Doctoral Curriculum Enhancement Grants (DCEGs) 2021-2022

Image of long bookshelf and lighting. Text reads: "Doctoral Curriculum Enhancement Grants"

Deadline: 12 November 2021

In 2018, The Graduate Center, CUNY received a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation focused on transforming doctoral education in the humanities for the public good. As part of this initiative, the PublicsLab will be distributing annual Doctoral Curriculum Enhancement Grants (DCEGs) to departments and programs at The Graduate Center.

In the first two years of the DCEGs (2019–20 and 2020-21), eleven DCEGs were given to support the development and implementation of new curricular methods and strategies that approached the following question: How can our program support graduate students in doing public scholarship and preparing for careers both inside and outside the academy?

In the 2021-2022 academic year, we are seeking applications for six additional $8,000 DCEGs! This will be our third and final round of DCEGs on the Mellon grant.

Who is eligible to apply?

In order to apply for a DCEG, Graduate Center doctoral programs must furnish a team of at least 2-3 people, including at least one graduate student and one faculty member. We welcome student-driven proposals, but due to the nature of curriculum and implementing curricular changes, applications need to demonstrate sufficient faculty investment.

At least one team member should have attended our workshop on “Doctoral Curriculum for the Public Good” on Wednesday, 29 September 2021 from 11:00am-1:00pm EDT. At the workshop, you will hear from current DCEG recipients. We will also discuss what changes are considered curricular in nature. If you did not (or cannot) attend the workshop and wish to apply for a grant, please contact PublicsLab director Stacy Hartman at

What sorts of curricular changes or activities might be funded?

Proposed new courses or other curricular changes must actively respond to students’ intellectual and professional needs and prepare them for a variety of careers. Possible approaches include but are not limited to:

  • Reconceiving the dissertation and exploring alternative dissertation formats that take into consideration new technologies and multiple career tracks
  • Restructuring examinations so that they align with professionalization activities and open career options for students
  • Integrating preparation for non-faculty positions for all students from Day 1 so that they understand that training for R-1 research jobs is not exclusive of training for other professions
  • Incentivizing interdisciplinary clusters of programs to share courses in subjects as diverse as data analysis, archival studies, and public scholarship
  • Modifying existing introductory courses by creating career / professional development modules to be blended with conventional and new methods research training
  • Including visits by lecturers with PhDs that have non-academic careers in introductory courses in doctoral studies and on dissertation committees

Examples of activities that a successful application for a DCEG may include but are not limited to:

  • Bringing in outside experts to speak with faculty or students (for your own department or in collaboration with others)
  • Hosting a series of structured discussions or focus groups with graduate students or alumni
  • Sub-grants to students or faculty trying new models
  • Funding a student coordinator or stipend for a graduate student to serve on the committee
  • Technology that is essential to implement your proposal and/or support any curricular changes

Please note any funds that will be provided by your department. The PublicsLab encourages the matching of funds.

For further reading, check out student participant Daniel Valtueña’s blog post, “5 Tips to Foster Curriculum Change in Your Graduate Program.”


Proposed activities may start as early as Spring 2022 and must be completed by June 2023. A summary of lessons learned with findings, conclusions, evaluations, and suggested further changes should be submitted to the PublicsLab no later than July 2023.

Application Process

  • Review above information about the Doctoral Curriculum Enhance Grants.
  • Attend our workshop on “Doctoral Curriculum for the Public Good” on Wednesday, 29 September 2021 from 11:00am-1:00pm EDT.
  • Complete the application form. The following items will need to be identified:
    • Name of project lead(s)
    • Email address(es) of project lead(s)
    • Names, email addresses, and status (e.g. faculty, grad student, staff) of additional team members
    • Your department
    • Grant narrative (no more than 1,500 words)
    • Grant budget (sample budget template can be found here)
  • Applications are due no later than 12 November 2021.

Please direct any questions about the DCEG process to Dr. Stacy Hartman, Director of the PublicsLab, at