ISM Doctoral Dissertation Grant Program

The Grant Program

Each year, the Institute for Supply Management™ (ISM) awards doctoral dissertation grants for support of outstanding doctoral research. The intent is to award four grants of $10,000 each to doctoral candidates who are conducting research in purchasing or related fields. The ISM Grant Program seeks qualified applicants from a diverse population regardless of gender, race, creed, age, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, or disability.


The objectives of these grants are to (1) produce useful research that can be applied to purchasing and supply management, and (2) to help develop high-potential academicians who will teach and conduct research in purchasing and supply management.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must be doctoral candidates who are pursuing a Ph.D. or D.B.A. in purchasing, business, logistics, management, economics, industrial engineering, or related fields. Applicants must be enrolled in accredited United States universities to be eligible for the grant. No exceptions are made to these eligibility requirements.

Award Procedures

Grants are paid directly to the awardees in three equal installments. The first one-third payment is made upon receipt of the final research proposal approved by the candidate's dissertation committee; the second payment upon receipt of a written statement from the dissertation committee verifying that the research is approximately 50 percent completed; and the third payment upon receipt of the completed, bound dissertation that has been accepted by the candidate's dissertation committee. No payment shall be made after three years from the grant award notification date.

Application Procedures

ISM doctoral grant candidates must submit the following items in one complete package to ISM by January 31 (which will remain the deadline every year):

  1. Letter of application, signed by the candidate, which includes the following information:
    1. The date candidate has completed or will complete doctoral courses
    2. The date candidate has taken or will take doctoral exams
    3. The date candidate expects to receive the doctoral degree

  2. Official transcripts from the candidate's current university.

  3. Proposal abstract, maximum 25 pages, including a literature search and a research design. The proposal must specifically discuss:
    1. Problem statement or hypothesis
    2. Research methodology, including data sources, collection, and analysis
    3. Significance/value of the research in purchasing/supply management

  4. A letter from the candidate's major advisor, stating that the dissertation topic is acceptable.

  5. Three letters of recommendation (one letter may serve as the letter requested in #4 above) from professors or administrators familiar with the applicant's research capabilities. The letters should be sealed independently within the application package.

  6. A curriculum vitae, which may include a list of research in progress, accomplishments in academe, honors, awards, and relevant work experience. The ISM Doctoral Grant Program seeks to notify all applicants by mid-June whether they received a grant.

Sample Topics

The purpose of this grant program is to support research in purchasing, supply management, or related fields on such topics as the application of electronic commerce on purchasing, methods of measuring purchasing performance, the use of purchasing as a strategic tool, supplier development, purchasing and supplier risk management, purchasing's role in corporate success, the impact of globalization on purchasing, the impact of ERP on purchasing, key success factors for enterprise requirements planning (ERP) systems in purchasing, analysis of the Manufacturing and Non-Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®, the use of forecasting tools in purchasing, the role of purchasing in supply chain management, the impact of the supply base on organizational success. These topics are provided as examples only and are not intended to limit dissertation topics. However, a key criterion for selecting grant recipients is that their dissertation has direct value and implications for the purchasing and supply management function.


Contact: Scott Sturzl., C.P.M., A.P.P.
Phone: 800/888-6276 or 480/752-6276, ext. 3105
FAX: 480/752-7890

Please Send the Complete Application Package by January 31 To:

Mailing Address:
ISM Doctoral Grant Committee
c/o Scott Sturzl., C.P.M., A.P.P.
Vice President
Institute for Supply Management
P.O. Box 22160
Tempe, AZ 85285-2160

Shipping Address:
ISM Doctoral Grant Committee
c/o Scott Sturzl., C.P.M., A.P.P.
Vice President
Institute for Supply Management
2055 East Centennial Circle
Tempe, AZ 85284

Form 106 1600/9-94