Dean's Competitive Fund for Promising Scholarship Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who is eligible for the Dean’s Competitive Fund for Promising Scholarship?

A: This program is open to FAS assistant, associate and tenured faculty. Professors in Residence and Professors of the Practice are also eligible. Faculty at other Harvard schools with no more than a zero FTE in the FAS are not eligible for this program.

Q: Can other individuals with PI rights apply, such as Benjamin Peirce Fellows, Society of Fellows, etc?

A: No. Only FAS/SEAS ladder faculty, Professors in Residence, and Professors of the Practice may apply.

Q: Can I use the Dean’s Competitive Fund for Promising Scholarship for funds to help me publish my new book?

A: No. You should apply to our publication funds. There is one for senior faculty and a separate one for tenure-track faculty.

Q: Will the Dean’s Competitive Fund for Promising Scholarship fund every application it receives?

A: No. The committee will make awards to only the most promising of the applications and will stay within the budget of the Fund. While there is no expectation that every application received will be funded, the committee will strive to award many small grants rather than a few large ones.

Q: How will I receive my award from the Dean’s Competitive Fund for Promising Scholarship?

A: Except for a fellowship top-up, awards are simply transferred to a faculty member’s FAS research account, and the faculty member can spend this money in whatever way and over whatever time period makes the most sense for him or her. We expect that the awarded faculty member will use these funds to advance his or her research so that the faculty member can eventually apply for other internal or external competitive funding. Please note that the only check on this expectation is made at the next time that faculty member applies to the Dean’s Competitive Fund for Promising Research. In other words, one of the things that the committee will check when reviewing applications is how a faculty member used the money from this Fund the last time (if ever) that he or she applied.

Q: Is there a cap on the number of times I can apply to the Dean’s Competitive Fund for Promising Research?

A: No. There is no cap on how often a faculty member can submit.

Q:  Can faculty request funds to top off postdoctoral salaries in response to the new salary threshold designated by the Fair Labor and Standards (FLSA)?

A: No, this funding mechanism cannot be used to top off postdoctoral salaries.

Q: Can applicants include letters of support as supplementary documents?

A: No, letters of support should not be included.

Q: I have applied for external funding to support a second semester of sabbatical and do not yet know the outcome of those awards, but even if awarded I know that they will not cover a full semester of salary.  Can I apply for funding for sabbatical top-up now under the enabling subventions category of funding in anticipation of receiving an external fellowship?

A: No, you must have notice of an awarded external fellowship at the time of application for the Dean's Competitive Fund for Promising Scholarship.  If you have one or more external fellowship applications still pending, we suggest that you wait until the next semester to apply for sabbatical top-up when you know for sure that you will need a sabbatical top-up.  This funding is offered once per semester.

Q: Whom can I contact if I have questions about the Dean’s Competitive Fund for Promising Scholarship?

A: If you have questions about the Dean’s Competitive Fund for Promising Research, contact Erin Cromack, Senior Research Development Officer (cromack@fas.harvard.edu) or Susan Gomes, Director of Research Development and Strategy (susan_gomes@harvard.edu).