Senior Faculty Research Fellowship

The Senior Faculty Research Fellowship Program provides one semester of leave time for tenured faculty members on the Main Campus at the Associate or Full Professor levels. Awards will take the form of a reimbursement to the faculty member’s department, which will use the award to cover teaching obligations in such a way that maintains the quality of educational programs. In turn, the senior faculty member is granted a semester of release time from teaching, at full pay, to conduct research or to work on a project in the creative arts. Proposals are reviewed and recommendations made during the late fall term by faculty serving on the Faculty Research Awards Committee; faculty from the applicant’s home department will recuse themselves from the discussion.

Since the committee is comprised of faculty from a variety of disciplines, faculty are required to make their proposals accessible to non-specialists by avoiding the use of technical language and clearly articulating the importance of their work. Up to 20 awards will be granted for the 2019-20 academic year.

Faculty must specify the preferred semester of leave at the time of the application. In the event of an award, the preferred semester will be considered the approved period of leave and subject to change only in exceptional cases with the approval of the School Dean and the Vice Provost for Research.

ELIGIBILITY: Members of the Main Campus tenure-line faculty, with the exception of those in the MSB, at either the Associate or Full Professor level are eligible to apply. Faculty are eligible for Senior Faculty Research Fellowships once every three years.

PURPOSES: Senior awards are intended to provide tenured members of the tenure-line faculty with a semester of release time for research or for projects in the creative arts. It is envisaged that these awards will be used to make significant progress on work that would result in substantial contributions to the relevant field, i.e., substantially advance their scholarship in ways that would not be possible without the award. The quality of the proposal is the primary criterion, but given equally competitive applicants, preference will be given to faculty who do not have external funding options for their research, have not had teaching release in recent years, and/or need to be off-campus for research. The fellowship period is classified as a period of fully paid research leave, during which time the faculty will receive departmental salary and benefits. Moreover, the period also will count as a semester of service toward sabbatical eligibility. Should the faculty member receive other awards during the period and wish to extend the leave, they are expected to apply other internal resources, such as matching awards, research support funds, earned research leaves, earned sabbatical credit, and existing banked courses to supplement the salary and fringe benefits.

CRITERIA: Proposals will be evaluated according to the normal criteria in place for senior scholarly competitions in the arts, humanities, social sciences and biophysical sciences. These include:

  • Importance of the proposed project: Where applicable, does the project address an important problem or critical barrier to progress in the field? What is the contribution to the critical conversation and how will knowledge be improved? Does the project address a significant gap in existing knowledge? Does the application challenge and seek to shift current research by utilizing novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies? Are the concepts, approaches or methodologies novel to one field of research or novel in a broad sense?
  • Clarity and coherence of the project description: Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the project? Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented? If the project is in the early stage of development, will the strategy establish feasibility and will risky aspects of the project be managed? The proposal should be written for a non-specialist audience.
  • Scholar/Investigator: What are the applicant’s qualifications for the proposed research and what is the potential contribution of the project toward the applicant’s scholarly and professional development? Does the faculty member have an ongoing record of accomplishments that have advanced the field? Is there evidence of research productivity? If the faculty member is in the early stages of his/her career, does he/she show promise of accomplishment that will move the field of study forward? Has the faculty member received prior institutional support from Georgetown? If so, does the faculty member explain the accomplishments that were supported with the prior funding? Note that faculty with recent research leaves will face higher scrutiny than faculty without such leaves.

Proposals in the creative arts will be judged on the basis of the contributions which the proposed work is likely to make to the appropriate artistic community and to the development and standing of the artist.

APPLICATION: For all parts of the submission (Proposal, Cited References, CV), 12 point font and 1-inch margins are required. Each component must be submitted in the PDF format.

  • Proposal: 3 page limit and 1500 words or less. Figures/tables are acceptable but only within the 3 page limit.

  • Cited References: List of references cited in the proposal can be any length, but typically no more than 1-2 pages.

  • CV: 3 page limit; Include in this order (1) education; (2) history of employment; (3) academic honors received; (4) bibliography of applicant’s publications or exhibitions; and (5) the source, time, and nature of any fellowships or grants received during the past five years. (3-page maximum);

Failure to follow the required formatting and/or word and page limits will render the application ineligible for review.

Questions regarding the Senior Faculty Research Fellowship Program should be directed to

Examples of successfully funded applications

DEADLINE: Friday, November 15, 2019

SUBMISSION: Electronic submission via GU-PASS. Please enter $1 in the Budget or Amount Requested field.

Enter your Georgetown University Net ID and password to log-in GU-PASS and then select the “New Internal Grant Request” button.  You will be required to complete the application and upload all materials required as per the program guidelines.  Chairs and other reviewers will be notified by e-mail to review internal grants for approval. 

Read our detailed instructions for creating an internal grant request in GU-PASS.

If you have any problems accessing or using GU-PASS please request help by sending an email message to, calling ext. 7-4949 on campus, or calling (202) 687-4949 if off campus.  For additional information or to provide feedback, please e-mail