DSEF Grants for Incoming PhD Students


The Direct Selling Education Foundation grants program to attract doctoral program applicants


Dear Colleagues,

The Direct Selling Education Foundation (DSEF) last year initiated a new grants program to provide funding to attract doctoral program applicants with an aspiring interest in sales-related research at AACSB accredited doctoral-granting institutions (for a quick look at DSEF’s purpose and academic activities, see (https://dsef.org/doctoral-sales-grant/). The program was very successful, hence we are coming back to the market with a second year of the opportunity. As a condition of the grant, the recipient commits to writing a publishable research study or dissertation that focuses on a sales-related topic of importance and relevance to DSEF and/or to one or more of its member firms. In addition to funding, DSEF will provide access to Direct Selling Association (DSA) industry datasets, or work with the doctoral student and his or her advisor to find a suitable DSEF member firm that is interested in facilitating the research study (data access, sampling, etc.). DSEF will generously commit to up to two of these grants annually, each of which carries four years of $1,000 annual disbursements (contingent on achieving academic and research objectives as delineated on the enclosed DSEF Sales Doctoral Grants – Guidelines and Requirements).

We encourage you and your institution to nominate an applicant to your doctoral program to receive one of the  DSEF Doctoral Sales Grants for the fall 2020 enrollment year. The deadline for submitting your nomination with supporting documentation is April 15, 2020. Grant award decisions will be announced by May 15, 2020.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about the grants or application details.

Best Regards,

Fernando Jaramillo                                          Greg W. Marshall
University of Texas at Arlington                   Rollins College

Direct Selling Education Foundation (DSEF) Doctoral Sales Grant Program – Guidelines and Requirements

Purpose: The DSEF Doctoral Sales Grant Program will help AACSB accredited doctoral granting institutions build, recruit, and retain the next generation of aspiring sales-focused future faculty and scholars.

Selection: The selection of applicants is based on the following criteria:

  1. Evaluation of a one-page essay submitted by the applicant expressing an interest in pursuing sales research as a focus of his/her doctoral studies and dissertation.
  2. Acceptance to an AACSB accredited doctoral program, supported by nomination from that program’s doctoral coordinator.
  3. Proposals relevant to the direct selling channel, DSEF and Direct Selling Association (DSA) member companies.
  4. A current summary curriculum vita of the applicant (two pages maximum).
  5. Expressed written intent to pursue a career in academia, after graduation.

Application Submission:  Email application materials to Dr. Fernando Jaramillo, University of Texas at Arlington – jaramillo@uta.edu. Applications must be submitted by April 15, 2020 to receive full consideration. Award decisions will be announced by May 15, 2020.

Selection Committee:  The selection committee is composed of two active sales professors along with two members of the DSEF leadership team.

DSEF Sales Doctoral Student Grants Disbursement Calendar   

  • Year 1: The doctoral student receives a $1,000 grant upon full confirmation of enrollment in the submitting doctoral program.
  • Year 2: The recipient receives a second $1,000 grant and writes a research or dissertation proposal that focuses on a topic of relevance for DSEF or one or more of its member firms. In tandem, DSEF will provide access to Direct Selling Association (DSA) datasets, or work with the doctoral student and his/her advisor to find one or more suitable DSEF member firms interested in conducting the research study (data access, sampling, etc.).
  • Year 3: The recipient receives a third $1,000 grant and presents preliminary research findings to DSEF and the sponsoring firm(s).
  • Year 4: The recipient receives a final $1,000 grant and completes the research project (dissertation final defense approval and/or manuscript submission to a quality journal).