Frequently Asked Questions


Frequently Asked Questions
SREB DSP Application Process

View the video session on how to submit a strong application >

What should I do if my university is not listed under a participating state? 

If your university is a public state school that is not listed, please let us know. An oversight could have occurred for many reasons, or there could be a special circumstance. 

Why is my state not a participating state? 

For various reasons, states may enter in or step out of active partnership. If a state is non-participating that means that a scholar cannot receive funding from our program in that state at this time. 

Can I still receive funding at my institution if it is a non-participating state or institution? 

There is a way for your institution to become an “institutional partner.” The scholar that is interested would have to go to their Graduate Dean and Department Chair to express interest in being a part of our program. If those parties express interest, then a meeting can be set up between Dr. Ansley Abraham, Director of the SREB-State Doctoral Scholars Program, and the Dean and Chair. A custom agreement would have to be made for the scholar. The institution would be required to commit to supporting the student with a stipend and tuition waiver.  Additional details >

How do I prove in-state residency? 

Applicants can only prove in-state residency once they are accepted at a public higher education institution within a participating state. We go by the standards of the institution, so if the college/university declares you an in-state resident, that is what we will go by. 

Acceptable documents include: a signed letter from the registrar’s office stating that you are a resident (can be scanned and emailed), or an email from a registrar manager/representative declaring you a resident. Financial aid statements, W-9’s, check stubs, drivers licenses, and any other documents such as these are not acceptable. 

When does the application cycle open and close for the SREB-DSP Fellowship? 

We begin accepting applications in January every year. Applications are due by March 31 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern. 

 What should be included in the letter of recommendation?

Recommendations should be given by professionals that are familiar with an applicant’s work. This can be a past/current employer, adviser, professor,  or co-worker. Included in the letters should be information on how the professional knows the applicant, their familiarity with the applicant’s work, the applicant’s strengths, and why they would be a successful candidate for the SREB DSP Fellowship. 

How long should the Letter of Interest/Personal Statement be? What should be included in it? 

Letters of Interest/Personal Statements should be no more than two pages, singled-spaced with 12 point font. 
Topics that should be addressed:

1) Past/current experiences that have inspired you to want to obtain a doctorate. 
2) Why you are passionate about studying in your current discipline. 
3) Research Interests 
4) How the investment of an SREB Fellowship will not only help you but better the community around you. 
5) Why you want to teach in academia 
6) Teaching goals for yourself and future students
7) Experience as a TA, RA and/or GRA

How long should the dissertation abstract be? What should be included in it?

The dissertation prospectus should be one page, single spaced, 12 point font. The document should include information about the central problem that will be addressed, research methodology, expected impact of the research, and any other pertinent details to the research. 

Is it acceptable to contact a Regional Advisory Committee member concerning my application? 

No, all questions concerning applications or the process should be sent to SREB-DSP staff.

What are reviewers looking for in a strong application? 

1)Master’s Degree recipient
2)A strong Letter of Interest(that captures the elements listed above). 
3)Proven record of service, awards, and honors 
4)Professional skills and experiences:
d.Experience as a TA, RA, or GRA
5)Strong faculty and/or professional recommendations

When and how will I be notified of acceptance or denial? 

Letters will be sent out mid-late July to inform applicants of their status. A few states may take a longer to decide due to late budgetary meetings. If you have not heard from us by the last week in July give us a call at: 404-875-9211 to confirm the status of your application.

Can I reapply if I am denied this year? 

Yes, we keep everyone’s application on file for one year. However, you have to notify us early on in the application process if this is the case. We also need updated versions of the following: 

  • Application web form (if any contact information has changed). 
  • A transcript showing grades from the most recent semester.
  • A short statement that informs us that you are a previous year applicant and that you would like for your application to be considered again.

If I am awarded the doctoral award, can I apply for the dissertation award? 

No, scholars may only be awarded either the doctoral or dissertation award.