Provost Fund for Interfaculty Collaboration

NOTE:  The next deadline for applications will be Friday, May 28, 2021, for activities planned for the 2021-2022 academic year. 


The Provost's Fund for Interfaculty Collaboration (PFIC) was developed to promote faculty collaboration across multiple Harvard Schools. This fund can be used to support a variety of projects, including but not limited to cross-School interdisciplinary course support, research working groups, and small-scale conferences.

To be eligible for support, the designated faculty leader(s) must hold primary Harvard faculty appointments at the rank of Assistant, Associate, or Full Professor or senior non-ladder faculty appointments including Senior Lecturer, Senior Preceptor, and Professor of Practiceand the project must engage faculty and/or students from at least two Harvard Schools. Priority will be given to applicants who have not previously received funding from the grant. Grants of up to $20,000 are available but will not typically cover salaries for staff, faculty members, or postdoctoral fellows. With regard to course support, to facilitate the enrollment of large numbers of students from another School, a faculty member may petition to cover the funding of additional teaching fellows or teaching assistants.

These one-year grants should be considered seed money rather than continuing support. Funding should be expended within a year of the award. Preference will be given to proposals that illustrate the potential cross-School impact of funding (e.g., cross-listed courses, sponsored research opportunities, resulting scholarly products) as well as to proposals that leverage other resources (e.g., cost-sharing with a Department, School, or outside funder).

Proposals will be evaluated by the following criteria:

  • Scholarly impact:  The activity/research should help balance and enhance the portfolio of academic activities across Harvard and/or expand the boundaries of current scholarship.
  • Linkages:  The PFIC is specifically targeted at enhancing linkages and collaborations between faculty and colleagues or students from across the Schools.
  • Collaboration:  The activity/research facilitates collaboration in areas that are difficult to address in the current Harvard structure.
  • Educational Impact:  The idea strengthens existing educational programs and/or creates new learning opportunities.
  • Implementation:  Successful applications will include a concrete implementation plan. For conferences, the proposal should include a list of confirmed participants, program of activities, and detailed projected budget. 
  • Other sources of funds:  Applicants are strongly encouraged to seek co-funding of projects. In the case of budgets that exceed $20,000, applicants are required to show other sources of funding before an award can be finalized. 

Application Process

This is the second of two deadlines regarding proposals for projects taking place during the 2020-2021 academic year. A first deadline for 2021-2022 proposals will be considered for the spring in the new year (please check back in January). We encourage anyone seriously considering an application to contact us in advance, prior to submitting an application, so that we can gain an early understanding of what you hope to accomplish. Applications and general inquiries as well as questions pertaining to past awards should be addressed to Marshall Page, as directed below.

Applications should contain:

  • Proposal – The proposal should be a description of the activity (less than two pages) addressing the criteria above. Where appropriate, applicants should also attach drafts of relevant agendas, programs, schedules, etc.
  • Budget – Include a detailed budget including categories of expense and specific planned expenditures (e.g., course support, guest travel and lodging, food, facilities rentals) as well as any additional resources/income secured or solicited from other sources.
  • Faculty commitment letters/emails – Include letters or emails of commitment to the project, one from the designated faculty leader assuming fiscal, administrative, and intellectual responsibility for the program and one from each significant faculty contributor specifying the level of involvement to which he/she is prepared to commit. NOTE: Letters/emails of commitment should come directly from faculty contributors (to the mailing or email address below).

Funds are intended for use during one particular academic year. Contact the program administrator to request a no-cost extension (approved under extenuating circumstances). In the absence of an extension, any OPP funds not used within the same fiscal year as the award transfer will be returned to the OPP. Each group awarded funding should be in touch with a report within one year of the award date, detailing what activities the group has engaged in, who has participated, the substance of the issues explored, and any resulting products. That report must also contain a detailed and final budget.

Applications or questions should be submitted either via email or in hard copy to:

Marshall Page
872 Smith Campus Center
1350 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 495-2579