Application Guidelines, Schedule, and Forms

Application Guidelines and Forms

Before applying, all interested students and faculty must familiarize themselves with the Program Information. Failure to adhere to program rules, requirements, or eligibility criteria will result in disqualification of the application or cancellation of the project.

All new applicants must follow the process outlined immediately below. Renewing teams should refer to the renewal section below.

An application for the AFRL/DAGSI Ohio Student-Faculty Research Program is comprised of the following documents:

  • Application Cover Page
  • Student application form
  • Official transcript (s)
  • At least two letters of recommendation for the student
  • Faculty application form
  • Research proposal
  • Budget proposal, including DAGSI and cost share commitments
  • Signature form

Applications may be submitted by email (kim.elam@soche.org), by mail (3155 Research Blvd., Ste 204, Kettering OH 45420), or by hand.

Links to all forms are found on this page.  The application forms should be completed electronically, printed, and submitted along with the research proposal, the proposed budget, the signature form, and any other supporting materials.

The following documents must be provided along with the application forms.

  • Official Transcript(s): Official transcript(s) listing all university coursework (undergraduate and graduate) is/are required.  They must be included within the application package.
  • Letters of Recommendation: At least two one-page, signed letters must be submitted for each student.  One recommendation must be written by the faculty research partner.  For Ph.D. students, this letter must include a statement addressing the level of assistance provided to the student in developing the research proposal.  The other recommendation should be written by someone familiar with the student’s academic and research record and capability.  These letters must be included within the application package.
  • Research Proposal: Each proposal must address a single research topic.*  The document should describe the research proposed over a one-year timeframe.  For Ph.D.-level projects only:  if the team anticipates a multiyear effort (i.e., the team will seek 1 or 2 renewals), focus the detail on the year-one effort but add an outline of the work anticipated beyond the first year, including a timeline.  For Ph.D.-level projects, the student should take primary responsibility for preparing the proposal, with support, guidance, and input as necessary from the faculty partner.  (If one could quantify the level of effort, the guideline is at least 80% student effort and at most 20% faculty effort).  For M.S.-level projects, the proposal may be developed and written jointly by the faculty member and the student.  Students and faculty should contact the AFRL topic sponsor as they prepare the proposal.  Such collaboration should benefit the student/faculty team by enabling them to prepare a highly competitive proposal.

*Any single proposal addressing two overlapping research topics must be approved by the AFRL sponsor of each topic.  The sponsors must sign a statement agreeing to the proposed combination of research topics.

Proposal format:

    • No more than 6 text pages (one-inch margins all around; 12 point font; single-spaced; single sided)
    • No more than 5 additional pages for graphics, tables, charts, references/literature citations, and/or appendices
    • The proposal must include: statement of the problem; background and relevance to previous work; general methodology and procedure to be followed; expected results and their significance and application; outline of anticipated efforts beyond year 1 (for Ph.D.-level projects only); potential impact on Air Force and/or Ohio economy; and literature citations where appropriate. Any anticipated special requirements necessary to conduct the research (e.g. special equipment, computer resources, etc.) should be indicated.
    • Note:  AFRL and DAGSI expect the majority of the research to be done at AFRL during the summer months immediately following receipt of the award.  If the full 8 weeks required by the student cannot be done during the summer, the proposal must include a plan that outlines how and when the required time will be accumulated.  At least some of the research must be front-loaded in the award year.  DAGSI will not pay a student’s tuition for the academic year unless the research is underway by October 1 of that year.  At a minimum, there must be a meeting between the university team and the AFRL sponsor prior to October 1 at which a mutually-acceptable research plan is developed.
  • Proposed Budget: The proposal must show expense categories and amounts for both the DAGSI award contribution (no more than the maximum allowable) and the cost share contribution, subject to the constraints outlined above. Cost-share via the AFRL/DAGSI Cooperative Agreement should be separated out from other sources of cost share, as there is an 8% DAGSI administrative fee included in the total amount. An internally-calculating budget form is provided in the Forms section and must be used. Ph.D. applicants MUST submit a budget (including cost share) for three full years of support with the original application (one budget form per year). Therefore, the cost share source (university, AFRL Co-operative Agreement, or industry) must be willing to guarantee three years of support. *NOTE: Student travel expenses for research time at AFRL and the poster session presentation, need to be taken into consideration when developing the Miscellaneous section of the budget.

Signature Form: The signature form must be printed out.  Applicants must then collect all required original signatures (student and faculty applicants; university authorizing official) and submit the form to DAGSI as part of the application package.  There are two different signature forms, one for ODHE Competitive applications (due date typically in February) AFRL Funded applications (no specific deadline).

Each student and each faculty applicant may pursue, together or separately, up to two ODHE funded research opportunities.  A student may hold one award only.  A faculty member may receive one or two awards in a given cycle but may hold no more than three ODHE funded awards in total at any one time.  Each proposal should address a single research topic UNLESS topic combination has been approved by AFRL. Applicants should clearly indicate the topic title and number on the proposal.  There are no limits on how many AFRL funded projects a faculty member may hold at a time.  That is at the discretion of AFRL Sponsors.




