Resources for New Faculty

New Faculty Frequently Asked Questions

What do I need to know to begin?

As a new researcher at Harvard, it’s important to become familiar with the research landscape. This includes:

  • The institutional culture of the University, your school or college, and your department
  • Resources for research support
  • The funding landscape of your discipline
  • Learning about the proposal submission process

What is Harvard’s Institutional Culture and Why Does it Matter to Me?

In Harvard’s decentralized environment, each school and college—sometimes each department—has its own unique culture and expectations regarding benchmarks such as tenure, promotion, and annual evaluations (manuscript, articles, publications, teaching). You should learn these expectations early on and plan your research agenda accordingly. Informal meetings with your new department colleagues and formal meetings with your department chair can be very helpful.

What administrative support is available for the preparation, submission and management of grant proposals and awards?

Faculty in the Science Division and some Social Science departments have designated sponsored research administrators.  For the Arts & Humanities Division and Social Science departments that do not have a designated sponsored research administrator, FAS Research Administration Services provides full support with proposal preparation, budget preparation, submission of grant applications, managing an award, and preparing and submitting grant progress reports.  Faculty and administrators in the Arts & Humanities Division may contact Jimmy Matejek-Morris at

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Who can help me create a budget for my proposal?

Faculty in the Science Division and some Social Science departments have designated sponsored research administrators.  Research Administration Services offers support for administrative aspects of the proposal preparation and submission process for departments that do not have a designated sponsored research administrator, including construction of proposal budgets and coordination of the University’s review and submission process.

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Do all proposals require institutional review prior to submission?

In most cases, proposals to external sponsors require institutional authorization. They are therefore submitted through Harvard’s Office of Sponsored Programs and are subject to institutional review.  Some opportunities, such as fellowships and certain sabbatical opportunities, may be submitted directly by faculty to the sponsor without institutional review.

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When should I start looking and applying for sabbatical funding?

Sabbatical funding opportunity deadlines often fall at least a year before your leave start date. Some sponsors run competitions even earlier; the National Endowment for the Humanities has a May deadline for projects beginning as early as January the following year and as late as the following September.

What support or services does Research Administration Services offer to faculty looking for sabbatical funding?

The Research Development team in FAS Research Administration Services performs customized funding searches to locate those opportunities that best suit your sabbatical plans. We offer advice on strategies for submitting competitive proposals and will review your proposal against sponsor requirements.  Please contact research_development@fas.harvard.edu to discuss your sabbatical needs.