CAL Internal Funding Opportunities


CAL Critical Thinking Grants đź•‘

The aim of this award program is to encourage the examination and testing of propositions that lead to the creation of new knowledge. Applicants may apply for one-course release during the grant cycle for such purposes as writing an article or book or preparing a proposal for external funding.

The CAL Research Committee will review the proposals and make ranked recommendations to the Dean. The Dean will make the final award decisions. The CTG grant period is one academic year, starting in August and ending in May. 

Department chair approval is required on all applications. 

  • All Unit 3 faculty in the College of Arts and Letters, regardless of rank, are strongly encouraged to apply: Professors, Associate Professors, Assistant Professors, and Lecturers.  
  • CTG awards cannot be received by the same faculty member in consecutive academic years.
  • Faculty members cannot receive CTG and sabbatical at the same time.
  • Monday, September 16, 2024: Call for proposals 
  • Friday, November 1, 2024: Deadline for submission
  • December/January: Award notification by email (date is subject to change and dependent upon when sabbatical/DIP recipients are announced)
  • June: Final Reports due

The awardee will submit a brief final report of the project by June 30. These reports must include:

  1. Progress made on proposed project
  2. Progress made towards publication or procuring external funding

Awardees who fail to submit a final report will be ineligible to apply for future funding in this program.

Your application should be succinct, well organized, and written so that peer reviewers not in your field can understand the proposed project. Please include the following sections in your proposal:

Brief Project Overview

  • your research question/thesis
  • the research activities you will be undertaking
  • the basic ideas, problems, questions, texts, people, and/or events you will examine
  • where you will conduct research; any primary or secondary materials you will use

Significance/Scholarly merit
How does your project complement, challenge, or expand on current scholarship in the field?

Describe research methods you will use and why they are appropriate.

Anticipated Results
Describe the intended results/output/s of the project and how they will be disseminated.

  • If output will be an article, include potential journals for publication
  • If you will be seeking external funding, from what potential funders?

Project Contribution to Professional Growth
How will this project contribute to your professional growth?

Competence in Project Area/Professional Experience
Explain why you are the right person to undertake this project.

Work Completed to Date
Describe any work already completed on this project.

Timeline/Work Plan
Outline your intended work plan.

Benefits to Students



Apply at:
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CAL Microgrants đź’°

CAL Microgrants are monetary awards (up to $500) available to help defray expenses incurred for research assistance, fieldwork, equipment, travel to collections, and other items not covered by university, college, or departmental sources. Does not cover conference travel or publishing fees. Microgrants are awarded twice a year (Fall and Spring semesters). The CAL Research Committee will review the proposals and make ranked recommendations to the Dean. The Dean will make the final award decisions. 
  • All College of Arts and Letters faculty are eligible to apply (including lecturers)
  • Preference is given to faculty who did not receive an award in the last cycle of Microgrants
  • CAL lecturers can use Microgrants to fund publishing fees: Tenured or tenure-track faculty should request publishing fee support through the Dean’s Author Support Fund (see below).
  • All equipment purchased, even if only partially funded with Microgrant funds, will belong to SDSU.
  • Microgrants are supported with SDSU Research Foundation funds.
  • Requests to hire student assistants with state funds must be approved by the Dean’s Office prior to starting the hiring process. Contact Bart Chafe ([email protected]) regarding the approval.
  • Microgrants cannot be used to pay expenses incurred prior to the award notification date.
  • A faculty member cannot pair fall and spring Microgrants for the same expense.

Fall deadline for submission:

  • Friday, October 25, 2024
  • Fall awards must be expended by end of the fiscal year on June 30

Spring deadline for submission:

  • Early March
  • Spring awards must be expended by December 31

Microgrant proposals should not exceed the word count indicated on the application form. Proposals must include a timeline and an explanation of how the funds will be used.

Apply at:
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CAL Dean’s Author Support Fund 💰

In recognition of changes in academic publishing and in support of CAL’s research and publishing mission, the Dean’s Author Support Fund is available to assist full-time tenure-track/tenured faculty in publishing their work. This award cannot be used to fund travel or research expenses. One one award per academic year is authorized. An allocation of up to $1,000 is available on a competitive basis, with most awards being in the $500 range.

Available to full-time tenure-track/tenured CAL faculty.

No deadline: Funds are allocated on a rolling basis.

Applications that are most likely to receive strongest endorsement include one or more of the following characteristics:

  • refereed publishing press or venue
  • first books by professors and academic professionals at the assistant rank
  • authored rather than edited manuscripts

Page charges for journal articles, reviewed articles, and “for profit” textbooks are excluded for consideration. Support for previously published work will not be considered and only one subvention grant per published work will be allowed. This award cannot be used to fund travel/research  expenses. Only one award per academic year is authorized.

Important Information: Before we can make any payments for services, to include editing, proofreading, etc., the service provider needs to submit an Independent Contractor Pre-Selection Checklist. The form should be returned to you and then forwarded to Bart Chafe in the CAL Dean's Office. Bart will submit the form to the Research Foundation. Once The Research Foundation staff determine if an independent contractor relationship should be established, we can request payment for the service. The checklist should be submitted before any services are provided. If a service is performed prior to the checklist being reviewed by the Research Foundation, payment for the service with Foundation funds may not be approved.

Apply at:
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Dean’s Fund Support for Colloquia, Lectures, & Special Programs 💰

CAL faculty members, centers, departments, or institutes may request up to $2,000 to support activities that advance the College’s scholarly, teaching, and engagement mission (e.g. colloquium speakers, small workshops, conferences, support for undergraduate and/or graduate studies, etc.)
  • While funding is limited, units may apply for more than once in the course of the academic year if they have identified an extraordinary proposal.
  • Priority will be given to programs of high quality and relatively broad interest.
  • The Dean's Fund replaces the current ad-hoc system for allocating resources and is a competitive, transparent, and inclusive process to enable broad and tangible initiatives, regardless of their academic origins. It is also intended to provide supplemental assistance in cases where departmental resources (i.e., Open University, scholarships, endowments, development funds) are not sufficient to support the proposed activity. In most cases, CAL will only be in the position to provide matching funds at some level.
    Individuals or groups requesting funding should first arrange co-sponsorship from other relevant units before approaching CAL. 
No deadline: Funds are allocated on a rolling basis.

Apply at:
(To access, you will need to sign in using your SDSUid)

Following the event, a one-page, double-space description of the outcome of the program and/or activity shall be provided to Associate Dean Michael Borgstrom ([email protected]).