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Lacy Fischer Interdisciplinary Research Grant


The Lacy-Fischer Interdisciplinary Research Grants were established to encourage graduate student-led research collaborations among students and faculty across campus. The goal of these grants is to enable interdisciplinary research teams working across at least two disciplines to seed the collection of preliminary data, add substantively to a project or area in which the student is already engaged, and provide other information that can help develop a strong external outside grant proposal.

Interdisciplinary research proposals are welcomed from any graduate student or research area across the curriculum (e.g., Humanities, Social Science, Natural Science/STEM). The proposal must involve applicants from at least two different disciplines and two different departments and may not include more than four named applicants. There may be one or two principal investigators on the project; the principal investigator(s) must be full-time doctoral student(s). Applicants may be awarded up to $7,500 based on their proposal and budgetary requests. 

Congratulations to the 2023 Grant Recipients!

Key Factors Considered in the Selection Process

  • Scholarly merit, innovation, and substantive interdisciplinarity of the proposed research
  • Clearly stated need for collaboration and how well the team is suited to address the research question(s)
  • Potential impact of the proposed research initiative on the field
  • Potential to develop an externally funded research program
  • Productivity of the applicants and quality of the proposed research scholarship

Award Details

  • Grants are limited to a maximum award of $7,500 and all charges must comply with Vanderbilt finance policies.
  • The Graduate School reserves the right to award less than the full sum requested by successful applicants based on the degree of need demonstrated by the proposal and budget.
  • Preference will be given to applicants for new projects/collaborations that have not been previously funded (or for which there is clear need for an extension of work already funded)
  • These grants are not a substitute for, nor a supplement to, graduate stipends, and they may not be used to fund credit-bearing coursework.
  • Funds may only be used as proposed in the application and cannot be applied retroactively.
  • Proposed research activities must be completed within one calendar year from the time funds are distributed.
  • Applicants MUST be prepared to move forward with the proposed work if awarded a grant.


  1. All Applicants must be in good standing with the university.
  2. Preference will be given to PhD candidates engaged in full-time dissertation research. However, all Ph.D. students in good academic standing are eligible to apply.
  3. Applicants must have authorization from their faculty advisor and their department’s Director of Graduate Studies (DGS).
  4. Applicants are allowed no more than two grants per academic year from the Graduate School (e.g., Graduate Leadership Institute [GLI] Dissertation Enhancement Grants, Research and Travel Grants).
  5. Applicants whose proposals address research that is inclusive (e.g., attention to race-ethnicity, gender, disability, socioeconomic disadvantage, or other factors that can broaden our knowledge in a particular area) will be given priority.

Application Materials

Applications are not currently open. The next grant cycle will take place in the 2023-2024 academic year. 

  • 3-5 page research proposal that states the research question, interdisciplinary nature of the research, and outlines how the funding will (1) seed the collection and/or analysis of preliminary data, (2) add substantively to a project or area in which the student is already engaged, and (3) provide other information that can help develop a strong external outside grant proposal.
  • A line-item budget notating the total requested amount of funding (up to $7,500) with details as to how and when funds will be utilized.
  • Abbreviated curriculum vitae for each name applicant on the project (3-page maximum each).
  • One letter of support from principal applicant’s advisor/mentor/PI or Director of Graduate Studies (1-page maximum).