Project Development Grant (PDG)

The RCHSS Project Development Grant (PDG) program provides financial assistance to faculty with promising research agenda who might have difficulty accessing funds from other sources.  This includes projects common among humanities disciplines, but are not limited thereto.  Preference will be given to proposals from faculty who have limited alternative sources of funding and to proposals that have co-funding support from their department or school.


  • Eligibility: RCHSS full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty
  • Funding: Up to $5,000
  • Focus: Funding for research and creative activities not generally supported by extramural sources.
  • Application: Proposals received by September 15 will receive priority consideration.  Applications accepted from September 1 – February 1, 2024 (subject to available funding)


  • Applicants must be tenured or tenure-track faculty member in RCHSS, with preference given to assistant and associate professors.
  • Preference will be given to faculty who have not recently received an RCHSS Research Development award (aka Small Grant).  
  • Applications may be individual or collaborative projects.  Applicants are encouraged to collaborate with faculty from outside RCHSS, but only RCHSS faculty can receive funding.
  • There is a limit of one (1) award per faculty member per fiscal year.

Allowable Expenses And Limitations

  • Allowable expenses include inter alia travel to undertake research (e.g., libraries, archives, archeological sites); equipment and supplies that are necessary to carry out the proposed research or creative project including software, texts, digital records and data, lab materials, cameras and recording devices.  See end of document for more details.
  • Funds may be used to hire a GRA to support research efforts.
  • Funds cannot be used for salary support, to offload teaching, or to fund conference travel.

NOTE: Funds must be expensed during the fiscal year and must observe RCHSS year-end purchasing deadlines.  RCHSS plans its annual budget sweep for March 31, 2024.  All award funds not encumbered by that date will revert to the college.

Application Procedure

The application should be composed in an MS-Word compatible format using 12-point fonts and 1” margins.  Text shall be double-spaced.  Each Roman-numerated section should begin on a new page. Proposals that do not meet the formatting expectations will be returned unreviewed.

  1. Title & Abstract Page: Project title, faculty name, department/school, and contact information. 
  2. Abstract Page (250 words max): Describe the primary objectives of the research project or creative activity, the significance of the project/activity, and key deliverables.
  3. Project Narrative Page (2 pages max): The narrative should include the following in clearly identifiable sections.
    • Research Question/Project Objective:  Highlight the significance of the project both for scholars within your discipline as well as for a broad audience of social scientists and humanists.  Explain clearly why your project is important, original, or otherwise significant.
    • Methods/Approach:  Be specific in how you will carry out your project. Avoiding unnecessary jargon, describe not only the research design or conceptual framework, but also the concrete activities to be undertaken (e.g., fieldwork, archival research, data collection and analysis, etc). 
    • Expected Outcomes: Describe project deliverables.  Explain how the project contributes to a research program that can be expected to generate scholarship beyond the period of the award.
  4. Budget Page with Justification (1 page max): Explain how funds will be used. Explain how travel funds are necessary to meet project objectives and will be used to conduct the project. List major equipment and materials to be purchased and describe how they are necessary to carry out the proposed project. The justification should explain project-related co-funding provided by department, school, or other resource.
  5. CV or Biographical Sketch(es) (2 pages max @): Applicants are encouraged to follow NSF or NIH format. A one-page summary of other key personnel may also be included (if applicable).

Submissions will “open” on September 1, 2023 and “close” on February 1, 2024. Materials should be submitted via email to The email subject line should read “RCHSS Project Development Award Proposal”.  

NOTE: Proposal will be reviewed on aa rolling basis and awards offered until the available funding has been exhausted.


Proposals will be evaluated on whether the project promises to make a significant contribution to the scholarly literature or other relevant body of work in the humanities or social sciences.  The most successful proposals articulate the work for a broad interdisciplinary audience and will provide the context for the importance and impact of the proposed project. Consideration will also be given to the degree to which the project can be expected to lead directly to additional research publications or other scholarly outputs. 

Award Expectations

  • Funded investigators commit to submitting an End of Year Report (see below).
  • Funded investigators commit to present their research at a seminar, workshop, or other event, if requested.
  • Funded investigators agree to have research summarized in an RCHSS publication, if requested.
  • Funded investigators agree to participate in follow-on activities such as efforts to support future awardees (including serving as a reviewer), if requested.
  • Projects must be completed by June 30, 2024.
  • Funded investigators commit to acknowledge RCHSS support in any papers and publication ensuing from the research.
  • Funded investigators commit to providing copies of articles, chapters, or other scholarly outputs supported by the award, including any publicity materials, press clippings, or reviews.

Final Reporting Requirements

  • An “End of Year” report is due by June 30, 2024.  
  • The report should be completed using the appropriate template and follow the directions found thereupon.
  • The report should be submitted via email to
  • A project cannot be “closed” until the report has been received. An investigator with an “open” project is not eligible for additional RCHSS research funding.