University Committee on Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences
Revised August 2011
GUIDELINES FOR APPLYING
The University Research Fund for the assistance of scholarship and research in the Humanities and Social Sciences is administered by a Committee of the Faculty, chaired by the Dean of the Faculty.
All regular, full-time members of the Faculty in the Humanities and the Social Sciences are eligible to request grants in support of their own scholarly research activity. Faculty members are eligible for grants to be used over the summer months only if they will continue to serve as full-time, regular faculty members in the following academic year. Faculty who are eligible to receive discretionary funding through the new Priorities Committee initiative that established a minimum annual discretionary research fund must include a description of how those funds have been used. In addition, include how much support may be available from those funds in support of the application to the University Committee on Research. This applies to all full, associate, and assistant professors. Grants are made for a great variety of purposes. Among the most frequent purposes are:
- Travel and living expenses necessary for research away from home
- Research assistance
- Research materials
- Subvention of publication
One of the funds administered by the Committee, the Tuck Fund, provides support to members of the faculty who desire to travel abroad to enhance their knowledge of their particular fields, and to strengthen their teaching capabilities. Preference is given to faculty members working in the area of the humanities. If you believe your application falls within the guidelines for the Tuck Fund, please outline how your work abroad will be incorporated into your instruction.
Another fund administered by the Committee, the Anonymous Fund, provides support for undergraduate research assistants. Applications and awards must meet the following critera:
A student holding a research assistantship supported by the Anonymous Fund may be paid for doing as many as, but no more than, 320 hours of research assistance in an academic year and for as many as, but not more than, 520 hours of research during the summer. Payments for stipends shall be twenty percent above the prevailing hourly rate for research assistance, that rate being adjusted to take account of the skills and experience that the research assistant brings to the work. Eligibility for an assistantship supported by the Fund shall normally be limited to students who are candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Arts at Princeton.
The Committee encourages you to consider utilizing undergraduate research assistants for your research project by applying for this fund.
Requests for grants should be submitted on application forms available on the Office of the Dean of the Faculty website. These forms should be filled out in detail and should be submitted to the Chair of your department for their endorsement. Requests without the Chair's recommendation will not be considered by the Committee. All applications for grants from the University Committee on Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences should be fully detailed and supported. In your request for research assistance, please distinguish between the research assistant’s duties as mechanical, perfunctory, etc., as opposed to the primary work of the author. The Committee stresses the need for a very detailed explanation of the research assistant’s duties.
An Executive Subcommittee, formed from the full Committee membership, meets two times a year to consider grant requests for more than $700. The Committee Secretary may authorize grants of up to $700. Requests for more than $700 in support of research to be undertaken during the academic year should be submitted in time for the Fall meeting of the Executive Subcommittee. Similar requests in support of research to be undertaken during the following summer should be submitted in time for the Spring meeting.
Members of the faculty are expected to explore fully other sources of support, both inside and outside the University, before requesting a grant from the Committee, particularly in connection with projects requiring sizable expenditures. This should include work-study funds for research assistance. The committee is favorably disposed to match departmental support and grants to complement other support will be made whenever possible. Your application must include details related to other sources of support to which you have applied or have already received support from.
In general, lower priority will be assigned to repeated requests for support of what is essentially the same phase of the same research project. At the same time, however, the Committee recognizes the complex needs of long-term projects. The scope of such projects should be outlined in the initial request for support so that the Committee can gauge the extent of support it may be able to provide over time. By the same token, requests for additional support of a project must include a detailed statement that outlines what was accomplished during the earlier grant and how the work now proposed differs from it.
