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

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. Faculty in the Arts & Humanities Division may contact Jimmy Matejek-Morris (jmatejek@fas.harvard.edu or 617-… Read more about Who can help me create a budget for my proposal?

What is the proposal submission process at Harvard?

In FAS, all requests for funding to be submitted to an external sponsor must be reviewed and approved by the following entities prior to submission:

  1. The PI’s Department Chair;
  2. the Dean of FAS or his/her designee;
  3. and, on behalf of the President and Fellows of Harvard College, by and Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) at the Office for Sponsored Programs or, for industry sponsored agreements, the Office for Technology Development.

Proposals must… Read more about What is the proposal submission process at Harvard?

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.  If you are planning a submission, please contact your sponsored research administrator as early as possible with an indication of your intention to apply to receive support with the review and submission process and for clarification… Read more about Do all proposals require institutional review prior to submission?

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.