Small Competitive PhD Thesis/Dissertation Completion Grants

Program Summary

From the University’s annual budget allocation FY 2020/21, the Directorate of Research and Graduate Training (DRGT) has established the PhD Thesis Completion Grants Program to support outstanding doctoral candidates on the verge of finalizing their thesis/dissertation, who have no other source of funding for the requested period.

The scheme is intended to help candidates make significant progress toward the completion of their thesis/dissertation and/or substantial improvement in the quality of their dissertation.  The scheme is designed to enable candidates to focus full time on the writing of their Theses, improving the quality of the dissertation and shortening the time required to complete the doctoral degree.

In effect, the grant is intended to decrease time to degree and to support higher quality outcomes among students nearing graduation where relatively modest resources will make a large difference.

Applications from PhD candidates who demonstrate a clear ability to impact mainstream academia and whose projects reflect, and contribute to, the aims of the DRGT are welcomed to apply.

  • Applicants should review the eligibility criteria specified below as those not meeting these criteria will not be considered.
  • No grant will be awarded for a Thesis/dissertation which has already been submitted for preliminary examination.


  • This grant is for students in any field of study who have demonstrated difficulties in completing the theses/dissertation and would benefit from the intensive mentoring and the one year dedicated to Thesis writing that are provided by this program.
  • The grant is available to PhD candidates employed by Makerere University
  • To be eligible for a grant, students must have collected all data, completed all major research, and be in their final year of Thesis writing and must have completed all course requirements, as well as preliminary research/academic obligations of the programme.
  • The applicant should not hold another outside employment during the grant award period.
  • Grant recipients should not simultaneously hold another Scholarship/Fellowship or be engaged in another major research grant
  • The PhD thesis has to be close to finalization. For those who have extended their studentship, detailed reasons have to be given, why the dissertation wasn't finished within the programme duration period.
  • Applicants should have a publishing track record, with a minimum of 1 publications in peer-reviewed journal or book chapter
  • Qualified Female applicants are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • Applicants should not hold another fellowship or major research grant that will still be tenable at the time the results of this grant.

Application Requirements and Process

Each candidate may be nominated for only one grant period. Applicants are advised to submit the following documents:

  1. An up-to-date resume/CV of the applicant including information about previous academic achievements (e.g. Talks at Graduate Seminar Series, publications from the PhD work, awards or participation in national & International conferences)
  2. Evidence of Full Admission and Registration to a PhD program at Makerere University.
  3. Evidence of Full-time/Contractual employment at Makerere University; Provide a copy of the Appointment letter issued by the Appointments Board of Makerere University
  4. Letter of motivation including a project outline for the requested funding period and reasons for the application; a brief narrative explaining how the grant will enable you completes your PhD thesis/dissertation within One year and previous efforts to obtain a PhD grant  (Max. 2 pages)
  5. A statement of the expected contribution and impact of the completed work (Max. 10 pages, 1.5 Line Spacing, Font 12 Times New Roman).
  6. A realistic activity –based budget and corresponding deliverables
  7. Detailed work and time schedule for the remaining time until thesis completion (in tabular form) (if appropriate: date of Public defence/Viva Voce)
  8. Table of contents of the Thesis that shows the current state of the working progress (finished parts, parts who need to be revised, parts that are missing)
  9. Statement of your supervision, including information on the need and the priority of the Completion Grant. It also should in a realistic manner, provide information if and until when the Thesis/dissertation will be finished and give us an evaluation of how the PhD project would profit from this Grant.
  10. A letter of support from the Head of Department, which indicates that the department will assist the candidate in reserving sufficient time for the remaining research activities.
  11. In addition to this application form, a complete package should include a letter of current standing from your Principal Supervisor stating the expected submission date. Referee letter should email the letter directly to Director DRGT at the email address given below (NOTE: Information submitted to any other Email address will be disregarded).

Other Conditions of the Grant:

The candidate’s Supervisor(s) and Doctoral Committee must be prepared to participate fully in this program and do all that can expedite the student’s progress, including meeting with the student frequently and returning drafts in a timely manner.

As grantees, the students must agree to:

  • Attend support group meetings and writing workshops with other program recipients;
  • Meet regularly with a designated Thesis/dissertation Supervisor or writing coach;
  • Actively support other grantees in meeting the shared goal of completing their Thesis/dissertations; and
  • Dedicate the grant period to finishing their Thesis/dissertations.
  • The Candidates’ progress towards completion of the Thesis/dissertation, as well as attendance at Progress Monitoring meetings, will be continually evaluated by the DRGT.


A total of 10 grants will be awarded during the period of July 1 to December 30, 2020 to Fully Admitted and Registered students for 2019-2020.

The total budget support will depend on the strength of the application but in any case not exceeding Shillings Ten million (UGx. 10,000,000/=), which will be disbursed upon submission of a realistic activity-based budget.

Application Procedure

Applications should be submitted:

  1. Electronic submission of application with supporting documents saved under one file using the following format: lastname_PhDgrant2019.doc
  2. Submit to the Director, Directorate of Research and Graduate Training, Makerere University; Email:

Copy to:

  1. Three (3) Hard copies should be addressed to:
  2. The Director, Directorate of Research and Graduate Training, Senate Building Level 4, Room 410, Makerere University; P.O.BOX 7062, Kampala.
  3. Application Deadline: Friday November 13, 2020; 5.00PM East African Time

NB: Only Successful applicants will be contacted.

Applications submitted to any other Email address other than the one above will not be accepted.


For further information, please contact Mr. Nestor Mugabe, Research Grants Officer, DRGT Makerere University, via e-mail :; Cell: 0782770032

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