For Social Science Faculty

Faculty in the Social Sciences at Notre Dame submit proposals to a wide variety of funders, but the greatest volume of proposals go to the NIH and NSF. The documents below represent the most common questions received about these applications and processes. If you need additional information at any time, please contact the ISLA office.


The College of Arts & Letters announced an incentive program in the fall of 2010, designed to bonus faculty receiving a mid-range award (between $300k and $800K) with a free course release during the project period.

The details:

-Total grant must be at least $300K.

-The grant period must be no more than 3 years @ $300K. Note that 1, 2, or 3 years require $300K.

-The grant award must include at least $50K in indirect funds.

-If these thresholds are met, a one-course release will be granted to the PI team, which can be taken by one of the PIs on any year of the grant. By doing so, the PI cannot reduce his or her teaching load below 1-1 for that Academic Year. If the course release cannot be taken during the grant period for this reason or any other, it cannot be “banked”, i.e., it cannot be used outside of the grant period and is forfeit. The course release is tied to the specific grant project/PI and cannot be transferred or converted into any other kind of support.

-This program is available only to grants submitted starting July 1, 2010. It cannot be retroactively applied to current or pending support.

-To receive this supplementary support, PIs must appeal to the Associate Dean for Research and receive approval before the grant is submitted.

- Multiple course releases based on multiples of the above thresholds (for example, two course releases for 2 PIs winning $600 on a 3-year grant with $100k in indirects) will be considered on an ad hoc basis by Associate Dean for Research.

- These guidelines will be adjusted from time-to-time to reflect the necessary levels of incentives and support.



Award targets for externally funded leaves are $30,000-40,000 for assistant and associate professors and $50,000 for full professors. In the case of major grants of $30,000 or more, the University will normally supplement the faculty member’s stipend to provide a full year leave at full salary.

ISLA encourages faculty to use the Center for Social Research services.

The Center for Social Research is an academic support unit dedicated to improving the quality and efficiency of social research at Notre Dame by working with faculty, students, and staff across all disciplines.  Whether you are designing new research or developing an existing project, consider consulting with the CSR’s expert staff who specialize in statistical analysis, survey design and implementation, and data acquisition and management.  For more information, visit the CSR website at or contact Managing Director, Kate E. Mueller, at (574) 631-6166 or


Your External Proposal Checklist

NIH Mechanisms and Deadlines

NIH Tools

NSF Programs/Deadlines

Sample NIH and NSF Documents