Mariam K. Chamberlain Dissertation Award

 
 
 
ABOUT THE AWARD
 
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.

 

Prize

$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 in August 2015
  • Student’s PhD will not be completed before May 2016
  • Applicant demonstrates scholarly excellence
  • Originality of project and its relevance to ending gender inequity  

 

Selection Committee

Committee Chair: Donna Shavlik, Principal, The Timberland Group (Council board member emeritus)

Alison Bernstein, Director of the Institute for Women’s Leadership, Rutgers University

Gail Cooper, VP for Programs, National Council for Research on Women

Heidi Hartmann, President, Institute for Women’s Policy Research

Jennifer Christine Nash, Professor, Columbian College of Arts and Science, George Washington University

Beverly Tatum, President, Spelman College 

 

TO APPLY

The application deadline is May 22, 2015. To apply please complete the 2015-2016 application. For more information about the Award, please see our frequently asked questions below.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

About the Award (2015-2016 cycle)

  1. How long is the Award period?
    One full academic year: August 2015 through July 2016.

  2. What is the Award amount?
    $10,000 in total: $8,500 to student, $1,500 to advisor.

  3. 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 the organization's annual summit.  Funds will be distributed directly to individual members of the winning team in two installments each.

  4. Will the organization give feedback if my application is not chosen?
    No. The organization will not comment on applications after making award decisions. All applications and supporting materials become the property of Re:Gender, and will not be returned.

  5. Must I be a U.S. citizen to apply?
    No. U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents and non-citizens are invited to apply. However, applicants must be attending an accredited institution in the U.S. and pursuing a PhD.

  6. What criteria will be considered?
    • 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 in August 2015
    • Student’s PhD will not be completed before May 2016
    • Applicant demonstrates scholarly excellence
    • Originality of project and its relevance to ending gender inequity

  7. Does the Award require the winners to relocate?
    No.

  8. How many projects can each team propose?
    One. Please choose and submit a proposal for your strongest idea.
     
  9. 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 PhDs.

  10. Can the M.K. Chamberlain Dissertation Award help cover school tuition or other related expenses?
    Yes.

 

The Project

  1. Are the specified focus areas the only ones you will consider?
    Yes.

  2. Will I be able to work with organizations that are part of the organization’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. The organization’s staff will work closely with the Award winner to determine the best way to make those connections. You will also need to join the network.

  3. If I decide not to apply for the Award, is there another way to connect with 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. Free network registration can be completed here.

  4. Does the application have to be sent by May 22th, or does it have to be received by that date?
    Applications must be electronically transmitted by no later than 11:59 pm EST on May 22, 2015. For applications to be complete, all materials, including academic reference letters, must be received by May 22, 2015 at 11:59 pm. No exceptions! Instructions for references to submit their letters independently are part of the online application.

  5. 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. Your propsectus should be no longer than 3 pages. Charts and diagrams are acceptable but must fit within the page limitations. Please advise your references that for applications to be complete, all materials, including academic reference letters, must be received by May 22, 2015 at 11:59 pm. No exceptions!

  6. What kind of references do I need?
    Please provide three academic references to support your application. Instructions for references to submit their letters independently are part of the online application. 

  7. 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.

  8. How many Awards are made annually?
    There will be one student-and-advisor team receiving the Award each year.
     
  9. Is there an interview? When is it, and when will I know whether I have been selected? 
    We will interview 2-3 finalists in mid-April 2015. We hope to select and notify the finalists in June 2015.

  10. Are the interviews in person?
    No. They will be conducted by phone with the members of the Selection Committee.  

11. Will reference letters, including from my advisor, be accepted after May 22, 2015?

        No, there are no exceptions. For applications to be complete all materials must be received by May 22, 2015 at 11:59 p.m.

 

Funding and Project Budget

  1. 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 funds to attend the announcement of the award and complementary attendance to the organization's annual summit. The dissertation advisor's Award will go entirely toward 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.