Faculty Funding

Graduate Student Funding

Littlefield and Ransom Faculty Fellows

Through the generosity of donors to the College of Liberal Arts, the Littlefield Faculty Fellows and Ransom Faculty Fellows programs support outstanding scholarship in COLA, recognizing the many ways such work can have an impact on our students and the broader world. These programs provide support for faculty research and related teaching and public engagement across the college.

Award Cycle: These programs are biennial competitions, to be held in odd-numbered years. The call for applications will occur in the fall semester of each odd-numbered year (fall 2023 being the next one) with a due date to be determined and announced in the call. If funding allows, there may be opportunities to hold the competition in an even-numbered year, and, if so, that would be announced in the fall of that year.

Eligibility: All tenured and tenure-track faculty in COLA are eligible to apply.

  • Littlefield Faculty Fellows: Research or scholarship in the areas of economics, government, history, international relations, and global studies, as required by Littlefield gift agreement
  • Ransom Faculty Fellows: Research or scholarship in all areas not covered above
  • Applicants need not specify which fellowship (Ransom or Littlefield) they are targeting.
  • Awards will not typically be allocated to faculty holding research account balances in excess of $50,000, unless a clear plan for spending those resources exists.
  • A faculty member can submit only one proposal per year/funding cycle, including collaborative proposals on which they are collaborators

Emphasis on Engagement: The program is intended to support a wide variety of scholarship in the college and to encourage faculty to use that scholarship as the basis for engagements with students or the public, either during the research process or when the work is completed.

Student engagement may take many forms, including but not limited to:

  • Developing and offering a class focused on the completed scholarship
  • Involving multiple students in the research process, or extensions of the research in a class or internship arrangement
  • Redesigning and offering a transformed class that incorporates the new scholarship
  • Hosting student discussions/forums built around the scholarship

Public engagement could include, along with many other possible formats:

  • A public lecture series related to the scholarship
  • Production of videos or podcasts with specific plans for a target audience
  • Forums to discuss scholarship or its implications with relevant community members or groups

Award types:

  • Seed grants: Support for a new scholarly project with promise and plans for future external funding; applications must include specific plans and a timeline for substantial external funding applications within the next 18 months; funding period 1 year
  • Project completion grants: Support for projects that can be completed by the end of the funding period; funding period of 1-2 years
  • Team or Collaborative Research: Support for projects that involve faculty in two or more departments (within COLA or across CSUs); funding period of 1-2 years.

Allowed Funding Requests:

  • Projects should request a maximum of $20,000 per year in funding, except for GRA positions.
  • GRA positions to support research may be requested and are budgeted at a rate of $19,000 per year, plus tuition and fringe. If requested, only minimal additional funding requests beyond the GRA will be considered in that funding year.
  • Teaching release awards of up to two courses, spread across two or more semesters, may be requested for faculty normally on 2-2 teaching loads. In this case, funding in the amount of $9,000 per course will be provided to the department for replacement instructors; course releases under this program are available only to faculty with a four course per year teaching load. The $9,000 support per course will count toward the $20,000 award maximum.
  • Faculty summer salary will not be funded under this program
  • For all award types, applicants may request up to an additional $1,000 to support student or public engagement plans, beyond the direct research support or teaching release funding.

Application Deadline (Fall semester, date TBA): Applications should be submitted to the department chair (or their delegate); Department chairs will forward submissions to the Dean’s office submission portal with a ranking of the departmental submissions, based on the award criteria described below. Funding can begin as early as January.

Applications should be in the form of a single document with the following sections, clearly labeled and adhering to the word count limits noted for each section.

  • PART I. Describe the research project or scholarship. What is the fundamental question you will answer, and what is its importance to your field or discipline? What is the expected product (articles, book, or other), including aspirational goals for placement (specific publishers or journals)? How will requested funding directly facilitate progress on the project? (1500 words max)
  • PART II. Describe your plans to bring the research process or resulting scholarship to students or to the public beyond academia. (250 words max)
  • PART III. Seed grants only. Describe your plans for seeking external funding, including potential funders, submission timing and the amount to be requested from external sources. (200 words max)
  • PART IV. Brief budget justification. Describe how any funding requested will be used and how it will support the research. For teaching release grants describe plans (after consultation with your chair) for timing of course releases. (150 words max) Include a spreadsheet listing all requested funding and the total amount requested.
  • Part V. CVs. Include CVs for all faculty participants.

