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The Region 2 University Transportation Research Center (UTRC), with financial support from the U.S. Department of Transportation, is offering a very limited number of dissertation grants of $16,000 for one year of post-candidacy research work.

  • Applicants may be studying transportation in any department or program at a UTRC member institution. Applicants must advance to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree prior to the application deadline.
  • Applicants must advance to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree prior to the application deadline.
  • Applicants must be U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents.
How to Apply

Applications must be submitted through the UTRC Online Submission System

There are two application cycles per year: March 1 through April 30th and August 1 through September 30th.

Applications should include:

1) A completed cover sheet

2) A curriculum vitae, not to exceed two pages

3) A synopsis of the dissertation proposal, not to exceed 2,500 words and organized as follows:

a. The research problem and its relevance to the theme of the Region 2 University Transportation Research Center (“Planning and Managing Regional Transportation Systems in a Changing World” – see the UTRC website ( and strategic plan for additional explanation of this theme).

b. The research approach, including tasks to be completed, methodology, and data sources

c. The expected results and their significance

d. Schedule for completion of all tasks. The dissertation must be submitted to UTRC no later than two years

4) A listing of any other scholarships, fellowships, grants, or other sources of financial support for your dissertation research. These other sources of support will not disqualify your application, but must be disclosed.

5) Graduate school transcripts. An unofficial electronic copy is sufficient.

6) A letter of nomination from your dissertation advisor. The letter of nomination must include either a statement that the nominee has advanced to candidacy or the official certification of the date of advancement to candidacy. Applications will not be considered if the applicant has not advanced to candidacy prior to the application date. The letter also should comment on the probability that the candidate will be able to file the dissertation within the two year deadline.


Ellen Thorson

 UTRC – 910 Marshak Hall

 City College of New York

 New York, NY 10031

 ethor (at)

 Phone: 212-650-8144

 Fax: 212-650-8374

Please send as much of the application documents electronically as possible. Paper documents can be submitted by mail or fax with the online application reference number clearly marked.

Selection Process and Criteria

The pool of applicants will be reviewed by a subcommittee of faculty from the UTRC Board of Directors. Grants will be awarded on the basis of the reviewers’ assessments of the originality and significance of the research topic, the applicant’s overall record of academic and professional accomplishment, and the relevance of the research topic to UTRC’s theme. Awards will be announced by June (March applications) or December (September applications).

The number of awards will be subject to available funding. We currently anticipate that we will award one UTRC Dissertation Grant per cycle.

Other Conditions

Awards are for one year and are conditional on the student working on the dissertation topic as described in the grant application. If the student decides for any reason to change dissertation topics or to terminate doctoral studies, the student must notify UTRC immediately and a pro rata share of the grant must be returned to the UTRC.

  • Award recipients must provide the UTRC with paper and electronic copies of the dissertation when it is completed.
  • Award recipients agree to acknowledge UTRC support in the dissertation itself and in any publications that may stem from it.