Interdisciplinary Dissertation Proposal Development Program

The Interdisciplinary Dissertation Proposal Development (IDPD) program expands and improves formal dissertation prospectus and grant proposal development for humanities and social science doctoral students at the University of Minnesota. It is modeled on Social Science Research Council's (SSRC) Dissertation Proposal Development program.

In 2020, 24 students will be selected to participate in the program. The program includes an intensive five-day workshop in spring, followed by student summer research, and another intensive five-day fall workshop in the early fall prior to fall research grant proposal deadlines. Student participants receive up to $3,000 in summer research funding. Student participants must register for a 3-credit graduate seminar in fall semester as part of the program. The faculty facilitators work closely with the students on preparing research questions, literature reviews, identifying grant opportunities, work plans, and writing proposals and prospectuses; the students work together in peer groups as well. The goal is to increase student success in grant competitions as well as to refine a dissertation prospectus that may help the students better concentrate their efforts and reduce time to completion. The program targets students at the end of their second or third year (depending on department expectations) in graduate school, before defending their prospectus.

This initiative was initially made possible in part by a grant from the Social Science Research Council, with funds provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and with additional support from the University of Minnesota Graduate School and the College of Liberal Arts.

2019 Faculty Facilitators:

  • Tracey Deutsch (History)
  • Vinay Gidwani (Geography, Environment and Society; Global Studies)
  • Juliette Cherbuliez (French and Italian)
  • George Henderson (Geography, Environment and Society)


2018 Student Participants
  • Harsha Anantharaman, Geography
  • Sayan Bhattacharya, Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies
  • Kriti Budhiraja, Sociology
  • Katherine M. Martin, Nursing
  • Nina Medvedeva, Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies
  • Arif Hayat Nairang, Anthropology
  • Elizabeth Hazel Rickard, Theatre Arts and Dance
  • Lisa Santosa, Geography, Environment, and Society
  • Tiffany Lachelle Smith, Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development
  • Colleen Stockmann, Art History
  • Lindsay Ilana Turner, Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies
  • Nicholas Williams, History
2017 Student Participants
  • Kari Campeau, Writing Studies
  • Dana DeVlieger, Music
  • Eric Goldfischer, Geography, Environment, and Society
  • Vanessa Guzman, American Studies
  • Ezekiel Joubert, Curriculum and Instruction
  • Michael Kadow, History
  • Nithya Rajan, Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies
  • Harshit Rathi, Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature
  • Matthew Treon, American Studies
  • Mikkel Vad, Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature
  • Robin Wright, Geography, Environment, and Society
  • Wei Ye, Anthropology