Faculty Award Guidelines

These guidelines have been established for those members of the faculty seeking research support from the Committee.

There are currently three funds that support faculty research.

  1. The Class of 1932's Alice Lee Hardenbergh Clark Faculty Research Grants Fund
    This fund was established "to assist members of the faculty of the History and Social Sciences Departments with research outside the continental United States."
  2. The Madge Miller Research Fund
    This fund provides small grants-in-aid to assist faculty members in the technical preparation of non-commercial publications: typing, microfilming, photographic illustrations, drafting, transcription of tapes, etc.
  3. BMC Faculty Research Fund
    This fund was established in the Fall of 1983, on the recommendation of the Deans of the three schools, for the general support of faculty research. The fund is based on the indirect cost recoveries from sponsored research grants.

Faculty eligible to apply for funds from this source are tenured, tenure-track, and CNTT.  The maximum request is $5,000, but applicants should be aware that the Committee is rarely in a position to fund in full requests for over $3,000 and that in practice most awards involve substantially smaller amounts. The funds available to the Committee are very limited, and it always attempts to distribute them as widely as possible among those applicants who have submitted cogent, thoroughly documented needs for research and publication support. The Committee expects budgets to be carefully detailed and to reflect a reasonable effort to minimize expenses.  You may apply for a Faculty Award and Grant for two consecutive years and then you must wait for two years before applying again. When available funds are insufficient to meet the needs of all deserving applicants, the Committee gives preference to junior members of the faculty and to those who have not received funds in recent allocations. The Committee does not fund travel to conferences, per diem or meals, faculty salary, and never funds retroactive payments.  In addition, the following guidelines will apply:

  1. Where the applicant has unused funds that were allocated by the College (whether by the Committee on Awards and Grants or another agency of the College) in response to a previous request for a research grant, the committee will, except in unusual circumstances, deduct the amount of remaining funds from any new research award.
  2. Research funds that have been given for compensation for service will generally not be counted against a grant award.
  3. For sources of funds other than those noted above, tenured faculty are permitted to preserve funds up to $3000 without justification, and may request preserving additional funds, although the existence of all funds of tenured faculty will be taken into consideration by the committee in determining how much additional support to award. Junior faculty are permitted to preserve startup funds, except to the extent limited by their initial contracts. In determining whether, or how much of, additional funds will be granted to a faculty member who has existing funds, the committee will consider, among other factors, the source of funds, the justification for preserving the funds, the length of time for which those funds have been held, previous awards, and the nature of the project for which new funds are being requested—in general, requiring less exhaustion of existing funds for projects that are more specific and further along in their realization.

Basic Application

Faculty must apply to the Committee on Faculty Awards and Grants using the accompanying Bryn Mawr College Grant Application Form. There is no need to specify the fund from which support is requested. The Committee will review all proposals and make recommendations for funding. In the case of projects to be supported by the Faculty Research Fund, the Committee will make recommendations to the Provost who makes the final decision. All proposals are read critically by the committee and discussed seriously. Therefore both the description of the project and the budget should be prepared carefully. The proposal should be written for an intelligent non-specialist. See below for link to application form. In addition to the grant application form, faculty should submit:

  • An application form
  • A one to three page description of the research project that includes:
    • ​​Statement of the research problem
    • The place of this work in the larger context of the faculty member's research agenda
    • The scholarly significance of the work
    • The specific tasks this grant will support, including a timetable of activities
    • The anticipated achievement and plans for publication
  • Two-page Curriculum Vitae or Biosketch
  • A detailed budget and very specific justification for each category (i.e. travel, copying, editing, etc.) for which funding is requested must be included.
  • One copy of any proposals submitted to outside agencies for this project

Additional Guidelines for Selected Requests

Those requesting support for publication subsidy or equipment acquisition should follow the supplemental guidelines detailed below.

The information requested is in addition to the basic application.

  1. Publication subsidy: Applicants must be prepared to share the costs of publication with the College on a 50-50 basis. Awards will be made only for book publications, and applicants must provide a letter from the publisher explaining (a) the co-payment formula used by that press, and (b) the procedure of that press for seeking objective peer review. Awards will be made only when a publisher has a declared policy requiring co-payments from authors, and when manuscripts are appropriately refereed. Note: For costs related to preparation of a manuscript, funding requests will be considered under the regular guidelines.
  2. Equipment acquisition: Applicants must certify that the equipment to be purchased is essential and not reasonably available and accessible to the project. Whenever possible, existing equipment should be utilized. Requests for general-purpose equipment, such as personal computers, are generally not supported. As a rule, the Committee expects equipment required by on-going research and teaching needs to be funded through external grants or departmental budgets.


Two competitions will be held each year. The application deadline will be announced early in each semester. Application forms, vitae, and budgets should be submitted electronically as one compiled pdf to serobertso@brynmawr.edu.

Award Conditions

The period of the award will extend to the end of the summer of the year following the year in which the award is made (e.g., awards made in 12/2020 will extend to 8/31/2022). A final report indicating the use of funds provided and the results of your project should be submitted to the Committee upon completion of the supported activity or within 30 days of the termination date, whichever occurs first. A final report must be submitted to the Committee before a subsequent request for support will be considered.

Faculty members awarded grants should acknowledge the support received from Bryn Mawr College, naming the appropriate fund, in the publication of the supported work. Upon the publication of their research, they should notify the Committee, giving a complete bibliographical reference.


Contact Us

Sponsored Research Office

Sarah E. Robertson, Director of Sponsored Research
Phone: 610-526-5496
Fax: 610-526-5165

Abby Gilman, Research Grants and Compliance Manager
Phone: 610-526-5126

Billie Jo Ember, Grants Associate
Phone: 610-526-7504

109 Taylor Hall
Bryn Mawr College
101 North Merion Ave
Bryn Mawr PA 19010-2899