Brachman Hoffman

The Brachman Hoffman Fellowship is named for Marilyn Brachman Hoffman, Class of 1952, who has enabled this Fellowship to encourage Wellesley Science Center faculty members to be creative in their work, and to take that step beyond the ordinary.

Introduction and Eligibility:

Brachman Hoffman Fellowships are granted to tenured and tenure-track faculty members whose teaching obligations are in the Wellesley College Science Center, including Whitin Observatory. Non-tenure-track faculty are not eligible. The purposes of the Fellowship are:

  • to provide enabling aid for a researcher's development of an idea in a new area or field
  • to support research on site
  • to promote participation in the broader international scientific network.

Support will be granted for research in a new area or a new direction. The Fellowship is primarily seen as critical enabling aid, to make possible a significant advance in the development of an experimenter's idea.  The Fellowship is not designed to support preparation of prior research results for publication, curricular development, or the writing of textbooks.

The Fellowship is meant to be a "starter grant", in that no later than one year after termination of the Brachman Hoffman Fellowship, the recipient is expected to submit at least one research proposal to a major funding organization for support of research to be carried out at Wellesley.

The application should describe how the proposed research represents a new direction for the applicant, state in what ways the Fellowship will provide significant impetus to the research of the recipient, and describe how the research will contribute to the education of Wellesley students.

Applications should be of a quality comparable to those submitted for outside support, although the description of the research should be directed to a general scientific audience and be less extensively presented. Clarity of presentation will be an important asset.

Wellesley faculty members are eligible if they (1) intend to spend at least two years after the Fellowship tenure at Wellesley College, (2) agree to prepare and submit a research proposal to an outside funding agency no later than one year after the end of the fellowship tenure, and (3) are actively engaged in teaching full-time or regular part-time in the Science Center. Past recipients of the award are eligible for support of research in a new direction, although they may receive lower priority in the decision process if fewer than 10 years have passed since their previous Fellowship. Awards may be prorated in accord with appointment contract.

During the Fellowship tenure, it is expected that the research will be conducted on site. However, the Fellow may use the award for specific off-campus needs, such as data collection, use of instrumentation unavailable at the College, or for other purposes which must be explained in the proposal. Involvement of student assistants in such off-campus experiences is appropriate and is encouraged.

Faculty members going on leave, either junior or sabbatical leave, are encouraged to apply for Fellowships if they will be pursuing new directions in their research. The Fellowship may be used to support research while on leave, provided that the work takes place on campus. The Fellowship application should supplement (rather than substitute for) applications sent to outside agencies.


The selection of Fellows will be made by a faculty Committee, which is chaired by the Director of the Science Center. Other members of this Committee include the Dean of the College (or designee), the Director of Sponsored Research, and five faculty members elected from the Science Center by their colleagues. When appropriate, outside reviews may be solicited.

The criteria for selection include: (1) the quality of the work; (2) the newness of the direction of the research for the applicant, (3) the potential for continuation of the research project at Wellesley after the Fellowship tenure, and (4) the potential for involvement of undergraduates in the research process. Applicants may be interviewed.


Applications are due in the Science Center Office by the posted deadlines. Awards will be announced early in the spring semester. If receiving an award will affect the teaching program of your Department, this must be discussed with your Chair before submitting your application, and a written acknowledgement from the Chair must be included with the application.

The award is for up to $60,000 over a two-year period, although no more than $30,000 may be budgeted for any single year. In order for the second-year funds to be released, the Fellow must submit a Renewal Application by mid-March of the first year of the award. Any money unexpended following the second year of the Fellowship must be returned.

Fellowship tenure will begin June 1 of the year of selection. Recipients will be expected to give a public presentation of their research accomplishments at the conclusion of their Fellowship tenure.

Support Provided:

Brachman Hoffman Fellowship awards are made for items of direct expense essential to the plan of the recipient. It is the Fellow's prerogative to determine the appropriate use of the award, which will be administered by Wellesley College.

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

  • Summer students. The costs for student summer stipends and student housing allowances are available in the Science Center Office.
  • Capital equipment or instrumentation essential to the research program (limited to $20,000 over two years).
  • Computer 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 interfaces with a piece of experimental apparatus, is essential for data collection, or is needed to perform calculations or simulations for which exisisting computing capacity is insufficient). Ordinarily, the purchase of a laptop computer for the sole purpose of travel or convenience is not permitted.
  • Research assistance: post-doctoral, pre-doctoral, technically trained, clerical, or untrained laboratory assistance. Fringe benefits for salaried assistants must be included in the budget.
  • Attendance at professional meetings for Fellow and/or research students.
  • Use of specialized instrumentation or facilities unavailable at the College.
  • Expendable supplies.
  • Specialized library needs.
  • Travel for collection of data or for collaborative work.
  • Summer salary for Fellow will be a maximum of $7,500. The fringe on summer salary is calculated at the current rate dictated by the College.  The budget spreadsheet has the current rate, and is updated annually.
  • Released time from teaching. Any requests for course release must adhere to the current College policy.



