DRC Application Information

Request for Applications

Dedman College Dean’s Research Council (DRC) Grant

Important Dates

  1. Application Deadline: February 7, 2024

    Submit application materials as one bookmarked PDF through the web portal using the Submit Application button below.

  2. Department Chair Letter of Support Deadline: February 7, 2024

    Applicants should arrange for a confidential letter of support written by their department chair. The chair must submit the letter of support directly to the Associate Dean’s office (medominguez@smu.edu). Review meeting(s) to identify the proposals of highest merit will be held in February/March.

  3. Applicants for the highest-ranked proposals will present a summary of their proposed research to the Dean’s Research Council review panel members on February 29, 2024.
  4. Funds made available in April


To enhance faculty research by providing grants to support the development of new ideas and areas of research, establish cooperative and interdisciplinary research, and facilitate successful competition for external support. To compete successfully, applicants must demonstrate strong potential to attract external support (e.g., grants, fellowships).


Tenure-track faculty members who will have completed their 3rd year review in Spring 2024 are encouraged to apply. All tenured faculty members may apply. 

Applicants may apply for only one of the categories below.

A. Empirical Scientific Studies

DRC grants in this category are intended to support research that will strengthen a planned application for external funding. Maximum budget: $40,000

B. Humanities and Book Projects

DRC grants in this category are designed primarily to assist faculty in the humanities. Faculty in closely related disciplines whose scholarship utilizes humanities research methods may apply as well. The grant is designed to support scholars whose research requires travel to archives or who need summer support to advance or complete writing projects. Proposals at any stage of research development are allowed (i.e., DRC grants are not limited to early-stage projects). Ideally, the proposed project would also help position the applicant to compete successfully for external fellowships, grants, or awards. Maximum budget: $20,000 

Conditions of Award

  1. Funds must be expended within twelve months of the award. A six-month extension can be requested no later than 4 weeks before the expiration of the grant.
  2. Awardees must agree to present the proposed research at a reception held for the members of the Dedman College Research Council. The reception will be held in the spring semester, following the announcement of the award.

Budget Conditions

  1. Grant funds may be used for research-related travel, equipment, supplies, software, summer salary, a one-course buy-out (with chair and dean approval), doctoral student stipends, and other direct support. Travel to present research at conferences is not allowable (the University has other mechanisms to support such travel).
  2. Interdisciplinary research including faculty collaboration across SMU schools is encouraged, but DRC salary support is restricted to Dedman College faculty.
  3. Proposals for new equipment that would be of value to several research programs will also be considered.

Review Panel

DRC members. The grant review panel will include members of the DRC. At the Dean’s discretion, additional members from the roster of the DRC may be invited to serve on the panel. 

Faculty reviewers. One faculty member from each division of Dedman College will serve on the review committee.

Review Process

The Associate Dean for Research and Academic Affairs will chair the review process.  The review panel members will meet in February to review the applications. The applicants for the highest-ranked proposals (as rated by faculty reviewers) will be invited to make an oral presentation of the proposed research to the full review panel. The quality of the oral presentation and its accessibility to a lay audience is important to the evaluation process. After the oral presentations, the review panel will make final recommendations for award(s) to the Dean, who will make the final award decision. Awards will be announced by April 1.

Review Criteria

The proposals will be reviewed along the following dimensions, which are derived from review criteria of federal agencies that fund extramural research (e.g., NEH, NIH, NSF). Applications that are strong in each of these are more likely to be scored highly.

  • Intellectual merit of the proposed research
  • Significance and broader impacts of the proposed research
  • The quality of the applicant’s previous work and the feasibility of the proposed project
  • The rigor and quality of the research methods (i.e., conception, definitions, organization, research design, and measurement and proposed statistical analyses when relevant).
  • Overall Impact: An assessment of the application as a whole, after considering all of the above review criteria together

In addition, applications that also contribute to accomplishment of college or institutional strategic objectives are viewed favorably.


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