Dissertation Mini-Grant

The Mensa Foundation’s Dissertation Mini-Grant provides a $2,500 award to doctoral students for dissertation research related to intelligence or gifted education.

Encouraging applications from students who have developed their dissertation proposal and methodology, the program seeks proposals for research on human intelligence or creativity across the lifespan and in the contexts of learning and education of those who are gifted, or from underserved gifted-student populations such as twice-exceptional, culturally or linguistically diverse, or the economically disadvantaged.

There is no restriction to the type of study to be conducted, data sets used, or participants, and funds may be used for research-related expenses such as instrument development and validation, data collection and analysis, postage, and supplies.

Dissertation Mini-Grant recipients may use Mensa members as participants if their study meets Mensa’s Research Review guidelines and has their university’s Institutional Review Board approval. The Mensa Foundation may provide funding on a case-by-case basis for the winner to present their work at an American Mensa Annual Gathering.

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Applications must be received by Jan. 31.


Dissertation Mini-Grants are available for doctoral students who have an approved dissertation proposal. Applications are encouraged from fields and disciplines closely related to gifted education, creativity, and intelligence including educational psychology, psychology, psychometrics, special education, and educational leadership and administration. Applicants for this one-year, non-renewable award should be advanced doctoral students at the dissertation stage, typically in their last year of study.

Applicants may be U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents enrolled in an accredited U.S. university in a gifted education-related doctoral program. Non-U.S. citizens enrolled in a doctoral program at a U.S. institution are also eligible to apply.

Award obligations

Recipients of the Dissertation Mini-Grant should acknowledge the Mensa Foundation in any publication or presentation related to the dissertation study. A copy of the completed, approved dissertation should be sent to the Mensa Foundation upon completion. Recipients may be invited to present their work at an American Mensa Annual Gathering or Regional Gathering with conference fees waived. Stipends for travel to Mensa Gatherings may be available on a case-by-case basis.


Dissertation Mini-Grant recipients may accept concurrent funding from other sources. Employees of American Mensa and members of the American Mensa Committee or Foundation Board of Trustees are not eligible to apply.

Recipients may only receive the Mini Grant once and it is not renewable. Funding will be issued by check from the Mensa Education and Research Foundation directly to the doctoral candidate upon verification of enrollment and dissertation status.

Selection criteria

Applications will be reviewed by a committee. Evaluation criteria will include the significance of the research question, strength of methodology, potential contribution of the study to the field of intelligence or gifted education, applicant’s related experience, and applicant’s potential contributions to the field of study.

For more information, please contact our Foundation Director.