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DARE Frequently Asked Questions

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Jump to Program Details - Eligibility - Application and Selection Process 

Program Details

1. What are the benefits of being a DARE Fellow?

DARE Fellowships provide an annual stipend and TGR tuition for two 4-quarter academic years beginning autumn 2024. The 2024-25 stipend is set at $54,800 annually, $13,700 per quarter. The 2024-25 stipend will be announced in the spring. The DARE Program also provides an integrated set of activities in which all DARE Fellows participate. DARE Fellows will be part of a supportive community of fellows that also includes a DARE coordinator, who is a member of the VPGE staff.

2. How much time will DARE participation take away from my dissertation and research?

DARE should not take more than 5 hours per week, and usually will require less time.

3. What are the program activities and when do they take place?

Active participation in the community of DARE Fellows will provide support during the often isolating dissertation stage. Peer support and encouragement will facilitate timely degree completion and promote transitions into the professoriate. In addition to courses and workshops, there will be monthly group meetings, individual meetings with DARE program director, goal setting, and support. This will allow interaction within and across cohorts.

Several of the key program components and their timing are listed in the table below. (Details follow below.) Program elements labeled as “courses” may be credit bearing.

Summer 2024Meet with DARE program director. Identify DARE faculty resource advisor.
Autumn 2024“Navigating the Academic Profession” course (see description below). Meet with DARE faculty resource advisor. Begin to develop project.
Winter 2025“Faculty Roles and Responsibilities at Various Institutions Types” course. Refine and execute project. Meet with DARE faculty resource advisor.
Spring 2025“The Academic Job Search” course. Execute and evaluate project. Meet with DARE faculty resource advisor.
Summer 2025Meet with DARE program director, primary dissertation advisor, and DARE faculty resource advisor to assess student’s participation and academic progress.
Autumn 2025Students begin job search cohort community building sessions. Recruiting visit to a campus. Meet with DARE faculty resource advisor.
Winter 2026Cohort community building sessions. Meet with DARE faculty resource advisor.
Spring 2026Cohort community building sessions. Meeting to assess student’s development and evaluate program. Students graduate.
Summer 2026Dissertation completion, if needed.

Courses and Workshops

Navigating the Academic Profession (Autumn Quarter 2024, Mondays 9:30-11:20am)
Explores roles and responsibilities of faculty members in the 21st century, including teaching, research, and service. Weekly 2-unit course with reading and assignments.

Faculty Roles and Responsibilities at Diverse Campuses (TBD)
Explores faculty roles and responsibilities at various types of US colleges and universities: community colleges, liberal arts colleges, mission driven institutions, comprehensive colleges, and research universities. Includes four day-long visits to local campuses plus two group meetings to prepare and debrief.

The Academic Job Search (Spring Quarter 2025, Mondays 9:30-11:20am)
Practical preparation for the academic job market in the fall. Topics will include writing a CV and job letter, constructing a teaching portfolio, writing a teaching philosophy and a research plan, interviewing, giving a job talk, and negotiating a job offer.

Professional Development Workshops/Modules (on-going)
Year-long set of experiences mixing guest speakers with professional development modules. Topics determined in consultation with participants. Topics might include speaking to different audiences, grant writing, balancing academic life and commitment to a community, conducting the scholarship of teaching and learning, assuming departmental and campus leadership, or lab management.

4. What are expectations for projects?

DARE Fellows will have an opportunity to develop a small project designed to support the diversity of Stanford’s graduate student population, or to enrich the educational experience of the student community. Each DARE fellow will receive up to $3,000 in funding, which can be used to help pay for their project and/or recruitment trip. The project is an opportunity to explore the kinds of participation in campus life that the fellow could have as a faculty member, and to enrich the educational experience of Stanford’s graduate student community.

Each project will be individually developed by each fellow or teams of fellows. There are no preset expectations for the duration and scope of each project. For example, fellows could mentor undergraduates in their discipline, or help organize an event that brings in faculty who are Stanford alumni and ask them to speak about their academic career trajectories. Another possibility is to contribute to the academic community at one of Stanford’s community resource centers (e.g., Asian-American Activities Center, Black Community Service Center, El Centro Chicano y Latino, Queer Student Resources, The Markaz: Resource Center, Native American Cultural Center, Student Disability Resource Center, and Women’s Community Center). The centers have some built-in structures for activities, such as mentoring undergraduates who are considering graduate school. Another approach could be to work directly through degree program and disciplinary channels, promoting an activity that shapes the perceptions of prospective graduate students. Fellows may also co-lead a session with a faculty member for graduate students and undergraduate majors in their degree program on diversity within their field.

5. Who are the additional faculty resource advisors and how often will I interact with that person?

To ensure adequate mentoring, each fellow will identify a Stanford faculty member who will serve as a resource advisor, in addition to the dissertation advisor. VPGE staff will help with this matching process. The faculty resource advisor will be able to provide advice about conducting the job search and having a successful faculty career. Fellows and resource advisors are expected to meet at least once per quarter to discuss the fellow’s evolving career plans. More interaction is encouraged.

6. What are the recruiting trips?

At some time during the two-year fellowship each fellow is funded to make a recruiting trip to an undergraduate institution in order to encourage promising undergraduates to apply to graduate school, including Stanford. The campus visits may also provide fellows with an opportunity to give talks about their research and scholarship. In this way, fellows could return to their undergraduate institution or visit a campus where they are interested in obtaining a position as a postdoctoral scholar or faculty member. 


