and should be scanned and uploaded directly to the Application Form below. Transcripts from other institutions must be official, and can be mailed directly from the issuing university/college to IRWG through U.S. mail or delivered in person by the applicant in a sealed envelope.
  • Submit hard copies of letters of support, and non U-M transcripts to: Graduate Student Funding Programs, Institute for Research on Women & Gender, 1136 Lane Hall, 204 S. State St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1290

Human Subjects Review: Compliance with all appropriate regulations governing conduct of research will be required. Research proposals involving the use of human subjects will be subject to project review and approval by the appropriate IRB. It is the responsibility of the applicant to obtain IRB approval.

Contact Person(s):

IRWG main office: 734.764.9537 or irwg.grad.funding@umich.edu