Scholarly Funds FAQs

Scholarly Funds FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

When can I request scholarly funds?

There will be two calls for proposals.

  • A call for travel/expenditures that will occur at the start of the fiscal year (July, August, September, and October)
    • The call will go out February 1.
    • Proposals will be due March 15.
    • Funding decisions will be communicated April 1.
  • A call for travel/expenditures that will occur in the other 8 months of the fiscal year (November–June)
    • The call will go out July 15.
    • Proposals will be due September 16.
    • Funding decisions will be communicated October 1.

Where can I get a proposal form?

Visit our sites page for the proposal form.

Why are there deadlines? 

The deadlines are important. While the School Director will take care to save some funds for opportunities that do not present themselves until after the deadline, it should be understood that funds are limited. Simultaneous consideration of all proposals allows for more equitable disbursement. Proposals submitted by the due dates will be given preference.

What should I do if I’m not yet sure of my plans?

Submit a proposal reflecting tentative plans and use a rough estimate of costs.

Who makes the decision whether I get funded?

Final decisions about the distribution of scholarly funds are the responsibility of the School Director. Every effort will be made to award funds to each faculty member who submits an on time, legitimate proposal. In distributing funds, the Director, advised by the Leadership Team and the Budget Officer, will aim to make awards in an equitable, prudent fashion.

Who and what are likely to get funded?

For conference travel, faculty who are presenters, moderators, roundtable participants, etc. will be awarded more funds than attendees. For non-travel requests, priority will be given to proposals that clearly explain how the funds will assist the faculty member's research.

Can I submit more than one proposal?

Those faculty members submitting more than one proposal should prioritize the different proposals. The possibility of having more than one proposal funded depends on the amount requested for each proposal and, of course, on the amount of available funds. It is unlikely that more than two proposals will be funded.

What if my plans change?

If a faculty member's plans change regarding a proposal, this should be promptly communicated to the School Budget Officer so that the funds can be re-allocated. Your award is tied to a specific event/activity; it is not a blank check that can be spent on Y if you decide you no longer want to do X.

What if I do not spend all the funds I was allocated?

Thank you for being a good steward of HSS’ money. The unspent funds recycle into our scholarly funds account so that more scholarly activities can be supported.

I am going to a conference. Do I have to use the per diem for food?

You can submit receipts for meals. But, you will not be reimbursed more than the allotted per diem.

My funding needs are greater than I can reasonably expect to receive in scholarly funds. What should I do?

All faculty, especially faculty with multiple proposals or faculty requesting more than $1500, should make themselves aware of and explore other funding programs, such as:

  • Penn State Behrend Chancellor's Sponsored Research Seed Grant Program
  • Africana Research Center
  • Institute for the Arts and Humanistic Studies
  • Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence

More information on funding opportunities

I have to go to a conference for reasons other than the advancement of my scholarship. Do I have to use my scholarly funds?

Proposals related directly to student travel and/or program development will be considered separately from scholarly fund proposals, and should be submitted to the School Director as soon as possible.

Is it true that I have $100 in discretionary scholarly funds? What can I spend it on?

It is true. And, you can spend it on anything you like as long as (a) it is used in support of your scholarship, and (b) it is OK with Penn State. For example, Penn State does not allow scholarly funds to be used to pay dues to organizations. Check with the Budget Officer to see what is allowed.

Can scholarly funds be carried over from one year to the next?