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View More Press Releases by Center for Retirement Research at Boston College

Press release:

Dissertation Fellowship Program Provides Funding Opportunities for Doctoral Candidates to Pursue Cutting-Edge Research on Retirement or Disability Issues

Issued by: Center for Retirement Research at Boston College

Date: Oct. 15, 2020

The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College sponsors the annual Dissertation Fellowship Program in the field of retirement or disability research.  The program is funded by the U.S. Social Security Administration and provides funding opportunities for doctoral candidates to pursue cutting-edge research on retirement or disability issues. Research focal areas include:

  • Trends in disability;
  • Determining disability;
  • Requirements of work in the modern economy;
  • Informing long-term projections and models;
  • Improving communication and outreach;
  • State and local pensions for non-covered workers;
  • Modernizing totalization agreements;
  • Economic security of SSA beneficiaries;
  • Work-activity retention of disabled beneficiaries with overpayments; and
  • Improving service delivery.

Fellowship Awards

Up to three $28,000 fellowships are awarded to doctoral candidates enrolled in an accredited program at a U.S. university. Grant recipients may be required to present their work to the Social Security Administration in Washington, DC or Baltimore, MD.

“Virtual Office Hours” Service

The CRR offers the opportunity for potential applicants to ask questions about topics, datasets, and research design. The goal of this service is to strengthen the quality of the applications and ensure that proposals closely align with the U.S. Social Security Administration’s research focal areas. Please contact CRR Senior Economist Gal Wettstein during the month of November to take advantage of this service.


The deadline for the 2021 Dissertation Fellowship Program is January 31, 2021. The online application forms will be available soon.  Download the proposal guidelines and the dissertation committee chair form. Review sample proposals that received awards: Sample 1, Sample 2.


Please contact Marina Tsiknis with any questions about the Dissertation Fellowship Program at 617-552-1092 or

View More Press Releases by Center for Retirement Research at Boston College

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