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Program to Enhance Research and Scholarship


Program to Enhance Research and Scholarship (PERS) will consider proposals from regular Emory College of Arts and Sciences faculty for modest seed funding for new research, research travel, other research-related activities, and matches for equipment grants. A limited amount of funding is also available to presenters at international and national research conferences when the conference presentation will definitely seed new research and in those areas where such funding is not available through external grants.

For matching fund amounts exceeding $20,000, please contact the Senior Associate Dean for Research, Ronald L. Calabrese. There are two calls for proposal per year, fall and spring. Proposals must demonstrate, where appropriate, efforts to seek other sources of funding, and will be evaluated on the basis of merit and need.

PERS is meant to mitigate the one-off requests for small amounts of critical research support made to ORFS or directly to the Dean, and to create a fairer system by which to provide necessary support. PERS funding is not intended to support salary during leaves or sabbaticals or travel that does not directly support research.

With the increase in direct research funding to faculty in the humanities, demand for PERS funding has declined. Last year (2020-2021) we had only 6 applications and made 5 awards. This year we will thus limit PERS to a single round of applications to be held in Spring 2022. The spring application deadline is March 17, 2022, 5:00 PM.

Award Criteria

Criteria for awards include:

  1. a clear and concise plan for the proposed research and for securing an external research grant. For bridge funding, it is especially important to provide a clear plan for submission of a revised or new grant application.
  2. impact of the proposed research.
  3. lack of availability of other sources of funding to the applicant. Those with large research accounts will be required to spend them down significantly before PERS funding can be secured.
  4. likelihood of generating further externally-funded research in the near future. In those areas where external research funding is available, a history of grant applications and a plan for new application will be important.
  5. a transparent and justified budget.
  6. Lecture-Track Faculty should explain the connection between the proposed research and their pedagogy.

Selection Committee

The selection committee draws from faculty from across the 3 divisions of ECAS, and for 2018-2019 include:

  • Tom Clark, Political Science
  • Joseph Crespino, History
  • Elizabeth Goodstein, English
  • Kevin Karnes, Music
  • Frank McDonald, Chemistry
  • Iain Shepherd, Biology
  • Ron Calabrese ex-officio
  • Carla Freeman ex-officio

Successful PERS applicants should be aware that over the next two years any future PERS applications will be given a lower priority, though of course critically important funding needs will be considered. Previously successful PERS applicants should also account for the use of previous PERS funding in subsequent applications.