Grant-seeking Resources at Middlebury College

The Office of Grants and Sponsored Programs (OGSP) is responsible for supporting all grant-related activities at Middlebury.

Sponsored Research and Faculty-initiated grants

The mission of Sponsored Research staff is to ensure that the College and its faculty are positioned to submit grant proposals to the federal government and other sponsors. We support an engaged and active faculty by providing advice and assistance at all stages of grant-seeking and grant administration. Our highest priorities are responding to faculty working on grant proposals with impending deadlines and dealing with time-sensitive issues related to grant administration and academic program development. We also oversee institutional endorsement procedures, monitor College compliance with sponsor requirements, and provide support to the academic administration with initiatives related to academic program enhancement, science planning, and compliance responsibilities. If you work for the College and have an idea for a proposal, please contact us.

Corporate & Foundation Relations - Institutional grants

The mission of Corporate and Foundation Relations staff is to obtain philanthropic support for College initiatives through the identification, cultivation, and solicitation of foundations, corporations, and federal agencies. To do this, we proactively seek resources to support priority programs defined by senior leadership, while being opportunistic and agile in supporting other initiatives and programs as time and resources permit.  If you have an idea for an institutional proposal, please contact us.

 Grants Accounting Office - Financial administration for all grants

Academic Administration

Forms for internal funding (including FPDF and FRAF), leave program policies and guidelines, and information related to programs administered by the Dean for Faculty

  • Jim Ralph, Dean for Faculty Development & Research: x5320  (Davis Family Library, CTLR, Room 225C) -- all funding for faculty development including the leave program
  • Suzanne Gurland, Dean of Curriculum: x5909, x5323 (Old Chapel/ McCardell Bicentennial Hall)
  • Steve Trombulak, Director of the Sciences: x5439 (Hillcrest/ McCardell Bicentennial Hall)
  • Andi Lloyd, Vice President of Academic Affairs/Dean of the Faculty  x5908 (Old Chapel)
  • Lynn Dunton, Budget Coordinator for Academic Affairs:   x3085 (Old Chapel)

Institutional Review Board (IRB)

For all research that involves human subjects

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)

For all research that involves animals

Undergraduate Research Office (URO)

For students participating in research

Center For Teaching, Learning and Research

Many support services for students and faculty

Other resources


Recent Faculty Grants

Peggy Nelson (Sociology-Anthropology) has received an REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) Supplement to the National Science Foundation grant awarded last summer to Peggy and a collaborator from Wellesley, titled Social and Biogenetic Factors of New Forms of Families. This additional funding creates an unusual research training experience by covering  travel expenses and wages for a student to accompany Peggy and her collaborator to conduct interviews during Spring Break and after the semester ends.

Frank Winkler (Emeritus Professor, Physics) has been awarded funding from the NASA-funded Space Telescope Science Institute for his role in a collaborative research project involving researchers at STScI and University of Toronto. This project entails  observations from the Hubble Space Telescope and is titled To be or not to be the Progenitor: The Question about Tycho-B. The goal of the observations is a better understanding of the star that exploded as a supernova in 1572, commonly known as Tycho's Supernova, after the 16th-century Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe who made careful records of it at the time.

John Schmitt (Mathematics) received a grant from the NSF-sponsored Institute of Mathematics and Its Applications, located on the campus of the University of Minnesota, to attend a workshop this fall titled Probabilistic and Extremal Combinatorics. While there, he presented a poster highlighting his work with two collaborators, one from the University of Georgia and the other a College alumnus.

John Emerson (Mathematics) received a modest grant through the Yale University Provost’s Fund for support of a project  titled Advances in Statistical Software Environments, on which he is working while on academic leave this year. The project grows out of an interest in changing the way statistics is taught,  and  it will develop educational materials and supporting illustrations suited for guiding students in undergraduate courses in using modern statistical computation.

John Schmitt (Mathematics) and colleagues from Dartmouth College, Bard College, Smith College, St. Michael's College, SUNY Albany, Wesleyan University, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute have received funding from the National Security Agency  for two conferences this year on discrete mathematics. The first was hosted by Middlebury at Bread Loaf during September. The main purposes of these conferences  are to enhance the national infrastructure for research and education in discrete mathematics by creating and strengthening a regional network of interacting researchers and to facilitate the dissemination of cutting-edge research ideas, methods and results.

