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 support expenses for which external grants or other existing faculty awards are not readily available but 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 the purchase of hardware or equipment that cannot be covered by a College Faculty Award)

Previous award recipients 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 two years have passed since their previous grant. Awards may be prorated in accordance with the 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 2024-25 academic year application deadline is April 5, 2024. Awards will be announced shortly after that. The total annual grant amount across all applicants shall not exceed $10,000; no individual grant over $5,000 will be granted. Once the funds have been allocated, no additional awards will be made until the next fiscal year.


Interested faculty members should submit a brief proposal (maximum of 2 single-spaced pages) HERE.


The proposal should include a brief description of the project, an explanation of the need for the requested funds, and an expected budget for how funds will be used. If other unexpected expenses arise once a proposed project has been funded, the faculty member may use the funds toward a purpose different than the one specified in the original application but should first consult with the KSSC Director.




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. The criteria for selection include (1) the quality and contribution of the work, (2) the novelty of the proposed research, and (3) the potential for receiving external funding. The potential for involving undergraduates in the research process will also be considered.




The award is for up to $5,000 and will be administered over one academic year. Any unspent funds may be rolled over to the following year, conditional on submitting 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 award recipient. It is the awardee’s prerogative to determine the appropriate use of the grant, which will be administered by the KSSC.


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

  • Research and administrative assistance, including wages for student assistants. Wellesley College student RAs will be paid the going student wage set by the College.  
  • Attendance at professional meetings and conference travel for faculty and/or student research collaborators.
  • Travel and accommodation costs for bringing collaborators on site. 
  • Collection of data: examples include purchases of databases, cost for use of off-site facilities, payments for participants involved in research, and travel for collection of data. 
  • Journal subscriptions, book purchases, and other library needs.
  • In some circumstances, funds may be used to purchase hardware or software needed to pursue the research project. Faculty should explain the need for specific hardware and/or software purchases in their applications.
    • Faculty who plan to use KSSC funds to purchase software and/or hardware related to their research understand that any purchase of computer(s), software, and/or equipment is college property.


Please email Jenny Musto ( with questions.