RRBM Dare to Care
Dissertation Scholarships

Sponsored by the Community for
Responsible Research in Business and Management (RRBM)

Co-Sponsor: The International Association for Chinese Management Research

Application period is now closed

Award decision: March 1, 2022


RRBM and its co-sponsors are offering up to eight scholarships of $10,000 each to doctoral students in business schools to conduct dissertation research that follows the principles of responsible research. The research topic should focus on economic inequality, racial, gender or other forms of social justice in organizations, thereby contributing to meeting one or more of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.



To support young scholars taking on the grand challenges of our world through responsible research in business and management.


Possible Research Topics and Methods

The Selection Committee welcomes dissertation research that will generate knowledge or ideas to reduce income inequality, increase racial and gender equity, or address other forms of social justice that enhance stakeholder well-being, especially focusing on the role of business organizations. Research that contributes to meeting one or more of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals related to these social justice issues are of special interest to this dissertation scholarship program.

This scholarship program supports dissertation research that is inter-disciplinary and that involves stakeholders in the research process. We encourage the use of multiple methods, including qualitative (case studies, observations, text analysis), quantitative (surveys, archival empirical), and experimentation (lab and field), as explained in the principles of responsible research. Intervention field studies (e.g., randomized controlled experiments) that robustly test theory-informed ideas/treatments to address the aforementioned justice issues are especially valuable.


The Eligible Applicant

  1. Is a doctoral candidate (generally after the qualifying exam) at the beginning stage of the dissertation research;
  2. Is studying in a business school in any of the disciplines as long as the research falls within the domain of the research topics described above;
  3. Is familiar with the RRBM Principles of Responsible Research (e.g., as an endorser of the position paper, an attendee of RRBM webinars, or through other engagements);
  4. We recommend attending the Philosophical Foundation of Responsible Research course which will be offered online September to mid-November 2021. The course covers the topics of uncertainties in scientific reasoning, inductive risks, values in science, objectivity and responsibility, science and policy, science and society, and progress in science – foundational ideas of responsible research. The final assignment of this course is to develop a research idea related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Registration for the 2021 course offering has closed. Missed the course? You can still apply for the scholarship. We recommend reviewing FAQ #5 below and taking some time to review the course syllabus and recommended reading.


The Application & Proposal Content

Eligible Applications will be submitted online and include (I) a proposal; (II) two letters of recommendation; and (III) the applicant’s CV. Applications should adhere to the detailed guidelines available for download here.

Applications will be accepted beginning November 1, 2021 and must be received by December 1, 2021.


Evaluation of Proposals

Proposals will be evaluated using the Seven Principles of Responsible Research, ensuring that the proposed research meets the standards of high relevance to the research domain specified in this program and strong methodological rigor with promise of credible findings. Additional information regarding the evaluation process and Selection Committee is available here.

Award winners will be announced March 1, 2022.

Watch here the recording of the info session on October 7, 2021


Answers to some frequently asked questions are provided below and will be updated periodically. Additional inquiries regarding the Dare to Care Dissertation Scholarship may be directed to scholarship[at]rrbm.network.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. Who is qualified to apply?
    Only students enrolled in doctoral studies within the field of business are eligible. This can include doctoral students within business schools or doctoral students within the business unit of a university (e.g., management, marketing, or accounting departments). Students enrolled in other social sciences (e.g., psychology, sociology, political science, economics) are not eligible for this award.
  2. I will have already conducted some of my research at the time my application is submitted. Am I eligible to apply?
    The scholarship is intended to support doctoral candidates. Students who have finished their doctoral studies (i.e., PostDoc) cannot be considered for this specific scholarship. Ideally, candidates should be at the beginning stage of the dissertation research when the scholarship is awarded in March 2022. Such applicants will generally have completed any required qualifying exam and/or defended their research proposal, as applicable.  As highlighted elsewhere in these FAQs, sponsored research should be empirical, and the scholarship is intended to cover the cost of collecting such empirical data. Doctoral students in a later stage can apply, mainly if their thesis is based on multiple papers and if the scholarship money is intended to be used for data collection supporting one of these papers.
  3. What topics are acceptable? Does climate research qualify?
    Acceptable topics should relate to some form of injustice and conditions on how to lower it. Exemplary areas of injustice and possibly forms of their reduction include, but are not limited to: (1) Poverty, reduced by increasing wages of lower-level employees or  creating jobs from social innovation or social entrepreneurship; (2) Income inequality, lowered by reducing the pay gap between the highest and the lowest pay within an organization; (3) Gender or racial inequity, alleviated by reducing bias in hiring or promotion decisions and by advancing the condition of women and people of color; (4) Employee well-being, reduced by increasing welfare benefits, compassionate leadership, advancing employee dignity, and protecting human rights. Climate research is acceptable if it relates to one or more forms of injustice. In general, research topics related to the social and economic dimensions of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (i.e., (1) No Poverty, (2) Zero Hunger, (3) Good Health and Well-being, (4) Quality Education, (5) Gender Equality, (8) Decent Work and Economic Growth, (9) Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure, (10) Reducing Inequality and (16) Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions) are of interest to this scholarship program. We would expect that research suitable for this scholarship will have a direct link to identifying practices or conditions that enhance stakeholder well-being, with a clear and specific dependent variable that is being tested for its impact on social justice.
  4. Is there an expectation that the research address these topics through a lens relevant to the role of business organizations?
    Yes, the goal of the research is to generate knowledge that organizations, especially business organizations, can potentially use to address injustice in various forms. This is consistent with the focus of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which consider business organizations as having the opportunity and obligation to implement the SDGs.
  5. Do I have to take the Philosophical Foundations of Responsible Research course?
    No, the course is not required if you have already completed a course or two covering some of the topics listed in the syllabus. Upon submitting your application, you will be given an opportunity to provide the syllabi of the course(s) you have taken and/or workshop(s) you have attended that include these topics. If you have no formal courses, provide a list of books or articles you have read that discuss these topics.
  6. Does the research have to be empirical?
    Yes, RRBM believes it is critical for claims to be supported by credible empirical evidence. A project that uses published empirical evidence (quantitative or qualitative evidence) is potentially acceptable. We give preference to original studies on a contemporary problem.
  7. Is a dissertation consisting of multiple papers acceptable?
    Yes, this model is acceptable as long as one of the papers includes empirical tests of a topic relevant to this scholarship program. We encourage applicants to orient their scholarship application around the one paper that is most relevant to the scholarship criteria.
  8. Can I send a brief writeup of my topic to check if my topic is suitable?
    Yes, you are more than welcome to send a one-page proposal idea to scholarship@rrbm.network and we will let you know if the topic is suitable for this scholarship focus. Please allow up to two weeks for a response.
  9. Will I have a mentor to help me?
    We cannot guarantee this but it is our plan to identify mentors for some of the scholarship recipients, if there are mentors who are interested in the topic.
  10. Do my two references need to submit their reference form by the December 1 deadline?
    Application forms must be submitted by December 1, 2021. Reference writers will have a short additional window to provide their input, through Tuesday, December 7, 2021. Applications and reference forms must be received by these dates in order to be considered for this year’s award.