The University of Massachusetts Amherst

SBS Research Support Grants

Note that due to COVID-related budget cuts our normal internal grants have been put on hold. However, thanks to private fundraising, we have raised $45,000 to give away in small research grants. Grant applications for Spring 2021 are due on March 26 (11:59pm). See criteria below.

The pandemic has had a deep impact on all of us, but it has been especially challenging to faculty with children in remote school, those with other caregiving responsibilities, and those whose research depends upon travel and human subjects research. National studies are already showing differences in research productivity by gender and caregiving status and we know we have many faculty at UMass facing these challenges (see here, here, and here).

We can award small research grants up to $7,500 each. All tenure-line or research-appointed faculty are welcome to apply for these; however, we have decided to prioritize high-quality applications from those whose research has been most impacted by the ongoing pandemic. As part of the application process, we ask that you indicate the pandemic’s specific effects on your ability to do your research. In the interest of your time management, you are welcome to simply upload the COVID impact statement that you submitted with your Annual Faculty Review and add a brief update if necessary to the proposal.

The deadline for applications is March 26, 2021 at 11:59pm. If you have any questions, please contact Jennifer Lundquist, Senior Associate Dean of Research and Faculty Development.



  • Applications may include requests for hiring a research assistant, other research related costs, supporting funds for a sabbatical project, augmenting a larger project submitted to the Faculty Research Grants (FRG) program, etc. 
    • Research-related travel for 2021 is permitted if required for the conduct of the research project, such as meeting with a collaborator, data collection, or archival research; however, regular conference presentation travel should be supported by departmental professional development funds.
  • In the proposal narrative, please describe:
    • The research activities for which you are requesting support;
    • The significance of the research and anticipated career gains (e.g., resources developed, collaborations, publications, sponsored research submissions, etc.);
    • Specifically how your research agenda has been negatively affected by the pandemic (you can simply upload your Pandemic Impact Statement from the AFR with a brief update if necessary in the proposal).
  • The proposal narrative should be no longer than 2,000 words. 
  • Indicate what potential sources of extramural funding this seed funding will allow you to seek. Otherwise, if the research proposal is not conventionally externally-fundable, describe why not and how the research generated will be beneficial.  
  • Include a budget.
  • Indicate the date and title for the most recent five years of research support grants, start-up funding and fellowships you have received (if any) from the university, college, foundations and/or government agencies
  • Applicants with start-up funds or other grant funding must make a strong case for how those funds are insufficient for the proposed project.
  • Applicants who have been funded by SBS more recently will receive lower priority.
  • We encourage interdisciplinary proposals from PIs representing two SBS departments, in which case the request can be up to a maximum of $14,000. If one PI for an interdisciplinary proposal is from another college, the other college will need to match the SBS level of support; a letter indicating this should accompany the proposal.
  • Direct salary supplementation and use of the funds to support additional course releases are not allowable under this program.
  • If you have previously received an SBS research grant, briefly describe the results of that research project and the funding proposals/grants it generated.

SBS Research Grants Past Recipients