Ruth B. Mandel Dissertation Research Awards

Professor Ruth B. Mandel, who escaped the Holocaust with her family and dedicated her life to promoting women’s rights, human rights, democracy, and civic engagement, co-founded the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at the Eagleton Institute of Politics in 1971 and served as the Center’s director until 1994. Mandel served with distinction as director of the Eagleton Institute of Politics for 24 years. At the time of her passing, she was Board of Governors Professor of Politics at Rutgers University–New Brunswick and a senior scholar at CAWP.

Dr. Mandel’s leadership was critical to CAWP’s history and impact and as its director she built a national center with multi-faceted research, education, public service, and information programs, helping to define and build the field. For more than five decades, CAWP has been committed to promoting greater knowledge and understanding about the role of women in American politics, enhancing women's influence in public life, and expanding the diversity of women in politics and government.

We are grateful to her family for establishing an endowed Legacy Fund at CAWP which allows us to provide awards to graduate students working on dissertations in the field of women and American politics. CAWP is proud to ensure that Dr. Mandel’s work continues by supporting the next generation of gender and politics researchers and the latest research that will help to yield progress for women in U.S. politics. You can read more about Ruth and her extraordinary career here.

We will award up to four Ruth B. Mandel Dissertation Research Awards annually, with the expectation that at least one award will be designated for a Rutgers University student. These awards, which will be $2,000/each in value, will support dissertation research on women, gender, and U.S. politics. Eligible recipients include advanced doctoral students from any relevant discipline at U.S.-based institutions who have successfully defended their dissertation proposal. We encourage applications from scholars who are traditionally underrepresented in the academy.

We welcome applications for research that analyzes gender in addition to or in conjunction with other categories such as race/ethnicity, class, immigration status, gender identity, and sexual orientation. 

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  • Any advanced doctoral student from any relevant discipline at a U.S. institution who has completed course work and has an approved dissertation proposal related to women, gender, and U.S. politics is eligible for the award.
  • No scholar can win the Ruth B. Mandel Award more than once.
  • Projects already funded through the CAWP Research Grants program are not eligible to receive a Ruth B. Mandel Award.
  • One of four possible awards in each annual cycle will be reserved for a Rutgers student of any discipline. If no Rutgers student meets the award criteria and expectations, the award can go to a non-Rutgers scholar.

Award Amount

  • Each Ruth B. Mandel Award will be $2,000.

Application Requirements

1. Project Abstract: 

Applicants should submit an abstract of no more than 300 words to provide an overview of their proposed project. 

2. Project Proposal

  • Project Overview: In no more than two single-spaced pages, applicants should outline their dissertation project’s research question(s), methodology, and research design.
  • Research Timeline: Applicants should provide a timeline for dissertation research that includes progress to date as well as anticipated timeline for completion. The timeline should align with the project budget.
  • Project Budget: Applicants should describe how they plan to use award funds, including how these plans fit into the overall research budget. Please list any funds (grants or awards) already received to contribute to this project.

3. Applicant Profile

Applicants should provide a copy of their CV as well as a brief summary (maximum 500 words) of the research experience, progress, and commitments that demonstrate their merit for a Ruth B. Mandel award.

4. Referral

Applicants will submit the name and contact information for their department’s director of graduate studies and/or chair of their dissertation committee. This individual will be contacted to confirm applicants’ eligibility for the Ruth B. Mandel award.

Timeline for Submission and Review

Application deadline: May 1, 2023.

Decisions will be announced in June 2023.