Proposals will be reviewed by a committee of COLA faculty and Associate Deans who will make recommendations to the Dean. Award decisions will be based on the quality, creativity, and impact of the scholarship, including a clear and convincing statement of the importance of the project to the broader field (60%); evidence or arguments that the funding or course releases will significantly advance the scholarship, increase chances of grant success for the seed grant awards, or facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration for collaborative awards (30%); and the quality of plans for public or student engagement (10%)

Reporting requirements: Fellows will be required to provide brief reports on the project progress and expenditures at the end of each semester.

For questions, please contact Kaley Aguero at KALEY.AGUERO@austin.utexas.edu.

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OVPR/COLA Partnership to Support Scholarship in the Humanities and Social Sciences


The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) and the College of Liberal Arts (COLA) have partnered to create two funding sources to support COLA faculty members engaged in scholarship in the broad areas of the humanities and social sciences, respectively. The OVPR and COLA will jointly fund the Humanities Fund and Social Sciences Fund, with each at $50,000 per year, to support applications from COLA faculty over the course of the academic year. These sources are intended to help faculty cover lower-level expenses that arise over the course of a project (e.g., licensing fees, archive and field travel, equipment), not the larger-scale expenses addressed through COLA’s new Littlefield and Ransom Faculty Fellowships or the various programs offered by the OVPR. As such, they should not serve as the sole or primary funder for a project, cannot substitute for other sources of internal funding, and are best employed in conjunction with external funding. The goal is to help COLA faculty start or complete projects in the face of unanticipated or unbudgeted but necessary expenses.


  • Requests for funding are limited to a maximum of $3,000 in any given year.
  • Applications will be accepted—and funding decisions made—on a rolling basis.
  • Information on ineligible expenses is listed below.
  • Although not required, the following considerations may be used to prioritize applications:
  • Use of the award to supplement past or current external funding or as a foundation for future proposals for external funding
  • Collaborative and especially interdisciplinary projects
  • Projects involving graduate or undergraduate students in the scholarship

All tenure-track and professional-track faculty with Principal Investigator status and with primary appointments in COLA are eligible to apply, with the following conditions:

  • Receipt of funding is limited to once per academic year and no more than three times in any five-year period.
  • After receipt, recipients are not eligible to re-apply for future funding for the same project.
  • Faculty with endowed chairs or professorships or who have other discretionary research funds (e.g., startup funds granted by COLA) are not eligible to apply.
  • Faculty cannot apply for expenses on projects that have received funding from other internal funding initiatives from COLA (e.g., the Littlefield and Ransom Fellowships, Humanities Research Awards, Subvention Grants) or OVPR (e.g., Research and Creative Grants, Special Research Grants, Subvention Grants).

Application process:
At this link, eligible faculty can submit their applications via Microsoft Forms (Applicant will be prompted to log onto UT Microsoft Outlook with their UT email to access the application form.)

The application requires:

  • Project title
  • Project abstract (250 words or less)
  • Description of the need for funding
  • Proposed project start and end dates
  • Total requested amount and itemized budget details (Note: Any changes to the approved budget will require the Research Dean’s approval.)
  • Other external funding received, pending, and future requests
  • Signature of applicant that the application is not recycled and will not be recycled from other internal initiatives that were not funded.

Other Considerations

  • Funds most commonly will be distributed as a reimbursement by the faculty member’s departmental staff.
  • Awardees will be responsible for documenting to COLA the distribution of the funds and reporting on promised outcomes by the end of the project period.
  • Receipt of funding comes with the agreement that OVPR and COLA may feature awardee’s projects on their websites and/or in communications about institutional investments in humanities and social science scholarship.
  • Awardees may be asked to review future applications to the program.

