Faculty Release Fellowship

Deadline: November 1st, 2019
Sample Applications

Faculty Release Fellowships support long-term research/creative projects that may include the development of external grant or fellowship applications. The Fellowship requires release from regular faculty duties during the Taft-funded semester. The Fellowships will be awarded in two circumstances: (1) as an extension of sabbatical leave, or (2) as an extension of a department head-granted release. Projects submitted for consideration must be extensive undertakings.

Although no preference will be given to faculty rank, it is expected that applicants will have demonstrated the ability to undertake and complete research/creative projects beyond a thesis or dissertation before the time of their application. The work undertaken must not be a mere editing, expansion, or readying for publication of a dissertation. Awardees may use the supplement or part of their research fellowship award to seek external funding. Awardees are ineligible in the following two fiscal years. In compensation for release of the applicant, the department receives $8,000. Release funds provided to departments for successful fellowship awardees are to be used first for teaching and secondarily for research in whatever ways maximize the use of Taft funds for departments to best enable them to release the faculty member. In addition, the applicant may receive a supplement for research expenses based on availability of funds ($1,500 maximum). The supplement may not be used for travel to academic meetings. Awardees are eligible for Travel for Research funding and should apply as needed. 


Applications must be completed by 5 PM on regularly scheduled deadlines; this includes electronic submission through the Taft Research Center website, departmental review, and the submission of all support letters. Support letters that arrive after the close of the posted deadline will not be considered by the committee. Applications must be submitted with enough time to allow external reviewers to submit their letter prior to the close of the deadline at 5 PM on the posted day. Applicants should notify their reviewers to send letters an email attachment to Taft, at, prior to the close of the deadline.

The pdf application must contain the following:

  • A proposal of 800 to 1200 words that outlines the project in detail, including but not limited to: 

    • an explanation of the relevance of the project to the applicant's professional development;
    • an account of the proposed final publication, performance or grant/ fellowship sought;
    • a justification as a long-term project that will result in significant contributions to the applicant's field;
    • a detailed project schedule.
  • A brief budget outline with explanation of costs, if research supplement is requested.
  • A two page curriculum vita that has been updated within the past month.

In addition to the above, two letters of support are required for this program: one from the applicant's supervisor and one from an outside evaluator. The applicant will enter the outside evaluators name and email address into the electronic fields within the system. Once the applicant submits their proposal, a prompt is sent to both the external evaluator (this provide a one-time only password) and the supervisor. Following the prompts with the notice email, letters of support can be uploaded to the electronic system. External letters of support will be treated confidentially.

The letter of support from the applicant's department head (or supervisor) should discuss (1) the merits of the proposed project; (2) the prospects for completion within the schedule outlines; and (3) the specific release agreement reached with the applicant.

The letter from the outside expert should evaluate (1) the merits of the proposal, (2) its significance to the field, and (3) its prospects for publication/performance upon completion. This letter must be uploaded to the system prior to the 5 PM on the day of the published deadline. 

** NOTE: The system currently asks for two reviewers and corresponding email addresses. It has come to our attention that this part of the system is no longer functioning properly. External letters of recommendation should be sent as an email attachment to Additionally, although the system requires entries into this line in order to advance the application, a “dummy” name and address should be entered, e.g. “J. Doe," 

For detailed instructions on submitting your application, please click application instructions.
For instructions on how to create a PDF, please click: How to Create a PDF. Note: the system only allows you to upload a single PDF document. 

selection criteria
  • The quality or promise of quality of the applicant's work as a scholar or creative writer and teacher.
  • The significance of the contribution that the proposed project will make to thought and knowledge in the field of the project.
  • The conception, definition, organization, and description of the proposed project.
  • The current state of the research, the schedule to do the research, and the timeliness of the grant to ensuring the completion of the project.
  • The likelihood that the applicant will complete the project.
  • The manner in which the application fulfills the stated requirements.
  • Evidence of productivity from any Taft grants in the past five years.

terms of the grant

  • Subject to approval of the Faculty Awards Committee, other support may be accepted concurrent with the Fellowship. Full disclosure of non-Taft funds received, both inside and outside the University, is required.
  • The intent of the award is to provide a release from instruction and service responsibilities so that the faculty member can concentrate on the research project. Acceptance of the Fellowship requires release from regular faculty duties during the Taft-funded semester. The Fellowships will be awarded in two circumstances: (1) as an extension of sabbatical leave, or (2) as an extension of a department head-granted release.
  • All grant funds must be expended exclusively in furtherance of the grant and all expenditures of grant funds must comply with university policies relating to financial transactions, including the Code of Conduct and, as discussed in the Code of Conduct, the ethics laws of the state of Ohio which prohibit certain private financial interests in university matters  (University Rule 3361:10-17-03(D);
  • Fellows agree to acknowledge support received from the Taft Fellowship in any publication/ performance resulting from the fellowship project.