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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.

Deadline:  The funding cycle for 2023-24 has closed. Please check back in the 2024-25 academic year for updates.

Notifications for graduate funding awards will be sent in mid-April.


Grants of $2,000 will be awarded 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 in any field. Students who have received this award in the past are not eligible to apply.

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, ability, or other differences
  • 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 Online Application through InfoReady and submit it along with additional documents:

  1. Statement of how your project fits into your graduate career and professional development (250 words)
  2. Project Title 
  3. Project Abstract (100 word summary)  
  4. Project Description (800 words). 
    1. The description should include the goals, methods, and significance of your project in terms that are understandable by scholars from many disciplines.
    2. This will be reviewed by an interdisciplinary committee.
  5. Project Budget and Statement of Expected Funding
  6. List two (2) academic references that we may contact if we need additional information (name, title, email address). 
  7. Curriculum Vitae
  8. Unofficial Transcript(s) of graduate work from the University of Michigan*

Additional Information:

*U-M transcripts may be official or unofficial, and should be uploaded directly to the online application in InfoReady 

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.

Questions? Email irwg@umich.edu

Read about previous recipients: