Applying for Grants from the Faculty Research Committee Frequently Asked Questions

What does the Faculty Development and Research Grants Committee do?

Twice a year, the Committee reviews applications from eligible faculty members seeking support for research or faculty development. We draw on one main fund named the “Faculty Research Grants Fund." The funds are administered jointly by the Committee and the Office of the Dean of the College. Please note that faculty who are tenured, or tenure-track, or hold title as a research professor will have priority over the funds, but the committee will review all the applications.

When can I apply for funding?

The Committee sends out calls for applications two or three times during a given fiscal year (which runs from July 1st to June 30th):
*First Round: Call sent by email in early September; deadline in late September. This round is for projects that will be completed by graduation. Receipts for expenditures from this round must be submitted on or before June 30th of the current school year. 
*Second Round: Call sent by email in early January; deadline in mid-February. This round is for projects that will be completed in the upcoming summer or in the next fiscal year. Your grant may be split into two different fiscal years. Please check your award letter.
-Receipts for expenditures from the first or second round that occur before June 30th must be turned in by June 30th of the current school year.
-Receipts for expenditures from the second round that occur between July 1st and June 30th of the following year, can be turned in any time between these two dates. However, it is advisable to do it as soon as possible once research is completed. 
 

What kind of expenses does the Committee fund?

In general, the Committee funds expenses related to research trips. These expenses most often include transportation (airfare, train tickets, car expenses, metros, etc.), lodging, and food. The Committee can rarely support more than thirty days of living expenses in any particular location.

The Committee has also helped support lab expenses, copying expenses, and access fees to archives, etc, as well as other expenses.

What kinds of expenses does the Committee NOT fund?

In general, the Committee does not fund . . .
  • living expenses related to research done in Sewanee.
  • salaries for student workers.
  • tuition costs that support work done for a graduate degree.
  • equipment or consumables for faculty who have not spent 75% of their start-up funds (if applicable). 
  • capital purchases of equipment.
  • faculty compensation.
This is not an exhaustive list. The Committee certainly sees the need for all of these expenses, but it simply does not have the means to fund them.

 

What is the maximum grant a faculty member can request?

The committee caps awards at a maximum of $5,000 per faculty member per fiscal year (which runs from July 1st to June 30th).

How do I put together a budget when I'm not sure of the final costs?

Put together the best budget you can based on the information you have. It’s easy to price plane and lodging costs on the Internet, and you should research other costs as carefully as you can. However, keep in mind RG doesn't use the per diem. Always try to keep the costs as reasonable as possible.

What kind of information does the Committee need in the application?

The Committee requires five items:
  • The Application for Internal Faculty Support form must be filled out accurately and completely or the proposal will be denied.
  • A 1-3 page description of your proposal (downloadable .pdf), detailing how the particular trip (or expense) will support your research and/or your development as a faculty member. You must specify particular outcomes (an article, a book chapter, etc.), which should also be addressed in the project report you will submit in order to get reimbursement for funded expenditures. Aim for a straight-forward and clearly articulated description suitable for an intelligent reader who is likely outside your field. Complex literary analyses, math equations, and chemical formulas are far less helpful than a precise and jargon-free description that is no longer than three pages.
  • A detailed itemized budget (please use the Research Grants Budget Justification Template). If you are applying for work to be done during the summer, and your budget is going to go over two fiscal years, please indicate in your budget how you would like the money divided by telling us how much you would like from each budget. For example: if your expenditures start in June and continue into July your budget spans two academic fiscal years.
  • A short recent CV (no more than four pages please; downloadable .pdf).
  • If you have been funded for a project conducted within the last ten years, the Committee also must have a copy of the subsequent project report you sent to the Dean's office (please use the Research Grant Final Report Template).
All of the above items will be sent automatically to all the members of the Committee and, also, to the Office of the Dean of the College.
 

Can I apply to the Committee for conference money?

You may, but this committee focuses on research. Proposals of this nature are low priority for this committee, and you will have to justify your request, since the Dean's office covers conference travel. 

What if my proposal relates to teaching?

If your proposal is strictly related to your teaching, you should apply for funds from the Center for Teaching.

I've heard there are strict deadlines for when receipts are due--is that true?

Yes, yes, yes. Your grant may be split in two different fiscal years. Please check your letter.
-Receipts for expenditures that occur before June 30th must be turned in by June 30th of the current school year.
-Receipts for expenditures that occur between July 1st and June 30th of the following year, can be turned in any time between these two dates. However, it is advisable to do it as soon as possible once the research is completed.
Please be aware that should you miss your deadline, the funds reserved for your project from the previous year will simply disappear.
 

How do I get reimbursed for expenses once I have a grant?

You need to complete the Faculty Research Grant Expense form (found on the Faculty Research Grants page under Resources) and scan this along with all receipts into a single .pdf document and e-mail the document to Kristen Kleinfeld, Assistant for Finance and Administration (krkleinf@sewanee.edu). Please clarify on the form the title of your project the receipts are covering (the title you used on your original application), and from what fiscal year your fund should be drawn. If you are unclear about the fiscal year, see your letter.

My award letter mentioned that I need to send a report once I have turned in my receipts. How long should the report be, and where should I send it?

After you have used your awarded funds, you need to send a brief report (1-2 pages) that describes how the funds supported your research or faculty development. You should send a copy of this report to the Office of the Dean of the College and to the Chair of the Committee when you turn in your receipts. The reward letter reminds you to send this report, but the Committee will not send an additional reminder, so please keep track of this deadline. Failure to turn in a report can be seen as a reason to deny an application in the future. Keep a copy of it in your files since you will be asked to submit it again if you request money within 10 years. 

If you have any questions, or if you’d like to run your idea by a member of the Committee, please feel free to contact the chair of the Committee. The Chair for 2018-2019 academic year is Ruth Sanchez (rsanchez@sewanee.edu) or Ext. 1760.