2023 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. Eligible faculty members with effort in more than one department should coordinate 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. 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, 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
Due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, an additional supplement amount of 50% has been added to the available pool for the 2023 HRF cycle. Similar to last year, this will increase the base amount available to each department by 50%.
Beginning in FY2024 there will be permanent phased increases to the available HRF funds distributed to departments, with the goal of doubling the base award to departments over the next five years.
Typical awards range from $1000 to $2500 but worthy projects may require additional support. For 2023, HRF awards may be up to $4,000 to a single faculty member. Funds are available for use beginning January 1, 2023, and eligible expenditures may continue through December 31, 2023.

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 Friday, November 11, 2022. 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. Funds will be approved and distributed to departments on or about December 16, 2022, and active through December 31, 2023. Chair Final Reports regarding the disposition of 2023 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, 2024.

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

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, 2023 - for the 2023 HRF cycle). Unspent funds will be returned to OVPR by April 1, 2024.

Questions? Please contact: [email protected]