Faculty Top Tier Doctoral Graduate Research Assistantship Grant Program

TTDGRA Program Information

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 2020 through Spring 2023). 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 2023.)

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, 2019.

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 November 2019. For questions about the program, please contact Emily Lin, Associate Dean of the Graduate College.

2017-2020 Cycle Awardees

Congratulations to the 2017-2020 Cycle Awardees

The winners of our 2017-2020 Top Tier Doctoral Graduate Research Assistant (TTDGRA) grant competition have been notified. You can view the names and project titles of all the winners on the Final Awards document. There were 106 submissions in 2016 (20+ more than three years prior), and 45 TTDGRAs were funded for the 2017-2020 cycle.

This means 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 approximately 75% of the funded proposals are from collaborative, often multidisciplinary, faculty teams.

Based on our assessment of past TTDGRA winners 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.