Vermont Genetics Network grants for Research in the Biomedical Sciences
Middlebury College is one of the baccalaureate partner institutions participating in a major grant from the National Institutes of Health to the University of Vermont. This grant continues the Vermont Genetics Network support that has been an important source of funding for faculty and student research during the past decade. The following faculty members received individual grants from this program to support their research this year:

Glen Ernstrom (Biology & Neuroscience) Project grant for work on Genetic Analysis of Neurotransmitter Release in C. Elegans. The grant provides funding for summer and academic-year effort from June 2014-May 2015 and includes summer stipends for two undergraduate summer research students.

 Clarissa Parker (Psychology & Neuroscience) Pilot support for a new project titled Genome-wide Association for Ethanol Sensitivity in the DO Mouse Population. The grant provides funding for 2014 summer effort and travel to present a paper at a conference in Uppsala, Sweden. Clarissa also applied for and was awarded funds to support an undergraduate summer research student.

 An-Gayle Vasiliou (Chemistry and Biochemistry) Project grant to support research into Thermal Composition of Biomass: Molecular Pathways for Sulfur Chemistry. The grant provides funding for summer effort during 2014 and includes funds for two summer research students.

Christian Keathley and Jason Mittell (both Film and Media Culture) have received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support a two-week workshop at Middlebury in June 2015. Twelve participants will come to campus to explore the topic of producing video-based scholarship for the study of the moving image, with the goal of creating a special issue for the video-based journal [in]Transition that Keathley and Mittell co-edit. This grant, titled Scholarship in Sound and Image: Producing Videographic Criticism in the Digital Age, is funded through NEH’s Institute for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities program and will be run in conjunction with the college's Digital Liberal Arts Initiative. See http://sites.middlebury.edu/videoworkshop for more information.

Peggy Nelson (Sociology-Anthropology) and a colleague at Wellesley College have been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation for a two-year project titled Social and Biogenetic Factors of New Forms of Families. The goal of this project is to better understand the new kinds of relationships that are made possible when individuals have children through reproductive technologies involving “donor” eggs or sperm. Researchers will interview parents and offspring who participate in networks of connection with others who share the same donor as their children or themselves. Where possible, the researchers will also interview donors who have had contact with the parents of their offspring or the offspring themselves. At least two undergraduate students will be involved in this research.

Catherine Combelles (Biology) has been awarded an R15 research grant through the National Institutes of Health’s AREA (Academic Research Enhancement Award) program. This grant will support work to determine the effects of endocrine-disrupting compounds on the oocyte and the ovarian follicle, the structure that nurtures the developing oocyte. Because the health of adults, neonates, fetuses, and embryos all depend upon normal oocyte development, the findings will help to provide a foundation for improving not only female reproductive but also adult health. The grant funds research at Middlebury, the University of New Hampshire, and Emory University, including supplies and travel to conferences as well as Catherine’s 15-16 academic leave. At least 15 undergraduates will be involved in this research over the  next three years.

Susan Burch (American Studies) and Tara Affolter (Education Studies), with colleagues from Barnard, Haverford, Macalester, Oberlin, Vassar, and Scripps, have been awarded funding from the AALAC consortium (Alliance for the Advancement of Liberal Arts Colleges), the successor to the  Mellon 23 program, for a collaborative workshop that will be held at Barnard in the fall of 2015. The workshop, titled Critical Disability Studies and Universal Design for Learning, will bring together participants from 10 to 13 liberal arts colleges and Columbia University who have varied levels of expertise in these related topics that are so critical to better educating disabled and nondisabled students. Participants will collaborate to pursue four related goals: curricular development, pedagogical development, faculty collaboration with disability support services, and inter-institutional development across and between colleges.

Peter Nelson (Geography) and a colleague at Point Park University have received a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation for a project titled International Rural Gentrification; research teams from the United Kingdom and France are also funded through their own respective national funding agencies. The entire project is part of the Open Research Area funding scheme for international social science research that now involves agencies in four European countries as well as the NSF. The objective of this multi-national collaborative project is to undertake the first in-depth cross-national integrated comparative study of the theory, forms, and dynamics of rural gentrification encompassing France, the UK, and the USA. The US team will compile a comprehensive database of rural gentrification indicators for each of the three countries and then identify a set of communities in the US in which to carry out in-depth case study analysis focusing on the different forms of rural gentrification and the various actors involved in the process. Scholars from the UK and France will do similar case study analyses in their respective countries. In addition to funding all the costs of the research in the US, the grant will also fund trips to Europe to meet with the entire research team; this research will be the focus of Pete’s academic leave in 2015-16.Three undergraduate students will be involved in this research.      

