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FAHSS Research and Interdisciplinary Initiatives Fund

The Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and the Provost are pleased to invite applications for grants to fund research and other academic endeavors for College of Arts and Sciences faculty in the Fine Arts, Humanities, and (lettered) Social Sciences (FAHSS). These grants are funded by the Offices of the Provost, Vice President for Research (OVPR), and the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS).

Research Initiative Grants for Faculty in the Fine Arts, Humanities, and Lettered Social Sciences (FAHSS)

Types of Awards

Two types of research grants are awarded through this competition:

  1. Individual Research Projects — for faculty in the relevant FAHSS departments or programs. Maximum Award: $3,500.
  2. Interdisciplinary Research Projects for three or more faculty in the relevant FAHSS departments or in conjunction with faculty from other CAS departments or other colleges. Maximum Award: $7,500.


The Fall 2023 deadline for receipt of applications is: December 3, 2023.

Grants for Individual Research:

Full-time faculty from the Fine Arts, Humanities, and lettered Social Sciences may apply for up to $3,500 for funds to provide seed money for research projects and creative activities, matching funds for grants, publication subsidies for newly published work, research personnel, travel grants for research, research materials (e.g., special equipment), and other such research-related activities or creative projects. We do not provide funds to travel to conferences or other such professional meetings, and the Research funds cannot be used for summer salary. A preference will be given to applications from junior faculty, from faculty who are first time applicants, and from faculty who have not received an award in the last three years.

Grants for Interdisciplinary Projects:

A group of faculty from two or more FAHSS departments may apply for grants of up to $7,500 to encourage new research partnerships or new curricular initiatives. Faculty from non-FAHSS departments and from other colleges may also be included. The grants can be used for special events such as colloquia, conferences, performances, and exhibitions. Projects should contribute to the development of interdisciplinary contacts across CAS departments, help build partnerships with other areas across the campus, and engage with national and international discussions about the future of our disciplines. Projects pertinently involving non-CAS departments, especially those not likely to be funded by science agencies, are also welcome. Preference will be given to applications from faculty, who have not received an interdisciplinary award in the last three years. Preference will also be given to interdisciplinary projects that are self-sustaining or seek one time funding (i.e., not requiring year-to-year finding from FAHSS).

The proposal should be submitted by a lead author and the other participating faculty should write letters of endorsement. Additionally, if a department, institute, or center is providing funds to the project, the head of that area should submit a letter confirming that support.

General Notes:

  • Special attention for both the Individual and Interdisciplinary awards will be given to projects that are intended to lead to the development of proposals and applications for external grants and fellowships.
  • Grant recipients who submit a grant proposal to an external agency or foundation within one year of the grant period will receive an additional support allocation of $500.
  • Successful candidates will be required to submit a report on research outcomes after the grant period.

Policy on the Purchase of Equipment and Software:

The FAHSS Committee discourages funding requests for durable equipment (i.e. equipment that will not be consumed in the course of the research project) and software. Though requests will be considered, they will be given lower funding priority and applicants are strongly encouraged to keep their equipment costs below $500.

Further, if equipment and/or software requests ARE made, the submitted application must meet the following criteria:

  1. The applicant must demonstrate with supporting documentation that every effort has been made to use existing University resources, borrow equipment, and/or rent equipment.
  2. The applicant must demonstrate that the equipment or software is a vital and intrinsic part of the proposed research project.
  3. The applicant must include a statement explaining what will happen to the equipment when the project is over.

The committee evaluating The Research Initiatives Grants for FAHSS is listed at the FAHSS Committee Page.


The guidance below is intended to help applicants avoid some common errors and/or misunderstandings. Please note that these are not official guidelines, given that the committee's practices vary from year to year (based on its forming consensus among the committee members), however, the pattern has generally remained consistent.

  • Depending on the number of applicants, we typically fund between 50% and 90% of the applications received.

  • Priority is given to junior faculty, but mid-career or senior faculty are not excluded. Lecturers and research staff (such as library personnel) are eligible as well.

  • Some expenses that FAHSS routinely funds include: travel for field or archival work; hiring research assistants; expenses of publishing, such as subventions, indexing, purchasing images, and/or creating audio files; and payment to subjects in survey or interview research. Interdisciplinary projects are often conferences/symposia, or musical, theatrical, and artistic performances, but they may include publication of interdisciplinary research.

  • The FAHSS committee sees its mission as supporting the kinds of projects for which outside funding is scarce, so it doesn’t fund “hard-science,” defined roughly as work that can potentially be funded by science agencies (especially NSF and NIH). But there’s some room for ad-hoc judgment in this. Use of statistics is fine, but expensive lab equipment and fancy computing may not be appropriate.

  • FAHSS usually won’t fund laboratory work involving human subjects, like some experimental psychology and linguistics. But interviewing is fine.

  • The application must include a moderately detailed budget. It has to make clear what you plan to spend the money on. Lack of clarity about how the money will be used is the most frequent reason for rejection and requests to revise-and-resubmit. The budget can include estimates or alternatives (I'll buy either this or that), and the numbers have to indicate what your intentions are. For any travel expenses, you must indicate specific destinations/locations, approx. dates, and estimates for the specific carrier(s)/organizations.

  • The FAHSS committee is composed of faculty from many departments, and it sees itself as not qualified to judge the intellectual merit of a project except in the broadest terms. As long as the project seems coherent and non-trivial, and the applicant appears qualified and prepared to do it, it will not be ranked according to perceived intellectual value in its field. Of course it doesn't hurt to be interesting and explain succinctly how the research fits into or expands your field.

  • You do not need to apply for the maximum award amount(s), and it may even be to your advantage to not do so.

  • While it’s not a strict rule, it's been a useful criteria in past funding cycles to exclude food/catering, even for successful proposals; it's been one way to spread the funds to as many proposals as possible. Food/catering might be part of your full budget, but could then be excluded from your specific request for funds.

  • If you’ve received funding in the past, you must submit a report (or a project update) on the use of the previous funds prior to submitting a new application.

For additional information contact Nadine Greenstein at


Application Form


View Application Instructions

View Application Support

SAMPLE: Individual Proposal  

SAMPLE: Interdisciplinary Proposal