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General Guidelines for HARP Development Grant Applications
The Humanities and Arts Research Program (HARP) Development Grants provide funds to support faculty who are conducting important research leading to creative and performance projects or activities in the arts and humanities. This limited funding is designed to support faculty in the development of projects that seem likely to enhance the reputation of the faculty member and the university.
There are two panels that conduct the reviews of Development Grant applications: the Humanities Research panel and the Exhibition and Performance panel. The Humanities Research panel will review applications that are supporting research projects and scholarship broadly related to the humanities. The Exhibition and Performance panel will review proposals that support scholarship and creative activities leading to an exhibit or performance. Because of the high volume of Humanities Research proposals, applications will be reviewed in two separate tranches, by separate review subpanels.
Tranche 1 - Early Career: pre-tenure faculty on the tenure track and other eligible applicants with 5 years or less in role.
Tranche 2 - Later Career: tenured faculty and other eligible applicants > 5-years in role.
See the FAQs for clarification.
The deadline for HARP Development Grant applications will be in early-October, with awards announced in February. Funding will be available for a two-year period beginning on March 1.
What types of projects are eligible?
- HARP development grant projects should:
- produce results or a product that is likely to receive external recognition (e.g., through a publisher's interest or through available distribution or exhibition venues) or be used beyond MSU.
- ultimately lead to a scholarly or creative product (e.g., book, CD, musical composition, play, artwork) with the potential for significant impact in the discipline or related areas.
Who is eligible?
- Tenured and tenure-track faculty
- Faculty with uninterrupted, multi-year, fixed term appointments
- Faculty with one-year appointments who are able to obtain written confirmation from their department chair of pending appointment through the duration of the grant (letters from the chair should be uploaded as part of the project description)
- Academic specialists in the continuing appointment system who have the majority of their effort in the research category
- Part time faculty who 1) have had an appointment for two consecutive years prior to the date of their submission, 2) have a commitment from their department chair indicating that their appointment will continue through the duration of the granting period, and 3) have an appointment of at least 50% with MSU
- Faculty from Arts and Letters, Communication Arts and Sciences, James Madison, Law, Lyman Briggs, Music, Social Science, and the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities are eligible to apply for HARP funding.
- NOTE: Faculty emeriti are not eligible to apply for HARP funding.
- NOTE: Faculty rank and proximity to promotion and tenure decisions will not be considered in the evaluation of proposals. All applications will be evaluated on the merit of the work being proposed.
I have received HARP funding. When am I eligible to reapply?
- An investigator who has received a HARP Development grant award, either as a PI or Co-PI, is eligible to apply for another HARP Development grant two years after the end date of their funded project.
- An investigator may apply for a Production grant one year after the start date of a HARP Development grant project.
- An investigator may apply for a HARP Development grant one year after the start date of a HARP Production grant project.
- An investigator who has received a HARP Production grant is eligible to re-apply two years after the end date of their funded project.
- An applicant may submit one HARP application per academic year. Exceptions will be made only when an applicant submits a HARP Production proposal and is directed to revise and resubmit.
Your proposal will be read by faculty drawn from across campus working in the humanities broadly defined: this includes but is not limited to those working in the visual, performing, and written arts. The panel will evaluate the quality of your proposal and appropriateness of your budget. Through discussion it will reach a consensus recommendation regarding funding your project.
The consensus statement (normally one paragraph to a page in length) will summarize the panel’s evaluation, and the positive comments and/or panel concerns that emerged during discussion. This statement reflects the critical points used to make the panel’s recommendation. Prior to the panel discussion, individual panel members submit written reviews which will be made available to the applicant. These reviews will not be modified following the panel discussion, and thus may not reflect the critical factors used in making the final funding decision.
If the panel finds the project interesting, but the proposal is less than adequate in one or more of its aspects (budget, credibility, etc.), the panel may recommend re-writing and re-submission for a subsequent competition.
Final funding decisions will be made by the Office for Research and Innovation (OR&I) and will be based on the potential for enhancing the University's scholarly reputation, the likelihood of external recognition, and the availability of funds.
1. Eligibility: Is the scope and intent of the project appropriate for the HARP Development grant? (Yes or No. If No, OR&I will review and make final decisions on eligibility).
Elements to be considered include:
- To what extent does the project address an important question, problem, or issue – to humanity at large, or to a scholarly discipline?
- Is the project sufficiently unique? To what extent does it address the subject in a way that is significantly additive to the field of scholarship?
- To what extent does the project align to goals within the MSU 2030 strategic plan, particularly the pillars of “Discovery, Creativity and Innovation for Excellence and Global Impact”, “Sustainable Health”, “Stewardship and Sustainability” or “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion”?
