Goldfarb Faculty Research Grants

The Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs invites applications for projects focused on enhancing the pursuit of just, community-informed public policy. We aim to fund a diverse set of scholarly endeavors and pedagogical innovations that underscore Colby’s prominence in addressing complex community challenges. We welcome applications from all divisions of the college and encourage faculty to understand “public policy” broadly. 


Funding Objectives: Priority will be given to proposals that align with the following goals:

1. Student Engagement: Projects should embody the liberal arts goal of harmonizing research and teaching. Priority will be given to projects that actively involve students, giving them hands-on experience in research processes or through meaningful classroom exchanges.

2.Embracing Diversity: The Center encourages research that integrates a spectrum of viewpoints, methodologies, and analytical frameworks, ensuring a broadened and nuanced understanding of public policy at the local, state, national, or international level. 

3. Synchronizing with Goldfarb Programming: Research topics and outcomes should correspond with the Center’s stated goals of connecting the Colby community to our nation’s most pressing current events, fostering awareness of the role of public policy, and inspiring active citizenship. Projects may consider how they might add to the co-curricular programming in the next academic year. 

4.Bridging Theory and Practice: We emphasize the importance of research that not only adds to academic discourse but also has practical implications or applications in solving or better understanding community problems as they currently exist.


Use of Funds: The Goldfarb Center is dedicated to ensuring the successful completion of approved projects by offering financial support tailored to the unique needs of each proposal. Funds can be allocated to cover essential research and teaching expenses. This includes, but is not limited to, stipends for student collaborators, acquisition of specialized research materials, organization of seminars or workshops, costs associated with training or developing new skills, and travel expenses linked to data collection or presentations. Funds can be directed towards creating platforms for engaging with diverse viewpoints and perspectives, aligning with the Center’s commitment to embracing an expansive understanding of public policy. This may include costs associated with hosting panel discussions or webinars, production of multimedia content, and the organization of community forums or workshops. Additionally, funds can support the creation of innovative teaching materials that introduce new methodologies and analytical frameworks to broaden the exploration of public policy topics within the classroom setting. 


Funding Requirements: As a condition for receiving an award, recipients will contribute to Goldbarb programming in the upcoming year by participating in a new Public Policy Lunchtime Discussion Series (see below). As an honorarium for participating in this series, all recipients will receive a $1,000 stipend on top of their budgeted funds. 

This series is envisioned as a space for fostering dynamic dialogues, sharing insights, and building a community of scholars and students who work on public policy. Recognizing the unique expertise and experiences each grantee brings to the table, the Goldfarb Center will work closely with recipients to facilitate their engagement in the series. Whether it’s in the form of leading discussions, presenting research findings, or curating session topics, we aim to collaboratively design sessions that resonate with both the presenter’s expertise, the funded project, and the broader interests of the Colby community. Our joint efforts will ensure that the Discussion Series becomes a new hub for knowledge and comity in our public policy community. 

We also ask that all recipients submit a short statement on the use of funds one year after receipt of the award. We will use these statements/summaries for fundraising purposes and general publicity about the Goldfarb Center. 


Proposal Requirements: There are four components for the proposal. Please submit your application using the linked Google Form, which as an entry box for each of the following: 

1. Project Summary that clearly delineates the research question, objectives, methodology, expected outcomes, and dissemination plans.

2. Engagement and Collaboration Plan (max. 1 paragraph for each) that speaks to the specific funding objectives of:

~Student Engagement: Describe the roles and responsibilities of students who will be involved in the project. Indicate how the project offers them hands-on research experience, learning outcomes, and their anticipated contributions.

~Diversity in Research: Discuss how your project integrates a range of perspectives, methodologies, and analytical frameworks. Explain how it contributes to a more nuanced understanding of public policy across various scales and/or contexts. 

~Synchronicity with Goldfarb Programming: Highlight how your research or teaching endeavor aligns with the Goldfarb Center’s goals of connecting Colby to larger policy networks and current events. If you have ideas for specific events or programs that could be integrated into the Center’s calendar for the next academic year, please provide a brief overview.

~Theory-Practice Nexus: Illustrate how your project not only contributes to academic literature but also has real-world implications. Discuss its relevance to current community challenges and how it offers solutions or insights.

~Contribution to the Public Policy Lunchtime Discussion Series: Describe your proposed contribution to the discussion series. This could involve presenting the results of the funded research, facilitating discussion on a related topic, or soliciting feedback on a working paper.

3. Budget and Timeline that specifies the amount you’re requesting from the Goldfarb Center, breakdown of how the funds will be spent, mentions any additional funds already secured or expected, and detail the different phases/stages of your project.


Grant Amount: A maximum of $3,000 can be awarded for a project (not including the stipend for the lunchtime discussion series). The exact amount might depend on the funds at hand, the volume and quality of the submissions, and previous grants received by the applicant from Colby College in the last three years.


Submission: Please submit all proposals via the linked Google Form


Deadline: Proposals are to be submitted by April 1, 2024. 

For queries related to fundability and/or the proposal specifics, contact Goldfarb Executive Director Alison Beyea at [email protected] or Faculty Associate Director Nicholas Jacobs at [email protected]