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 Guidelines for Faculty Development Fund Proposals
(Spring 2024 Deadline)

The Faculty Development Fund provides modest support for research activities and creative endeavors focused on faculty development that have the potential to enhance the reputation and resources of the university. This may include “seed money” for new research initiatives to help obtain results or confirm ideas that can become part of a research proposal to an outside granting agency, and also can be used for other scholarly projects and creative endeavors that hold promise to raise the visibility and reputation of the institution.

This fund is restricted to faculty holding Regular Faculty Appointments (Faculty Handbook page 2, category D. 1) and Non-Tenure-Track Faculty Appointments defined as Open-ended Term Appointments, including Lectureships, Professors of Practice and Full-time Research Professorships (category D. 2. b) [see faculty handbook pages 2 and 3 for details on the nature of these appointments].

This year the total amount awarded will be $20,000. We anticipate making several awards up to $2500 and some up to $5000 each. We have an additional $5000 for seeding science research from the Larry Fechter and Thomas Macke Stansbury gift, which will go toward work that will enhance the chances for external funding for the faculty member. As in previous years, we will again consider proposals for collaborative research (proposed jointly by two or more Clark faculty) of up to $7500.

Notice of Submission Form

Applications should be brief (limit: 3 typed pages) and should include:

  • A description of the proposed activity that explains its significance for:
    • How this project fits into your professional development to date, and how it moves you toward the next stage of your career at Clark.
    • Capacity of the activity to generate additional resources through subsequent external funding and/or to complete a major scholarly or creative project.
    • If there are specific challenges or complexities to completing this work (e.g., DEI- intensive work, community-engaged scholarship, and interdisciplinary and/or collaborative projects), please address those in the proposal and how the funding will help.
  • For faculty who have already received an award from this fund: A paragraph explaining the outcomes/accomplishments from previous FDF grants.
  • An itemized budget and justification. If you still have a start-up fund balance or an external grant, please provide an explanation for why you cannot use those funds for the proposed project. Please share if you have applied for alternative funding for the proposed project.
  • A current CV

The description of the proposed activity should be written in plain language, free of jargon (or clearly explained when it is necessary to use specialized terminology), for an educated audience of non-specialist peers. Because the proposal will be reviewed by individuals who are likely to have no specialized knowledge of an applicant’s area of study, applicants should describe the significance of the activity in non-technical terms that are not specific to the researcher’s discipline.

Late submissions will not be considered.

Evaluation criteria include:

  • The role of the activity in individual faculty development
  • Capacity of the activity to generate additional resources through subsequent external funding and/or to complete a major scholarly or creative project
  • How work contributes to a faculty member’s respective field
  • Feasibility of the activity with respect to its stated goals and objectives
  • Additionally, where appropriate and relevant, the Board will consider DEI efforts, community-engaged scholarship, engagement with students, and interdisciplinary and/or collaborative projects.

How to Apply

The application must be accompanied by a properly endorsed Notice of Submission Form (see link below). Funds in this program cannot be used for salary supplementation, or solely to support student research assistants, as other funding mechanisms for student stipends exist. However, students can be involved in projects and expenses to carry those projects out be requested. In such cases, specify precisely what the student will do in support of the proposed activity (e.g. collecting data, travel to a site of study, etc.). Additionally, if student support is requested, please describe the plan for equitable recruitment. Title to equipment purchased with Faculty Development funds rests with the University.

Please submit your proposal and the signed submission form bundled as a single PDF via email to Please use the following filename format: yourlastnameFD24.pdf. The applications will be reviewed by the Research Board and the Dean of Research. The application deadline is 12:00 PM on February 2, 2024. Decisions will be announced after the committee has completed its review by the end of March.

Notice of Submission Form

Contact Information

Sponsored Programs and Research

  • Jefferson 5th Floor, Atwood
    Clark University
    950 Main Street
    Worcester, MA 01610

  • Lisa Gaudette, Director

  • 1-508-421-3835
  • lgaudette[at]clarku[dot]edu