Thesis Research Grant Guidelines

Proposals must be submitted online between 1 April and 15 May 2018, at


  • Part-time and full-time doctoral or masters students attending an accredited college/university are eligible for PMI Thesis Research Grant funding. Independent consultants or consulting firms and other for-profit enterprises are ineligible. Candidates must provide the name of the college/university’s accrediting body in their proposal.
  • Grants will be given once a year. All proposals will be evaluated using a formal review process before the final selections are made.
  • Research must be completed within two years of receipt of the grant.
  • Proposed research must advance academic knowledge and have implications for practice.
  • Historical research will not be considered.
  • Only doctoral and master’s students are eligible to apply for a PMI Thesis Research Grant. Advanced researchers may be eligible to apply for the PMI Sponsored Research Program Grant. See for more information. Note that student authors who receive a PMI Sponsored Research Grant are ineligible to receive a Thesis Research Grant on the same topic in the same year, and vice versa.

Funding Guidelines

  • Candidates are eligible for an award up to US$25,000.
  • The Grant will be awarded to and administered by the college or university at which the student is enrolled. No grants are made directly to individuals. 
  • The grants/contract administrator cannot be the research advisor.
  • Grants are to support doctoral and master’s thesis research. These grants are not a scholarship to be used for tuition and are not a stipend to be used for living expenses.
  • Grant money may not be used for university overhead or indirect costs
  • Candidates must confirm in writing that additional sources of funding exist to enable completion of the research or that the PMI Thesis Research Grant is sufficient to complete the research.
  • Grant awardees will sign an agreement committing to fulfill the research before the grant money can be released.
  • Proposals are to be submitted by the master’s/doctoral student and approved by the student’s thesis advisor.
  • Projects that include a co-investigator are not eligible.
  • Projects that request retroactive funding are not eligible.

Proposal Content Guidelines

Proposal Body(limit to 7 pages)

  • Statement of Research Question
  • Specific Aims of Research Project: Please include a statement on how the funding will enhance the proposed research in ways that may not have been possible otherwise and how that enhancement will influence the field of project, program, and/or portfolio management.
  • Significance of Study: Explain the importance of the topic to academics, practitioners and the researchers themselves. What was the problem in need of research?
  • Literature Summary: Within the context of your area
    • Theoretical perspectives or academic discipline from which the researcher will be approaching the study.
    • A statement of the managerial problem that is being investigated and how the research will increase knowledge in the field.
  • Research Design and General Methodological Approach: Research must have a clear, specific, and delineated methodology. Preference will be given to research methodologies that do not rely strictly on surveys.
  • Preliminary Analysis Plan
  • Schedule of Activities
    • Timeframe and Estimated Completion Date: Timeframe for proposed research should be no more than two years. Timeframe should include preparation of final report.
    • Stage of Research: Please indicate the current state of progress in your doctoral project.

Budget Template (not counted as part of 7-page limit)

Bibliography/Work Cited(not counted as part of 7-page limit) Print references on a separate page following the proposal body.

Curriculum Vitae for the student investigator (not counted as part of the 7-page limit).

Curriculum Vitae (abbreviated) of the thesis advisor.

Letter of Approval from the Thesis Supervisor must be submitted on university letterhead. This letter should describe the thesis supervisor’s role in the thesis project and the supervisor’s review and approval of the proposed doctoral research project, and state whether it is a freestanding project or part of a larger proposed or ongoing research investigation(not counted as part of the 7-page limit).

Format Guidelines

  • Number pages consecutively in lower right corner.
  • Bold and underline all major sections of proposal (see Proposal Body above).
  • Underline sub-headings, if any.
  • Single-space, with one-inch margins on all sides of page. 
  • Use no larger than Times New Roman 11pt. typeface.
  • PMI adheres to the system of grammar, usage, and documentation outlined in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association(APA Sixth Edition). Please refer to this source for specific formatting and style information.
  • The document header must include: the proposal title, the student investigator’s name, and the university/affiliation. For example, “Project Management and Virtual Communities, Bill Smith -George Washington University.”

Proposals that do not conform to the formatting guidelines will not be reviewed and will be returned to the author.

Proposal Submission

Only electronic submissions will be accepted via

Review Process

Proposals are reviewed by a well-qualified team of volunteers in academia as well as PMI staff based on a set of criteria that include:

  • Research question(s) and its significance to the field of project, program, and/or portfolio management.
  • The methodological approach and its relevance to the research question.
  • Adequacy of financial resources.

Funding Decisions

Final funding decisions are announced to investigators before 1 August. Grantees will receive a Project Implementation and Reporting Package, including the research agreement, with notification of the award.

  • Parties of the agreement are PMI and the university with which the doctoral/master’s student is enrolled. No grants are made directly to individuals.
  • PMI funding cannot be used by the university/research institute for indirect costs.
  • Project funding will be administered upon PMI’s receipt of the signed research agreement.


  1. Final report submitted as a research manuscript suitable for publication as a white paper, formatted according to the PMI Manuscript Guidelines, which are provided at the time essential research is completed.*
  2. All deliverables should be submitted to PMI at by the stated deadline.
  3. A 3-5 page dissertation abstract should accompany the final report, which includes the following:
    1. The research question
    2. Context of the research
    3. Brief overview of methodology
    4. Clearly stated project findings for, or application to, practice

* PMI reserves the right to not publish a paper online or in any PMI publications.


1 April 2018
Call for Proposals

15 May 2018
Proposal Submission Deadline

1 August 2018
Applicant notifications sent with contracts

1 September 2018
Contracts due to PMI

December 2018
Winners announced

January 2019
Project initiated