The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College sponsors the annual Dissertation Fellowship Program in the field of retirement income 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 issues. Priority areas include:

• Social Security

• Macroeconomic analyses of Social Security

• Wealth and retirement income

• Program interactions

• International research

• Demographic research

Fellowship Awards

Up to five fellowships of $28,000 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.


The 2017 Dissertation Fellowship Program deadline is January 31, 2017. Download the proposal guidelines and the dissertation committee chair form to prepare for this year’s application. Review sample proposals that received awards: Sample 1, Sample 2.

“Virtual Office Hours” Service

For the first time, the CRR is offering the opportunity for potential applicants to ask questions about topics, datasets, and research design. The goal of this service is strengthen the quality of the applications and ensure that proposals closely align with the Social Security Administration’s priority interest areas. Please contact CRR Economist Matt Rutledge during the month of November to take advantage of this service.


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

Previous Awardees

2016 Dissertation Fellowship Recipients

2015 Dissertation Fellowship Recipients

2014 Dissertation Fellowship Recipients

2013 Dissertation Fellowship Recipients

2012 Dissertation Fellowship Recipients

2011 Dissertation Fellowship Recipients

2010 Dissertation Fellowship Recipients

2009 Dissertation Fellowship Recipients

2008 Dissertation Fellowship Recipients

2007 Dissertation Fellowship Recipients

Where are they now?

See what our previous awardees have done since receiving their grants.