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Dissertation Writing Institute

The Dissertation Writing Institute is for graduate students whose research is complete or nearly complete, who have conceptualized the principal elements of the dissertation, and who have already begun to write the dissertation. 

Participants are asked to work for at least six consecutive hours each week-day during the eight weeks of the program. Students participate in group discussions, where they share their writing and receive feedback in workshops. In addition, participants receive individual, writing consultations with a Sweetland faculty member. Participants may not hold another position during the eight-week period of the Institute and must work exclusively on their dissertations.

Rackham and Sweetland support each graduate student selected with a stipend up to $5000 for the spring term, determined by each student's spring/summer funding from Rackham.

The Dissertation Writing Institute is supported by the College of Literature, Science & the Arts, the Rackham Graduate School, and the Sweetland Center for Writing.

2024 Dissertation Writing Institute

May 7 - June 27, 2024

Participants are required to attend the Dissertation Writing Institute in-person from 9:00 am–3:00 pm weekdays.

Department Nomination

Department Chairs and Directors nominate up to four advanced graduate students who they believe will benefit by participating in this Institute. The nomination, containing the following information, should be emailed to Laura Schuyler (

  • Student's name(s) and email address
  • Dissertation Chair's name(s) and email address

Department nominations for Spring 2025 are due January 2025 (TBA).

Students will then be contacted by Sweetland and asked to apply.

Student Application Materials

Please submit the following as a single PDF to Laura Schuyler ( 

  • Application cover sheet (.docx file)
  • A letter from you explaining the nature and scope of your dissertation, the progress you have made on it to date, writing issues you would like to address, and how interacting with a Sweetland faculty member and a group of peers will help you. This letter should be no more than two pages, single-spaced.
  • One chapter
  • Curriculum vitae


  • Dissertation Chair Letter of Support 
    (Chair should email directly to

Application materials are due February 2025 (TBA)

You will be notified by February 2025 (TBA), if you have been accepted.