Faculty Research Awards

Please read this section carefully as the Faculty Development Committee has implemented a number of changes to the application process. Some highlights of these changes include:

  • The maximum daily budget for lodging and meals has increased;
  • C.V.s are no longer limited to 5 pages;
  • You may use  this excel document to prepare your travel budget;
  • Applications for conference travel do not need as extensive justification as a research proposal.

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.

Faculty may apply for subsequent awards for a specific research project; however, additional awards will only be granted based on evidence of significant progress in the project since the original award. In addition, faculty may not receive more than $8,000 for a single project over the life of that project.

Applicants may seek retroactive funding for expenses incurred over the previous twelve-month period.


Grant recipients must be benefits-eligible members of the Bowdoin faculty during the time in which the funds are used or expenses are incurred.

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. In addition, faculty in their final year of appointment may apply for funding for travel or other activities that will be completed by May 31 of that final year.

Faculty who are Ph.D. candidates are eligible for Committee awards; however, funds may not be used to cover expenses associated with completing a dissertation.

Because postdoctoral fellows receive research funding as part of their positions, fellows with one-year appointments are not eligible to apply for FDC research awards. Postdocs whose appointments are extended beyond the first year, however, may apply for funding beginning with the final application round in the spring of the first year of appointment.

How to Apply

A complete application consists of three files: a project description (items 1-7 below), a CV and a budget. All applications must be submitted electronically on or before the deadline date to fdc@bowdoin.edu. Applications must be submitted in PDF format, except the budget which may be submitted as an Excel document. For assistance in creating PDF documents, please contact the IT Help Desk. An incomplete or late application will not be considered. Do not submit original receipts with proposals. Please hold them until an award is granted.

A completed Faculty Research Award application must include the following:

  1. Title of project.
  2. A brief abstract of the project (fewer than 100 words).
  3. A narrative description (no more than two pages single-spaced, 12 point font, one inch margins) in which the applicant makes clear in language that is accessible to non-specialist colleagues the following:
    • the basic ideas, problems, works or questions the study will examine, and the steps to be taken to accomplish this project;
    • the significance of the project to the applicant's scholarly field and research program;
    • the significance of the project to the applicant's continued scholarly development.
    • Faculty applying only for conference travel funding need only explain the significance of the project to the applicant's scholarly field and research program.
  4. A clear statement of the anticipated outcome(s) of the project. This is not required for proposals requesting only conference travel funding.
  5. In the case of a request for conference travel, a description of the proposed use of the Dean's professional conference travel must be included. Please see Types of Expenses Funded for details.
  6. A statement indicating the date and amount of award(s) from the Faculty Development Committee received over the past six years. A brief summary of the results of work supported by such prior funding is a prerequisite for additional funding. Any relationships between previously funded projects and the current one must be described.
  7. A statement indicating what other sources of funding have been requested or received for the proposed project. 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.
  8. A current curriculum vitae.
  9. A budget, as descriptive and detailed as possible in the format shown here. Please see Types of Expenses Funded for help on how to prepare your budget.

A completed Faculty Research Award application should not include the following:

  1. A cover letter
  2. Any personal information about the applicant (e.g. salary information, family situation, etc.)

The FDC strives to return decisions within a month of application submission deadlines.

Generation of Income

For all awards, if the project generates income, the relevant fund should be reimbursed.

Grant Period

All grants will cover up to a two-year period from the date of the award. Any unused funds will then revert to the Fund, as will any funds remaining at the end of the academic year from grants to those ending their services to the College in that year.

Faculty Research Awards -Types of Expenses Funded

Research materials

Research awards may cover the cost of research materials (i.e. laboratory supplies, books, videos, etc.), necessary for the project. 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 for these materials, and should discuss such efforts in the proposal. Materials purchased through the FDC research award 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.

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 Fellowships and 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  Independent Contractor Guidelines available on the controller's website.


Travel to conduct off-site research, archival research, and collaborative research are all appropriate requests to this fund

Transportation This fund customarily supports the most economical and reasonable means of transportation. Applicants should provide justification for any other form of travel.

Air travel should be budgeted at the lowest round-trip coach/economy fare available. If choosing to travel by automobile instead of by air, the budget should not exceed the lowest available airfare.

The Committee will not fund travel (mileage) expenses to local meetings or research sites within 50 miles of campus.

Hotel and Meals  Budgets may include meal and lodging costs for up to $300 for days that include an overnight stay and up to $50 for full days not requiring an overnight stay (e.g. travel days.)

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.

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.

Applicants must have applied for the $800 supplement in travel funds from the Dean's office (if eligible) prior to applying for conference support from the FDC. Applicants for conference support will be required to submit a description of the intended use of the Dean's professional conference travel funds.

For those faculty members awarded FDC 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.

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.

Not Allowable Expenses

The Committee follows the guidelines set by the College on non-reimbursable expenses. Please visit the College's Expense Reimbursement Policy for a complete list of such expenses. Examples  non-reimbursable expenses include 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/research 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 (klucas@bowdoin.edu) or Lynne Toussaint in the Controller's Office (ltoussai@bowdoin.edu) for clarification.

Reporting Requirement

Faculty members receiving Faculty Research Awards are expected to report briefly on the uses to which the grant was put and to describe the scholarly or artistic work resulting from the grant. These reports should be submitted as part of the Professional Activities form submitted to the Dean for Academic Affairs in the Spring.

Open Access

Unless the applicant requests otherwise in writing, any successful proposal will be available for consultation by other faculty members.