Expanding the Science and Practice of Gratitude


Dissertation Awards Frequently Asked Questions


Here are some frequently asked questions about our Expanding the Science and Practice of Gratitude Dissertation Research Award program. If you have a question not answered here, please review the announcement for more details, or email it to us at gratitude@berkeley.edu

Q: Can researchers not based in the United States apply for a Dissertation Research Award?
A: Dissertation Research Award applicants must be based at institutions in the United States.

Q: Is there an upper limit to the amount requested for the Dissertation Research Award?
A: Up to $10,000 of funding may be requested per Dissertation Research Award applicant.

Q: What percentage of the total budget can be allocated for indirect costs?
A: No more than 15% of the total costs (i.e., $1,500) may be allocated to Facilities & Administrative (F&A)/Indirect Costs. These indirect costs must be included within the total budget not to exceed $10,000. The 15 percent rate in the Expanding the Science and Practice of Gratitude Dissertation Research Award program is consistent with the current policy of the John Templeton Foundation. For UC applicants, your local sponsored projects/contracts and grants office will take care of any necessary approvals to permit the recovery of indirect costs below standard F&A rates.

Q: Must applicants be enrolled in UC Berkeley to be considered for a fellowship?
A: No, Dissertation Research Award applicants may be enrolled as graduate students at any US University.

Q: Are postdoctoral researchers or graduate students on filing fee eligible to apply?
A: Postdoctoral researchers are not eligible to apply for the Expanding the Science and Practice of Gratitude Dissertation Research Awards. Graduate students on filing fee are eligible to apply. Filing fee status, however, is not required.

Q: Is the Dissertation Research Award to be spent entirely on research related expenses, or can it be used to cover living expenses as well?
A:  Preferably, the Dissertation Fellowship Award will be budgeted for research-related expenses. However, designating funds to supplement the applicants’ basic living costs (e.g., housing and food), particularly in cases where other sources of funding are unavailable, is not prohibited.

Q: Does the fellowship committee look for applications from a particular discipline or department?
A: No. Although the GGSC’s main areas of focus—positive emotions, pro-social behavior—are most often covered by research in psychology, sociology, education, and neuroscience, we encourage applications from a wide variety of fields.

Q: Must the advisor on the project be the same person who writes the letter of recommendation for the application?
A: Yes. The letter of recommendation should come from the applicant’s dissertation advisor who will oversee the work funded by the fellowship.

Q: Given the electronic submission process by my institution’s Office of Sponsored Projects, how should my dissertation advisor submit his or her letter of recommendation?
A: Dissertation advisors should email their letter of recommendation directly to gratitude@berkeley.edu, with “Dissertation Research Award” in the subject line, and with the applicant’s last name in the filename (e.g. Smith.docx).

Q: Should applicants include the actual measures they intend to use in their grant proposal (i.e., list of all items in the measures).
A: Inclusion of actual measures as an appendix to the narrative project summary is optional. Appendices are not required to fall within the five-page limit.

Q: Should the Narrative Project Summary include references?
A: Yes, references should be incorporated into the Narrative Project Summary. The reference section, however, is not required to fall within the five-page limit.


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