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UMBC Internal Funding & Support

UMBC Internal Awards Calendar at a Glance.

Download the 2018-2019 CIRCA Awards Calendar for a full timeline of opportunities and deadlines.

Grants Assistance to Humanities and Arts Faculty

Rachel Brubaker
Dresher Center Assistant Director, Grants and Program Development   |   Ext. 53580

Rachel Brubaker, Assistant Director for Grants and Program Development (, ext. 53580, Room 218 PAHB), helps arts and humanities faculty seeking internal and external funding support. This assistance can include identifying funders, developing proposals, preparing budgets and routing materials, and assembling applications for submission. Faculty applying for external funding must be Principal Investigator (PI) Eligible.

Assistance provided:

  • Consultation on project ideas and possible collaborations
  • Research into grant and fellowship programs and potential funders
  • Assistance in preparation and routing of grant applications
  • Development of proposal budgets
  • Suggestions for post-award administration


A Timeline of Submission Deadlines for PIs:

16 to 40 business days prior to the grant deadline: The PI works with the CAHSS grant support centers on the budget and narrative. Note that: Rachel Brubaker at the Dresher Center, who routes Arts and Humanities grants, recommends a 2-week lead time (10 business days).

6 to 10 business days prior to the grant deadline: secure approval of the Department Chair.

5 to 8 business days prior to the grant deadline: the CAHSS Dean’s Office must receive the grant documents routed through Kuali. Note that: Fellowships will require 2 business days, other proposals (NEA; NIH; Foundations) will require 3 to 5 business days

Complex proposals (involving cost-share; Facilities & Administrative Cost Recovery (F&A) waivers; multi-unit/multi-college collaborators; limited submissions; the requirement of additional signatures outside the Kuali chain) will require a minimum of 5 business days

3 business days prior to the grant deadline: OSP must receive the grant documents routed through Kuali. All grant documents should be in a finalized state and ready for review by OSP

O days: Grant submission deadline—the proposal must be in a ready to submit format by 9:00 am the day of the deadline.


Research at UMBC

The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) serves as an advocate for UMBC’s research community, and supports our faculty, staff and students as they pursue research, scholarship and creative activities across all levels.

OVPR has successful partnerships with federal and state agencies, foundations and the private sector. Their research efforts are based on strengths in the arts, engineering, humanities, information technology, natural and mathematical sciences, public policy and social sciences. They work with faculty to catalyze interdisciplinary collaboration and education, and create new economic opportunities through the transfer of inventions and technologies.

Click here to visit the Research at UMBC website.


NoteFaculty should consult their Chair and the UMBC Faculty Handbook on policies for fellowship leave. University rules require that fellowship and grant proposals be routed through the applicant’s Department, College, and the Office of Sponsored Programs Administration, even if the proposal does not require an institutional signature.


CIRCA Contingency Fund Award 

This fund is intended to provide crucial research, presentation, and travel support to UMBC faculty in the Visual and Performing Arts who have already sought or exhausted all DRIF, SFRF, departmental, and/or CAHSS Travel Fund support. The maximum award an individual may receive is $1,000 per year. Full-time tenured/tenure-track faculty and lecturers may apply for a CIRCA Contingency Fund Award. Funds are limited by budget constraints and awards will be made on a rolling basis. The CIRCA Advisory Group will review complete applications as soon as possible, and the Director will respond in a timely manner with a determination on the request. Click here to access the application form.


CAHSS Dean’s Faculty Support

Travel Fund application
To provide supplemental support for travel for presentation of a paper or poster; invited symposium chair/moderator/discussant; attendance as officer of association/conference; research development; teaching development; etc. Click here to access the application.

Sabbatical Leave 
Leave requests are due to the Dean’s Office by February 1 for leaves starting in summer/fall, and August 23 for leaves beginning in January. Click here to access the application.

Quick links: 


CAHSS Dean’s Research Fund

Deadline: October 8

The CAHSS Dean’s Research Fund (CDRF) provides up to $5,000 for travel, equipment, supplies, books, research participant costs, undergraduate or graduate student support, and other items necessary for developing research and creative endeavors. CAHSS tenured and tenure-track faculty and lecturers are eligible to apply. Awarded funds will be available through the end of the fiscal year following the award year. Proposals will be judged on the quality of the proposed project, feasibility of the work, and how the project will benefit from CDRF assistance.

