College of Liberal Arts Faculty Research Fund Support Program


To enhance institutional excellence and to promote all areas of intellectual inquiry of tenured and tenure track faculty in the arts, humanities, and the social sciences, the Provost’s Office in collaboration with the College of Liberal Arts launched ASPIRE in Fall 2015, to support CLA faculty research. ASPIRE is fully funded by the Provost’s office and operationally managed by the CLA Dean’s office.

ASPIRE funding is structured in two tiers and is available only to tenured or tenure-track CLA faculty:

  • Tier 1 provides up to $1,500 in approved funding for expenses related to scholarship/creative activity including domestic travel for faculty to present original scholarship/creative works
  • Tier 2 provides funding up to $2,500 for expenses related to scholarship/creative activity with an international focus including international travel to present original scholarship/creative works. 

A shared objective of the Provost and Dean Reingold is to enhance faculty research opportunities by enhancing a climate that empowers researchers to promote research and creative activity in liberal arts. The goal of the ASPIRE program is to supplement existing departmental travel funds, faculty start-up funds or other research funds in order to increase those opportunities for our faculty, all in a streamlined and efficient manner.

All tenured/tenure-track faculty members in the College of Liberal Arts are eligible to apply. Assistant professors may apply for funding or receive an award for a maximum of five times a year. Tenured associate professors may apply to this program three per year and receive up to three awards per year; full professors may apply twice per year and get two awards.

Each of the ten CLA main departments or schools will get access to 10% of the overall funds. The funds will be dispensed in two equal rounds of funding: July 1 - December 31, 2022 and January 1st - June 30, 2023. Also, funding requests for the first round should be for projects starting at the latest by December 31st, 2022. If a project starts January 1, 2023 or after, applicants should wait to apply until after November 15, 2022. If a department exhausts before December 31st its funding allocation for the first round, no new applications will be accepted until January 1st. Funds should be spent within the academic year of the award. Only one request will be considered at a time.


To receive the available funds for a project, faculty will be required to fill out a brief application online that will include:

    1. General applicant information such as name, title, department, etc.
    2. Research project title
    3. Statement of support for the project from the department head
    4. Research travel information (location and dates) and itemized description of the equipment or other expenses
    5. Requester’s role in the research project
    6. Other grants received previously or pending for this project
    7. Brief description of the project (no more than ½ a page) detailing research significance and overall benefits of the project
    8. Itemized amount of funding request. Note, ASPIRE funding may be used to support expenses incurred by graduate student(s) working with the faculty, but may not be used as a source of financial support for the student(s).

Once completed, the signed application will be routed to the CLA Dean’s office for review and approval. Notice will be emailed to the requestor of the approval or denial, and funds will be made available as needed for the required expense. Recipients must submit a brief ½ page report on the scholarly outcomes and benefits of the award to CLA by the end of the fiscal year.

Click here to apply to ASPIRE

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