2017 Dissertation Research Program

The SRF of the Strategic Management Society (SMS) announces its 2017 Dissertation Research Program and calls for grant proposals associated with doctoral students’ dissertations in strategic management. Proposals should describe original research in strategic management that is required for the award of a research doctoral degree (PhD or equivalent). Dissertation Research Program funds are intended to supplement other financial resources available to students and to support elements of their research that enhance the quality, expand the scope, augment the research design, or in some other way enrich their dissertation projects.


Submission System Opens
OCTOBER 1, 2017
Submission Deadline
Notifications of Review Committee Decisions
JANUARY 1, 2018
Grant Period Begins
DECEMBER 31, 2019
Grant Period Ends

Download the Call


Please send any questions you might have on the Dissertation Research Program to the SMS Executive Office at

Call for Proposals

Target Applicant: Full-time student studying strategic management in a research doctoral program at an accredited institution. Ideal applicants are at the dissertation stage with 2-3 years remaining at the time of application.

Funding and Key Terms: Up to 15 grants of up to USD 10,000 each, to support dissertation research expenses such as data collection (no institutional overhead, no researcher stipends) that will be incurred during the grant period or until degree completion (whichever comes first) and are required for award of the doctoral degree (PhD or equivalent).

The SRF recognizes that program structures vary, but suggest that applicants will have completed at least half of their home institution’s program requirements including preliminary or qualifying requirements such as coursework, comprehensive examinations/research proposal defense as applicable at the time of application. Ideal applicants will be sufficiently advanced in their doctoral programs to have well-defined dissertation plans and early enough in the execution of their dissertation work to benefit from the support of dissertation expenses and the SRF Dissertation Scholars Workshop that will be held during the first year of the grant period. Previous recipients of the SRF Dissertation Research Program funds are not eligible to apply for additional funds.

The SRF names up to fifteen SRF Dissertation Scholars and provides financial support up to USD 10,000 to each SRF Dissertation Scholar per year. The grants are intended to support future dissertation research activities that will be incurred during the grant period or until degree completion, whichever occurs first.  The financial support is provided to cover direct research and data collection expenses (e.g., purchase of data or subscriptions to databases, surveys and respondent incentives, interviews of research subjects and related travel, and travel expenses for the 2018 and 2019 SMS Annual Conferences for participation in SRF Scholar activities (travel expenses are allowed in instances where degree completion occurs before the 2019 Conference)). Ineligible expenses include but are not limited to: compensation for the Scholar’s time, purchases of software or equipment, copyediting and other expenses associated with the dissertation document, university overhead, tuition, and other personal expenses, and expenses for conference travel other than the 2018 and 2019 SMS Annual Conferences.

SRF grant funds are available only for expenses as approved at the time of the proposal’s funding. While the SRF recognizes that doctoral students and their dissertation advisors/committees may determine that it is appropriate to change the execution of research during a dissertation, reviewers’ recommendations and SRF decisions are based on research design elements stated in the proposals. Similarly, grant funds are available only for approved expenses that remain part of doctoral students’ dissertation work; SRF dissertation grant funds are not available for post-dissertation research agendas. Determination of eligible and ineligible expenses rests with the SRF. While receiving funding, the Scholar cannot be employed full-time until the end of the grant period or degree completion, whichever occurs first.

When a proposal is accepted for funding, the SRF will prepare a written agreement that details the responsibilities of both the Scholar and the SRF. For most expenses, funds are disbursed on a reimbursement basis. In some cases, an expense may be paid directly by the SMS Executive Office.


Dissertation Scholars are expected to provide the following deliverables: periodic update reports, an executive summary of the research findings, a copy of the dissertation, and documentation of the expenses incurred. All Scholars are expected to participate in the SRF Dissertation Scholars Workshop at the 2018 SMS Annual Conference and the SRF Scholars Session at the 2019 SMS Annual Conference. Scholars participating in these activities will receive Annual Conference registration fee waivers and may be reimbursed for up to USD 2,000 (total) for travel to the 2018 and 2019 SMS Annual Conferences if that travel is included in their grant proposal budgets.

Proposals are submitted through the SRF website at, where additional information about the submission process is available. All proposal materials must be in English. A complete proposal consists of the following with items a) through d) provided in a single PDF document:

a) A cover page listing the following:

1. Dissertation proposal title

2. Applicant name

3. Doctoral institution

4. Dissertation advisor

5. Name of outside committee member, if any (to avoid conflict in review process)

6. Amount requested (in US Dollars)

7. Anticipated doctoral program completion date

8. Three keywords

b) A summary (500 words) of the proposed research project

c) A research proposal of up to ten (10) pages, single-spaced, with the following structure:

1. Research questions, including relevant literature, theoretical background, and expected contributions

2. Methodology

3. Expected impact of SRF funding on the research

4. Timetable/Schedule

   5. Detailed budget in US dollars, including specific items proposed for SRF funding as well as sources of    support other than SRF

6. Cited references

d) Applicant’s CV

 e) A recommendation letter from the applicant’s dissertation advisor in support of the proposal. This letter should be emailed by the dissertation advisor to It should include a statement of the applicant’s stage of completion in the dissertation work and doctoral program, verification that the research components for which funding is sought have yet to be  undertaken and are anticipated to be part of the applicant’s dissertation for the degree, and a description of the difference the award would make to the quality or nature of the dissertation.


The SRF online submission system will open in August 2017. The submission deadline is October 1, 2017. The announcement of SRF Dissertation Scholars will be made by the end of 2017. Submissions will be reviewed using the following criteria:

· Overall contribution to strategic management: Are the theoretical frameworks employed, and/or the data to be used, and/or the potential results to be obtained likely to make a new and substantial contribution to the strategic management field?

· Soundness, novelty and potential value of theory: Is this dissertation likely to start a new or redirect an existing line of inquiry? Is the theory parsimonious?

· Conceptual and empirical contributions: Does this dissertation study a new phenomenon? Even if the phenomenon is not new, is the dissertation’s empirical base novel?

· Methodological rigor: Are the data appropriate for the theory being built or tested? Are the procedures appropriate for the research questions? Is there adequate description of the methods used? Is validity properly justified?

· Quality of writing: Is language used consistently? Are the arguments made clear? Does the writing flow naturally?

· Managerial implications: Is this dissertation likely to yield important advice for managers in private or public organizations?

· Expected impact of the funding: Are SRF funds likely to make a significant difference to the quality, scope or other characteristics of the dissertation that will enhance its conceptual and/or empirical contribution to theory and/or practice