Skip over navigation

Dissertation and Pre-Dissertation Research

The Bobst Center provides limited research support for Princeton University Politics Department Ph.D. candidates working in the areas of peace and justice. The size of these grants varies, but generally does not exceed $5,000. Occasionally the grants are larger, but the executive committee expects that applicants for larger amounts will have solicited funds from other sources within the University, as well as from national or international sources, and that Bobst monies will top up other support in most cases. Small requests for exploratory research need not show evidence of effort to secure outside support, but larger requests should be accompanied by a list of applications pending. Center support is limited to two grants per student over the course of a student’s career. 

The executive committee asks applicants to send regular research proposals, optimally five pages in length. Please provide a short project summary that states the question the research tries to answer and its relationship to peace or justice, the significance of the question for policy or for the development of general insight into important aspects of peace and justice, the tentative answers under consideration, a sketch of the research design, the kinds of activities required to complete the project, the amount of money requested, and other applications pending. The Bobst Executive Committee also requires a letter of support from an adviser. This letter should explain how the proposal pertains to your research and to your progress in the program. The proposal and letter of reference should be submitted to the Bobst Center at Our general guidelines may prove helpful.

Those who win Bobst support will be asked to provide a statement about how they used the resources.

Examples of projects partly funded in past years include assistance for the acquisition and analysis of data on American public opinion about terrorism and foreign policy and research on the effects of political and civil rights movements. Other subjects that fall within the mission include studies of conflict and conflict resolution, religious and ethnic tolerance, inequality and political theory topics on the same. Dissertation research on international development falls into a gray area that is not clearly part of the center's mission and the executive committee will consider applications cautiously. Dissertations on Congress, legislatures, chief executives and many aspects of political behavior lie outside the center’s mandated priorities. Grants to continue dissertation write-up beyond the University deadline are strongly discouraged.

NOTE:  The Center’s Executive Committee asks for full proposals, although these may be short.  The proposal should include the question at the center of the research, the answers others have offered and the answer you propose, a research design or writing plan (if the submission concerns political theory), a schedule, a budget, and a short working bibliography.  Graduate students must ask an adviser to provide a letter of reference that explains the work’s contribution to an advisee’s progress in the program. 

Graduate students are encouraged to submit proposals with 12 point font, 1 inch margins, 1.5 line spacing and no more than 8 pages.