Rapid Response Awards


Dresher Center Rapid Response awards offer small grants of up to $1,500 to UMBC faculty (full- and part-time) and graduate students whose humanities-oriented research has been delayed or disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic and travel ban. The awards may also be used by faculty who wish to shift their research to focus on humanities questions surrounding the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic or undertake new work in the humanistic study of social justice.

The funds are meant to provide support for current UMBC researchers who require additional funding to adapt to new research circumstances, interests, and opportunities, and are unable to access other funds for this purpose.

Some examples of use of funds include:

  • Hiring a research assistant in the Baltimore region or elsewhere;
  • Purchasing necessary software or hardware upgrades;
  • Purchasing research materials (e.g., books, photocopies, materials provided by archives, transcription services or interview devices);
  • Small honoraria for external research partners; small faculty development funds for UMBC research partners;
  • Travel (if and when the “non-essential” travel ban is lifted).

Application Guidelines

A complete application will include the following:

  • A brief narrative statement (300 words max) describing your research, its humanities and social justice (if appropriate) focus, and its significance, your revised or re-adapted research goals, and how you will use the funding
  • A short, summary budget
  • A two-page CV

Please note that these funds are intended only for scholars who have already exhausted available DRIF, departmental, and CAHSS and CAHSS Center support.

Applicants should not simultaneously apply to more than one CAHSS research center small grant programs for faculty and PhD students (e.g., the CS3’s Small Research Grants or CIRCA’s Contingency Fund). Applicants should first apply to the center that best suits the nature of their project and receive a determination on that application, before requesting funding from another center. In such cases, please indicate whether funding has already been applied for and/or received from one of the other centers.

Submit applications to dreshercenter@umbc.edu. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis throughout fall 2020, beginning on August 15.

Contact Denise Meringolo or Rachel Brubaker with any questions.

Applicants may also consider applying for Dresher Center Scholarly Development or Scholarly Completion funds, but may not hold concurrent grants from more than one of these award programs.