The Doctoral Grant
The doctoral grant is a type of educational grant that’s awarded to graduate students that are either pursuing a medical doctorate degree, a PhD or another doctorate level program. The doctoral grant often requires academic work over and beyond the work that’s required within the program itself. For example, you might be awarded a grant from the Asian American Literary Review and as a part of the terms of the grant, might be required to peer review a few articles per month for the organization’s periodical. The additional work usually ties into the doctorate work very well and the organization that issues the doctoral grant, usually ties in very well to your doctorate work.
In terms of total monies disbursed per year, the National Institutes of Health is by far the largest grantor of grants in the United States. The applications for NIH grants, however, are extremely procedural. Often, you’ll work with grant writers that will package the application for the grant from the NIH. You, as the doctoral candidate, will provide the executive summary of the project, as well as provide the scientific aim in the proposal.
In the literary fields, more grants come from the private sector. Often charitable foundations are endowed for a particular mission in the arts. Often, these are families that have endowed a foundation with the aim of continuing their own work in increasing a community’s appreciation and understanding of literature. Whereas the grant in a natural science will be highly procedural and easily involves millions U.S. dollars for lab equipment, chemicals, etc., literary doctoral grants will provide enough funds for the student to study literature uninterrupted, to network with important people in the literary world (academic or otherwise), teach class and hold workshops, as well publish. Common of most doctoral grants, the charitable organization may request the doctoral candidate to accomplish a certain literary work, study or even for the charity. Consequently, doctoral grants don’t account for as much of the total grant funds disbursed in any given year and don’t account for as high a volume of the total number of grants awarded either.
Regardless of the field, be prepared to issue many proposals and requests. Grant writing, like job hunting and applying to college, is a statistical situation; meaning the more organizations you write to the better your chances. The application process varies but a few essentials of the proposal are standard. What is your doctoral thesis or project about? What are the aims? Unlike academic thesis papers, these proposals do need to appeal to the reader’s psychology (i.e. emotions); there’s a sort of salesmanship that needs to happen in order to break through to the reader. Remember, you’re one of thousands to hundreds of thousands that the filtering receiver will go through and then forward to yet another filterer, so: you do want to be succinct, however - not too verbose; don’t waste the reader’s time. When you get to the part of the proposal that deals with the dollar amounts requested, you want to be frank and matter-of-fact.