2024 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.

Note: If a full-time faculty member has effort in more than one department, the faculty member may apply for funds from each department. Faculty with dual appointments are expected to submit one proposal for a given HRF cycle to either or both of their departments. If applying to both of their units Faculty should add the following language to their request, “this proposal is submitted to departments X and Y,” and the chairs in their respective departments should coordinate to determine if and how the HRF request will be allocated and administered. The total HRF award may not exceed the limit per single faculty member across all of their departments.

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. 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 or to purchase general computing equipment (except if needed for a specific research purpose) including desktop computers, laptops, and tablets. Funds should not be used for teaching related expenses, including but not limited to curriculum development, invited lectures for a class, and hiring teaching assistants.

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, distinguished senior lecturers, and senior lecturers, active in research in eligible departments 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 $1000 to $2500 but worthy projects may require additional support. For 2024, HRF awards may be up to $5,000 to a single faculty member. Funds are available for use beginning January 1, 2024, and eligible expenditures may continue through December 31, 2024.

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 (or anyone the chair authorizes) by the end of business on Thursday, November 16 2023. 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 research projects and proposed use of the funds.

As noted above, Faculty with dual appointments are expected to submit one proposal for a given HRF cycle to either one or both of their departments. If applying to both their units they should add the following language to their request, “this proposal is submitted to departments xxx and yyy.” 

Funds will be approved and distributed to departments on or about December 15, 2023, and active through December 31, 2024. Chair Final Reports regarding the disposition of 2024 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 90 days after the award has expired, by March 28, 2025.


2022 January 1, 2022 - December 31, 2022 November 12, 2021 on or about December 17, 2021 February 28, 2023
2023 January 1, 2023 - December 31, 2023 November 11, 2022 on or about December 16, 2022 February 28, 2024
2024 January 1, 2024 - December 31, 2024 November 16, 2023 on or about December 15, 2023 February 28, 2025

Recapturing Unspent Funds
Please note that expenditures and travel purchased with these HRFs must be completed by the end of the calendar year (December 31, 2024 - for the 2024 HRF cycle). The process of returning unspent funds to OVPR will begin by April 1, 2025.

Questions? Please contact: [email protected]