When the global COVID-19 pandemic hit, many graduate students found that their research came to a complete stop. Some, such as those working in labs on campus, were able to resume their work, although at a delayed pace. For others, however, research remains stopped: Archives are closed, travel to research sites is not allowed, and research with human subjects is severely limited.
The roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine makes it likely that graduate students can soon resume their research activities. In response, the Graduate School has created the Return to Research Grant Program to provide immediate and flexible financial support to graduate students. Grants of up to $5,000 will support activities related to dissertation data collection and analysis, such as travel to field sites, archives, or collections.
“The Graduate School understands that the pandemic has presented exceptional challenges and delays to many of our graduate students,” says Jacqueline Urla, Dean of the Graduate School. “I'm pleased to announce this special ‘Return to Research’ fund to help our students get back on track with their goals for meaningful and innovative research."
Research delays and interruptions experienced by UMass Amherst graduate students reflect national trends. Recent studies by the Network for Research and Evaluation in Education and the American Educational Research Association/Spencer Foundation indicate that COVID-related delays in research productivity impact time to degree and are a source of major stress for graduate students. These studies also suggest that financial support for research is critical to overcoming these impacts.
The Graduate School’s Return to Research Grant grants are available to doctoral students in campus-based degree programs; applications are due March 15, 2021. For more information and application instructions, please visit the Return to Research Grant website.
The Return to Research Grants program will provide the ability for our students to get back to doing what they love. If you are interested in helping the Graduate School support our students, please visit our giving page.
Contact Heidi Bauer-Clapp in the Graduate School for questions about Return to Research Grants.