AAG Dissertation Research Grants 

Deadline: December 31, yearly 

The AAG provides support for doctoral dissertation research in the form of small grants of up to $1,000 to PhD candidates of any geographic specialty. 


Eligibility: You are eligible to apply if you have been an AAG member for at least one year at the time you submit your application, you do not have a doctorate at the time of the award, and you will have completed all Ph.D. requirements except the dissertation by the end of the semester or term following approval of your award (i.e., you will  have all requirements except the dissertation completed in the spring or summer term immediately following the Dec. 31 application submission). 

In addition to the information you will provide on our online application form, your dissertation supervisor must certify your eligibility by sending an email to grantsawards@aag.org prior to December 31 with “AAG Dissertation Grant – Eligibility Verification for NAME OF APPLICANT” in the subject of the email. In the message body, your dissertation supervisor must print the following information with the appropriate text inserted where indicated in [CAPITAL LETTERS INSIDE BRACKETS] below:

This message verifies that [NAME OF APPLICANT] will have both
1) completed all the requirements for the PhD except for the dissertation by the end of the term/semester following this deadline (i.e., spring/summer 2022) and
2) is expected to have completed a PhD degree by the spring or summer semester of the next calendar year (i.e., spring/summer 2023). Anticipated date of completion is [DATE].” 

I certify that I am the dissertation supervisor of [NAME OF APPLICANT].
Advisor’s Name, Position/Title
Phone Number and Email  


Criteria: Proposals should demonstrate high standards of scholarship. The selection committee will observe the purposes and preferences noted above when evaluating proposals. The committee represents a broad spectrum of geographical specialties, and cannot be expected to be familiar with the jargon of all geographical topics. Awards rarely exceed $1,000. Awards may not be made in years when funds are insufficient or proposals are not suitable. 


Applications: Digital submissions are required. All information must be entered on our online application form
Acknowledgement of receipt will be returned within a maximum of 2-3 business days. All applicants will be notified of the status of their submission within approximately 3 months after the deadline. Awardees may anticipate receiving their grants by late Spring. 


About AAG Dissertation Research Grants: These grants are supported by the AAG and also in part with the following funds: (Note: Applicants do not need to indicate which of these funds are most relevant to their proposed dissertation, nor must their research conform to only these subject areas.) 

  • The Robert D. Hodgson Memorial Ph.D. Dissertation Fund, which honors an accomplished geographer who capped his long career with ten years of distinguished service as the geographer in the U.S. Department of State. As an internationally recognized expert on geographic aspects of the law of the sea and maritime boundaries, Dr. Hodgson believed that broader understanding of geographic principles would reduce international conflicts. 
  • The Paul Vouras Fund, established by a generous gift from Dr. Vouras, who taught at William Paterson College in Wayne, New Jersey, until 1990. The fund supports doctoral dissertation research in geography with preference to minority student applications. 
  • The Otis Paul Starkey Fund, honoring an officer of the American Society of Professional Geographers who also taught at the University of Indiana at Bloomington for years, established to support research devoted to regional study or significant problem areas in the United States or its possessions. 

Reports and Acknowledgment: By accepting an AAG Dissertation Grant you agree to submit to the AAG Executive Director a copy of your dissertation abstract and a report that documents expenses charged to the grant. Please acknowledge AAG support in presentations and publications.