Academic Affairs

Faculty Research Awards

The Faculty Development Committee (FDC) awards funds to faculty for scholarly and artistic projects. Applications are reviewed in detail and applicants should demonstrate the rigor of their proposed project in a manner appropriate to their discipline.

Award Amount

 A maximum of $4,000 may be awarded per application and faculty may receive up to a total of $8,000 in a given academic year from among the various funds awarded by the FDC, excluding leave support.

Applicants may seek retroactive funding for expenses incurred over the previous twelve-month period. Those holding Faculty Leave Fellowships, or the equivalent in internal or external leave support, cannot resort to this fund to support travel, relocation or living expenses associated with lengthy (greater than one semester) excursions during sabbatical. Others on sabbatical may apply for a maximum of $4,000 for travel, relocation or living expenses.


Grant recipients must be benefits-eligible members of the Bowdoin faculty during the time in which the funds are used or expenses are incurred. Faculty members terminating their service at Bowdoin who have received awards from the Committee will not be eligible to draw from their grant accounts for expenditures incurred or for work intended to be done after the completion of the final semester of their service at Bowdoin.

Awards to Ph.D. candidates will be made only at the last Committee meeting of the academic year. In particular, funds will not be awarded to pay for the preparation of dissertations.

How to Apply

Types of Expenses Funded

Allowable/not allowable expenses

To see the complete list of allowable expenses please visit the College's Expense Reimbursement Policy. Examples of expenses that are not reimbursable by the College are prescriptions, over-the-counter medication or other medical expenses, amenities such as movies, health clubs or in-room bars, or expenses related to non-Bowdoin activities or childcare, personal time taken before, during or after a business trip. If you have an expense and are not sure if it is an allowable expense please contact Kathi Lucas in the Academic Dean's Office ( or Lynne Toussaint in the Controller's Office ( for clarification.

Conference Support

Funding for professional trips to conferences can be requested provided that the previous year’s balance and current year allocation of travel funds from the Dean for Academic Affairs are expected to be exhausted during the current academic year. If this condition is met, funds can be requested either to supplement a costly single trip or to support additional professional trips and proposals will be considered as funds are available.

For those faculty members awarded travel funds, 100% of the first $1,000 will be reimbursed and 75% of additional costs up to a total of $2,000 per person per year. Should there be funds available at the end of the year, those who have conference costs exceeding $2,000 may be further reimbursed. 

A request for support to attend a conference must explicitly state the value of the conference to the applicant’s research program. Moreover, it is preferable that the applicant be giving a paper and/or be an organizer. A request for additional funding for conference travel may also be made when the applicant expects to carry on other research in conjunction with the professional trip. Proposals to fund professional trips to conferences must specify the number of days for which support is requested.

Applicants for conference support will be required to submit a description of the intended use of the Dean’s professional conference travel funds. At the end of the academic year, if a faculty member has not used their balance from the Dean’s travel funds, the unused funds will revert to the Faculty Research Fund in an amount not to exceed the size of the Faculty Research Fund grant.

Publication costs

Reimbursement for page charges for publication in learned journals may be requested in a grant application, as may editorial support and other subventions of academic publications. Requests for subventions for book publishing should be accompanied by a letter from the press that clarifies the publisher’s policy and provides information about the costs for which the applicant seeks funding. Grants are not meant to cover the purchase of reprints. Faculty members are encouraged to negotiate with their publisher, bearing in mind the maximum amount of FDC research awards and carefully considering the proposed cost of copies and royalties supplied to the author.

Research assistance

Funds may be requested for student research assistance so long as the assistance is directly related to the project.  Faculty should consult the Student Employment website to determine the appropriate wage rate.

FDC funds typically do not support student summer research fellowships; please refer to the Office of Student Research for information on funding sources for these.

Faculty who would like to engage an outside person to perform work on the project (e.g. indexing) must follow Controller’s office guidelines for payments.  The key point to keep in in mind is that in most instances a faculty member cannot be reimbursed for payments made to individuals for services.  Please take note that in most cases, the College must pay the person directly, either as an independent contractor or a casual employee.  Further information is available at Controller's Independent Contractor

FDC funds are typically not used to pay a current employee or a former student (i.e. a graduated senior during the summer after graduation).  In rare instances when such wages are covered, the award budget might need to factor in fringe benefit costs, which can range as high as 19-33% of wages.  Faculty are encouraged to consult with the staff in Human Resources when contemplating hiring in this area.

Research materials

When applying for the cost of research materials (i.e. laboratory supplies, books, videos, etc.), the applicant should first check with his or her department about the availability of resources allotted directly to the department or through departmental, library, or I.T. funds, and should discuss such efforts in the proposal. Materials purchased through the grant become the property of the College unless other arrangements are made and authorized by the Committee, with the following exception. The purchase of books, videos, etc., that would become the property of the applicant should be justified in terms of the project and should normally not exceed ten percent of the total funds requested.


Travel to conduct off-site research, archival research, collaborative research, and attendance at faculty retooling seminars/institutes are all appropriate requests to this fund. Meal and lodging costs (up to $200 a day) can be included in the budget.

October 20, 2014
November 1, 2014
January 20, 2015
April 20, 2015

Research Subcommittee members:
  • Deborah S. DeGraff, subcommittee chair (16)
  • Michele LaVigne (17)
  • Marilyn Reizbaum (15)
  • Richmond Thompson (17)
  • Jennifer Scanlon, Ex Officio

Teaching Subcommittee members
  • John Fitzgerald (17)
  • Jennifer Taback, subcommittee chair and chair of the FDC (16)
  • Leah Zuo (16)
  • Olivia Raisner ('15)
  • Cailey Oehler ('15)
  • Jennifer Scanlon, Ex Officio