Spring 2024 Junior Faculty Small Grants Program Request for Proposals


This small-grants program is designed to support Schools’ diversity plans, by advancing the career success of outstanding junior faculty who contribute to the diversity goals of the University by their research, teaching, and mentoring activities. 

Applications will be accepted for: 

  • Support of new or ongoing research and scholarship 
  • Seed funding for innovative research for which external funding would be difficult to obtain 
  • Curricular development projects that focus on issues of diversity 

Requests for proposals occur twice a year (fall/spring). The maximum award is $30,000. 

Deans and Department Chairs should alert eligible faculty members about this request for proposals. Given the limited number of slots, Schools are strongly encouraged to develop a process for determining which junior faculty proposals will be prioritized and put forward in this round. Departments planning to nominate a junior faculty member should coordinate with their Dean. Proposals must be submitted with the support and signature of the School’s Dean. 

If your primary appointment is at CUIMC, please direct your inquiries to Mandy Lin at [email protected].


Support is intended for untenured faculty in the early stages of their careers who have strong support from their Departments and who have demonstrated potential for long-term academic appointments. In most cases, this refers to tenure-track faculty members who are at least two years away from tenure review. Some Schools may choose to nominate clinical faculty or professors of practice, provided that these faculty members are in the early stages of their career, hold a full-time professorial appointment, have primary involvement in the conduct of original scholarship and research, and that their Departments are committed to their long-term development. This faculty member should also have a commitment to diversity as demonstrated in their research, teaching, or mentoring activities. 

NOTE: Faculty members who have previously received this award, or a grant from Columbia University’s Professional Schools Diversity Research Fellowships, are not eligible to apply. 

Scope of Commitments and Budget

Grants will provide up to $30,000 per successful junior faculty applicant. The typical project period will be 12-24 months. The number of awards made will be contingent on the number and quality of proposals received, as well as the amount requested and allocated per proposal. 

Funds may be used for purposes that directly support a junior faculty member's new or ongoing research and scholarship, seed funding for innovative research for which external funding would be difficult to obtain, and/or curricular development projects that focus on issues of diversity. Additionally, funds may be used to support participation in professional development programming that enhances the junior faculty member's progress towards tenure. If requesting funds to participate in professional development programming, the junior faculty member must include a brief statement addressing how the program will contribute to their progress towards tenure. 

Budget items may include, but are not limited to, research assistance, computational resources, procurement of research materials, professional development program costs (up to $5k), equipment, supplies, travel to scholarly meetings or to conduct research, and supplies. The funds may not be used as salary support for the applicant, support for an unpaid leave of absence, summer salary, or housing supplement. Office of the Provost funds should not be assessed administrative fees. 

Funding Application Requirements 

The application package must include: 

  • School/Department contact details
  • Letter of support from the Dean (and Department Chair, if applicable) that includes the following (each section denoted with a separate header): 
    • Qualifications, accomplishments, and future promise of the applicant
    • The School’s/Department’s long-term commitment to the applicant 
    • How the proposed project will further the career goals of the applicant (e.g. progress toward tenure or promotion or generating additional funding from other sources) 
    • How the applicant contributes to the diversity mission of the University/School/Department 
    • The applicant’s commitment to diversity as demonstrated in their research, teaching, or mentoring activities 
    • Mentoring and support efforts the School/Department is undertaking to advance the applicant’s professional career development
  • Applicant’s proposal (not to exceed 3 pages), describing: 
    • Planned project and anticipated outcomes 
    • How the project will further the career goals of the applicant 
      • NOTE: The proposal should be written in such a way that it is understandable to an interdisciplinary review panel 
  • Budget and budget narrative, to include explanation of why central funds, as opposed to School,  Departmental, or external funds, are needed for the planned activity 
  • Applicant’s curriculum vitae 

Selection Criteria 

A committee appointed by the Provost will review the applications and will make a recommendation to the Provost. Attention will be given to supporting applicants from Schools where the need to enhance diversity is most acute.  Proposals will be judged according to the following criteria: 

  • Potential for this award to have a notable impact on a candidate’s career success Scholarly excellence of the applicant 
  • Quality of the proposed project 
  • Potential for the proposed work to contribute to the diversity mission of the University, by advancing the career success of a faculty member in a department where the composition of the faculty is not reflective of the composition of the national pool of qualified applicants 
  • Mentoring and support efforts the School/Department is undertaking to advance the professional career development of the applicant 

Reporting Requirements for Awardees 

A report should be submitted to the Office of the Provost 12 months after the award is made. The report should include a summary of accomplishments (activities and outcomes); final budget report summarizing how funds were expended; and additional supporting materials (for example, publications, reports or conference presentations). Further details on reporting requirements will be provided at the time awards are made. 

Acceptance of the award indicates a willingness to be listed on our websites and in other Columbia University publications. Departments and Schools are asked to inform the Office of the Provost of newsworthy announcements related to work supported by the Grants Program for Junior Faculty. 

Submission Instructions and Deadline

The entire application must be submitted via the online submission form. 

If you need to share the application-in-progress with others in your academic unit, please follow these steps:

  1. Open the application
  2. Click “Save” at the bottom of the page
  3. Select “Get shareable link”
  4. Paste and email the link to yourself and the corresponding colleague(s)

The submission deadline is Tuesday, March 5, 2024. Notifications will be made by mid-April.

If you have any questions during the submission period, please contact our office at [email protected].