Skip to main content


College of Liberal Arts Faculty Research Fund Support Program

Welcome to the renewed ASPIRE grant program. The most current policies and procedures are outlined below. Please review all information carefully to make sure you understand it fully before applying.

  • ASPIRE funding is structured in two tiers, and nearly all CLA faculty (Assistant, Associate, Clinical and Full Professors, as well as permanent – i.e., not visiting – Cornerstone Faculty) are eligible to apply.
    • Tier 1 may provide up to $2,000.00 in approved funding for expenses related to scholarship and/or creative activity including domestic (continental US and its territories) travel and/or research for faculty to present original scholarship and/or creative works.
    • Tier 2 may provide up to $3,000.00 in approved funding for expenses related to scholarship and/or creative activity with an international focus – including international travel and/or research for faculty to present original scholarship and/or creative works. 
  • Flagship conferences and major projects with high funding and/or citation impact will be prioritized.
  • Assistant Professors may generally solicit, contingent upon funding availability, up to five (5) ASPIRE awards. Awards will be made on a competitive basis considering the impact of the activity and other available funds.
  • Associate and Full Professors may generally qualify for up to (two) ASPIRE awards per year ONLY if they have published a major book or paper in the previous year or applied for a major grant (e.g., NSF, NIH, NEH, NEA, or equivalent, including private foundations) in the past 18 months.
  • Distinguished Professors, Endowed Chairs, and University Faculty Scholars are expected to use the funds dedicated to their positions to cover expenses that would otherwise be covered by ASPIRE. These faculty SHOULD NOT APPLY for ASPIRE funding.
  • Clinical Professors, including those affiliated with the Cornerstone Integrated Liberal Arts program, are eligible for ASPIRE funding. Each department head may award a number of ASPIRE grants to Clinical Professors for participating in subject matter or educational research conferences of significant impact on the professor’s career as well as the department's standing in the discipline.



To enhance institutional excellence and to promote all areas of intellectual inquiry in the arts, humanities, and the social sciences, the Provost’s Office - in collaboration with the College of Liberal Arts - launched the ASPIRE grant program in the Fall semester of 2015, to support CLA faculty research. ASPIRE is fully funded by the Provost’s office and operationally managed by the CLA Dean’s office.

A shared objective of the Provost and CLA Dean is to enhance faculty research opportunities by providing a climate that empowers researchers to promote research and creative activity in liberal arts. The goal of the ASPIRE program is to supplement existing departmental travel funds, faculty start-up funds or other research funds in order to increase those opportunities for our faculty, in a streamlined and efficient manner.

Funds should be spent within the fiscal year of the award. Only one request will be considered at a time. Eligible faculty must wait for previous application(s) to be approved before their next submission.


To receive funding for a project, faculty will be required to fill out a brief application via InfoReady (link provided below), which will include the following:

  • General applicant information such as name, email, phone, title, department, etc.
  • Research project title
  • Approval of support for the project from the department head
  • Conference or Research travel information (location and dates) and itemized descriptions of equipment, lodging, transportation, or other related expenses
  • Requester’s role in the research project (e.g., PI, Co-PI, Chair, etc.)
  • Other grants received previously and/or pending funding for this project
  • Brief description of the project (no more than one-half page) detailing research significance and overall benefits of the project
  • Amount of funding request. NOTE: ASPIRE funding may be used to support expenses incurred by graduate student(s) working with the faculty, but may not be used as a source of financial support for the student(s).

Once completed, the application will be electronically routed to the CLA Dean’s office for review and further approval. Notice of approval or denial will be sent to the requestor and any approved funds will be made available to the faculty member as needed for the required expense(s).

ASPIRE recipients must submit to CLA (via InfoReady) a brief half-page report on the scholarly outcomes and benefits of the award by the end of the fiscal year (June 30) in which the award was used. Equipment and/or materials purchased with ASPIRE funds become the property of Purdue University unless or until purchased from the university by the faculty member or department following the proper procedures and policies.

If you have questions or concerns about the process, please contact the CLA Office of Research at


Click HERE to Apply for ASPIRE (After Noon on Monday 8/28/2023)