SMTD Faculty Research Grant Program


The SMTD Faculty Research Grant program is designed to encourage and stimulate faculty research by providing grants up to $2,000 (for AY2020/2021) to support small-scale projects. This is considered a “seed grant” program and is designed to fund works in progress. The SMTD grant cannot be applied retroactively to a completed project. The program is administered solely by the School of Music, Theatre & Dance and is reviewed internally. SMTD grant applications are submitted to the Director of Research and are evaluated by the Faculty Research Committee in collaboration with the Dean of the School, or designee. Any questions regarding the SMTD grant should be addressed to the Director of Research, Karen Fournier.

Note that for AY2020/2021, funds secured through the SMTD Faculty Research Grant cannot be used for expenses incurred due to travel and cannot be used to hire an external consultant, consistent with President Schlissel’s message of 22 April, 2020. Additionally, in this exceptional “Covid” year, we will only accept applications to the SMTD fund from those who do not hold, or who plan not to apply for, funding through the UMOR grant program in AY2020/2021.

Junior (tenure-track) and clinical-track faculty are particularly encouraged to apply.

Each application must contain a narrative that addresses the project’s scholarly and/or artistic rigor and potential cultural impact. The grant proposal must include a budget with specific details of the funding request and quotes or/and invoices for each budget item, where appropriate. Faculty are strongly encouraged to secure matching funds from other sources to support their projects. The Director of Research can assist with proposal and budget development as well as with conducting funding searches. SMTD Faculty Research Grant funds are NOT available for retroactive funding, costs overruns, or disallowances.


The first Monday of October, December, February, and April
Or until funds are expended in the fiscal year.

Key considerations during a proposal review include:

  • Artistic and/or scholarly merit and likely impact of the project on advancing the faculty member’s research/artistic agenda, and contributing to the field
  • Potential to further the School’s relevance and cultural impact in the performing arts
  • Clarity of proposal budget and justification

In general, the Research Grant program does not support:

  • Travel to present at conferences or participate in performances, where travel funds are available to a faculty member or costs are offset by an honorarium
  • Recruitment activities
  • Projects that are primarily instructional
  • Professional development workshops
  • Duplication of CD/DVDs
  • Multiple grant proposals per fiscal year (i.e., from an individual faculty member, or requesting funds for the same project)

The SMTD Research Office is committed to responding to faculty requests as quickly as possible. Notification of funding decisions is typically made within 8 weeks of the proposal submission deadline. Late proposal submissions will be processed in the next funding cycle.

The recipient of a Faculty Research Grant will work with the SMTD Business Office to access the funds. Retain all receipts and other documentation of expenditures as outlined in the proposal. Funds must be spent according to the terms of the project budget, and unspent funds will be returned to SMTD following the conclusion of your project. Standard University financial procedures and regulations apply.

Within one month after grant funds are expended and the project is completed, the faculty member is required to submit a final report (DOCX) to the Director of Research describing the status of the grant budget and the outcomes of the project. A faculty member may apply for a new SMTD Faculty Research Grant only after the final report is submitted.

SMTD Faculty Research Grant Application 20-21 (PDF)