Thomas D. Sayles Research Grant

Sayles Student Research Grants are available to all Dartmouth students conducting research in ethics and working with a Dartmouth faculty advisor.  The Ethics Institute seeks to advance Dartmouth's unique teacher scholar model by providing graduate and undergraduate students funds to work on an ethics related research project under the supervision of a Dartmouth faculty advisor. Students develop and present their proposed project to the Ethics Institute as outlined below. Projects may take place either off-campus or in Hanover in compliance with Dartmouth College's travel guidelines during COVID 19. Research opportunities are not given academic credit. The Sayles Grant is available to students during all terms.


  • Applicant must submit a complete application to the Ethics Institute by the deadline.
  • A 3-5 page final report must be submitted evaluating the completed research in terms of its value and its impact on the student. Copies of any formal work resulting from the research period will be submitted with the final report or when completed.
  • A brief financial report must be submitted showing how funds were utilized.
  • The final report and financial report are due the third week of the term following the research.


Amount of award may vary. Award maximums are set at $2,500 per student for domestic research projects and $3,500 for projects that take place abroad. Grants are awarded on the basis of: the merits of the project and the strength of the proposal, a solid academic background and overall grade point average, and faculty recommendation and/or sponsor support for the project.

Application Information

  1. Apply for a Sayles Student Research Grant here.
  2. Confirm Dartmouth's sponsored travel policy here
  3. Decide on a research arrangement that fits your interests and, if off-campus, discuss these arrangements with a sponsor for that agency/ institution/ organization. Select a Dartmouth faculty member who is willing to act as your advisor in designing the research, in providing a sounding board during the research, and in evaluating your work.
  4. On the online application, upload a letter of support from your faculty advisor.
  5. Provide an itemized detailed budget of expenses during the research period. Costs may include:
    • Travel (airfare, bus, subway, automobile (current rate per mile)
    • Rent (hotel accommodations)
    • Supplies & Equipment (e.g. fees for translators, coding interviews, long distance call related to research, rental equipment
  6. Costs may not include your time working in research.

Application Deadline

The sixth week of term preceding term of research.

For Fall Term '21: August 9, 2021

For Winter Term '22: November 29, 2021

For Spring Term '22: February 15, 2022

For Summer Term '22: May 10, 2022

Sample of recent grant recipients' work

National Survey of Caregivers

This research project was conducted by a PhD student at the Center for Technology and Behavioral Health at Dartmouth College. The research analyzed the effects of recording technology on patients with neurodegenerative disease and how recording technology can be used as an aid for caregivers. Data was gathered on the unmet critical need to understand how caregivers interact with communication technology, their views on recording, and how caregivers might use technology to improve their ability to communicate and effectively prepare to meet the needs of patients.

Ethical Implications of Media Influence on Altering US Public Opinion

Undergrad student research on how media coverage of the recent demonstrations and violence perpetrated by both the protesters and the pro-China police in Hong Kong affects U.S. public opinion about China and foreign policy preferences towards both China and Hong Kong. Experiment, to be fielded in the U.S., respondents are randomly exposed to either neutral, pro-China, or pro-Hong Kong news about the ongoing demonstrations, and then asked questions about their attitudes and preferences for subsequent U.S. foreign policies.

The State of Social and Political Expression on College Campuses

"What explains variation in student willingness and truthfulness when discussing social and political topics on campus?" Research to determine if a large percentage of undergraduate students across the political spectrum are muting at least some of their beliefs on social or political issues and the reasons behind self-censorship. Some potential reasons include preventing others from being offended, nipping emotionally-exhausting conversations on sensitive issues, being uncomfortable sharing partially-developed thoughts on polarizing topics, or being unwilling to speak on issues in which one lacks personal experience.