Professional Development Fund|Graduate Research Assistants

Academic Affairs would like to invite faculty members to apply for the Spring 2017 cycle of the Professional Development Fund + Graduate Research Assistantships, which close on Wednesday, 5th April 2017.


The Professional Development Fund was established with a Mellon Foundation Grant, with the goal of fostering excellence in the fields of art and design, and the advancement of knowledge in related fields. The fund also provides financial support for the extraordinary costs of studio work, for research projects that could not be done otherwise, for the development of publications, and other work in progress undertaken by faculty, museum curators, and professional librarians. The fund has awarded more than $2,000,000 since its inception in 1982.

Funded project proposals have included travel for research, assistance in mounting an exhibition, the production or reproduction of art and design, purchase of picture rights for a publication, and course load reduction of one teaching unit for full-time faculty. Faculty may also apply for a graduate research assistant through this fund. Awards average $2,500.

The Professional Development Fund Committee calls for proposals twice a year: in the Fall for projects to be undertaken between January 1 and June 30 and in the Spring for projects to be undertaken between July 1 and December 31.

Professional librarians may apply for summer release time in either application cycle.

Applications are submitted via application websites and must include a curriculum vita, supporting materials, and a detailed budget.

Research Assistants are graduate students engaged in faculty-guided research.

Research Assistantships include compensation for the student and are meaningful educational and research experiences appropriate for graduate level work.

Research Assistantships are not work-for-hire.

Full-time RISD faculty and part-time RISD faculty with two years of service can apply for research project support in the form of Graduate Research Assistantships.  Note: Prior recipients of Graduate Studies Funded Research Assistantships must have submitted a final report to be eligible to apply again.


• Coherent and detailed budget
• Feasibility of proposal
• Clarity of the proposal as expressed in the written statement and supporting materials
• Proposal should describe either a specific outcome to be achieved by the project, or how this component of the project will concretely contribute to the achievement of a long-term project.
• Evidence of commitment to your discipline or field of research, and how the project will contribute to your creative, intellectual or artistic development


WHO IS ELIGIBLE: All full-time faculty members, museum curators and librarians; all part-time faculty who have completed two years of service. Faculty members are eligible to receive a maximum of one award each academic year.


APPLICATIONS REVIEWED BY: Professional Development Fund Committee

DEADLINE: Wednesday, 5th April 2017 Please submit a Notification of Intent to Submit a Proposal form.

Tracie Costantino
Associate Provost & Dean of Faculty


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