Skip to Content

​Michael J. Barrett Doctoral Dissertation Grant

​Michael J. Barrett Doctoral Dissertation Grant

To encourage internal audit studies by doctoral candidates, the Internal Audit Foundation supports an ongoing doctoral dissertation grant program. This program provides funds to selected doctoral candidates whose dissertations are focused on internal auditing.


In 1990, the doctoral dissertation grant was named in the memory of a leader in internal audit research and education, Michael J. Barrett, DBA, CIA. Dr. Barrett served on the Board of Research Advisors for the Internal Audit Foundation and in many other IIA leadership positions. In 1990, he was awarded The IIA's Bradford Cadmus Memorial Award. Dr. Barrett was chairman and professor of the accounting department at the University of Nebraska in Omaha. He was instrumental in establishing internal audit courses at the universities where he served, and at many other colleges and universities. The Foundation offers the Michael J. Barrett Grant as an incentive to future professors who will continue research and education in the profession.

Amount and Timing of Grant Distribution

Selected recipients will be awarded a grant of up to $10,000. Up to two recipients are selected each year. The total grant is paid over a period generally not exceeding 18 months. The grant is usually divided into three installments corresponding with the submission of specified milestones.

Submission Deadline

The next deadline for submitting a grant application for review is April 15, 2025. Recipients will be notified by July 31 of the application year. (Please note, awards will not be granted in 2024 due to the shift in the application cycle.)


Eligible candidates should:

  • Be pursuing a doctoral degree in auditing, accounting, business, or a related field from an accredited educational institution.
  • Intend to support internal audit education and research.
  • Have completed or be within one year of completion of the necessary course requirements and pre-dissertation examinations required by the degree-granting institution.

Items to Include in the Application

  • Cover letter (see details below).
  • Dissertation summary: Title, overview, contribution of the research to internal audit academia and/or practice. (Length: one page)
  • Dissertation proposal: Details about the research objective(s), need for research, methodology, and data sources. (Length: three to four pages, exclusive of exhibits, appendices, or attachments)
  • Schedule: Tasks and estimated completion dates.
  • Letters of recommendation: Provide two letters of recommendation from professors directly supervising or connected with the dissertation efforts. Include their names, addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers.

Items to Include in the Cover Letter

  • Applicant’s name.
  • Applicant’s contact information (mailing address, email, phone number).
  • Dissertation title.
  • The degree being sought (such as a Ph.D. or DBA) and any concentrations.
  • The full name of the degree-granting institution and its accreditation.
  • Description of experience, interest, and/or accomplishments related to internal auditing.
  • Professional plans after completing the doctoral program.


All timely and relevant topics that advance the practice of internal auditing are welcome and will be given equal consideration. Applicants may consider pursing topics identified in New Frontiers for Internal Audit Research (Christ, Eulerich, Krane, & Wood, 2020).

Selection of Grant Recipients

Screening and selection of candidates is the responsibility of the Committee of Research and Education Advisors (CREA). This committee includes both academics and internal audit practitioners. Submissions are evaluated based on

  • Potential of the topic to advance internal audit knowledge, practices, and insights.
  • Soundness of methodology. 
  • Originality of research.
  • Candidate eligibility, qualifications, and experience.
  • Overall organization and clarity of the application.

Award Recipients Will Be Required To:

  • Provide a one-paragraph biography, publishable headshot, and signed photo release.
  • Complete the dissertation within the timeline agreed upon when the award agreement is signed.
  • Provide the Foundation with any publicly accessible links to abstracts or other information about the dissertation.
  • Agree to be interviewed by The IIA and/or the Internal Audit Foundation on the research findings.
  • Agree to write a brief article upon request by the Foundation that summarizes the dissertation’s objectives, methodology, key findings, and implications for the internal audit profession.

Send Applications To:

Michael J. Barrett Doctoral Dissertation Award

The Institute of Internal Auditors
1035 Greenwood Blvd #401
Lake Mary, FL 32746