Linda Lancaster Fund – Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the genesis of the Lancaster Fund?
Russell and Eleanor Nicholson, in memory of their daughter, established the Linda N. Lancaster Professional Development Fund in 1989. Linda was a popular and very promising doctoral student in the counselor education program. Her life came to a tragic end when she was struck down by a drunk driver.

2. What sorts of activities does the Lancaster Fund support?
The Fund is intended to support professional-development activities related to a doctoral student’s research interests and program of study. Examples of frequently funded proposals are making a refereed presentation at a regional or national conference, attending the annual meeting of a regional or national association, and participating in a workshop or training session conducted by recognized experts in the field.

3. Who can apply for support from the Lancaster Fund?
The Fund is restricted to doctoral students in the College of Education and Human Development.

4. What if I am in an interdisciplinary doctoral program?
If your primary advisor is a COEHD faculty member, you are eligible.

5. Does the Lancaster Fund cover dissertation-research expenses?

6. How about the tuition for a course at another university?

7. When can I apply for funding?
A call for proposals (RFP) goes out in September to all faculty, who then share it with their doctoral advisees. Proposals are due within several weeks.

8. What should I address in my proposal?
There are two critical components to a proposal, the first of which is the purpose and need for the professional-development activity you are proposing (roughly 250 words). For example, what are you proposing to do? When, where, and with whom (if applicable) will this take place? Most importantly, how will the proposed activity strengthen (a) your capacity for graduate-level study, research, and completion, and (b) your professional development in general?

9. That seems pretty straightforward.
Yes it is, but be sure your description is clear and persuasive. We cannot fund all proposals, and unfunded proposals typically fall short in this regard.

10. What’s the second critical component?
A detailed, itemized budget.

11. How long is the typical proposal?
2-3 double-spaced pages.

12. Should I also provide a letter of support from my advisor?
Yes, definitely.

13. Can you offer any general recommendations for preparing my proposal?
Again, be very clear and persuasive when describing your proposed activity. Further, your budget should clearly lay out all projected expenses: day-by-day, item-by-item. (It’s frustrating—and not in the student’s interests—when we have to do our own calculations, attempt to reconcile numbers, and so forth.) Finally, you are strongly encouraged to work closely with your advisor in the preparation of your proposal. At the very least, ask for critical feedback on an early draft, and then carefully incorporate your advisor’s comments and suggestions.

14. How large is the typical Lancaster award?
Over the past three years, awards ranged from $337 to $2,068, with a mean award of $1,241.

15. Do you partially fund proposals?
No—if a proposal is funded, it is funded fully.

16. May I submit more than one proposal?
No, each applicant may submit one proposal only.

17. Am I eligible even if I previously received a Lancaster award?

18. I’d like to attend a conference, but I am not on the program—should I apply for a Lancaster award anyway?
Yes (see #2). We cannot fund all meritorious proposals, however, and all other things equal, being on the program is a stronger proposal than attending only. But all other things rarely are equal—so yes, still apply even if you are not on the program (and first revisit #13 above!).

Last updated 9/14/2019