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Faculty Advancement Fund Grant Pre-Approvals Due November 8

The Faculty Advancement Fund Grant (FAFG) supports the scholarly and creative activities of the full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty members. The fund was established to enable the professional work of Emerson’s faculty in its efforts to sustain academic excellence in teaching, research/creative activity, and service. The FAFG supports proposals deemed likely to substantially improve the quality of research, publication, creative activities, teaching, and service that advance the mission of the College and the careers of its faculty.

Awards are administered according to the guidelines of the Faculty Development and Research Council (FDRC) n the Faculty Assembly By-Laws.

Upcoming grant period: Grants awarded for FY2021 must be conducted between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021.

Previous grant period: Grants awarded for FY2020 must be conducted between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020.

FAFG Funding

The FAFG will provide support for approved projects for amounts between $1,000 and $10,000. Applicants may request monetary support or (in very rare circumstances) support in the form of a single course release. The exact type and amount of award will be determined by the project budget request and availability of funds. The FAFG Committee and school deans make recommendations to the provost, who makes the final decision for funding and determination of awards. Note: For smaller projects, faculty members should utilize their Faculty Development Fund (previously called the Faculty Travel Program).

Internal Online Pre-Approval Form

Please submit your Internal Funding Proposal — Pre-Approval Form to the Office of Research and Creative Scholarship (ORCS) by Friday, November 8.


All tenured and tenure-track members of the full-time faculty and bargaining unit of ECCAAUP are eligible to apply for the FAFG. Applicants who received an FAFG award in the year preceding their current proposal must submit a progress report prior to submitting a new proposal. The progress report must inform their school dean, FDRC Committee, and the provost on the status of the previous FAFG project. Important: Faculty will not be eligible to apply if they have received two or more FAFGs in the immediate three years prior. Please contact ORCS if you require further information on FAFG awards you have received previously.

Eligible Projects

  • Research, travel, and expenses leading to scholarly, refereed publications
  • Research, travel, and expenses leading to creative and artistic works such as media productions, creative writing, performances, screenplays, exhibitions, etc.
  • Seed funding to develop research or creative scholarship that will lead to external funding
  • Refereed conference presentations of scholarly and creative activities
  • Provisions for workspace for scholarly and creative activities
  • Research staff or graduate student assistance for approved projects
  • Computer software, hardware, and peripheral equipment needed for teaching or research
  • Technical support for the development of new media applications in teaching
  • Projects with significant community impact
  • Projects that enhance student life
  • Faculty leadership designed to impart new knowledge and skills to colleagues
  • Attending seminars and conferences related to new course development
  • Development of new courses, including instruction materials
  • Revision or innovations in existing courses with at least one-third substantially new content
  • Creation of innovative faculty seminar series
  • Attending faculty development seminars and conferences to improve teaching skills

Ineligible Projects and Expenses

  • Activities already defined as part of a faculty member’s expected duties and responsibilities (i.e. teaching of established courses, service and committee work, etc.)
  • Activities for which the faculty member is already receiving compensation, course release, or some other form of College support
  • Proposals from faculty members who have received two FAFG awards in the previous three years (2017-2019)
  • Additional faculty compensation during the academic year; honoraria and stipends to Emerson faculty. The use of FAFG funds for faculty summer salary is strongly discouraged.
  • Course release. As teaching remains the College’s priority for full-time faculty, course release will rarely be awarded — only when an extraordinary need is demonstrated

Criteria and Considerations


  • Applications must be complete, clearly written, compelling, well defined, and easily understood by all reviewers: write clearly, simply, and use layman’s terms.
  • Applications that are incomplete and do not follow directions may be disqualified.
  • Budgets should be reasonable and allocable to the proposed project. Costs that are deemed by the FDRC to not be relevant or essential to the proposed work will not be considered.
  • Applicants should include information about their professional background, qualifications, scholarly/creative agenda, and how the project might positively impact their career, their field, and/or the mission of the College.
  • Applications should include a detailed outline of their proposed work, along with a timeline describing the project activities and estimated dates for each activity.
  • Applicants requesting travel support should utilize their allocation through the Faculty Development Fund, rather than the FAFG.
  • While applicants may apply for consecutive-year awards, the committee will carefully scrutinize proposals that are a continuation of any previously funded projects to determine if funding is appropriate.