Sponsored Research and Faculty Grants

OGSP's Sponsored Research staff support proposals to fund individual research and curricular projects. We offer:

INFO: Middlebury faculty members, please sign up here to receive Information Notices of Funding Opportunities by interest group.

Finding funding: We offer help identifying and targeting potential sources of support.

Grant budget and proposal preparation: This website offers lots of information about budgets, proposals, and College policies and procedures related to grants. We offer help developing your budget and proposal. The SRO staff also holds grant-writing workshops throughout the year.

 Proposal submission: We facilitate the Grant Proposal Endorsement ("blue sheet") process, review proposals to be sure they meet College and sponsor requirements, and work with faculty and the Director of Grants & Contract Administration to submit proposals.

Publicity: We work with faculty to ensure that grants are announced in MiddPoints and posted on this site. If you want a printed annual report of faculty grants, please call us.

Post-award assistance: We work with faculty and the office of Grants & Contracts Administration to help manage awards, ensure compliance with College and federal regulations, and oversee reporting for faculty grants administered by Middlebury.

OGSP's Corporate and Foundation Relations staff offers information and assistance with institutional grants, from proposal writing through final reporting.


Contracts and Grants Policy

Please note: In light of ongoing changes in federal regulations and administrative structure, this section must be revised annually. Please check with the dean for faculty development and research, or the Office of Grants and Sponsored Programs if you have questions regarding administrative policies or procedures.

1. The vice president for academic development (VPAD), the dean for faculty development and research (DFDR), and the Office of Grants and Sponsored Programs all provide assistance and administrative coordination for applications requesting funds from government agencies, foundations, corporations, and other sources. Day-to-day responsibilities are delegated to the Office of Grants and Sponsored Programs, which will work with faculty to assist with grant applications. When notification of an available program comes directly to a department and the department wishes to make application for a grant, the Office of Grants and Sponsored Programs should be notified of this intent as soon as possible (not later than one month in advance of the closing date for the application). Scheduling should be coordinated with the Office of Grants and Sponsored Programs to allow two weeks for the review of draft proposals in appropriate administrative offices. Direct and indirect costs must be computed, and, in cases for which College matching funds are required, the necessary administrative approval must be obtained.

2. Each research or other project proposal (or formal preliminary proposal that includes an estimated budget or commitment of academic year term) to an outside agency requires the approval of the chair of the department in which it originates. In this approval the department chair certifies that the proposed project is consistent with departmental and College research objectives and policy, that space and facilities for effective performance are available, and that the individual initiating the proposal and such other personnel as may be required will be available without interference with their academic duties and will be able to perform the research or other project effectively.

3. Following approval by the department chair, the research or other project proposal (or formal preliminary proposal) must be approved by the dean for faculty development and research. An endorsement from the vice president for Academic Affairs, vice president for academic development, dean of curriculum, director of the sciences, director of the arts, or the vice president for Language Schools, Schools Abroad and Graduate Programs may also be required. Modifications of the proposal as they may deem necessary or desirable will be made at this time.

4. Under some circumstances, it may be possible to include budget lines to pay for released time in a grant application. Faculty who wish to do so must consult with the department chair as well as the dean for faculty development and research and dean of curriculum early in the grant conceptualization and writing process so the deans may assess the impact of a course release on department and college curriculum. The primary factors in deciding whether or not to allow inclusion of requests for released time in grant applications are the ability of the department to find a replacement and/or the impact of losing a course in the department/college curriculum. The following guidelines apply:

a. The primary mechanism for course releases should be winter term course releases.

b. Having a course release does not reduce obligations in advising, committee service, or chairing departments and programs.

c. In order to ensure continuity in the curriculum and equity in course loads, no more than three years out of a five-year period may include grant-funded released time.

d. It is expected that faculty with course releases will mentor more research students. Wherever possible, funds to pay for student research assistants should be built into the grant budget.

e. Compensation to the College is computed at 18% of the faculty member’s annual salary per course, plus benefits.

