TTDGRA Program Information for Fall 2023 to Spring 2026 Cycle

The Top Tier Doctoral Graduate Research Assistantship (formerly DGRA) program will support approximately 40 doctoral graduate research assistantships. This competitive program will fund selected proposals for research and creative activity that involve the use of one state funded doctoral research assistant for one academic year, and renewable for up to two additional (3 years of total support: Fall 2023 through Spring 2026). These TTDGRAs will receive the minimum stipend (varies by graduate program) and standard Graduate College GA benefits (tuition, optional health insurance, etc.). Faculty who are awarded TTDGRAs are encouraged to supplement the stipend and/or student tuition/fees with external funds, if available, but this is not required.

TTDGRA proposals should clearly address how the activities will support the UNLV Top Tier effort in some way.


Applicants must be UNLV tenured or tenure-track faculty, with graduate faculty status in the targeted graduate program(s). Collaborative and interdisciplinary proposals are encouraged. If awarded a TTDGRA, faculty may appoint a single doctoral student in good standing for the full 3 years, or give the position to different students in different years of the project. Doctoral students in TTDGRA positions must be enrolled full-time for the duration of the funding, work up to 20 hours per week on research, scholarship, or creative activity related to the TTDGRA proposal, and continue to make satisfactory progress toward degree completion. Faculty TTDGRA awardees who demonstrate annual progress towards project goals will be extended each year, up to the full three years (last eligible semester of funding is spring 2026.)

Submission Guidelines & Information

Please submit the TTDGRA proposal as described in the Request for Proposals. Completed proposals and associated documentation will be submitted to the TTDGRA Submission Portal. The submission deadline is 9 p.m. on August 8th, 2022.

After submission, the proposals will be distributed to the project director’s dean and department chair for review and comment. Next, a select committee of faculty, with representation from each college with graduate programs, will review and rank all of the submitted proposals and make recommendations to the Graduate College. The Graduate College will announce awards in January 2023. For questions about the program, please contact Emily Lin, Associate Dean of the Graduate College.


2020-2023 Cycle Awardees

Congratulations to the 2020-2023 Cycle Awardees

The recipients of our 2020-2023 Top Tier Doctoral Graduate Research Assistant (TTDGRA) grant competition have been selected and notified. You can view the names and project titles of all the TTDGRA recipients (2020-23) below. Of the 115 applications, 45 TTDGRAs were funded for the 2020-2023 cycle.

This year’s application pool was extremely competitive with many high quality and notable scholarly projects being considered. We are very appreciative of the TTDGRA Review Committee and the Deans and Department Chairs from the academic units for their valuable feedback and careful consideration of each application. The TTDGRA Review Committee, comprised of representatives from each college/school, made considerable efforts in providing serious, thoughtful review and discussions of the applications. We thank the members of this committee listed below for their service:

Lee Business School: Dr. Vivek Sah; Dr. Jason Smith

College of Education: Dr. Danica Hays; Dr. Joseph Morgan

College of Engineering: Dr. Sarah Harris; Dr. Pramen Shrestha

College of Fine Arts: Dr. Alfredo Fernandez-Gonzalez

College of Hospitality: Dr. Ozgu Ozdemir; Dr. Sarah Tanford

School of Integrated Health Sciences: Dr. Kai-Yu Ho

College of Liberal Arts: Dr. Daniel Allen; Dr. Kelly Mays

School of Nursing: Dr. Hyunhwa (Henna) Lee; Dr. Reimund Serafica

School of Public Health: Dr. Sheniz Moonie; Dr. Jennifer Pharr

College of Sciences: Dr. Laurel Raftery; Dr. Jason Steffen

These results mean that the approximate value of this program is $800,000 per year for three years, or approximately $2.4 million dollars. It is also worth noting that the funded proposals are from professors of all ranks (51% Assistants; 33% Associates; 16% Professors) and that 67% are based on collaborative, often multidisciplinary, faculty teams.

Based on our assessment of past TTDGRA recipients and their students, we are confident that the faculty awarded these 45 TTDGRAs will benefit substantially, and that this investment will act as seed funding for increasing their grants and research or scholarly productivity.