Dean's Research Fund



The Kennedy School Dean’s Research Fund (DRF) was established in recognition of the importance of small seed grants, particularly for junior faculty members. Expenses eligible for DRF consideration include all those associated with a typical research project: research assistant time, data acquisition costs, and travel support for research fieldwork. Other budget items may be considered as well. Travel requests solely to attend professional conferences (or to fill modest last minute travel support gaps) should normally be covered by individual faculty support accounts, and not via the Dean’s Research Fund. Requests for summer salary and for computer hardware are normally not approved. DRF awards traditionally have been in the $2,500 to $5,000 range. As implied in the name, the focus of a DRF application should be primarily research (as opposed to, for example, support for case development to be used primarily in the classroom). In reviewing these proposals, the Academic Dean will in most cases give relatively greater weight (and preference) to junior faculty research projects.


Applications to the Dean’s Research Fund should be brief (2-3 pages), should detail the proposed research activities and describe the expected contribution of this seed funding to the faculty member’s longer term research agenda. A detailed budget should accompany the proposal, identifying the timetable for the proposed activities. Applicants must provide complete information on related Other Support available for the proposed project. This should include the source (external sponsor, other Harvard or other HKS funds, including contributions from HKS Centers and faculty support accounts), the amount, and whether the other support is currently active or pending. New DRF proposals will not be considered until this information is provided. We will also request a brief follow-up report at the end of the academic year, describing how these seed funds were expended and how the award contributed to the faculty member’s overall research program, including as applicable, presentations made, publications submitted or accepted, sponsored proposals planned, pending or funded.


The Dean’s Research Fund is managed by the HKS research administration office. Please direct all questions and all requests for support to the attention of Matthew Alper, Associate Dean for Research.

Print print | Email email