DePaul University Academic Affairs > Faculty Resources > Scholarship > University Research Council > Competitive Course Release Grants Program

Competitive Course Release Grants Program


This grant is designed to support DePaul tenured and tenure-track faculty members who are pursuing substantial external sources of funding for their research and/or creative activities. Faculty members may be pursuing either one significant source of external funding or multiple smaller sources of external funding. This is a competitive grant program and a very limited number of course releases will be awarded per grant cycle.

Successful applicants will receive:

  • Release time from teaching one course during the academic year.
  • Additional support (e.g., trips to visit program officers, consulting editors, etc.) for grant development from the Office of Research Services (ORS). The exact nature of ORS's support will be determined based upon the needs of the applicant and the nature of the grant submission process as outlined by the funding agency.

Expected Output

The expected output from the course release grant is a grant submitted to an external funding agency with a DePaul faculty member in the role of a PI. It is expected that the proposal will be submitted within twelve months of the notification of the course release award. This grant may be a first submission or a submission of a revised and resubmitted proposal. Faculty members who receive a course release but who do not submit a proposal within twelve months of the award notice will be asked to teach the additional course the following academic year.


Applicants must be tenured or tenure-track faculty members of DePaul. Faculty may apply for one course release per academic year. Successful applicants will be allowed to apply once every two years.

Application Evaluation Criteria

The URC will use the following criteria to evaluate the applications:

Likelihood of Completion
Evaluators will assess the likelihood that the applicant will complete the grant submission. This criterion involves assessing:

  • the applicant's expertise related to the project,
  • the thoroughness and feasibility of the applicant's plan for completing the project, and
  • the applicant's record of submitting proposals for external grants.

Scholarly Impact
Evaluators will assess the degree to which the project will have a significant positive impact on the faculty member's field and on DePaul. This criterion involves assessing:

  • the significance of the project, and
  • any preliminary results of the project (if available).

Likelihood of Funding
Evaluators will assess the degree to which the grant submission is likely to result in the awarding of funding. This criterion involves assessing:

  • the degree to which the grant submission aligns with the priorities of the funding source,
  • agency funding rates, and
  • the dollar amount of the potential grant.

Application Deadline

Applications will be accepted in the Fall and Winter with deadlines of October 15th and March 15th, respectively.

How to Apply

Applicants should submit the following through Campus Connect​ (click on "Grant Proposals" in the "Faculty Center" section) by the appropriate deadline:

  • Project Title
  • Abstract - the abstract should describe the project clearly and completely in non-technical terms
  • A list of 3-5 publications that are relevant to the proposal.
  • Summary of applicant's grant submission and funding record
  • Project Narrative (no more than 5 pages in length)
    • The narrative should describe the project in clear, non-technical language. The narrative should also present a compelling argument in favor of the project that includes a clear description of the project's goals and objectives; the significance of the project; and the importance of external funding for successful project completion.
    • In addition, the narrative should clearly identify:
      • the external agency or agencies to which funding proposals will be submitted;
      • the timeline for proposal submission in relation to the funders' review timelines;
      • the funders' priorities and how the proposed project aligns with those priorities;
      • the range of funding available from the agency/agencies; and
      • rates of funding proposals for each agency (if available).
    • References (not included in 5 page limit)
  • Current CV
  • Statements of support from the applicant's chair (if applicable) and dean. These statements should address the impact of the course release on the unit and the impact of the grant submission on the faculty member's career development.

Expectations/Requirements of Recipients

A final report must be submitted within 30 days of the grant's expiration. Failure to submit the final report will result in the faculty member being ineligible for future funding from the councils. This report should delineate the activities conducted during the grant and describe the achievement of the project outcomes as outlined in the proposal.​​​​