Graduate Student Conference

The Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy is pleased to issue a request for graduate student-initiated conference proposals for the 2024–2025 academic year, from July 1, 2024 to June 30, 2025. Proposals will be evaluated on their intellectual merit and coherence, and their judicious use of funding.  These conferences must take place at Columbia University.  Conferences can focus on a single substantive or methodological topic or problem, on an event or policy, or on a set of intellectually related issues, and should highlight graduate student work. Proposals should also highlight the extent and type of faculty involvement.  We encourage active involvement by faculty both as mentors and as participants on the conference program. Conferences that are collaborative and involve students or faculty from more than one Columbia Social Science department will be given special consideration. Funding requests can supplement departmental funding. Please contact ISERP with any questions on this process.


Graduate students in one of the six social science departments in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Columbia University and SIPA are eligible to apply for ISERP Conference funding.  At least one applicant per conference team must be a full-time Ph.D. candidate. 

Application Guidance

If awarded, the conference must be managed by the lead graduate student organizer’s home department, or another Columbia University entity, noted in the proposal. Awardees are required to identify ISERP’s sponsorship on all conference announcements and materials.  A conference report, including the agenda, participant list, Chartstring summary, and relevant outcomes would be due in June 2025. ISERP is available to advise awardees in the planning stages.

Applicants should submit:

  • A 2-page proposal that describes the proposed conference, its goals and scholarly relevance, and its structure and organization.  
  • A proposed list of speakers and panels.  
  • A description of  the conference's intended audience, its size, and whether the conference is open to the University community and to the public. ISERP sponsored Conferences should generally be open at least to the university community.  
  • A detailed budget and budget justification, which should include all sources of funding, utilizing the budget sheet attached to this call (download, prepare, and submit with the application)
  • A conference administration commitment: an email from your department chair, with the Department DAAF copied, stating the department’s commitment to administer the conference if awarded. If the conference will be administered by a different department (or center, institute, etc.), the email commitment should come from that unit’s chair/director.
  • Proposals should be submitted electronically as a single PDF document to ISERP here.


One (1) Year

Award Amount

Up to $15,000.  Funding can cover: travel and lodging; refreshments or meals; venue, materials, and publicity costs; and honoraria for external speakers only. Please note ISERP does not permit remuneration for student coordinators involved in organizing student-run conferences.

Application Deadline

April 15, 2024

Award Period

July 1, 2024-June 30, 2025