Claire Garber Goodman Fund

The Fund enables students and faculty to gain insight into the ideas, philosophies, and worldviews of other cultures, understand the adaptations of specific communities and populations to their natural and cultural environments, and discover within our species' biological and cultural variety universal dimensions and themes of human existence and evolution.

Student Research Proposals

Conducting anthropological research takes time as well as resources. A successful scholar is able to convince granting agencies that their project is worthy of funding. We are fortunate to have dedicated departmental resources to support student research, in the form of the Claire Garber Goodman Fund.  Accessing Goodman Fund resources should not only provide students with an invaluable learning experience in the field or the lab; it should also help them to become stronger writers and researchers.  We therefore require students to write a Goodman proposal with support from a faculty advisor both as a means of evaluating their research questions and as an exercise in effective grant writing and anthropological thinking.

We have developed the following template for writing a strong Goodman Fund grant proposal. These guidelines are based on the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Leakey Foundation, and the National Science Foundation—three of the most important agencies funding anthropological research.

Proposal length: Proposals should be no longer than 5 single-spaced pages, excluding bibliography and budget. Use 12-pt font. Longer proposals are not necessarily better and any proposals longer than 5 pages will not be considered. A good proposal is concise and focused.

Proposal deadline: Student proposals are due to the anthropology department administrator ( and the faculty advisor to the project on Monday of the 7th week of fall, winter, and spring terms. As is the case with professional grants, no extensions will be granted.


Proposal evaluators: The Department expects that students develop their proposals in consultation with a faculty advisor. The proposals are reviewed by a committee composed of 3-4 members of the Anthropology Department, excluding the student’s mentor. Upon review, the proposal may be accepted, rejected, or considered in need of revision and re-review.  If the committee recommends significant changes to make the proposal fundable, they will communicate this feedback to the student and faculty mentor. Revisions and resubmissions should be completed in a timely manner. Resubmissions completed within two weeks will be reconsidered by the committee in the same term. Proposals deemed worthy of funding by the Goodman Committee will be forwarded to the entire Anthropology Department for a final vote.

Student Research Proposal Template

Students interested in conducting anthropological research sponsored by the Goodman Fund must first find and consult with a faculty advisor in the Department of Anthropology.  Normally, students will take an independent study (Anth 85) with their faculty advisor to prepare their research proposal. Once completed, proposals should be submitted electronically to the department administrator ( and to your faculty advisor.

Students may use this COVER SHEET form as means of keeping track of basic detail.

Goodman proposals should contain the following parts:

  1. Abstract (200 words)
    The abstract should summarize in clear, concise language the main purpose of your research. Consider responding to the prompts “who, what, when, where, why, and how” in relation to your research.
  2. Introduction and Research Question.
    This section is meant to orient the reader to your research proposal and pose a clear research question. What are you hoping to study and why is it worth studying? What is anthropological about your proposed research? The nature of the question may vary according to anthropological subfield (e.g. biological and archaeological questions may be more hypothesis-driven while sociocultural questions may be more open-ended and inductive).
  3. Background and Anthropological Significance .
    This might otherwise be called a “literature review.” It is the section in which you share what you know about your proposed research topic; how what you are seeking to explore fits within and adds to what is already known about this and related topics; why your research question is important; and what you hope to contribute to scholarship and, as relevant, applied or public knowledge or practice.
  4. Methodology.
    This section describes where, with whom, how, and why you propose to address your research question. It should include a discussion of who you will be working with and what sort of data you will plan to gather. It should also include a coherent rationale for why you are proposing to use these methods. It should include a discussion of any ethical issues or concerns related to your project and how you are proposing to address them, as well as the status of your CPHS application, if you are going to be working with living people. Particularly in cultural anthropology proposals, but in any circumstances in which you are proposing to work with living human populations, this section should consider researcher positionality. How will you establish rapport? How might who you are and how you present yourself impact the data you collect? In this section, you should also mention previous preparation through coursework and/or co-curricular activities, local contacts, relevant language spoken (or approaches to working with interpreters), data analysis skills you already possess, etc.
    • Research ethics and CPHS or IACUC status, as relevant Previous coursework / preparation to carry out this project
      We advise you to submit your research proposal for ethics review simultaneous with Goodman Proposal submission to the department.
    • Methods used for data collection
    • Research setting
  5. Anticipated Outcomes
    This is a chance to consider what you are going to do with the data you gather and the research experience you are proposing to have. Will this be, perhaps, the basis for a thesis? A (hopefully) publishable article? An applied or community-based project of some sort? What is the timeline?

Additional Requirements

  • Bibliography
    List all sources to which you have referred in your proposal. Do not list sources that you know are relevant to your research but you have not cited directly. 
  • Budget
    Follow budget categories and restrictions as outlined in previous proposals and on the website. Be specific and detailed in your request, up to $4500. You may use this budget template to estimate your expenses.
  • Personal Resume
  • Transcript (unofficial)

Examples of high-quality proposals (approved before this template was created, hence the different format):

Sarah Cashdollar, Pregnancy and Motherhood as Identity Negotiation
Ryan Murphy, The Social Significance of Bronze Age Roundhouses in Ireland

A Note about International Travel

If you will be traveling abroad to conduct research, you must register your travel plans on the Global Dartmouth site. Please enter your information in the Travel Registry before leaving on your trip.

Student Conference Attendance

The primary goal of the Claire Garber Goodman Fund is to facilitate student and faculty research. Sometimes the research process can come to include the presentation of this work at professional or student conferences, often with a mentor. We encourage students to present the results of their research in such settings, but can provide only limited funding for such activities.

If a student anticipates that one of the core outcomes of the research will be presentation of a paper or poster at a conference, we encourage the student to include this information in the initial Goodman Grant application under “Anticipated Outcomes” and to include the costs associated with conference participation in the original grant budget, although these costs should not exceed $500. Students are also encouraged to pursue funding from other sources on campus (Undergraduate Deans, Rockefeller Center, etc.) Release of funds for conference participation will be contingent on approval by the student’s mentor.

If the student does not or cannot anticipate the possibility of attending a conference at the time of submitting her original proposal but discovers such an opportunity during or after field research, or in the course of working as a research assistant with a faculty member, the student is requested to submit, with mentor approval, a proposal using the following template.

Review of conference travel proposals will follow the same process as full research proposals, but will be handled on a rolling basis, as opposed to at fixed deadlines throughout the academic year.

We also encourage students to seek conference funding from other programs on campus, including academic centers.

Student Conference Travel Template

Original Research Proposal Abstract (200 words) or abstract of paper or poster to be presented at the conference.

Respond to the following questions:

  1. What conference / workshop do you propose to attend?
  2. Where and when will this event be held?
  3. Will you attend the conference on your own or with your faculty mentor?
  4. Has your research already been accepted to present at this event, or is acceptance pending?
  5. Have you sought other sources of funding to attend this conference? If no, why not? If yes, where have you applied and what is the status of this request?
  6. How have you been involved in the research undergirding the conference presentation to be delivered at this event?
  7. How will attending this conference contribute to your intellectual growth?

Faculty Research Proposals

Proposals submitted by Anthropology faculty should incorporate the same elements as above. They should be concise and they are due on the same date as student proposals. Faculty may use this COVER SHEET as a means of keeping track of basic details.