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1.  Purpose

The VERITAS Faculty Research Program supports scholarly research that takes inspiration from and/or reflects the values of Villanova University's Catholic and Augustinian heritage. The program is administered jointly by the Villanova Institute for Research and Scholarship (VIRS) and the Office of Mission and Ministry. The purpose of the program is to encourage faculty to bring to bear on their research a perspective that reflects Villanova's concern for religious values, the Catholic intellectual tradition, Catholic social thought, and/or the Augustinian heritage of encouraging dialogue between religious faith and contemporary life.

Among the examples of research projects that might find support would be issues of war and peace; issues of social justice; empirical investigations of the influence of religion on social, political, or economic behavior, or vice versa; the interaction between religion, science, and technology; government, business, or other private and public sector practices and policies that affect, or could be affected by, religious faith and practice; and the application of Catholic Social Thought to contemporary public policy issues. These examples are meant only to be suggestive of the types of inquiries that can be pursued; others surely may be possible. Questions about topical appropriateness are welcome and can be directed to Father Kevin DePrinzio, O.S.A., Vice President for Mission and Ministry

2.  Eligibility

All tenured, tenure-track, and continuing non-tenure-track faculty are eligible to apply. Post-doctoral fellows employed on nine-month contracts are also eligible to apply. Individuals may receive VERITAS Awards no more frequently than every three years.

3.  Award Amounts and Restrictions

The maximum award amount will be one month of summer salary (1/9 of the faculty member’s academic year salary, capped at $10,000). 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. It is expected that recipients of a VERITAS award will spend the equivalent of one full summer month working on the proposed research.

In addition to faculty salary, funds may be used for equipment, supplies and books, travel, and publication costs. Funds may be used to pay students on an hourly wage basis to assist the faculty member in the execution of the project.  However, funds may not be used to provide summer stipends for graduate or undergraduate students to work on their own thesis/dissertation research.  Other expenses may be allowable and should be discussed with the program manager for interpretation. Non-salary funds may be spent over the entire fiscal year.

Collaborative proposals between two faculty members are permitted. For such proposals, each faculty member may request summer salary (subject to the caps indicated above).

4.  Proposal Preparation

There is no specified format for proposals. Faculty should structure their proposals in a way that clearly articulates the nature of the activities to be undertaken, with the understanding that proposals will be evaluated based on the five criteria given below in section 6. Proposals should state the anticipated significant outcome that will result from the VERITAS Award, such as: scholarly publication in a high impact peer-reviewed professional journal, presentation of a paper at a major national or international professional conference or symposium, preparation and submission of a proposal for an external grant directly related to the research supported by the VERITAS grant, or other significant and unique scholarly outcomes that have enhanced the stature and visibility of the faculty member. 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 12 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 bibliography (6 pages maximum), and a vita (maximum 2 pages). If non-salary monies are requested, a budget for these monies should be included, with succinct justification. Do not specify faculty summer salary dollar amounts anywhere in the proposal.

5.  Proposal Submission

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

6.  Proposal Evaluation and Review Criteria

Each proposal will be reviewed by an Evaluation Committee composed of Villanova representatives from Mission and Ministry, the Institute for Research and Scholarship, and the University’s Faculty. Evaluation criteria are as follows (the last four of which have been adopted from the American Council of Learned Societies):

  • Consistency of the proposed project with Villanova University's Catholic and Augustinian heritage and values
  • The potential of the project to advance the field of study in which it is proposed and make an original and significant contribution to 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.

7.  Critical Dates

  • 2024 Proposal submission deadline:  March 1, 2024 by 5 p.m. (EST)
  • 2024 Award announcements: April 10, by 5p.m. (EST)

8.  Post-Award requirements

Recipients of VERITAS Awards may be asked to share their research at a symposium organized by Villanova’s Office of Mission and Ministry.  

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 VERITAS Award in relation to the anticipated significant outcome as stated in the initial proposal. Reports are due the last day of April following the summer for which the VERITAS Award was made. Instructions about how to submit reports will be provided to awardees at least two months in advance of their due date.

9.  Questions?

Questions about proposal preparation or review can be addressed to Janice Bially Mattern, PhD, Director, Villanova Institute for Research and Scholarship. You also may contact any member of the Evaluation Committee for advice about proposal preparation.

10.  Members of the 2023 Evaluation Committee

  • Janice Bially Mattern, PhD, Director, Villanova Institute for Research & Scholarship
  • Peter Bush, PhD, Professor, Augustine Culture and Seminar Program
  • Kevin DePrinzio, OSA, PhD. Vice President, Office for Mission & Ministry
  • Christian Lang Hearlson, Assistant Professor, Theology & Religious Studies

Proposal Requirements

Only electronic PDF versions of the proposal will be accepted. Submit your PDF file to VIRS.

Submission Deadline

For the 2023 cycle, VERITAS Proposals are due by 5 p.m. on March 8. Awards will be announced on April 18.


Administrative questions about the program can be directed to Heayung Cho, VIRS Program Coordinator for Research Initiatives. You also may contact the VIRS Director or any other member of the Evaluation Committee for advice about proposal preparation.

Submission Procedures

  • Cover Sheet
  • Prepare proposal as per section 4 with evaluation criteria in mind (see section 6)
  • Submit as per instructions in section 5


Review of Proposals

Proposals will be reviewed by a committee that is chaired by the Director of VIRS and composed of members from Mission and Ministry and University faculty who are experienced with the program’s mission.

Review Criteria

Proposals will be reviewed both for the scholarly soundness of the project and for the interaction with or application of insights and approaches derived from the University's religious values and mission. They should be explicit with respect to their Catholic-Augustinian-University mission character. 

Previous grantees will be expected to provide evidence of scholarship resulting explicitly from the previous grant.