Mariam K. Chamberlain Dissertation Award


Past Award Winners

No applications currently being accepted. Next call for applications in December 2016.


Award Background
Re:Gender's founding President, 
Dr. Mariam K. Chamberlainpassed away at the age of 94 in April 2013. She was a true visionary whose contributions to the feminist and social justice movements can be seen across the world by generations of women. Mariam was a key force in shaping and launching the women’s studies and academic research movements in the U.S. and worldwide through her  work as a Program Officer at the Ford Foundation in the 1960s and 1970s. She provided the strategic vision, funding and support to launch university and college-based centers and freestanding policy institutes focused on women’s issues. Mariam helped build a network of dedicated and accomplished leaders committed to advancing women, especially in academia, and helped cultivate lasting institutional support for their work.

In 1981, Mariam was the inspiration for the organization's founding, with a goal at the time to further support the movement she helped to create. Under her leadership, the organization increased and promoted research on women, built alliances for synergistic work, and advanced research into policy applications. Her vision has evolved into a dynamic network of thought leaders and change agents working to ensure more fully informed debates, policies and practices, thereby contributing to a more inclusive and equitable world for women and girls, their families and their communities. 

Purpose of Award
Through a generous $100,000 matching grant from the Ford Foundation, the organization established the Mariam K. Chamberlain Dissertation Award to honor and extend Mariam’s vision. The Award enables Re:Gender to continue Mariam’s work promoting mentorship as well as high-level scholarship. The Mariam K. Chamberlain Dissertation Award creates an opportunity for a first-generation college graduate, including immigrant students, to continue working on a dissertation under the close supervision of a senior dissertation advisor over an academic year.

$10,000 will be awarded annually: $8,500 to a graduate student (preference is to award a student who identifies as a woman); and $1,500 to the student's dissertation advisor for travel expenses related to the Award (i.e., travel to the Award’s announcement at the beginning of the Award period and the student's presentation of excerpts from the dissertation at the Award's conclusion; both will take place at Re:Gender's Annual Summits).

Project Topic/Focus
The student’s dissertation must be related to Re:Gender's mission to end gender inequity and its three program focus areas: Identity (social construction of gender, including intersections of race, class, sexual orientation, sexual identity, ability, geography, etc., as well as discrimination based on gender); Economic well-being (issues of economic justice, work fairness and business leadership); and Thriving environments (from personal safety, e.g., sexual assault, to community and global concerns, e.g., climate change and civic leadership). 

Activities During Award Period
The winning student will work on the dissertation with the guidance of the dissertation advisor based on a jointly conceived project plan. The student and advisor will meet with the organization and/or Selection Committee by phone at mid-year to share updates about progress, unexpected successes or difficulties, etc. The graduate student will present excerpts from the dissertation at the organization's annual summit during the same year the Award comes to a close. The advisor will be required to attend as well. During the award period, the winning student must remain in good academic standing. 

Selection Criteria

  • 1st generation college graduate (includes immigrant students) 
  • Topic is related to the organization’s mission to end gender inequity and its three program focus areas: Identity (social construction of gender, including intersections of race, class, sexual orientation, sexual identity, ability, geography, etc., as well as discrimination based on gender); Economic well-being (issues of economic justice, work fairness and business leadership); and Thriving environments (from personal safety, e.g., sexual assault, to community and global, e.g., climate change and civic leadership, concerns)
  • Eligible students are U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents or non-citizens. However, the student must be enrolled at an accredited institution based in the U.S. and pursing a PhD
  • Student must have completed all course work; have a dissertation advisor; and expect to have passed all preliminary examinations (i.e., ABD status) by the time the award begins
  • Student’s PhD will not be completed before the end of the school year in which the award begins
  • Applicant demonstrates scholarly excellence
  • Originality of project and its relevance to ending gender inequity  


How do I apply? 
Submit an online application (applications next being accepted in December 2016). Within the application are links for you to share with references so that they can submit their applications independently.

How long is the Award period?
One full academic year: September  through August.

What is the Award amount?
$10,000 in total: $8,500 to student, $1,500 to advisor.
How may I spend the award money?
For students, the Dissertation Award may cover expenses including tuition, fees, books, room and board, and research-related travel.  For the Dissertation Advisor, funds may be used to support travel and attendance costs to be present at the Award announcement and the student’s presentation of dissertation excerpts at Re:Gender’s annual summit.  Funds will be distributed directly to individual members of the winning team in two installments each.
Will Re:Gender give feedback if my application is not chosen?
No. Re:Genderwill not comment on applications after making award decisions. All applications and supporting materials become the property of Re:Genderand, as such, will not be returned.

Must I be a U.S. citizen to apply?

No. US citizens, US permanent residents, and non-citizens are invited to apply. However, applicants must be attending an accredited institution in the U.S.
What criteria will be considered?
The Selection Committee, comprised of external stakeholders and experts in the field, will consider the following: the applicant’s qualifications; the proposed project’s consistency with Re:Gender’s mission to end gender inequity and at least one of its three focus areas (Identity, Economic Wellbeing and Thriving Environments), and the ability of the winning student/advisor team to complete interim and final reports, plus a presentation of the student's work.
Does the Award require the winners to relocate?
How many projects can each team propose?
One. Please choose and submit a single proposal for your strongest idea.
I am currently studying at a university in another country. Am I eligible to apply?
No. The Award is for students enrolled in U.S.-based, accredited academic institutions that confer doctoral degrees.
I am currently applying to other Awards as well. If I receive a Mariam K. Chamberlain Dissertation Award, can I simultaneously enroll in another program? 
Can the Mariam K. Chamberlain Dissertation Award help cover school tuition or other related expenses?


Are the specified focus areas the only ones you will consider?
Will I be able to work with organizations that are part of Re:Gender’s network in connection with my project?Yes, as long as the project is mutually beneficial to the network member(s) and is not unduly burdensome to them. Re:Gender’sstaff will work closely with the Award winner to determine the best way to make those connections.
If I decide not to apply to the Mariam K. Chamberlain Dissertation Award, is there another way to be connected to Re:Gender and its work?
Yes. Joining our network is the best way to stay up-to-date on our current activities, and to share your research interests and needs. 


Does the application have to be sent by the deadline, or does it have to be received by that date?
Applications must be electronically transmitted by no later than 11:59 pm EST on the deadline.

What font and line spacing should I use for the application? Can I include charts and other graphics in my narrative?
Please use 11-point font, 1.5 line spacing and one-inch margins. Charts and diagrams are acceptable but must be included in the page limitations.
What kind of references do you need to have?
Please provide three professional references to support your application. There are instructions within the application for how to have your references submit their letters independently. Your letters of reference must be electronically transmitted by no later than 11:59 pm EST on the deadline. NO EXCEPTIONS!
Can I provide supplementary materials with my application, such as an article or video?
Please do not provide supplementary materials beyond what is requested in the application. We will request additional materials as needed.
How many Awards are made annually?
There will be one student-and-advisor team receiving the award each year.
Is there an interview? When is it, and when will I know whether I have been selected?
We will interview 2-3 finalists. 
Are the interviews in person??
No. They will be conducted by phone with the members of the Selection Committee. Only the student member of the team applying for the Award will need to participate in the interview.
Will there be additional resources to complete the proposed project? For example, travel funds?
Yes, the winning student will be provided with travel and accommodation to attend the announcement of the award and complementary attendance to Re:Gender’s annual conference. We do not anticipate additional expenses related to the Award.
Is there an opportunity to continue working with Re:Gender after the Award period ends?
This Award does not lead to a paid staff position at Re:Gender. However, we encourage all winners to join our network and to continue sharing your work with the organization.