Reviewers should include clear feedback on how the work excels or falls short of being significant in the field of study, significantly additive to extant work in the field, or addressing one or more elements of MSU 2030 Strategy.
Elements to be considered include:
- If the project is produced and released to the public, to what extent will scientific, cultural, or artistic knowledge be advanced?
- To what extent will the work have significant effect on the concepts or methods that drive the field of scholarship?
- To what extent will the dissemination of this work bring enhanced reputation to MSU?
Reviewers should provide constructive feedback on how the project could be altered or enhanced to raise its impact.
4. Strength of Applicant:
- To what extent does the stature, experience and track record of the applicant indicate a high probability of project completion?
Reviewer feedback should describe how the applicant could strengthen the probability of project completion through additional skills or the contribution of collaborators.
Elements to be considered include:
- Does the applicant adequately describe other avenues for funding that were pursued, and lessons learned, or feedback received in that process?
- Does the applicant adequately describe the impact this project will have on their own career and standing in their field?
Reviewer feedback should describe other routes to funding, or other means to achieve project goals, if the need for this funding was deemed low.
- Does the applicant clearly articulate how the requested funds will be used and is the budget appropriate for the scope of the project? (Yes or No)
Reviewer feedback should recommend remedies that should be made post-approval, and/or suggestions for an improved use of funds in a resubmission.
Post Award Information
HARP Development grant awards are funded for 24 months beginning on March 1 and ending on February 28.
Accounts will be established in the principal investigator’s name and be maintained within his or her department. All investigators working on a project must meet applicable approvals for use of human and animal subjects. Principal investigators will be notified via email when accounts are established. Start dates are firm. If there is need to postpone the start of research, investigators are asked to submit a request for an extension. Extensions will not change the start date but will extend the duration of the grant. All extensions are subject to approval by OR&I.
A final report is due at time of completion of the project.
With respect to publications, MSU waives its ownership of grant work products that would otherwise derive from the financial support. Other factors, such as student co-authorship or staff effort, may still trigger such ownership. Ownership of intellectual property deriving from other components of the HARP program is retained by MSU under institutional policy. Commercialization of MSU-owned intellectual property resulting from HARP grants is coordinated by MSU Technologies (see https://innovationcenter.msu.edu/ for contact information). Questions concerning the MSU waiver of ownership and other issues pertaining to intellectual property should be directed to MSU Technologies.
Funding for HARP is derived from the MSU Research Foundation. Since some members of the Research Foundation Board may or may not be familiar with the purposes or processes of artistic creation, we ask that successful applicants tailor their final report in a way that enables OR&I to use elements of the report to attract support for continued funding of HARP.
Therefore, in your final report, the following questions should serve as guidelines:
- Generally, what is/was the result of receiving HARP funding?
- Did you mount an installation or show the work? If so, where was it/will it be presented?
- Did you finish a book, have you submitted it to publishers, and with what comment or reply?
- Did you create a DVD or CD and how is it being disseminated?
- Did you finish a film script and are you entering it in a contest?
- Did you complete a film and what are your plans for the film (e.g., festival showings, contests)?
- What responses to your work have you received (especially ones that illustrate how other people consider it important)?
- Do you foresee your completed work leading to more work in the same or an expanded area?
- Do you foresee any outreach and representation of MSU locally, regionally, nationally, or internationally?
- How has your work made you a better artist, professor, or member of the larger community of scholars?
- If you are an untenured professor, have you talked to your chair about the effect the completion of your project could have on your receiving tenure?
HARP Panel Selection Procedures
Chairs and Deans of Colleges in the arts and humanities will recommend to OR&I faculty members for two review panels. The recommendations should include information about each faculty member's area of expertise.
Humanities Research Panel (14 to 18 members):
- The College of Arts and Letters will nominate eight faculty members.
- The College of Social Science will nominate four faculty members.
- The following colleges will nominate two faculty members each: Residential College in the Arts and Humanities; College of Music; James Madison; Lyman Briggs and Communication Arts
Exhibition and Performance Panel (9 members):
- The College of Arts and Letters will nominate ten faculty members.
- The College of Music will nominate three faculty members.
- The following colleges will nominate two faculty members each: Residential College in the Arts and Humanities and Communication Arts.
New panel members will be selected by OR&I on an annual basis. Panelists will be asked to serve a two-year term on a rotating schedule that will replace one half of the panel each year. OR&I will select new Co-Chairs annually, and Co-Chairs will serve as Chair in their second year.
HARP Development Important Dates
August 11, 2023
October 5, 2023
Application and KC proposal development document deadline. Both documents must be finalized by 5pm.
February 2, 2024
Funding decisions posted online.
March 1, 2024
Project start date.