Evaluation Criteria for ODHE Competitive Awards

The participating AFRL Directorates review the applications, and each directorate rank orders the proposals submitted for its areas of research.   AFRL and DAGSI leaders jointly make the final award decisions.  Selection is based on:

  • Technical merit of the research proposal
  • Importance of the topic to the AFRL directorate
  • Proposed utilization of AFRL and/or university facilities
  • Academic merit of the student
  • Potential for the research outcome to have a future impact on Ohio’s economy
  • Program budget for the year

Use of Tuition Scholarship Funds

  • DAGSI scholarship funds are for tuition only, paid at the current rate per credit hour set by the school offering the course. DAGSI does not cover additional fees and charges, such as registration fees, course drop-out fees, graduate application and graduation fees, charges for copies of transcripts, computer usage fees, or other miscellaneous items. Payment of such charges is the responsibility of the DAGSI student.
  • DAGSI defines a full-time graduate student as one who takes at least the minimum number of credit hours to be considered full-time as defined by the student’s Home Institution. A DAGSI student who has received full tuition plus fellowship must remain a full-time student.
  • DAGSI will not pay for audited courses, which do not generate credits toward the degree sought.
  • DAGSI will not pay tuition for a course taken outside the partner schools of engineering unless the course is critical to the student’s approved program of study and research. Any petition must be signed off by the faculty advisor and approved by the department head and the Dean of Engineering at the Home Institution.
  • DAGSI will not pay for a remedial or undergraduate course unless the course is critical to the student’s approved program of study and research. Any petition must be signed off by the faculty advisor and approved by the department head and the Dean of Engineering at the Home Institution.
  • DAGSI will neither pay the school nor reimburse a student for any dropped course charges. Issues involving dropped courses are strictly between the student and the school and are governed by the written policy of the school. Under such policy, the student may be liable for payment.

Renewal of Existing Awards – ODHE Funded Projects ONLY

(If a PhD project that is fully funded by AFRL wishes to renew, the project team must speak directly to the AFRL Sponsor for further information.  DO NOT USE THIS PROCESS.)

The key criteria for renewal decisions are progress on the research (positive feedback from the AFRL sponsor and the relevant Directorate) and the student’s academic standing (in general, a minimum GPA of 3.0).

Ph.D. students in good academic standing who are making good progress on the research and receive positive feedback from AFRL stand an excellent chance of renewal as long as funding is available.  If a Ph.D.-level award is renewed, all components of the award (student stipend and tuition, as well as any other approved budget elements) will be renewed.  The cost share commitment is required for any renewals.  The university team and the AFRL sponsor should be aware that if the sponsor commits to cost-share through the AFRL/DAGSI Cooperative Agreement for the first year, the cost share requirement remains in place for any subsequent years.  If AFRL cannot commit funds beyond one year, the team will have to identify another source for any renewal years.  The maximum number of years for DAGSI support in this program is three, so a Ph.D. student who held a one-year AFRL/DAGSI M.S. fellowship may hold a Ph.D. award for a maximum of two years.

M.S. awards are one-year awards and are ineligible for renewal.  No projects may be “upgraded” from a Masters-level to a Doctoral-level through the renewal process.  Students interested in continuing their research for a Ph.D. must apply as a new project and compete with other new teams.

Doctoral-level research teams seeking renewal of their fellowship award must fill out the “Application for Fellowship Renewal” form. There are four sections: student information; faculty assessment; proposed budget; and AFRL research sponsor feedback and recommendation.  All four sections must be submitted to the DAGSI office no later than 5 pm on the date listed in the current Program Schedule.  The student and faculty sections and the budget proposal should be submitted together, and the AFRL sponsor section may be included or submitted separately if time or privacy is an issue.  Submissions may be scanned and emailed (kim.elam@soche.org), mailed (DAGSI; 3155 Research Blvd., Ste. 204 Kettering OH 45420), or hand delivered.

The university teams are responsible for ensuring that the AFRL sponsor completes his/her section and submits it on time.  Endorsement of the AFRL sponsor and his/her Technical Directorate is critical to the outcome of the renewal decision.

Please contact DAGSI with any questions about this process.


Cross Registration

DAGSI Fellows are able to make use of the SOCHE Cross Registration system. Only DAGSI Universities that are also members of SOCHE or GC3 will be able to participate. Currently, this includes Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), Central State University (CSU), University of Dayton (UD), Wright State University (WSU), University of Cincinnati (UC), and Miami University (MU). For more information, check the SOCHE web site at https://www.soche.org/cross-registration/. And if you make use of this wonderful opportunity, please make sure that you check the box on the registration form that states you are an AFRL/DAGSI Fellow.