2021 OVPR Humanities Research Funds Guidelines

The Office of Vice President for Research (OVPR) awards Humanities Research Funds (HRFs) to support faculty research in the humanities and social sciences, where external funding opportunities may be limited. Each eligible department is given a fixed amount of money annually, a percentage of the available pool determined in part by the department effort roster and updated every three years.  

Note: If a full-time faculty member has effort in more than one department, the faculty member may apply for funds from each department. Eligible faculty members with effort in more than one department should check with the chairs in their respective departments to determine how the HRF request will be allocated and administered. The total HRF award may not exceed the limit per single faculty member, noted below.

The HRF funds are merit-based and are intended to support faculty research projects. Award funds may be used to support reasonable and necessary costs of conducting research and scholarship. All expenditures under this program must be in accordance with University policies and procedures, including COVID-related restrictions. Please see Guidelines for the Use of Startup and Research Funds under COVID-19 in place at this time and monitor any subsequent University communications on this subject. Eligible HRF expenses (subject to Brown’s guidelines and approvals, if applicable, at the time of award) include, but are not limited to,  travel to archives, preparation of manuscripts and articles, hiring research assistants, collecting or analyzing data, travel to research conferences, and securing permissions. With few exceptions, funds should not be used to run conferences or workshops at Brown. Requests to the chair for travel to research conferences should show evidence of having exhausted other sources of support, including the DoF Faculty Research Travel Fund.  

All eligible tenure or tenure-track faculty or senior lecturers active in research may apply for HRFs. Adjunct, emeritus, and visiting faculty members are not eligible to apply. Priority should be given to qualifying projects of faculty who do not have access to other sources of funding for this project, such as external grants, internal research funds, or start-up funds.

Amount and Duration of Awards
Typical awards range from $500 to $1800 but worthy projects may require additional support. Awards up to $3,000 can be made to a single faculty member. Funds are available for use beginning January 1, 2021, and eligible expenditures may continue through December 31, 2021.*

*Given the ongoing challenges from the coronavirus pandemic, Vice-President Pipher decided to provide all 2020 HRF recipients a one-year extension. This means that 2020 HRFs will now expire on December 31, 2021. Additionally, 2019 HRFs, which were set to expire June 30, 2020, will now expire on December 31, 2020. Email [email protected] with any questions and see the schedule below.

Proposal Funding Requests and Processes
OVPR will inform department chairs of the total available amount of Humanities Research Funds for their departments in September of each academic year. Department chairs will then solicit from eligible faculty a short written proposal for these funds. The funds will be distributed at the discretion of the chair or their designated committee.

A preliminary request for disbursement of the HRF should be submitted to OVPR via a confidential HRF Request google sheet (link to be shared) by the department chair by the end of business on Friday, November 13, 2020. This preliminary HRF request should summarize the allocation process used, the faculty members to whom awards will be distributed, the amount of the award, and a brief description of the projects that have been proposed. Funds will be approved and distributed to departments on or about December 18, 2020, and active through December 31, 2021. Chair Final Reports regarding disposition of 2021 HRFs should include a one-paragraph synopsis of each funded project via HRF Report google sheet (link to be shared). Chair Final Reports are due to OVPR 60 days after the award has expired, by February 28, 2022.

2019  December 18, 2018 - December 30, 2020** November 13, 2018 on or about December 19, 2018 February 28, 2021**
2020 January 1, 2020 - December 31, 2021** November 15, 2019 on or about December 19, 2019 February 28, 2022**
2021 January 1, 2021 - December 31, 2021 November 13, 2020 on or about December 18, 2020 February 28, 2022
**Extended due to COVID-19 

Recapturing Unspent Funds
Please note that supplies/equipment/services purchased with these HRFs must be received by the end of the calendar year (December 31, 2021) and travel should have been completed by that date in order to be charged against the award. Unspent funds will be returned to OVPR by February 1, 2022.

Questions? Please contact: [email protected]