Carnegie Mellon University

Graduate Student Small Grants Program

The CBDR Small Grants Program was created in the Spring of 2005 to support high-quality work in behavioral and decision research. Recipients are eligible for up to $2,500 to support their research. Below, you will find the steps to apply for a CBDR small grant. You must include a proposal and budget, and if awarded, a summary report.


Applicants must be doctoral students or junior faculty members at Carnegie Mellon University. Priority will be given to applications from doctoral students, CBDR affiliates, and projects without alternative sources of funding (such as that provided by senior faculty co-authors). Students must be supported by a note from a faculty member who is a CBDR affiliate, commenting briefly on the merits of both the project and the investigator. This note of support should be sent directly by the faculty member to


The maximum length for the text of a proposal is 1,000 words, excluding budget and references pages. Proposals should briefly outline the basic rationale of the research, the question under study, and the methods and analytic approach to be employed. Proposals should be submitted via email to the Small Grants Program of CBDR ( putting the words "Grant application" in the subject line of the message. Applications will be reviewed as they are received, on a rolling basis.


Representative categories of expenditure include payment to subjects in experiments and research-related expenses (such as photocopying, telephone, or postage). Proposals may include requests for payment for research assistance. However, because collecting one's own data is an important learning experience, the CBDR will only reluctantly consider providing funding for research assistants to help doctoral students with their data collection. The grant cannot be used as income for any researchers who will be co-authors on the project. If equipment is required to run the study, such purchase may be considered only if the proposal details attempts to use existing resources on campus and on the condition that any purchased equipment becomes the property of CBDR after the project has been complete. 

The more modest the budget, the greater the probability of funding.  A budget that appears to be excessive will be grounds for rejecting a proposal, and the maximum amount for any individual grant is $2,500.

Summary Reporting

One year after receiving the grant, investigators must send a final short report (no more than 500 words) to the Center along with copies of all research papers supported by the award. Grants have a term of one year.