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Internal Funding


UTEP Student Research In Action

Individualized Development Plans (IDP)

IDPs have been shown to increase productivity, reduce stress through establishing clear expectations/reducing uncertainty, allow space for early interventions, and save time through increased efficiency. Because IDPs have been shown to positively impact Graduate Students, those who apply for internal funding with the Graduate School must submit a copy of their most recent IDP as part of their application. Templates for annual and multi-year IDPs can be found on the Graduate School forms page under the current student section.Annual IDP Template


Please review the Dodson Research Grant Guidelines carefully, as there have been important changes for 2023-24

The Graduate School manages a pool of Les and Harriet Dodson Endowment funds to support graduate student research. These funds primarily assist students actively working on dissertations, theses, or final projects.
We encourage applicants to consult with their mentors and consider Student Travel guidelines carefully when preparing Dodson proposals that include research-related travel.
A faculty committee will review proposals and make recommendations to the Dean of the Graduate School. Individuals may receive up to $3,000.

AY 2023-24 Application Period: November 9-December 11, 2023

Supported Activities

Funds may purchase useable materials or pay for processing directly related to graduate student research.

Awards generally cannot pay for the following:

  • equipment that will stay at the institution
  • wages to the applicant or assistants
  • personal items
  • publishing costs
  • travel to academic conferences

Note: Funding may support travel for the purposes of conducting research (e.g. collecting samples in the field, visiting archives, etc.). Being awarded the Dodson Research Grant from the Graduate School does not constiture approval for University-sponsored travel. Funds will only be made available if you sucessfully complete the Student Travel Authorization process.

Any items purchased with grant funds will be property of UTEP. For the purposes of this grant, equipment is defined as any tangible property with a useful life of more than one year and a purchase price of $300 and above (10% of the total maximum grant). Students requesting equipment purchases must directly justify the purchase in their grant proposal. General use equipment purchased with Dodson Research Grant funds may be required to be returned to the Graduate School upon completion of the grant.


  • Applicants must be enrolled in a graduate degree program and show progress toward the degree.
  • Applicants must be able to expend all awarded funding by July 2024. Dodson funds cannot roll over from a prior fiscal year.
  • Students cannot receive more than two Dodson awards during their graduate career.
  • Previous Dodson recipients must disclose their prior award(s) and explain why they should be funded again in their proposal.
  • Applicants must apply as individuals, not as a team.
  • Applicants must comply with protocols associated with research on human or animal subjects. Students with projects undergoing IRB or IACUC review are welcome to apply.


  • Applications that are submitted late, do not follow submission guidelines, or are otherwise incomplete will not be reviewed.
  • A complete application includes 1) the student’s application 2) the student’s most recent Individualized Development Plan (IDP)
  • The student’s faculty mentor will be asked to submit a letter of support via QuestionPro. This letter should endorse the student’s work and describe its feasibility and significance. The faculty member may include other information they consider relevant to the student’s proposal. The faculty letter of support is due no later than one business week after the close of the Dodson Research Grant application. (The mentor will receive an email with instructions on how to submit their letter of support once the Graduate School has processed the student's application and verified it is complete)
  • The review committee will assess the quality of the narrative, budget, IDP, and letter of support to inform the allocation of funds.

How to Apply

The applicant submits the proposal (see below) as one PDF via the application portal:

The student proposal portion (double spaced, 12 pt. font, 1-inch margins) must have two components that count toward a 3-page limit:

Narrative description, to include:
  • Clear, non-technical explanation of the project that can be understood by non-specialists.
  • Description of the activities to be supported with approximate dates of completion.
  • Explanation of how this funding will contribute to completion of degree.
  • If a previous Dodson grant awardee, disclosure of prior award(s) and rationale for further funding.
Itemized budget, to include:
  • Table outlining all proposed purchases, including quantity and total estimated cost
  • Budget justification connecting research proposed and purchases
  • Estimated time frame in which purchases would be made.
    Note: all funding must be utilized by July 2024. Dodson funds do not roll over to the next fiscal year, and unused funds will be lost.
  • Indication of any other sources of research funding and/or efforts made to secure support.

Note: Dodson Research Grant recipients are required to apply for at least one external funding opportunity to support their research during the term of their award. Applicants will be required to indicate the external funding opportunities they intend to apply for in their application. For the purposes of this grant, external funding opportunities are defined as a fellowship or grant awarded by an entity outside of UTEP. Departmental funding, program scholarships, or other UTEP institutional funding does not qualify. Grant funding secured by the student’s principal investigator also does not qualify. Learn about external funding opportunities here.

The student proposal portion may have two more components that do not count toward the page limit:

References (1 page max)–The applicant may have one page with essential bibliographic or endnote citations relevant to their study. No explanatory notes or other narrative is permitted.

IRB or IACUC approval–If relevant, the applicant should provide documentation indicating the state of IRB or IACUC approval. An email or screenshot is acceptable.

Note: We welcome applications for projects having requested but awaiting institutional review. We will not release funds until the IRB or IACUC review is approved. Provide evidence of status in the application and send that approval to as soon as possible.

The final component is required, but does not count toward the page limit:

All Dodson Research Grant applications must include student’s most recent IDP:

Include a copy of your Individualized Development Plan, signed by your mentor (This does not count toward the page limit.) The Graduate School has an IDP template link at the top of the Internal Funding webpage.


Applicants should submit their complete application (including PDF upload) via

Note: Order of the elements in the .pdf should follow the order in program details & instructions (see above “How to Apply”) and the .pdf File Name should be “[Applicant Last Name], [Applicant First Name] [semester] Dodson.”

We will notify applicants whether or not they have received the Dodson Research Grant and will make every effort to provide feedback. Thank you for your patience as we evaluate all applications with care.

Instructions if Awarded a Dodson Research Grant

Recipients must review and sign Awardee Guidelines, which outline compliance and reporting responsibilities by an indicated date. Failure to respond promptly or comply with these guidelines will result in forfeiture of award funds.
Dodson funds may only be used for items and activities listed in your accepted proposal. Email cc’ing your faculty advisor, to request clarification or modification or to report any changes.
Awardees must expense funds and submit a closeout report by the end of the grant period or upon graduation (whichever occurs first). Unused funds will be returned to the Graduate School. The closeout report must be submitted through QuestionPro to and addresses the following:
  • An update that describes the current status of your research.
  • An updated timeline for degree completion and immediate post-graduation plans (job search, postdoc, etc.).
  • A list of any publications in progress, submitted, or accepted that resulted from your funded research.
  • A list of any conference presentations that took place during the grant period that involved your funded research.
  • At least one and up to three pictures of you “in action” during the funding period (for example, working in a lab, conducting research in the field, or presenting your work.)
  • An itemized statement of how you spent your Dodson funds uploaded as an excel file, including both your original budget proposed and the actual use of funds.
  • An explanation of how the funds specifically contributed to your progress and to your future academic/professional goals.

Please direct all questions regarding the disbursal or management of funds to your program’s administrative assistant or college business center.

Direct other questions about the grant program to: