Carnegie Mellon University

Research Grant Support

Graduate Small project Help (GuSH) Research Grant

GSA/Provost Office GuSH Grants:
GuSH Research grants provide small grants of $750 to graduate students for forwarding their research at Carnegie Mellon University.  Grants are provided by the Graduate Student Assembly and the Provost's Office, and are managed by the Graduate Education Office. GuSH grants are intended to be used against costs incurred in the completion of research required for a graduate degree at Carnegie Mellon. These funds are intended to be utilized by students whose personal or departmental resources have been exhausted. A graduate student is eligible for one grant in each fiscal year (July 1 to June 30) they are a graduate student.  **Links for the student application form and advisor support form are at the end of this page**    


2019 Phi Kappa Phi Research Grant

Phi Kappa Phi is sponsoring a $750 PKP Graduate Student Research Grant Award for a PKP graduate student member. Phi Kappa Phi is the oldest and largest honor society representing all academic disciplines. The chapter at Carnegie Mellon University has 20 graduate students and 30 undergraduate student members. Student applications will be managed through the GSA/Provost GuSH Grant process outlined below.

Graduate Small project Help (GuSH) Crosswalk

These funds have been discontinued.

GuSH Application Periods (2019-2020)

FALL 2019
Application opens on August 26 and closes on September 15, 2019

SPRING 2020 
Application opens on January 14 and closes on January 26, 2020
Application opens on May 4 and closes on May 18, 2020
FALL 2020
Application opens on August 24 and closes on September 7, 2020


  • The project, research, or product in question must be at least a portion of a graduate degree requirement.
  • The work in question must be scheduled for start-up within one semester of application for the award.
  • Upon application, clear documentation of any and all costs and how they relate to the project are required, including a detailed projected budget. All funding sources should be identified. Allocations of GUSH funds should be specified. See below for items that are eligible for funding.
  • Need for university support due to a lack of sufficient department or grant funds must be demonstrated and confirmed by faculty advisor(s) on the advisor support form that you will send to your advisor via email (see application form and instructions below).
  • Students must be enrolled during the semesters they use the GuSH funding.  Doctoral students in "In Absentia" status are not eligible for GuSH funding.
  • Books

  • Travel to archives/labs/clients/research subjects, but not to conferences.  Travel includes transportation and lodging but not meal costs.

  • Software and Datasets

  • Lab equipment

  • Art supplies

  • Human subjects - fees/incentives (for payment guidelines, visit here)

  • Programmer fees (in multi-disciplinary projects)

  • Equipment (but if capital equipment, must donate to graduate program when finished)  (1)

  • No stipend, no tuition - for GuSH (2)

(1) Equipment: Before requesting equipment make sure that your department does not have the equipment available.  If they do but usage fees are required the grant can support usage fees. If they don’t then you can include purchase costs in the grant. Equipment that is purchased must be donated to the graduate program and in the application the student must indicate which faculty/staff member or laboratory will manage the equipment. Computers may not be purchased with this funding.

(2) Stipend/Tuition: The intent is to fund research, not a student's "quality of life." We realize that graduate students make sacrifices when it comes to salary for the sake of their research, and that is why we have the possibility for offsetting "minimal support" such as lodging where travel is involved.

  • Clarity: First, indicate (very briefly) the degree requirement being satisfied, then describe in detail the project to be funded. Both the abstract and proposal sections must be written in clear, non-specialized, generalist language as members of the review committee represent departments across the campus. Proposals that do not meet this criteria will not be considered for review.  It must be original, not quoted from a graduate student handbook or course syllabus. It is best to be specific about the substance of your (hypo)thesis and its relation to existing literature on your topic.

  • Relevance of project to field/discipline: How was your research problem selected? What are the major questions and terms in your field related to your project and what are you doing in response to them? How is the project goal important? How can it contribute to advancing knowledge or the state of the art in your area of study?

  • Structure: There must be a well-developed plan for structuring your work and the costs associated with it.

  • Focused process/outcome: There must be a clear and focused work process in mind. Costs do not have to be clearly linked to the final product/outcome, but they must be linked to part of a process clearly leading to that final product/outcome.

  • Demonstrated financial need: You should directly address this criterion in your budget justification by showing all associated costs and where funding is being provided or the sources it is being sought from. 

  • Support letter: Your advisor’s support letter is required for the proposal to be considered by the review committee.  If it is not received by the deadline, your proposal will not be considered - follow up with your advisor before the deadline.  It should address the merits of the research work you are doing, how the proposal fits into the departmental requirements and should also provide background information on the need for GuSH funding indicating why this funding is not available to you from other resources. Please provide a copy of your grant to your advisor so he/she is familiar with your request and can support it appropriately.

  • GuSH applications will be ranked by an interdisciplinary faculty and graduate student selection committee according to how well they meet the above criteria. Turnaround on GuSH applications typically takes 3+ weeks.


All graduate students who accept GuSH research grants commit to:
  1. Presenting a poster, paper, powerpoint, or other appropriate format of their work at the annual Innovation with Impact Research Exhibition during Graduate Student Appreciation Week. In 2020, the exhibition is scheduled for Thursday, April 9, 2020.
  2. Submitting a 2-3 page report summarizing the work they undertook with the funding and a finalized budget. This should be submitted within 2 semesters of receiving the funding
If a grant is selected, the funds will be transferred to a department account. You will be able to work with the business manager you identified in the proposal for access to those funds. All reimbursements require receipts and they must be submitted within 30 days of purchase or the service date. Receipts turned in after 30 days may not be reimbursable. Please check with your department business manager for their processing requirements.  Funds must be used for those items listed in your proposal budget.  If your research needs change and you want to make an adjustment to your budget you need to contact Suzie Laurich-McIntyre to request a variance, prior to spending the funds.
  • For more information on how to write successful GuSH proposals, visit here.
  • For general advice on writing successful funding proposals, visit here.
For further information on Graduate Small project Help (GuSH) please contact:
Suzie Laurich-McIntyre, Ph.D.
Assistant Vice Provost for Graduate Education


GuSH Research Application

For PKP applicants: If you are a member of Phi Kappa Phi, please add the initials 'PKP' on the application form following the name of your program in the Graduate Program field.

GuSH Research Application - STUDENT FORM 


Advisor Support Form

Students must send the link to this form to their advisors. It is recommended that you do this several weeks before the close of the application period.  Provide your advisor(s) with your research statement so they will know what you are requesting funds for.  Please also let them know that we do not want a reiteration of your research project in their letter, but the merit of the work and how it relates to your degree program.  

It is the responsibility of the student to have this submitted on time, as late Advisor Support Forms will not be accepted and the student's application for GuSH Funding will not be considered if it is not received by the closing deadline. Advisors must complete the Advisor Support Form, emailed letters will not be accepted instead of the Form.