Institute for Research & Scholarship

Holcomb Awards Committee Faculty Fellowship Grant


Up to $5,000

Holcomb Awards Committee - Faculty Fellowship Grant Application

Deadline: Faculty Fellowship applications have a fall deadline of first Friday of October, by 5:00 p.m., and a spring deadline of the first Friday of February, by 5:00 p.m.

Program: The HAC Faculty Fellowships are designed to encourage faculty academic pursuits during the summer months, although, completion of approved projects may be extended to the end of the fiscal year.  The Fellowship supports original, scholarly and research projects in the sciences and social sciences (quantitative research or mixed methods research - see note below for further information). 

The research may be theoretical or empirical.  The research may be basic or applied.  The program is competitive and open to all tenured or tenure track faculty.  It should be clear how the project is related to principles in the applicant's field, what hypothesis (es) is (are) being tested, and how the resulting data will be analyzed.  The applicant should provide a description, or a copy of the survey instrument (e.g., sample items) if a survey is being conducted.

Proposal Format: It is extremely important for the applicant to remember that the proposal will be reviewed by professionals in other disciplines and that the proposal should be in clear and concise language that can be evaluated by the reviewers.  The program statement should be typed and formatted in the following way: 1.5 line spacing, standard Times New Roman 11 or 12pt. font, one inch margins all around, and no more than five pages. Proposals that do not conform to these guidelines or are submitted on outdated forms will be deemed non-compliant, will be returned without evaluation and will not be forwarded to the HAC committee.

  • Program Statement: Your proposal must include a program statement. Please attach a description of the proposed project following the outline listed below. Proposals will be evaluated by readers who are not necessarily experts in the specific field of the proposal. The application should be written for a general audience to understand.
    • Background - The background for the project including the problem or need, related work and the underlying rationale.
    • Objectives - The objective(s) of the project.
    • Significance - The importance or significance of the research and the relation of the research to the applicant's previous and future work.
    • Methods - The methods applicant will use to achieve his/her objectives including any of the following that apply: the creative procedures or experimental methods, equipment required, data gathering and analysis, time schedule, evaluation and reporting of results. Indicate if the project involves human subjects, animals or recombinant DNA.
    • Analysis - Describe information to be collected and how it will be used or analyzed.
    • Timeline - An anticipated timeline for the proposed project should detail how the work will be completed over the granting period.
  • References and Bibliography - in this section, applicants must include all relevant references cited in the application and may include a complete bibliography.  This section is not part of the Program Statement and is not included in the five page limit.
  • Budget: The budget is an important part of the application and care should be taken to ensure the budget is clearly defined and the proposed expenditures are justified.  A budget justification narrative that carefully details all expenditures and how they are related to the proposed work must be included with the application.  EXPENDITURES NOT FULLY JUSTIFIED WILL NOT BE FUNDED.
    • HAC Faculty Fellowships are awarded up to $5,000. Awards may be less than $5,000.
    • A faculty summer stipend up to $3000 is permitted. Faculty should indicate any other grant that funds this work during the summer months.  
    • Stipends for other personnel, including students are also permitted up to $3,000 per person. It is expected that all personnel would be paid by the hour. Summer payments to undergraduate students not enrolled in at least six hours must include funds to pay FICA. Students' work need not be limited to the summer.
    • Multiple faculty stipends on the same grant proposal must be justified.
    • Allowable travel costs include food and incidentals, actual lodging costs, actual travel fares and mileage.
    • The HAC committee will not fund food per diem for more than 14 days.
    • Requests for materials readily available from the library or through interlibrary loan must be explicitly justified.  It is the responsibility of the applicant to check on the availability of requested books and materials with the university library.
    • Faculty members are encouraged to use the college or department funds for other travel expenses or to apply for a HAC Travel-to-Present award. Travel within 50 miles of Indianapolis will not be supported.
    • The program does not support funding for degree completion, writing previously completed projects, writing textbooks or chapters for textbooks, curriculum development or planning classes.
    • Computer hardware and software will be supported only if they are essential to the unique requirements of the research project.
  • Curriculum Vitae: Include a curriculum vitae that includes education, skills and experience.  In addition to the basics, the CV  should include research and teaching experience, publications relevant to the project, grants and fellowships, professional associations and licenses, awards and other information relevant to the funding for which you are applying.  Make sure dates are on all publications included.  The CV should highlight the applicant's publications relevant to the proposed work.
  • Appendix A (Report on Previous HAC-Funded Research): Applicants who have previously received a Faculty Research Grant (or Faculty Fellowship) must include a report on the results of work funded by the most recent HAC grant, and (if applicable) how the new work relates to the previous project.
  • Appendix B (Report on Extramural Grant Applications): Applicants who have received three or more Faculty Fellowship Grants must provide either evidence that they have sought outside funding to support their work, or show significant output from past grants, including published articles and peer-reviewed presentations at major professional conferences.
  • The proposal should be signed by the applicant, the Head of Department, or Program Director, and the Dean of the College.
  • Proposals that do not conform to these guidelines will be returned without evaluation.  Use the form that is currently on the website. Proposals submitted on outdated forms will be deemed non-compliant and will not be forwarded to the HAC committee.