5. Applications approved by the aforementioned officers must be reviewed by the Office of Grants and Sponsored Programs to ensure compliance with College and Federal Government (or other sponsor) requirements. The following guidelines apply:

a. If academic policy permits instructional personnel to devote time during the academic year to research contracts or grants, the approval as appropriate of the department chair and the DFDR will indicate the proportion of time allotted to research in determining the proper allocation of the academic year salary between research and instructional work.

b. Applications incorporating provisions for extra pay for research or other project work normally will be approved to provide for up to two months of extra work during the summer. One month's summer salary is equal to 1/9th of the annual contract salary for the prior academic year.  Exceptions to this policy must be approved by the VPAA/DOF, upon recommendation of the director of the sciences or DFDR.

c. The budget incorporated in the project application should make the maximum allowable provision for indirect cost reimbursement.

d. All direct costs comprehensively defined will be reflected in the budget incorporated in the project application. When faculty apply for outside funding to support academic leaves, the level of support from the College is understood to be 75 percent for a semester leave and 55 percent for a year's leave.

e. The adequacy of provisions in the proposed budget for equipment, building alterations, power consumption, etc., must be verified by the Office of Grants and Contracts Administration in consultation with the budget director, the director of Facilities Management, and other appropriate officials and the chair of the department originating the proposal; provisions for salaries must be made in consultation with the vice president for Academic Affairs and dean of the faculty or director of Human Resources, as appropriate. All applications in which support is requested for the purchase of computers or software or central technology needs must be approved by the associate vice president for Information Technology or designate.

f. If the application calls for matching funds to be provided by the College, the Grant Proposal Endorsement Form must include the College budget number from which these matching funds will come and an authorizing signature.

g. If the application calls for purchase of equipment requiring maintenance after a warranty period, there must be a budget number to be charged for maintenance.

h. All grant proposals must disclose any family relationship between the project director and anyone named in the proposal. No family members may be paid with grant funds unless that relationship was disclosed in the proposal or disclosed to the Office of Grants and Contracts Administration after receipt of a grant award.

i. Any “Significant Financial Interest” (as defined by Federal and College policy) must be disclosed to the controller at the time of submission, or after a grant is funded, at the time such a potential conflict of interest arises.   In lieu of the aforementioned requirement, proposals to and grants awarded by any public health service entity including the National Institutes of Health are governed by the PHS/NIH Financial Conflict of Interest Policy posted on the Middlebury College website in August 2012.

j. The application and/or letter transmitting it to the sponsor must state that payment of the contract or grant be directed to the controller and disbursements from it made under his or her direction. All accounting and financial reports will be handled by the Office of the Controller (or designate) or Office of Grants and Contracts Administration.

6. The director of Grants and Contracts Administration is authorized to sign all grant applications on behalf of the College when he or she is satisfied that all the above conditions have been met. A copy of the complete proposal must be provided to the Office of Grants and Sponsored Programs.

7. Upon receipt of contract or grant funds in response to an application approved and executed as set forth above, all procedures then in effect for disbursement of College funds from the regular College budget will apply. The College cannot be less scrupulous in handling such external funds than in handling its own funds, and in some instances will be called upon to observe even more meticulous requirements.

Commitments to pay for additional personnel must be cleared with Human Resources before such commitments are made. All purchases must be covered by purchase requisition identified with the budget number and cleared through the purchasing agent in advance of making the purchase commitments. Determination of whether or not proposed purchases or other charges are allowable under the terms of a grant or contract will be made by the director of Grants and Contracts Administration, who may require in cases of reasonable doubt require the prior approval of the sponsoring organization.

8. Middlebury College has a primary responsibility for the scholarly needs of its faculty. Middlebury also recognizes its concern for the continued scholarly productivity of faculty departing for other institutions.

When a departing faculty member requests release of certain research equipment brought to Middlebury through a personal research grant, the College will consider release of equipment to the other institution concerned on an individual basis and in accord with the following guidelines:

a. The equipment is critical to the investigator's research, and

b. It will not or cannot be supplied by the institution to which he or she is going, and

c. It is not critical to faculty research at Middlebury, and

d. The conditions under which the equipment or funds used to purchase it were secured do not preclude disposition. "Critical" equipment is defined as equipment essential to research personally conducted or directed by the faculty member. The individual requesting the equipment has the responsibility for demonstrating to the College his or her need for that equipment for the continuation of his or her personal research.