Limit one application per faculty member per funding cycle (October and April). Click here for more information.



Deadline: October 15, 2019

The Center for Innovation, Research and Creativity in the Arts (CIRCA) and Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology (IMET) invite applications from full-time, tenured and tenure-track faculty members in the Arts (Dance, Music, Theatre, Visual Arts) at UMBC for a Faculty Artist in Residence award for the Spring 2020 semester. Funding is intended to support and promote significant collaborative research in the Arts between colleagues at IMET and UMBC. The UMBC CIFAiR awardee will receive release from teaching in the Spring 2020 semester (up to one course release, with permission of the Chairperson) and a CIRCA-funded research stipend of up to $5,000 in order to conceive, establish, or accelerate a substantial project that engages IMET scientists and ventures. IMET will provide office space for the awardee and, if necessary, will also make available studio space. IMET commits $2,000 towards supplies and materials. IMET will work with the awardee to make available opportunities to engage with a wide range of scientists and to present work and have discussions with IMET stakeholders, including faculty, students, start-up companies in the IMET Harbor Launch business incubator and IMET’s partner institutions.

Application materials here: CIRCA_IMET_CIFAiR_Spring2020


Charlesmead Initiative for Arts Education
Deadlines: October 15 and March 15 (for projects over $1,000); Rolling (for projects up to $1,000)
The Charlesmead Foundation has provided UMBC with a gift of $500,000 over five years to fund projects that introduce or strengthen arts engagement opportunities primarily for K-8 students in Title I Baltimore City Public Schools. However, the review committee also considers projects that involve other school grades, non-profit organizations, and faculty research focused on arts education. Full-time faculty and staff are invited to apply for funding for projects over $1,000 biannually, or for projects up to $1,000 on a rolling basis. Graduate students are eligible to apply for up to $1,000 in funding. Communication with the award coordinator is highly encouraged ( Click here for more information.


Hrabowski Innovation Award

Deadline for fall submissions: October 25

Do you have an innovative, evidence-based idea for exploring or assessing student learning? Your idea may be appropriate for a Hrabowski Innovation Award proposal. There are four possible categories of the two-year award:

  • Seed Awards have a budget totaling less than $3,500 for the twenty-four month period for an innovative small project.
  • Adaptation Awards have a budget totaling $10,000 or less for the twenty-four month period. These awards support the adaptation and implementation of existing successful innovations into other courses, programs, or disciplines.
  • Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) Awards have a budget totaling $10,000 or less for the twenty-four month period. These awards support the collection and analysis of data on the effect of interventions on student learning and success with the purpose of public dissemination and review.
  • Implementation and Research Awards have a budget of $3,500 or greater, up to the total maximum amount of $25,000 for the twenty-four month period for the support of truly innovative, larger projects.

For more information and to access the application materials visit our webpage.

We strongly encourage you to discuss your idea or draft with FDC staff Kerrie Kephart or Dr. Linda Hodges prior to preparing your submission. We can help you make sure that your project is appropriate to this award and can guide you in designing a more compelling proposal.


Dresher Center Residential Faculty Research Fellowship (for Fall 2020)

Deadline: November 1, with notifications in mid-January. 

The Dresher Center for the Humanities invites applications for a Residential Faculty Research Fellowship for Fall 2020. The Fellow will join the Inclusion Imperative Visiting Faculty Fellows in the Dresher Center. This fellowship offers the gift of time, space, and collegial conversation within a robust humanities center environment which, in turn, enhances the UMBC conversation surrounding inclusive excellence.

Proposals are welcome from full-time, tenure-track and tenured faculty pursuing humanities research in the UMBC College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. Applications are especially encouraged from, but not limited to, full-time faculty with appointments in departments and programs with a humanities focus. Applicants should mark on the application form that they are applying for Fall 2020 (applications for Spring 2021 are due on April 1, 2020). Proposals will be reviewed by the Dresher Center Advisory Board. Click here for more information and an application.