HAC Research Proposal Evaluation Guidelines

When evaluating research (i.e., Faculty Fellowship and Faculty Research Grant) proposals, members of the HAC will base their judgments on an evaluation of how well the proposal meets the criteria put forth in these guidelines. Committee members will evaluate proposals on each of the overall criteria listed below.

Background: Has the author clearly explained relevant prior research? Is the proposed research clearly grounded in past work on the topic?                                                                                  

Objectives: Is there a clear statement of the research hypothesis/goal of the project?        

Significance to the Field: How important is the proposed activity to advancing knowledge or understanding within its own field or across different fields? What are the basic and applied significance of the project? Does the activity suggest and explore creative, original, or potentially transformative concepts?                                                                               

Methodology: Is the method(s) of approach to addressing the primary research question appropriate and clear? Is it clear how the data will be analyzed? Is there sufficient access to resources?                                                                                                                                   

Reporting: Has the author clearly stated how the results will be disseminated to enhance scientific and technological understanding?                                                                                    

Budget: Did the author follow the budgetary guidelines of the grant? Are all budget lines adequately justified, including specific equipment, supply cost, estimates of number of hour/pay scale for personnel (e.g. students; other personnel), travel, and publication cost? Does the narrative adequately justify the requested funding?                                                                  

Significance to the Author: How will the project complement the author's program of research? (i.e., is the project related to a continuous program of research with a long-term goal?)            

Broader Impact: Does the activity promote teaching, new course development, student learning, new concept development? Does the proposed activity enhance the infrastructure for research and education, such as facilities, instrumentation, networks, partnership or outside funding?                                                                                                                         

Written Quality of Proposal: Is the proposal well written? Has the author described the topic in a way that is comprehensible to people who are not experts in his or her field?                

CV: How well qualified is the author (and any other personnel) to conduct the project? Is there a track record in the subject area being proposed?  If the author has been supported by HAC in the past, what are the outcomes of these grants? Has the author presented the work at professional conferences? Have any publications resulted from the work?  Has the author made any effort to seek external funding?                                                                                                   

Duration: For Faculty Fellowship grants issued in the fall, the award period is January 1 to December 31 of the following calendar year. For grants issued in the spring, the award period is May 1 to May 31 the following year. In exceptional circumstances, an extension of the grant period is permitted. If an awardee requires additional time to complete his/her project, a request for an extension should be submitted no later than one month prior to the end of the grant period. No new grant money will be released until the first project, including the final report, is completed.

Report: A brief report describing the outcome of the research conducted using these funds is due in the Institute for Research and Scholarship office no more than 60 days following the end of the grant period. The report should detail how the money was spent in relation to the proposed budget. Failure to submit this report could jeopardize future HAC funding.


NOTE: Mixed methods research is a research design with philosophical assumptions as well as methods of inquiry. As a methodology, it involves philosophical assumptions that guide the direction of the collection and analysis of data and the mixture of qualitative and quantitative approaches in many phases in the research process. As a method, it focuses on collecting, analyzing, and mixing both quantitative and qualitative data in a single study or series of studies. Its central premise is that the use of quantitative and qualitative approaches in combination provides a better understanding of research problems than either approach alone (from www. )