Research Development Grant: Guidelines


The Research Development Grant (RDG) program is a source of financial support for the research and scholarly activities of Penn State Berks faculty members. It is intended to foster new research and scholarly activities rather than to sustain research programs. Faculty may not receive RDG support for the same project for more than three years. RDGs are not intended to support instructional improvement or course development.

The following may be included in the RDG request:

  • Travel may be included, provided the applicant makes it clear that the travel is essential for the conduct of the research and scholarly activity.
  • The purchase of equipment, software, printed material, microfiche, supplies, and other similar materials may be included, provided the applicant makes it clear in the proposal that the purchase is directly related to the activities for the project. Any equipment purchased with RDG funds becomes the property of the University and is assigned to the faculty member's campus.
  • Some support for page charges for articles that will be published in refereed journals is available. Documentation that a manuscript has been accepted must be submitted with a request for page charges.
  • Requests for release time are permitted.
    • Tenured and fixed-term faculty members on continuing appointments may receive an RDG three-credit course release once every three years, as budget allows.
    • Faculty on the tenure track may request up to three RDG-funded course releases during the provisional six-year period.
    • Faculty members should discuss such requests in advance with their division head.
  •  Requests to cover student wages when they are actively involved in a project are permitted.
  • No amount of support is too small to request through the RDG proposals. Most proposals are funded between $500 and $3,000.
  • RDG proposals must be received by April 15th. Faculty will be notified by the last week of June.

The following may not be included in the RDG request:

  • Travel to professional meetings/conferences.
  • Purchase of laptop computer unless the laptop computer is essential and directly related to conducting the research. As noted above, any equipment is property of the University.
  • Support for doctoral dissertation research.
  •  Proposals for course development and instructional support
  • Supplemental compensation


All full-time Penn State Berks faculty members on continuing appointments are invited to apply for RDG funding.

Priority will be given to tenure-track faculty. We anticipate funded research will result in refereed publications, creative works or grant proposals for external funding.

Project Completion 

At the conclusion of the project successful applicants shall provide a brief report of the project activities to their division head and the associate dean by June 30. Because of the temporary nature of the funds for the RDGs, project money must be expended by the end of the fiscal year, June 30.

RDGs are awarded on a competitive basis following review by the review committee, consisting of the division heads and the associate dean.


To apply, fill out the online form. Applications will be directed to the division heads.

Proposals that involve human subjects are subject to the requirements of the University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB). View the IRB guidelines >