Research and Dissertation Grants Overview

This status message was last updated on November 14, 2014

2015 Research and Dissertation Grant Program

The 2015 Research and Dissertation Grant Program Proposal Guidelines and timeline have yet to be finalized. Please complete the online request form below so we can send you more information when it becomes available.

The 2014 Research and Dissertation Grant Proposal Process is Closed

With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), and the National Postsecondary Education Cooperative (NPEC), the Association for Institutional Research (AIR) operates a grant program that supports research on a wide range of issues of critical importance to U.S. higher education. The program has two separate purposes:
  • NSF and NCES support grants aimed to increase the number of researchers using national datasets and demonstrate the contribution that these datasets make to the national base of knowledge on higher education policy, theory, and practice.

  • The NPEC funding supports grants that increase the understanding and knowledge of a specific issue area identified by NPEC.
To qualify for funding, proposal submissions must meet one or more of the following criteria:
  • Use data from one or more of the national datasets of NCES and NSF. Research topics may cover a wide range of policy- or practice-related issues. For a list of previously funded topics visit the Funded Grants page. Applicants must include the analysis of data from at least one NSF or NCES dataset in the project. See the 2014 NSF/NCES Datasets (PDF) for more information. Additional large-scale, nationally representative datasets may be used in conjunction with the obligatory NSF or NCES dataset.

  • Address the 2014 NPEC Focus Topic: "Noncredit Instructional Activity at Postsecondary Institutions." A national taxonomy of definitions does not yet exist in the scope of noncredit activity, and a wide variety of educational activities could be encompassed in such a definition.  Though IPEDS does not currently collect data on noncredit enrollments or instructional activity, it does define noncredit activity as a course or activity having no credit applicable toward a degree, diploma, certificate, or other formal award.  Because NCES has been advised that it would be unmanageable for institutions to exclude noncredit activity from the Finance and Human Resources components, revenues and expenses related to noncredit activity are included in the Finance component and instructional staff (faculty and non-faculty) tied to noncredit activity are included in the Human Resources data reported.  NPEC is interested in learning more about noncredit activity in postsecondary education to increase awareness of this important role that postsecondary institutions play as well as to help inform considerations for future IPEDS data collections and Research & Development work.  In light of this, grant proposals should focus on noncredit instructional activity at postsecondary institutions. Focus Topic details (PDF).
Two levels of grants are supported:
  • Research Grants: Faculty and practitioners are eligible for research grants of up to $40,000 for one year of independent research. (Note: These research grants are not available to students). All grant recipients must be affiliated with a U.S. postsecondary institution or relevant non-profit higher education organization.

For more detailed information, view the 2014 Research Grants Guidelines (PDF)

  • Dissertation Grants: Doctoral students are eligible for dissertation grants of up to $20,000 for one year to support dissertation research and writing under the guidance of a faculty dissertation advisor. 

For more detailed information, view the 2014 Dissertation Grants Guidelines (PDF)

Proposals may only be submitted electronically. Assistance is available from the AIR grant staff at or 850-385-4155 x200.