4.1 Faculty Research Grants

Revised June 2023

The Kenyon Faculty Development Program provides funds to support members of the faculty in scholarly or artistic activities related to their college work and the enhancement of their professional activities, specifically research, artistic projects, and writing (see Provost’s website for additional information). Proposals are evaluated and grants awarded by the Faculty Development Committee. The program is administered by the Associate Provost.

Early in the fall semester, the Faculty Development Committee determines the level of funding for individual grants and publishes deadlines and guidelines for Research Grants for the year that is just beginning. This information is distributed to faculty members via email several times each year and can be obtained from the Office of the Associate Provost. Before submitting a grant proposal, members should consult the guidelines for the current year. At the end of each round of funding, the Faculty Development Committee publishes a list of grants awarded in the FacPac. 

There are several award programs available to support faculty research awarded by the Faculty Development Committee and administered by an Associate Provost. The Faculty Research Grants (currently awarded at amounts up to $3,000) are the primary awards. In addition, there are awards funded by individual donors and by restricted endowments. Some of these resources are not permanent and rely on annual donations. The eligibility requirements, objectives, proposal guidelines, evaluation guidelines, etc. are similar for each research grant. Specific guidelines for each such temporary grant can be found via the Office of Sponsored Faculty Projects website.

Jump to:

Eligible to participate are: 

  • all members holding full-time appointments at the ranks of Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor (this includes full-time visiting appointments and shared appointments, as well as faculty members in phased retirement);
  • all members appointed under at least a half-time contract at the time of application —including fellows that will be employed throughout the entirety of the funding period

Applicants must be employed by the College at the time of application submission and during the funding period. Joint applications are acceptable; not all persons in a joint application need be eligible as individuals. Faculty development funds may not be used in support of work towards a degree or for expenses which are primarily promotional in character.

Back to Top

Faculty Research Grants are primarily intended for the support of the scholarly or artistic engagement of faculty in areas of research, exhibitions, publication costs, international or domestic travel, equipment costs, conference attendance, and other such needs associated with professional development of the applicant beyond the classroom. These grants are also intended to facilitate and leverage larger or external funds.  Funds will not be awarded if the proposal focuses on developing courses or enhancing teaching methods. Funding for such proposals is available through Faculty Teaching Grants. (See section 4.2.)

Back to Top

A member seeking support will submit a written proposal to the Faculty Development Committee in accordance with the directions announced at the beginning of each academic year. Ordinarily, the committee sets a series of dates as deadlines for different kinds of grants. Members planning to submit a proposal are encouraged to discuss it with the Office for Sponsored Faculty Projects (OSFP) and/or the chair of the Faculty Development Committee. Only a fully developed proposal, submitted by the deadline, will be considered by the committee.

Applications must include the following:

  • The summary cover sheet available online from the OSFP website.
  • A statement of the project, the expected results, and the relationship of the project to the work of the member and the College.
  • A timetable. 
  • A detailed budget for all books, equipment, materials, travel, and other expenses. Since funds are limited, every effort to economize should be made. Applicants should utilize the least expensive facilities and resources. Requests for books and equipment should not include those which are routinely purchased by the department or program, or are made available through other resources. Requests for equipment will be entertained only if it is clear that the applicant has exhausted all other alternative sources for such funding. Unless otherwise requested by the applicant, all items are the property of the College.

    The committee encourages applicants to discuss other sources of funding such as existing startup funds, IFDA, grant funding, or indirect funding. If applicable, proposals should contain a statement as to whether outside funding was sought and if relevant to the current proposal, reference to previously obtained FAC or FDC grants.

    Estimates of travel costs should be obtained from the airlines’ website or an online travel company. In order to secure the best price, successful applicants are encouraged to purchase their tickets promptly.
  • A current vita (2 page limit).

For the application to be considered complete, the applicant must have submitted written reports on previously awarded faculty research grants. The committee will review the file on the most recently funded proposal, and may review files pertaining to earlier grants as well. An applicant should regard this information as available to the committee and refer to it as appropriate.

Back to Top

After each announced grant deadline, the Faculty Development Committee will meet to evaluate proposals. Before each meeting the members read the proposals and rate them on a five-point scale. At the meeting, the members discuss each proposal and their individual ratings. Following this discussion, members declare which proposals will be funded and which will not. The committee then determines appropriate funding and makes awards. The Chair of the Faculty Development Committee notifies applicants of the committee's decisions. Applicants may discuss the committee's decision regarding their proposal with the chair or any other member of the committee once all applicants have been notified. When a member of the committee has submitted a proposal to be evaluated, that member must excuse himself or herself during the time the proposal is evaluated. 

The principal criteria used in evaluating proposals are listed in order of priority:

  • The proposal's academic, artistic, and scholarly merit, and the value of the project to the College and to the member's work.
  • The qualifications of the member.
  • The demonstrated need for funding to pursue the project.
  • The feasibility and specificity of the budget, plan and the timetable.
  • The availability of resources and research facilities.

These criteria must be clearly stated and/or argued in the member's proposal.

Please note that while not a principle criteria, formatting, grammatical errors and missing portions are also factored into judgment of a proposal. In judging proposals that seek funding to attend conferences and other meetings, the committee gives priority to applicants who are presenting work or presiding over conference sections, or whose attendance will significantly alter the direction of the applicant's professional development. Additional tips for common grant requests can be found via the OSFP website. 

Back to Top

A funding period lasts from when the grant is awarded and the following academic year. For example, if an award is granted in March 2023 the funding period ends June 1, 2024. The Faculty Development Committee has the right to revoke its funding of proposals when, in its estimation, members have failed to utilize approved funds within the funding period. An extension may be granted to prolong the timeline given extenuating circumstances. An extension must be approved by the Chair of the Faculty Development Committee. Successful applicants must follow the policies and practices described in this section (4.1) when spending their grant allocation. 

Back to Top

All recipients of Faculty Research Grants, including cosponsors of joint grants, must submit written reports to the Faculty Development Committee on the work accomplished under the grant. The report is due within two months following the funding period. It should include the recipient's evaluation of the project and a summary of actual funds expended and all receipts covering those expenditures. The report is required of all recipients to maintain eligibility for subsequent proposals. No proposal will be considered for funding if the applicant has failed to submit a written report for any previous Faculty Development Grant.

Back to Top