Support for Graduate Students (SGS) at Northern Arizona University


The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) is piloting a new grant program: the Support for Graduate Students (SGS) program.  The purpose of the SGS program is to provide financial support to graduate students who are performing research as part of their degree requirements. These grants, administered through the students’ academic departments, will be awarded on a competitive basis.  However, priority will be given to students who are not currently supported through a Research Assistantship or graduate fellowship.

How it Works

A faculty member may choose any eligible graduate student to sponsor for this award (one student per faculty member).  The faculty member and student collaborate to complete the application. 


Tenure eligible/tenured faculty and Research faculty may sponsor students for the SGS program.

In order to be eligible for support through the SGS program, graduate students must:

-be in good standing (at the time of application and the time of award) and making good progress toward degree completion in a graduate degree program that requires independent research.

Award Information

Each award may be up to $2,000; all funds must be used to support the student’s research.  Funds must be spent during the award period (requests for no cost extensions will not be considered). Examples of allowable* uses of SGS funds include:

  • compensating student for assistants hired at hourly wages
  • travel costs associated with field research (must be directly associated with the research project)
  • costs associated with collecting or analyzing data, including outside consultants
  • purchase of specific project supplies
  • other activities that directly support the student’s research

Funds may not be used for:

  • travel to conferences
  • reimbursement of costs incurred outside of the award period
  • laptops or computing equipment
  • compensation for the graduate student applicant
  • costs associated with the faculty sponsor’s research

As a condition of all awards, the graduate student will be required to apply to two (2) external research funding opportunities during the award period.  Sponsors for these opportunities could be professional associations, academic competitions, professional journal awards, federal grant agencies, or other external sources.  Identification of and a commitment to apply for two such opportunities will be required at the time of award.

The award period for this round will be January 18 through August 26, 2016.

*All expenditures must be in accordance with NAU financial and purchasing policies and guidelines.

Application Process and Deadlines

Application Process and Deadlines

Event     Deadline

Application Deadline

5:00pm Monday, November 30, 2015

Award Decisions

Friday, December 18, 2015

Award Start Date/Activation

Monday, January 18, 2016

Award End Date

Friday, August  26, 2016

Application Materials:  

REQUIRED PAGE FORMAT:  12-point type, Times New Roman, and 1” margins on all sides

1. Cover Sheet Template (includes Abstract)

2. Project Narrative (1-3 pages): 

  • Description of Research:  State the student’s research topic/question(s) being investigated; demonstrate the relevance of this work to the discipline; outline briefly the study methodology.
  • Progress to Date:  Describe the work that the student has done thus far.
  • Planned Work/Methods:  What specific activities will be conducted during the award period?  How will these activities move the project forward?
  • Bibliography/References, if applicable  (not included in page limit)

3. Budget and Budget JustificationTemplate (Budget may not exceed $2,000). 

Provide a detailed budget on the first worksheet in the budget template.  Provide a detailed budget justification on the second worksheet in the budget template (in the text box).  The budget justification may not exceed one page.  Competitive proposals will include detailed budget justifications explaining how the money will be spent (by expense category) and how costs were calculated.  For example, for a student worker, sufficient detail would include how the hourly rate/stipend was determined, how much time the student will spend on the project and what will the student do during that time; for supplies, what are they used for/why are they needed, and what are the per unit prices, etc.

4.  Faculty Sponsor Recommendation (Optional; 1 page)

5.  Other Support Template (no page limit)

Provide a list of all extramural and intramural financial awards received by the student applicant since entering graduate school at Northern Arizona University.  Also list pending applications for support.  DO NOT include financial aid or any support for tuition/fees.

Provide a list of all extramural or intramural support available to the faculty sponsor between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2016.  Also list pending applications if the start date of the award is anticipated to occur during the award period.

Submitting the Application:  Combine all materials listed above (except the budget template) into one PDF document.  Attach the pdf file and the budget template to an e-mail message and submit the document by 5:00pm Monday, November 30, 2015 to The subject line of the e-mail should be (without quotation marks) “SGS: Studentlastname, Studentfirstname” (e.g., SGS: Smith, Jennifer). 

NOTE:  The application should be submitted by the graduate student; the faculty sponsor must be copied on the e-mail message in which the application is transmitted.

Questions?  Contact us at or 523-8594.