Knapp Faculty Research Grant

Knapp Faculty Research Grant in the Social Sciences

The Knapp Faculty Research Grant is named after Betsy Wood Knapp, Class of 1964, who has enabled this grant as part of the Knapp Social Science Center to encourage Wellesley faculty members to conduct innovative work in the social sciences.

Introduction and Eligibility:

The Knapp Faculty Research Grants are awarded to faculty members from any department or program at Wellesley College whose proposed research activities can be considered within the social sciences. The purpose of the grant is to facilitate research and to support expenses for which external grants or other existing faculty awards are not readily available, but which are necessary for scholarly progress. 

Wellesley faculty members are eligible if they:

  • Propose research that can be considered broadly as social science research;

  • Demonstrate need 

    • by having used up the entire amount of start-up funds;

    • by having used up any chair or other endowed funds;

    • by having used up the conference travel fund, if asking for travel funds;

    • by having no way to use existing College Faculty Award funds (for example, if the requested award would be used for purchase of hardware or equipment which cannot be covered by a College Faculty Award)

Previous recipients of the award are eligible for support on a different project or if they run out of funds and would like to extend a previously funded project. However, they may receive lower priority in the decision process if fewer than 2 years have passed since their previous grant. Awards may be prorated in accord with appointment contract. 

Faculty members going on leave, either junior or sabbatical leave, are encouraged to apply for grants. The grant application should supplement (rather than substitute for) applications sent to outside funding sources.

Application Process:

The application deadline for 2021-22 academic year is April 1, 2022. Awards will be announced shortly thereafter. The total annual grant amount across all applicants shall not exceed $10,000, and no individual grant over $5,000 will be granted. Once the funds have been allocated, no more awards will be made until the next fiscal year. 

Interested faculty members will submit a brief proposal (maximum of 2 single-spaced pages) to the Knapp Grant Committee. The proposal shall include a brief project description, an explanation of need for the requested funds, and a broad expected budget for use of funds. Note that, if other unexpected expenses arise once a given proposed project has been funded, the faculty member may use the funds toward a purpose different than the one specified in the original application.


Selection of grant recipients will be made by the Knapp Grant Committee, which will be chaired by the Director of the Knapp Social Science Center. Other members of this Committee include faculty members appointed by the Director of the KSSC. In particular, the Committee will include at most 2 faculty members from Pendleton East and 1 faculty member from outside of Pendleton East. If possible, one of the members shall be a member of the junior faculty.  Each committee member will serve for a two-year term. The Director of the KSSC will serve as a voting member of the selection committee only in case of recusal from voting by any of the other three committee members (for example, when the committee member herself is applying for a grant).

The criteria for selection include: (1) the quality and contribution of the work; (2) the novelty of the proposed research; (3) the potential for receiving external funding; and (4) the potential for involvement of undergraduates in the research process. 


The award is for up to $5,000 and will be administered over the course of one academic year. Any unspent funds may be rolled over to the next year, conditional on the submission of a report that includes a summary of work-to-date and the reason for unexpended funds. 

Grant tenure will begin as soon as possible after the decision to award funds has been made. 

Support Provided:

Funds can be expended on items of direct expense essential to the plan of the recipient. It is the awardee’s prerogative to determine the appropriate use of the grant, which will be administered by KSSC.

The following are possible ways in which the funds may be used:

  • Computer hardware purchases are allowed provided that the applicant gives a detailed justification, explaining in what way the item is integral to the research project (e.g., it is essential for data collection, or is needed to perform calculations or simulations for which existing computing capacity is insufficient). Ordinarily, the purchase of a laptop computer for the sole purpose of travel or convenience is not permitted.

  • Research and clerical assistance, including wages for student assistants. Wellesley College student RAs will be paid the going student wage.  

  • Attendance at professional meetings and conference travel for faculty and/or research students.

  • Travel and accommodation costs for bringing collaborators on site. 

  • Collection of data: examples include purchases of databases, costs for use of off-site facilities, subject payments for experimental work, travel for collection of data. 

  • Journal subscriptions, book purchases, and other library needs.


Please contact with further questions.