The application should include a detailed budget proposal, covering both years of the award. It is expected that the recipient will adhere to the budget as proposed, except for changes agreed to by the Committee and approved by the Dean. Funds are available for expenditure only during the tenure of the Fellowship; any funds remaining at the end of the Fellowship are returned.

Salary for summer research is authorized, but may not exceed 2/9 of the recipient's academic salary of any one year, or $7,500, whichever is less.  The College is responsible for the regular academic salary (except for released time units), as well as fringe benefits for the regular academic salary only. Thus, the Fellowship budget calculation must include appropriate fringe.  Hourly wages for students and the amounts of summer stipends should be checked with the Science Center Office before you submit your budget. Any request for released teaching units must follow the current College policy. Indicate in writing that this is the case. Requests for salaried research assistants must also include fringe benefits.  Normally, the Committee will not consider requests that budget released time units and summer salary.


The recipient is expected to make a public on-campus report of her/his accomplishments as a Brachman Hoffman Fellow.

A full written report must be submitted to the Director of the Science Center within 90 days of termination of the Fellowship. The report should include a summary of the work accomplished and a budget accounting. Copies of research proposals should be filed with the Committee as soon as they are submitted, with notification of the outcome of the application to be added.


Application deadline posted annually on the Science Center website.  Awards begin on July 1 of the following year.

Announcement of Awards: Early spring semester.

The application should contain the following information in the order specified:

A. Principal Investigator:

B. Department and Rank:

C. Title of Proposed Research Project:

D. Requested Amount:

E. Identify any prior funding that you have received from the College over the past 10 years, (including Brachman Hoffman, Staley, and Faculty Awards), and indicate the time period and amount of funding.

E1. If you are a prior recipient of a Brachman Hoffman Fellowship, please describe your efforts to obtain support from an external funding agency following completion of your fellowship.

F. Other Support: List current external and internal sources, granting periods, and direct cost amounts of all other support received or requested for this or for other research; identify other requests which duplicate this one; include information about proposals under review or likely to be submitted during the first year of the Fellowship.

G. Summary of Proposed Work: (experimental plan; appropriate bibliography): Length: 4 - 5 pages directed toward a general scientific audience. The quality and clarity of the written proposal will be an important consideration in the selection process.

H. Statement Regarding New Direction: The proposed project should represent a new venture for the recipient and the work should ideally break new ground in the field of interest. Whether it is a new direction or an entirely new field, the project should be more than simply finishing up work previously done. The Committee is willing to consider proposals from researchers who have already begun their investigations. The applicant should describe succinctly how the proposed research represents new direction/work and how the Fellowship will enable the recipient to make a significant advance in the development of her/his idea.

I. Significance of the Proposed Work: (two subsections addressed specifically to the following ): 1. To the scientific community. 2. To Wellesley College, especially how Wellesley students will be affected.

J. Funding Organizations to which the recipient might expect to submit research proposals as a result of the proposed project.

K. Resume for Principal Investigator: (the following material must be included): 1. Education and Experience: (Degree, Postdoctoral appointments, relevant previous employment and summer work.) 2. Publications: (within the past five years unless earlier ones are particularly relevant) 3. References: List names and current addresses of three (3) professional references.

L. Space: Are there space implications of this proposal? If so, they must be cleared with the Director of the Science Center. Please append a statement to this effect. If not, please include the appropriate statement.

M. Statement from Chair if appropriate.

N. Proposed Budget and Application Submission: The Brachman Hoffman/Staley/Loh Fellowship Financial Form must be completed (use the Fellowship tab). The Financial form is an Excel spreadsheet that must be completed and returned with the application. Not that the form will automatically calculate the fringe benefits where required; please do not change this calculation. The fringe cost, where required, must be included in your total project request. The budget justification is a separate written document, which should be itemized and should be as specific as possible, detailing the requested budget items and their relationship to the project. The Committee will carefully consider the clarity and relevance of the budget justification as it reviews proposals. 

Please download the budget form from the science center website, complete the appropriate cells, and submit the completed form with the rest of your application (as a single PDF file) to

Questions about the submission process may be directed to Susan Lange, Science Center Office, x3000.
The selection committee may contact the applicant if additional information is needed, but it is not required to do so. It is the responsibility of the proposer to prepare a thorough and clear proposal.

O. Signature of Principal Investigator_________________________Date______________

Signature of Department Chair______________________________Date______________


Please submit the following by March 15th of the first year of your Fellowship.

  1. Brief summary of the objective of the project and progress to date.
  2. Proposal for work of the second year.
  3. Budget expenditures for first year; explanation of underuse or overspending.
  4. Proposed budget for second year with information on any sources of support received or expected.
  5. Funding organizations to which proposals will be sent; expected timetable for submission of proposals.
  6. Appropriate supporting letters if released time is sought.
  7. Signature of Principal Investigator_________________________Date_____________
  8. Signature of Department Chair______________________________Date______________ 

Back to Grants and Fellowships