Ineligible Expenses

  • Researcher’s salary or fringe benefits
  • Any costs related to dissemination of the completed research
  • General-purpose computer equipment or software (e.g., laptops, Microsoft Word, etc.)
  • Travel or registration costs for professional conferences, meetings, or symposia
  • Professional membership fees
  • Entertainment expenses
  • Office supplies unless specifically required for the proposed project

Contact: Please direct questions about this program to the COLA Research Support Office at laresearch@austin.utexas.edu.

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College Subvention Grants

The College of Liberal Arts has limited funds for one-time grants that provide subventions for College faculty who are unable to obtain funding from the University Subvention Grant Program or other sources. *Note that priority will be given to tenure-track faculty.

Publications can be in any language and any discipline within the College of Liberal Arts. Funds are paid directly to the publisher; authors may not be reimbursed from the account. If awarded, the author and publisher must agree to acknowledge the College of Liberal Arts at The University of Texas at Austin for the subvention grant, preferably in the front section of the book.

For more information, please download the COLA Subvention Grant Guidelines and COLA Subvention Grant Application.

Contact: For questions, contact Liberal Arts Research Support Office at laresearch@austin.utexas.edu.

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COLA Graduate Student External Award Supplement Fund


The College of Liberal Arts (COLA) is creating a fund to support COLA graduate students who obtain large (usually $15,000 or more), competitive, prestigious external fellowships to support their degree work and dissertations in the broad areas of the humanities and social sciences. This fund is specifically intended to defray health insurance and tuition costs for graduate students when their external fellowships do not cover these costs. It cannot substitute for other sources of internal funding, including the Dean’s Prestigious Fellowship Supplement offered by the Graduate School. As such, graduate advisers and graduate coordinators should first seek the Dean’s Prestigious Fellowship Supplement, which awards students up to $1,000 and entitles them to in-state tuition. In cases where the student wishes to enroll in only 3 semester credit hours and full-time enrollment is not required by the funder, this expectation may be waived. The goal is to support COLA graduate student fellowship-seeking and research activity and to enable timely degree completion.   

 Awards and Eligibility 

1. COLA will fund the Graduate Student External Award Supplement Fund at $50,000 per year, to support applications from COLA graduate students over the course of the academic year.  

2. Only one request for supplemental funding (not to exceed amount of health insurance and/or tuition) per student is allowed in any given year, and only two requests are allowed over any three-year period.  

3. All COLA graduate students are eligible to apply, with the following conditions: 

  • Funds are meant to cover the cost of COLA tuition and/or student health insurance during the duration of a prestigious external fellowship 
  • Students should be within six years of their current COLA degree program at the time of receipt of the award. 
  • MA students are eligible to apply, but FLAS fellowships are excluded from this fund. The College is working on a separate solution to address FLAS insurance costs.  

4. Applications will be accepted—and funding decisions made—on a rolling basis.  

5. Award amounts will be determined by need and availability of funds.  

Application process: 

At this link, departmental graduate advisors or coordinators must submit applications on behalf of the student via Microsoft Forms (Applicant will be prompted to log onto UT Microsoft Outlook with their UT email to access the application form.) 

The application requires: 

  • Student name, EID, and email 
  • Student entry cohort and department 
  • Graduate Advisor or coordinator name and email 
  • Dissertation or project title 
  • Project abstract (250 words or less) 
  • Funding request type (tuition and/or insurance) and amount(s)  
  • Proposed Academic Year and Semester(s) 
  • List department contribution and/or other support (e.g., OGS Dean’s Prestigious Fellowship Supplement) requested or received for the project. 
  • Copy of the student’s external award letter  
  • Signature of Graduate Advisor or Coordinator 

Other Considerations 

  • Funds distributed for tuition may be applied directly to the student’s fee bill.   
  • Awardees will be responsible for reporting on degree progress by the end of the specified period. 
  • Receipt of funding comes with the agreement that COLA may feature awardee’s projects on its website and/or in communications about institutional investments in humanities and social science scholarship.

Contact: Please contact Erica Whittington, Director of the Office of Research and Graduate Studies, with any questions.  

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