University Summer Grant Program Guidelines

1.       Purpose

The University Summer Grant (USG) Program provides support to faculty to be engaged in research, scholarly activities, and creative artistic projects.  Overarching goals of the USG program are to foster the intellectual development of faculty and to facilitate faculty efforts to achieve national and international recognition in their scholarly field.  

More specifically, the USG Program aims to support:

  • pretenured tenure-track faculty to build a successful research program,
  • preparation of proposals for external funding in areas where extramural support is available,
  • the pursuit of research, scholarly, creative, or artistic activities in
    disciplines where external support is not regularly available, and/or
  • established faculty to take an existing research program in a new direction.

2.       Eligibility

Eligibility for USG awards is limited to full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, School of Business, College of Engineering, and the College of Nursing.  Individuals may receive USG awards no more frequently than every other year.

3.       Award Amounts and Restrictions

Faculty may request one month of summer salary (1/9 of the faculty member’s academic year salary, capped at $10,000), half a month of summer salary (1/18 of the faculty member’s academic year salary, capped at $5,000) or no summer salary.  Summer salary is to be paid in June or July of the summer award period and is subject to any limitations that may pertain as outlined in the University’s Compensation Policy.

Proposals also may request support for reasonable research-related expenses (RRRE), including, but not limited to: travel to research sites, libraries, and archives; supplies; instrumentation; software; and statistical consultation.  Funds may be used to pay students on an hourly wage basis to assist the faculty member in the execution of the proposed research, not to exceed $2,500.  However, funds may not be used to provide summer stipends for graduate or undergraduate students to work on their own thesis/dissertation research.

Total award amounts (faculty summer salary plus RRRE) for single faculty principal investigators will be capped at $12,500, with no more than $4000 of this amount applied toward RRRE and no more than $10,000 applied toward salary.  The distribution of funding between salary and RRRE will be at the discretion of the faculty member and within the guideline that faculty may receive no more than one month of summer salary.

Collaborative proposals between two faculty members are permitted.  For such proposals, each faculty member may request summer salary (subject to the caps indicated above); however, RRRE support for the collaborative effort will be capped at $4,000 in total.

All expenses are to be incurred between 1 June and 31 August.

Funds may not be used to support travel to conferences.  The USG Program does not provide support for course development or textbook preparation.

4.       Proposal Preparation

There is no specified format for proposals.  Faculty should structure their proposals is a way that clearly articulates the nature of the activities to be undertaken, with the understanding that proposals will be evaluated based on the four criteria given below in section 6.  Proposals should state the anticipated significant outcome that will result from USG support, the nature of which may be specific to a particular discipline, and how this outcome will advance the research of the faculty member, enhance his or her professional stature, and contribute to the national and/or international visibility of Villanova University.  Proposers should be cognizant that review committee members may not have expertise in the specific topic of every proposal.  Proposals would benefit from minimizing discipline-specific terminology or jargon, and/or defining discipline-specific terminology when it cannot be avoided.

Proposal narratives should not exceed 6 double-spaced pages with 1-inch margins, using no smaller than 12 pt. font.  In addition to the narrative, proposals must include a cover sheet, a vita (maximum 2 pages), a literature cited section, and a budget for RRRE only indicating how the funds requested would be used.  Proposals requesting summer salary should so indicate on the Proposal Cover Sheet only; do not specify salary dollar amounts anywhere in the proposal.

5.       Proposal Submission

Submit a SINGLE PDF file containing all combined documents to The subject heading should include the faculty member’s last name and USG, e.g., Smith USG. Proposers will receive confirmation of receipt.  Hard copies will not be accepted.

6.       Proposal Evaluation and Review Criteria

Each proposal will be peer reviewed by an internal Evaluation Committee of distinguished Villanova scholars and researchers.  Review of proposals will be based on the following criteria (adopted from the American Council of Learned Societies):

  • The potential of the project to advance the field of study in which it is proposed and make an original and significant contribution knowledge.
  • The quality of the proposal with regard to its clarity, methodology, scope, theoretical framework, and grounding in the relevant scholarly literature.
  • The feasibility of the project and the likelihood that the applicant will execute the work within the proposed timeframe.
  • The scholarly record and career trajectory of the applicant.

Applicants should note that any research activities involving human subjects - “whether such research is undertaken on a large or small scale, whether it is preliminary or fully designed, whether it is student or faculty research, whether it is funded or non-funded, and whether it involves minimal risk or more than minimal risk” - ( will require approval from Villanova University’s Institutional Review Board.  USG proposals involving human subjects that are recommended for funding will require IRB approval before awards can be made.

7.     Critical Dates

  • Proposal submission deadline: First Friday in December, 5:00 pm EST
  • Announcement of Awards: Third Friday in February

8.     Post-award requirements

After receiving an award, and in order to be eligible for future awards, the recipient will be required to submit a brief report (no more than one page) that includes the significant outcome resulting from the USG award in relation to the anticipated significant outcome as stated in the initial proposal.  Reports should be submitted to the Office of Research and Graduate Programs ( by the last day of April in the academic year in which the award was made.

9.  Questions?

Questions about proposal preparation or review can be addressed to Dr. R. Kelman Wieder, Assistant Vice President for Research and Strategic Initiatives (; 101 Tolentine Hall).  You also may contact any member of the Evaluation Committee for advice about proposal preparation.

Please DO NOT send inquiries to This address is to be used only for submission of proposals and is not monitored.

10.  Members of the Evaluation Committee

The Evaluation Committee consists of tenured faculty, appointed by the Office of Research and Graduate Programs, which strives to achieve a breadth of expertise across the Colleges.  One member of the Evaluation Committee is selected in consultation with the Faculty Congress.  In general, evaluation Committee members will serve three-year terms, thereby replacing one third of the Committee members each year.  Members of the Evaluation Committee for 2015-2016 academic year are:

  • Dr. Pamela Blewitt, Department of Psychology, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Dr. Samantha Chapman, Department of Biology, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Dr. Metin Duran, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering
  • Dr. Vijay Gehlot, Department of Computing Sciences, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Dr. Heather Hicks, Department of English, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Dr. Catherine Kerrison, Department of History, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Dr. Markus Kreuzer, Department of Political Science, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Dr. Rayna Markin, Department of Education & Counseling, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Dr. Scott Newbert, Department of Management & Operations, School of Business
  • Dr. Jennifer Palenchar, Department of Chemistry, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Dr. Andrej Prša, Department of Astrophysics & Planetary Science, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Dr. Gabriel Rockhill, Department of Philosophy, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Dr. Suzanne Smeltzer, College of Nursing

Download Documents

Download a PDF version of these University Summer Grant Program Guidelines for 2016 and Cover Sheet

* 2016 Proposal Cover Sheet.pdf
University Summer Grant Program - 2016 Proposal Cover Sheet
* University Summer Grant Program Guidelines for 2016.pdf
University Summer Grant Program Guidellines

Past Recipients

Please view past University Summer Grant, Summer Research Fellowship and Research Support Grant recipients.

2016 Recipients

2015 Recipients

2014 Recipients

2013 Recipients

2012 Recipients

2011 Recipients

2010 Recipients

2009 Recipients

2008 Recipients

2007 Recipients