7. What if I am not sure if I want to be a professor?

The DARE Program is open to students who are considering becoming faculty members. We recognize that many people are unsure whether this is the right path. The DARE Program is designed to help students learn about the many roles faculty members play in the many kinds of institutions in which they work. The hope is that most DARE graduates will become professors, but it is not required.

8. What if I am not TGR?

DARE Fellowships provide TGR tuition. VPGE will work with fellows who have not reached TGR tuition status and their degree programs to determine whether and how to fund the gap between regular tuition and TGR tuition.

9. What if I have not yet advanced to candidacy?

DARE Fellows must be advanced to candidacy by the start of autumn quarter 2024. Applicants who have not yet advanced to candidacy should present a credible plan for doing so. Be sure that your advisor endorses your plan in their letter.

10. What if I don’t have an approved dissertation proposal?

DARE Fellows must have a dissertation proposal approved by their dissertation reading committee by the start of autumn quarter 2024. This requirement is designed to ensure that fellows are well along the way to completing the degree; we want to make sure that you have a well defined project and are not still flailing.  A dissertation proposal approved by your dissertation reading committee is the best proxy we could find for this.  Applicants who have not yet had their dissertation proposal approved should present a credible plan for doing so.

If it is not customary to have a dissertation proposal formally approved in your degree program or if this requirement does not precisely meet your circumstances, be sure to indicate this on the application form and be sure that your advisor mentions this in their letter.

11. What if I plan to graduate earlier than spring 2026?

The DARE Program is for students who will be enrolled for the next two academic years and will be able to participate fully in the program.

12. What if I need to be away from Stanford for a significant period of time during the academic year?

VPGE will work with each student to address whether and how to accommodate such obligations, recognizing the fellows are expected to fully participate in the program during the academic year. DARE Fellows are free to travel away from campus during the summers.

13. May I defer a fellowship for a year?

No. We do not accept deferrals for DARE Fellowships. Should you be unable to accept a DARE Fellowship, the award will be offered to an alternate.

14. If I am an MD or JD student who plans on a career as a faculty member in a medical school or law school, may I apply?

Yes. MD or JD applicants will need to make a compelling case for eligibility and applicability in their statements, since DARE was designed with PhD students in mind.

15. Are there quotas by school or discipline?

No. Doctoral students from all of Stanford’s schools and degree programs are eligible.

16. Is DARE open to international students?

All currently enrolled PhD students at Stanford are eligible. Citizenship status is not considered when making award decisions.

17. What if I have another source of funding? What if that source of funding provides more than the DARE stipend?

DARE Fellowship funding is intended to replace other sources of internal funding, thereby freeing up funding for other students. Taking DARE funding does not excuse a student from research obligations. The implications of taking DARE funding for a student’s research obligations must be worked out directly between the student and faculty member. Funding from external sources will be addressed on a case by case basis.

For example, if a research assistantship would provide a student with a salary greater than the DARE stipend, VPGE will work with the student’s degree program to determine whether and how to accommodate the student.

18. If I applied last year and was not awarded a DARE Fellowship may I apply again?

Yes. But remember that DARE curriculum is most relevant for those in the final two years of their doctoral program.


Application and Selection Process

19. What is the application procedure?

DARE application instructions and on-line application can be found at  All application materials, including the advisor letter of recommendation, must be submitted online and are due by April 1, 2024. Please refer to the DARE application instructions page for detailed information.

20. Can I make changes to my application after it has been submitted?

You may make changes to your application with the save and view function. To update documents previously submitted, you will need to delete previously uploaded documents. You may then simply upload the new document to the application. Once you hit submit, you will not be able to make changes to your application.

21. What is the selection process?

Complete applications from eligible students will be read by members of the selection advisory committee, which includes faculty members. Applications will be read by at least two committee members. The committee is advisory to the Vice Provost for Graduate Education, who will make the final selection of the cohort of DARE Fellows. Decisions will be made in compliance with the principles set forth in the Supreme Court’s June 2023 ruling on affirmative action.

22. How many applicants do you expect?

We expect the program to be highly competitive. For the 16th DARE cohort, we received over 100 applications.

23. What if my personal statement exceeds the 1750-word limit?

Any application that significantly exceeds the specified word count will be at a disadvantage. Overly long applications may go unread.

24. Are the applications read “blind” or should I put my name on the personal statement?

It would be helpful to put your name, SUID number, and page numbers on the personal statement.

25. Should information on the CV be repeated in the personal statement?

Certainly, if you think it is relevant.

26. What if my advisor does not submit a letter of endorsement?

We want the letter of support from the primary advisor to ensure that the advisor endorses the fellow’s participation in the program. It is your responsibility to ensure that a letter of endorsement is received by the April 1st deadline. We recommend you meet with your advisor to discuss your interest in DARE well in advance and provide them with the advisor letter of recommendation guidelines included on the application instructions page.

27. May I submit more than one letter of support?

No. We want all applicants to be on a level playing field and have the same materials in front of the review committee.

28. Will I be notified when my application is complete?

You will receive a confirmation email once you submit your application. You may check your application and recommendation status after submission by returning to the online application. Enter by using the login and password you created.

29. When and how will applicants be notified?

All applicants will be notified regarding competition results via email in May.