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Einaudi Dissertation Proposal Development Program

Einaudi-SSRC 2019 cohort at spring 2019 workshop

Application Deadline: December 15, 2020

Develop your dissertation on global issues with a toolkit of resources. Over the course of the year, you’ll participate in seminars, workshops, and mentoring sessions and receive up to $5,000 for summer research.  

The Einaudi Dissertation Proposal Development Program (DPDP) supports 12 PhD students annually. Applicants’ research projects must focus on global issues, but the proposed research setting may be international or domestic. In addition to six weeks of summer research, the program includes these community-building and mentoring events:

  • Seminars: Up to four sessions on topics including proposal writing, research methods, interdisciplinary international studies, and the annual theme.
  • Spring workshop: Three-day workshop in May to help you refine your proposal and plan your summer pre-dissertation research.
  • Fall workshop: Three-day workshop in September to support you as you finalize your dissertation proposal.

Applicants must commit to attending the entire spring and fall workshops and agree to conduct at least six weeks of summer research away from Cornell between the workshops.

DPDP Alum: "Feedback from My Peers"


What is this year's theme?

Theme 2021: Examining Connections in a World in Motion

The theme extends the Einaudi Center’s contributions to migrations research at Cornell. We invite you to think creatively as you develop your dissertation project about processes that are not exclusively local or global, but instead take shape at the intersection of processes, networks, institutions, ideas, and data. Border-crossing projects from all social sciences—in contemporary or historical contexts—are welcome.

Photo of US-Mexico border

The 21st century is an age of transnational mobilities, with high-speed movement of people, goods, species, ideas, and capital on a scale never before seen. Understanding the effects and implications of these migrations requires looking at how local and global forces intersect and become articulated along contested lines that include culture, race, gender, and class. It requires examining how these contestations in turn reconstitute relations of power, culture, production, and exchange, at scales from the local to the transnational. We need to ask broad conceptual questions that can be answered in relation to particular contexts. These richly contextualized instances can give boundary-crossing processes coherence and meaning—defining and redefining what is socially and politically imaginable. We invite applications that respond to these kinds of questions: 

  • How are local identities, interests, and/or institutions shaped by transnational processes?
  • How do transnational forces and flows of goods, ideas, capital, and/or data link spatially distant localities, producing surprising parallels across space?
  • How do we examine institutions, such as states; networks, such as value chains; or discourses, such as human rights? Do we see these as linked processes?
  • How are the specificities of production or the complexities of culture reimagined and remade through the intersections of transnational mobilities?
  • How can we think about possibilities and constraints, as well as perceptions of commonality and difference, in relation to transnational processes?
  • How might we rethink socioecological processes in terms of transnational mobilities?

Who leads Einaudi DPDP? 

Wendy Wolford and Durba Ghosh are DPDP's lead faculty. Thomas Pepinsky and Fouad Makki are the faculty facilitators in 2021. Heike Michelsen is the program coordinator. 

How is the program connected to the Social Science Research Council (SSRC)?

In 2020, the Einaudi-SSRC program became fully funded by Cornell under a new name: the Einaudi Dissertation Proposal Development Program.

SSRC developed the original program and offered it at a national level with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. In 2016, SSRC selected Cornell as one of five host universities, with the goal of transferring the program to local campuses. The Einaudi Center led Cornell’s program with financial support from CAS, CALS, CIS, ILR, and the Graduate School. 




Up to $5,000 for summer research. The award can cover the following research expenses:

  • International travel (economy airfare, visa fees)

  • Local travel
  • Accommodation and living expenses
  • Research expenses (permits, translation costs, internet, archive access, etc.)

We encourage you to apply for other Cornell grants and external grants to complement your DPDP funding. You must apply for the Graduate School's research travel grants (currently suspended); you are not eligible to apply for Einaudi's travel grants.

Please note that you may only bill for a research expense once. If an expense is already covered by your DPDP award or Graduate School travel grant, you may not use other Cornell or external grants to pay the same expense.


  • Students who are currently enrolled full-time in PhD programs at Cornell University are eligible.
  • Both U.S. citizens and noncitizens are eligible.
  • Progress within graduate program:
    • Applicants must have completed at least two full years of graduate study (MA and/or PhD) by the end of the spring workshop. First-year graduate students who have completed master’s degrees and fourth-year students who have not yet undertaken dissertation research may be eligible.
    • Applicants must be on track to obtain approval of their dissertation proposals after the fall workshop but before the end of the upcoming academic year.
  • Students who have already submitted dissertation research proposals to their departments for approval or to funding agencies for dissertation research support are not eligible to apply.


Please email program coordinator Heike Michelsen if you have questions about the program or your application.

Additional Information