Program Overview

  • Can this program be used to start a new research initiative that is COVID pandemic-related?
    • This program is not intended to support new research initiatives.
  • When will Vanderbilt offer other funding programs like Discovery Grants, Research Scholar Grants, Trans-Institutional Programs, or Provost Research Studio Grants?
    • Aside from Vanderbilt Strong, all other Provost internal funding programs are currently on pause, with funding programs for next fiscal year under review.

Funding Guidelines and Uses

  • Can funds be used to improve home networks or purchase equipment for effective online research and teaching?
    • This program aims to facilitate more in-person experiences for our students by providing additional resources to help further support the demands of in-person teaching that have a mix of in-person and remote enrollees. The program does not allow for reimbursements for home internet services or related purchases. For courses that are required to be fully online (either due to their enrollment size or approved faculty accommodations) please check with your schools/colleges and/or departments to see what resources they have in place to help with the additional effort required to teach in these new ways.
  • Can funds be used to request a semester of leave?
    • These funds cannot cover faculty salary or course buy-outs.
  • What dollar amount should I consider when requesting to hire a student assistant?
    • Research or teaching assistant compensation is a school-based standard. We recommend consulting your Dean's office.
  • What guidelines should be followed when hiring student assistants?
    • Department administrators should be engaged during the student hiring process to ensure all university and department policies are followed. Funds may not be used for the following:
      • Graduate student recruiting
      • Graduate students' professional development costs or programs
      • Student tuition


  • Are non-tenure track faculty eligible?
    • Yes, all full-time, VU-employed (Provost-reporting) faculty are eligible, including non-tenure track faculty.
  • By what date do funds need to be used?
    • All funds must be used within the fiscal year they are awarded. For the current cycle, the funds must be used by June 30, 2021.
  • Can I submit a request for funding for both a research and a teaching need?
    • At this time, faculty may submit one proposal total per funding cycle. However, a single proposal may include multiple requests. If you have several projects that relate to the program goals and exceed $2,000 total, we recommend submitting a gap grant application with details on how funds will be used for each component. All components of a proposal will be considered for funding.
  • Can several faculty within the same program apply together for assistance with their large classes?
    • While proposals should come from a single faculty member, they may support collaborative teaching needs. Faculty should submit their own requests related to their personal research and/or teaching.
  • Can the funds be used to offset expenses that have already been incurred (i.e. is this grant a reimbursement?)
    • Requests and approval for funds should happen in advance of purchasing. Exceptions may be granted with Provost approval.
  • If I have a preexisting grant for the project in which I am applying for Vanderbilt Strong funding, will my ability to receive funding through this grant be affected?
    • Vanderbilt Strong awards are based partly on need. As such, the gap grant applications require faculty to disclose current external grant/fellowship and internal institutional funding sources.

Application Process

  • Should I submit proposals now for the spring 2021 semester?
    • Applications are currently accepted on a rolling basis for the 2020-2021 academic year.
  • What is the application deadline?
    • Applications for AY20/21 are accepted on a rolling basis, with a final program deadline of Thursday, April 1, 2021.
  • What is the process after grants are received? Is any documentation or paperwork required?
    • After award decisions are made, funds will be deposited directly into faculty funds. Faculty will be asked to provide faculty fund information prior to the fund transfer.
  • What should the budget look like?
    • The budget component of the gap grant application should be an Excel spreadsheet or table and include line items of all estimated expenses. Please be as specific as possible in your estimates. A budget is not required for the rapid cycle application; however, the proposal should detail how the funds will be used.
  • Who is the target audience for the proposals?
    • The review process includes an administrative review followed by Dean and Provost approval.