PhD Recruitment Program

Application Guidelines

Goal: To increase the number of domestic doctoral students by providing travel funds to faculty for prospective Ph.D. student visits. By providing opportunities for students to visit and explore USC at any time during the application process, WiSE hopes to support departments in recruiting excellent PhD students.


  • The PI may apply for a travel fund for a domestic student who is being considered as a potential full-time USC Ph.D. student in a WiSE-eligible department.
  • The faculty member will only receive one award per domestic student.
  • The application must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the proposed travel date. No retroactive reimbursements will be authorized.
  • A budget for the trip should be submitted, for a maximum of $1000, including reasonable estimates for transportation, accommodation, and per diem costs. Proposals from Dornsife faculty must include at least 50% matching funds from their respective graduate program, i.e., WiSE will provide 50% of the travel expenses or $500 (whichever is less); the graduate program must provide at least 50% of the total expenses. (The Viterbi School of Engineering has already provided matching funds for the Viterbi programs.) Only under special circumstances will WiSE provide an award without matching funds; in such cases, please contact WiSE Program Manager prior to submitting a proposal.

Application Process: Application materials should be submitted electronically to WiSE by emailing  All documents should be in Adobe PDF format. A complete application includes the following required documents:

  • Description of the Student: briefly describe why the student is being recruited for your research group.
  • Budget: provide an estimate of total expenses including transportation costs, housing, and meals.
  • WiSE Justification: a brief statement explaining how the WiSE Award will serve to increase the representation of women in science and engineering.
  • DORNSIFE only: a brief note from the chair of the department or the graduate program director that confirms at least a 50% match of funds from the department or section (the Viterbi School of Engineering has already provided a match for the Viterbi departments)

Award Process: The PhD Recruitment Program is administered by the Manager of the WiSE Program. Reimbursement of the award amount will take place after submission of all receipts, according to University regulations.

Applicants will be notified via e-mail as to the status of their application. The e-mail confirmation will serve as official notice of the award and should be included with the request for reimbursement. Requests for reimbursement should be directed to the faculty member’s Home Department Coordinator and processed through the “WiSE PhD Recruitment Program” in their school. No money will be transacted through the WiSE Program Office.