Welcome to the 49th year of the Mark Diamond Research Fund (MDRF)! The MDRF offers grants to graduate students for research expenses related to their thesis or dissertation. PhD students may now apply for up to $3,000, MFA students for up to $2,000 and Masters students for up to $1,500. The MDRF grant is only for University at Buffalo graduate students in programs participating in the Graduate Student Association and who have not waived the student activity fee. Applicants should be in the latter stages of research.

If you have any questions, please contact MDRF Director Jennifer Schechter-Powrie at gsa-mdrf@buffalo.edu. Please note: due to the high volume of emails and applications for review, the Director does not schedule application review meetings within two weeks of a deadline.

MDRF Application Deadlines for 2020-2021

Please note: electronic applications are due by 3:00pm on the due date. Hard copies* are due by 12:00pm (noon) in the GSA office the following business day. Failure to meet either of these deadlines will result in the automatic rejection of your application. The following deadlines are for the electronic submissions:

FALL: Friday, September 18, 2020, for research to be conducted November 1, 2020 – October 31, 2021

SPRING: Friday, February 12, 2021, for research to be conducted April 1, 2021 – March 31, 2022

SUMMER: Friday, May 21, 2021, for research to be conducted July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022

*Closer to each deadline a determination will be made as to whether or not we will require hard copy applications or–in the event the office will be closed due to Covid-related reasons–we will change to an online-only submission, as with the Summer 2020 grant cycle. Please keep checking this page, as updates will be posted as soon as we know.   

Applying for the MDRF

The Spring 2021 application is now live. Please note, hard copy submissions are not required for this grant cycle, as the GSA office remains closed due to Covid. Please refer to the instructions for how to properly submit your application. Please also read the instructions thoroughly and in their entirety, as they explain much of the frequently asked questions regarding the application.

Spring 2021 Mark Diamond Research Fund Application

Spring 2021 MDRF Application Instructions

MDRF Regulations and Penalties

MDRF Application Tutorial

Grant Application Workshops and Review

Application Workshops: As the GSA office is still closed, there will be no in-person workshops scheduled for the Spring 2021 grant cycle. The MDRF Application Tutorial document above covers everything that is covered in workshops. Together with the Application Instructions, applicants should have everything they need to complete the application. However, if you have any questions (especially any special circumstances that are not covered by the instructions or tutorial), please reach out to the MDRF Director at gsa-mdrf@buffalo.edu.

Application Review: If you would like to have your application reviewed before the deadline, your application can be shared with the Director up to two weeks before the electronic submission deadline. Applications for review received after this date will not be reviewed. Also, please note that no meetings will be scheduled following this date to review any parts of the application. It is the applicant’s responsibility to read the instructions and follow the guidelines. You are always welcome to email any questions you have about the deadlines or the application to gsa-mdrf@buffalo.edu.

Forms for MDRF Recipients

Please note: the encumbrance request form is a new online form. If you have any questions, please contact the MDRF Director!

About Mark Diamond

Mark Diamond attended the University at Buffalo as a graduate student in the 1980s. He was very active in the Graduate Student Association and worked tirelessly to continue making research funds available to UB graduate students, regardless of their area of study, as Director of the then “Graduate Resource Access Development Fund.”

This fund was an initiative that was started by the Graduate Student Association in 1971 to help students gain access to funds needed in order to complete their research goals. Unfortunately, Mark perished in an automobile accident after having served as the fund director from 1981-1985. As a tribute and legacy to him, the Graduate Student Association voted to rename the research grant fund in 1986 in his honor. The grant is funded through the mandatory graduate student activity fee and the Graduate School.