The following general information may be helpful:
1. Where travel is essential for research, the Committee will consider a request for reimbursement of expenses for the cost of round trip air transportation at the lowest applicable rate (usually APEX fare). Transportation to and from airports is not to exceed $120. Up to $1,400 per month toward living expenses will be paid for a period not to exceed two months (for two weeks or less, up to $50 per day). For periods greater than two weeks and less than one month, the maximum will be calculated on the fraction of the month in which the travel takes place rounded up to the nearest multiple of $50. The cost of living differential is not the equivalent of a per diem. The COL differential is intended to support a portion of the applicant’s daily living expenses however in many cases may not cover those expenses in full. (Support may be requested for other forms of research-related travel.) The Committee does not pay for travel to conferences, learned societies meetings, or for residence in Princeton. Requests for assistance for more than one major research trip in a single year will be given low priority. For faculty members on leave of absence, transportation will be reimbursed from their leave location; but not for travel to/from Princeton.
2. Graduate and undergraduate research assistants are paid at the rates set by the Office of Student Employment. Princeton students should be employed whenever possible. (If you do not use Princeton students, the Controller's Office will charge the fringe benefits rate in addition to the hourly amount, which you will have to accommodate within the funding awarded to you by the Committee.) You must explore the availability of work-study funds before submitting your request to the Committee.
3. Material purchased with funds granted by the Research Committee reverts ultimately to the University. The applicant must refer all materials to the Associate Librarian for Reference and Collection Development to determine whether the University wishes ultimate possession.
4. The Committee is favorably disposed toward subvention of the initial publication of the product of primary research. Translation of materials previously published by the applicant will not be supported. However, the Committee seldom can cover the total cost of publication. Applications must include a copy of the publisher's request for the subvention along with a detailed budget. Applications without the publisher's budget information will not be considered.
5. In cases of collaborative research with colleagues of other institutions, the Committee requests clarification of the use of funds. A definition of the respective responsibilities and support available for the applicant must be indicated in the grant proposal. Such projects will be evaluated carefully to see that resources are available to the collaborator to support portions of the project. In general, lower priority will be assigned to costs associated with faculty research collaboration.
6. Editorial and related services (such as proofreading) generally are supported only if the work is undertaken by student research assistants. Indexing services will be reimbursed at standard professional rates if contracted outside.
7. Support may be provided for translating primary research materials. Requests for support of full translation services for first-time publication, whether the material is prepared in English but will be published in other languages, or is prepared in other languages but will be published in English, will be carefully reviewed. Given the potential expenses associated with such projects, especially those involving monographs, the Committee generally expects such costs to be borne by the publisher and not by the Committee. When funds are awarded for this purpose, they will be treated as a publication subvention. Support is not provided for secondary publication in other languages of material originally published in English or for secondary publication in English of material originally published in other languages when, in either case the applicant has received support for the first publication.
8. Support may be provided for proofreading manuscripts prepared by a non-native speaker for first-time publication; such support is generally through the use of student research assistance.
9. The Committee will not consider:
- Requests for archaeological projects.
- A new application when the applicant has not submitted the reports on previously completed grants.
- An application from a member who will not continue to serve as a full-time, regular faculty member in the following academic year.
- More than one research project per faculty member per meeting.
- Any research project that is part of a doctoral dissertation prior to the completion of the degree.
- An application without a full statement of support from the chair.
- Requests for research assistance that result in a commercial product such as a textbook.
- Requests for travel assistance for anyone other than the applicant except in the case of a finalizing meeting with a collaborator which may be permitted for one trip on a case-by-case basis.
- Requests for assistance to fund Festschrifts.
- Requests to purchase equipment of any kind.
- Requests for assistance of less than $150 will not be considered by the Committee.
Where an applicant has received previous grants from the Committee, the Committee requests information concerning publications that have resulted from those grants. If the research results in the publication of a book, the Committee requests a copy of the book.
Projects to be undertaken in the early fall of the next academic year, prior to the November meeting, should be submitted at the April meeting of the current academic year.
When appropriate, an application proposal must contain a long-range plan for the project, including a detailed summary of the current and future phases of the work as well as an estimation of how many years it will take to complete the project.
The Department Chair must endorse all applications and provide a full statement of support explaining why the project should be funded.
Any application that fails to meet the above guidelines will be returned.
Any questions about the Committee, its procedures, or the eligibility of specific projects should be directed to Jennifer Widdis (email@example.com, 8-3023).