Additional Considerations

  • Priority consideration will be given to applicants who have not previously received an FAFG award.
  • The FDRC will give additional consideration to applicants who have not yet received first-, second-, or third-year tenure review, or who are under consideration for promotion to full professor (see “Historical Proposal Funding Trends” below).
  • Priority consideration will be given to applications that involve Emerson students as research or teaching assistants, and/or proposals that link the conduct and results of the proposed work to tangible changes and/or improvements to curricula, pedagogy, or student involvement.

Post-Award Management

  • All publications resulting from the FAFG should contain the following acknowledgement: “This research [or project] was supported by a grant from the Emerson College Faculty Advancement Fund.”
  • Expense reports and purchase shall be initiated by the faculty member in Workday. ORCS will provide guidance on these processes if needed.
  • All equipment purchased with Emerson College funds or special funds channeled through Emerson are property of the College, and remain at the College if a faculty member leaves. Applicants must explain long-term usefulness of equipment that will extend beyond the grant period and the faculty member’s project needs.
  • Applicants should consult the Guidelines on College Financial Policies before expenditures are made to make sure proper procedures and criteria are met. It is the applicant’s responsibility to know and follow the College Financial Policies. A list of major points can be found on the Guidelines and Financial Policies page of the Academic Affairs site.
  • Expense reports and purchases must be initiated by June 15, 2021, in order to receive payment by the end of the fiscal year (June 30). Expenses and purchases received after this date will be paid after July 1.

Historical Proposal Funding Trends

  • Historically, ORCS has received between 15 and 20 FAFG applications each year; an average of 10 applications are awarded each year.
  • The total amount requested by all applicants has ranged between $92,000 and $150,000 per year.
  • On average, 60 percent of FAFG funds are awarded to tenure-track faculty, and 40 percent to tenured faculty.

FY2021 Calendar

Note: Due dates that fall on a weekend or holiday will be deferred to the following business day.

November 8, 2019

  • Internal Pre-Approval Form due via the Emerson K2 portal.
  • FAFG Standard Application Form will be sent to recipients who have received pre-approval authorization from their cognizant dean and/or department chair. Note: A formatted Microsoft Word document with form fields will be used in lieu of the eCampus online application portal.

Before December 5, 2019

  • Applicants should consult with their department chair and school dean to determine eligibility and appropriateness of their FAFG proposal to their research/scholarly/creative goals and the department, school, and institution’s priorities.
  • The executive director for research and creative scholarship will meet with eligible faculty members who have questions about preparing an FAFG application.

December 5, 2019

  • Completed application is due by 11:59 pm EST.
  • Final online reports from previously funded and completed FAFG projects must be submitted in order for applicants to be eligible for a new project award.
  • Progress reports for any ongoing FAFG award projects must be submitted in order for applicants to be eligible for a continuing or new project award.

December 9, 2019-January 21, 2020

  • The FDRC will evaluate all proposals and make recommendations to the provost, within the funding amount available, regarding proposal support and level of funding.

By January 27, 2020

  • The provost, in consideration of the recommendations provided by the FDRC, will make final selections and award determinations. The provost will notify the FDRC writing about the final awards.

By February 7, 2020

  • The executive director for research and creative scholarship will notify all of the applicants in writing about their applications.

July 1, 2020-June 30, 2021

  • Approved projects conducted

June 15, 2021

  • All receipts due in the Office of Research and Creative Scholarship for reimbursement of project expenses.

November 1, 2021

  • Final online report due for projects conducted during FY 2020.

Final Progress Report Requirement

Recipients of FAFG awards must submit a final progress report by November 1 of the year their grant period ends.

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