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Williams College Employee Handbook

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II:O   Faculty Research Support

Unless otherwise noted, the internal forms of research support described below apply to non-visiting academic faculty with appointments in the professorial ranks, and senior lecturers. Monetary research support is not available to faculty with visiting appointments unless special arrangements have been made with the Dean of the Faculty (see Visiting Faculty Benefits).

External Sources of Funding

Faculty members are encouraged to seek outside funding in support of their research. Information concerning potential sources of funding is available at the offices of the Provost and the Dean of the Faculty.

The Provost's Office coordinates all financial aspects of grant proposals and can also provide the College-specific information and certifications required by many foundations and agencies. The Associate Provost, as Director of Grant Administration, should be consulted early in the process of formulating the financial and budget sections of proposals for outside funding.

The Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations (Office of College Relations) can provide information on funds available through private granting agencies as well as data on the majors and careers of graduates that some funding agencies request as part of the proposal project.

Research and Professional Travel Funding

Regular tenure and tenure track faculty plus senior lecturers in Divisions I and II are eligible to receive up to $3,000 in research/travel funding annually.  Research/travel funds may rollover if unspent, up to a maximum of $6,500.  Non-visiting Lecturers will receive travel funding in the amount of $1,500 annually.

Regular tenure and tenure track faculty plus senior lecturers in Division III are eligible to receive up to $2,100 annually under similar conditions to those listed above. Research/travel funds may rollover if unspent, up to a maximum of $3,500. Non-visiting lecturers will receive travel funding in the amount of $1,500 annually.  Division III faculty may also apply for additional research funding through the Science Executive Committee (AKA the Division III Research Funding Committee).

Full professors who have been appointed to named chairs are provided with $3,000 (and in some cases more, depending on terms attached to the particular chair) in addition to their $1,500 divisional research funds to cover the cost of attending professional meetings, books, equipment, and research supplies. Unused named chair funds may rollover from one year to the next. 

Regular faculty in the department of physical education are provided each year with an allotment of up to $1,500 to cover the cost of attending professional meetings or for use on other professional development opportunities.

In general, research funds can be used flexibly to offset expenses directly related to research pursuits. Research funds cannot be used to pay for personal items and/or non-business related services at home or away. For travel, allowable expenses include transportation costs from Williamstown to the site of the meeting, automobile mileage (at the current allowable rate per mile), tourist airfare, and round trip mileage from Williamstown to the airport. Local transportation costs within the city in which the conference is held, parking costs, and food and lodging are also allowable. Receipts must be provided before reimbursement can occur. There are no per diems. Detailed guidelines for travel and business expenses are published by the Office of the Controller.

Oakley Center for the Humanities and Social Sciences

The Oakley Center for the Humanities and Social Sciences provides support for faculty research, development, and renewal and is especially committed to facilitating intellectual exchange and collaboration among faculty members whose research and teaching cross or elude disciplinary boundaries. Located in Makepeace House, the Center provides a meeting place and sponsors various forums where faculty from all three divisions and interested staff can discuss, among themselves and with invited guests, their research interests or issues of common intellectual concern in the humanities and social sciences. In addition to sponsoring conferences, colloquia, various ad hoc activities initiated by faculty and staff, and several events for the entire Williams and Williamstown community, the Center sponsors faculty seminars, oversees symposia conducted by invited guests, and maintains a program for Fellows.

Semester- and year-long faculty seminars are initiated by interested members of the faculty and receive organizational and some financial support from the Center. Application to conduct a seminar is normally made in the spring of the previous years. Symposia, providing opportunities for faculty and staff to discuss the work of invited guests, are held throughout the year and are arranged by the Center's Director normally at the request of individual members of the faculty or staff.

Resident Fellows (about eight each semester) enjoy an office at the Center, receive some financial support for their research, and meet regularly but informally to share their work in progress. Three Resident Fellows whose research projects touch on political leadership, public service, and the arts are designated Lehman Fellows each year and receive additional financial support. Resident Fellowships are awarded competitively to Williams faculty members on leave, and research proposals are submitted each spring semester for the following year. Emeriti faculty, distinguished visiting faculty, and faculty on leave from neighboring colleges occasionally participate in the Resident Fellows Program. In conjunction with the Clark Art Institute, the Center annually awards one competitive external fellowship to a scholar in the humanities, drawn from an international pool of applicants, whose work takes an interdisciplinary approach to some aspect of the visual. The Clark-Oakley fellow is in residence for either a semester or a year, and takes part in the activities of both the Center and the Clark's research and academic programs. Each semester a Ruchman Fellow and an outstanding Williams senior working on a thesis or comparable project in the humanities or social sciences, joins the Resident Fellows in their regular meetings and participates in other Center activities. The two Ruchman Fellows are selected from the candidates put forward by each department the previous spring.

The Center is run by the Director (a faculty member appointed by the President, normally for a term of three years) and the Assistant to the Director. An advisory committee, composed of the Dean of the Faculty and four faculty members from Divisions I and II, assists the Director in approving faculty seminars, selecting Resident and Ruchman Fellows, and reviewing the Center's programs.

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