The Dirksen Congressional Center invites applications for grants to fund research on congressional leadership and the U.S. Congress. The center, named for the late Senate Minority Leader Everett M. Dirksen, is a private, nonpartisan, nonprofit research and educational organization devoted to the study of Congress and its leaders.

Applications are due by March 1 for the annual selections, which are announced in April. A total of up to $35,000 will be available in 2012.

The competition is open to individuals with a serious interest in studying Congress. Political scientists, historians, biographers, scholars of public administration or American studies, and journalists are among those eligible.

The center encourages graduate students who have successfully defended their dissertation prospectus to apply and awards a significant portion of the funds for dissertation research. Applicants must be U.S. citizens who reside in the United States. 

Applications can be sent in as Word or PDF attachments to Frank Mackaman. Insert “CRA Application [your surname].” in the subject line.

Complete information about what kind of research projects are eligible for consideration, what a Congressional Research Award pays for, application procedures and how recipients are selected may be found at the center’s website.