DOL Scholars Program

DOL Scholars Program

Program Purpose

The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Chief Evaluation Office (CEO) is excited to announce the DOL Scholars Program Competition. DOL anticipates funding grants in the range of $10,000-$50,000, which can be used between September 1, 2013 and October 31, 2014.

The purpose of the DOL Scholars Program is to promote and expand labor research that directly relates to DOL policies and programs. We encourage faculty and researchers to apply and are particularly interested in funding new PhDs and junior faculty and a diverse set of applicants.
Research on labor and employment issues related to veterans, enforcement of labor standards and laws, and women’s labor market and economic topics are highly encouraged. Other areas of interest to the Department include (but are not limited to):

  • Disability issues
  • Worker and Workplace safety
  • Family-Work balance issues
  • Employer-provided health and pension plans
  • Child labor and workers’ rights around the world
  • Issues in labor-management relations
  • Ways to enhance the return of veterans to the civilian workforce
  • Strategies to remove barriers for people with disabilities in the workplace
  • Pension behavior and retirement decisions
  • Unemployment and its effects on individuals, families, and communities
  • Factors that affect entry into and exit out of employment and attachment to the labor force


Applications should be submitted via the online form by 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on August 19, 2013. Submissions that are incomplete or not compliant with these specifications may not be reviewed. Applicants MUST have a PhD in order to qualify for the program.

All documents must have:

  • 12-point font
  • 1.5 line spacing
  • 1.0-inch margins (through the whole document)
  • each page of every document numbered and marked with the applicant’s last name.

An application should include the following documents, submitted as attachments in portable document (.pdf), Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx), or Excel (.xls or .xlsx) file formats, where appropriate.

  1. Research proposal. This document should include the following sections and the overall length of the document may not exceed 10 pages (excluding references).
    • Introduction/Background: introduces the literature on the subject as well as the concepts and terms that are most salient to understanding the proposal.
    • Statement of Relevance: places the project in the context of the Department’s programmatic, enforcement, and/or research efforts and motivates the choice of topic.
    • Statement of Problem and Research Questions: articulates the research topic that the applicant proposes to address and succinctly formulates the questions the applicant aims to answer.
    • Methodology: discusses the methods the researcher proposes to use in sufficient technical detail to enable social science researchers to assess the suitability of those methods to the proposed project and research questions.
    • Data: provides details on the proposed data sets to be used and a description of the process for acquiring the data.
    • Limitation: addresses any limitations of the proposed study design and methodology as well as any concerns about the availability of data and the internal and external validity of the research project.
    • Expected Impact: outlines the proposed project’s impacts on policy formulation and execution as well as implications for the research literature in the field.
  2. Names of Experts in the Field. The applicants are encouraged in their research proposal to identify two to three experts in the field who can potentially review and provide feedback on their paper. Summit and DOL CEO will also select reviewers once the award is granted.
  3. Abstract. Applicants must include an abstract summarizing their research proposal that does not exceed one page in length.
  4. Curriculum vitae (CV). Applicants must include a curriculum vitae that does not exceed five pages in length.
  5. Letters of recommendation. Applicants must include a letter of recommendation from a senior researcher, such as a university professor, who is knowledgeable about the applicant’s research record and potential. At least one letter of recommendation should be emailed to from the professor/reference directly.
  6. Project Budget and Timeline. Applicants should provide a budget justification explaining the amount sought and any budget line items, such as a range estimate of hours of labor or estimates of material required to complete the project. The budget does not need to include trips to Washington, D.C. The application should also include a proposed project timeline.

Apply now.

Questions? We have a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding the application and program. For additional assistance, please contact us at

Please find a PDF version of the complete application, to be used for preparation purposes only. All applications must be completed electronically.

For technical assistance with this form, please call 202-386-6882 (9 am-5 pm, Monday through Friday).

About the Department of Labor’s Chief Evaluation Office

The Chief Evaluation Office (CEO), established in 2010, coordinates, manages, and implements the Department’s evaluation program. CEO is an independent evaluation office, located organizationally in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy. CEO works closely with all offices and agencies throughout the Department to develop and implement evaluations that address priorities set by the Secretary. CEO also collaborates externally with colleagues in other Federal Departments and in the professional evaluation and research community. Reinforcing the commitment to high-quality independent evaluations and institutionalizing an evidence-based culture at the Department, evaluation results and reports are disseminated in various formats appropriate to practitioners, evaluators, and policymakers.