Faculty and Student Research Grants

Important note: The SMU Human Rights Program is not accepting Research Grant applications at this time. Future application cycles will be announced here and communicated via campus email.

The SMU Human Rights Program offers grants to SMU faculty and students seeking to pursue research, attend conferences, or study abroad. Faculty can receive up to $4000 per project, and students can receive up to $2000 per project.

Submissions and inquiries should be directed to SMU Human Rights Associate Director Dr. Brad Klein at kleinb@smu.edu.


The Application

Interested researchers must submit the following three materials:

1. A research prospectus. This document should: a. define the nature of the project; b. indicate how the project will be pursued; c. illustrate the human rights themes that will be explored; and d. describe the project report or reflection that will submitted.

2. A funding rationale. In approximately one page, the funding rationale should: a. propose a timeline for completion and/or presentation of project; b. justify a specific breakdown of how the funds would be used; and c. explain why the project should be regarded as important and feasible.

3. A current CV.


The Criteria


Research grant applications are evaluated on a number criteria, including: the centrality of human rights themes to the project; the importance and timeliness of the human rights themes being addressed; the researcher’s demonstrated need, expertise, and interest; the potential contribution to the body of human rights theory and practice; and the feasibility of completing the project within the proposed timeline.

By submitting an application, researchers agree to recognize SMU Human Rights sponsorship on all public facing materials related to the research (now and in the future), and to provide SMU Human Rights with a copy of the final product or reflection. Researchers maintain authorship of any published works and control over any data collected.

The Process

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Students and faculty may receive a research project grant once every two years. The application process typically unfolds as follows:

1. The grant application is submitted to Dr. Halperin and the SMU Human Rights committee for preliminary approval.

2. After the application is given preliminary approval, the researcher may be invited to meet with the SMU Human Rights committee to confirm the proposed timeline, funding request, and sharing agreement. If necessary, specific questions will be discussed with the researcher beforehand.

3. The researcher pursues the project and offers regular updates on its progress. The SMU Human Rights committee is happy to assist in the process or serve as a sounding board as the researcher desires.

4. Upon completion of the project, a copy of the final product (book, paper, artwork, video, etc.) is submitted for SMU Human Rights use. If the project did not produce a tangible product, a project summary report is submitted instead.


The Funds


Grant installments are dispersed based on the needs of individual projects and the capabilities of SMU Human Rights. Typical procedures can be described as follows. Travel and accommodations are arranged by the researcher. Approved expenses are reimbursed by SMU Human Rights after receipt of all official, itemized receipts and boarding passes. Faculty members receive reimbursements in the form of transfers to their research accounts. Funding is contingent upon completion, submission, and/or presentation of the final research product.