Funding for Faculty and Researchers

Thanks to a generous gift from the T.T. and W.F. Chao Foundation, the Chao Center is pleased to offer competitive funding support towards the Asia-related academic and intellectual endeavors of Rice faculty and researchers. A broad range of proposals may qualify for funding.

Large Grants (Between $1,500 and $25,000)

The Chao Center for Asian Studies awards competitive grants that are intended to develop innovative models for conducting research on or about Transnational Asia or to ask new questions within existing models. Projects may include but are not limited to:

  1. Thematic speaker series
  2. Conferences and workshops
  3. Podcasts/video series
  4. Online exhibitions
  5. Public-facing projects
  6. Creative residencies
  7. Creative works

Small Grants (Up to $1,500)

Criteria are the same, with the provision that small grants should represent a unique opportunity or event and not be used to support an on-going class or repeated program. Projects may include but are not limited to:

  1. Travel for a conference to present a paper (an invitation, if received, should be submitted as part of the application/please confirm that no department/personal research funding is available).
  2. Book subvention and/or indexing expenses (again, please confirm that all other resources have been tapped, i.e., school and department support).
  3. Invitation to a guest lecturer.
  4. Sponsorship of a workshop or other such event.
  5. Innovative teaching or classroom project.


All full-time faculty, Ph.D. students, postdoctoral and research fellows, lecturers, and other academic personnel are eligible to apply. Part-time academic personnel may be considered. Address preliminary inquiries to the Chao Center before applying at

Application Materials

  • Research Project title
  • Research Project abstract of no more than 200 words
  • Large grant applications (over $1,500) must also include Research Project description of no more than 1,000 words
  • Name and contact information of collaborating institutions or individuals (if any)
  • Research Project timeline
  • Research Project budget and budget narrative that indicates:
    • anticipated use of the requested funds
    • all funds sought or secured from other sources

Please compile all items into a single pdf document, and email to

Rules and Guidelines

No grants are given to one individual in consecutive terms, unless there is a compelling reason to do so. Co-funded proposals are encouraged.

All grant recipients are asked to offer the Chao Center Governing Council a final report of their project. When relevant, they may be asked to collaborate with the Chao Center staff to post about their work on the Chao Center website and on social media. The Chao Center asks all applicants to acknowledge the T.T. and W.F. Chao Foundation funding support in the event a project outcome has been generated.

Review Process and Selection Criteria

The Chao Center Governing Council will make the final decision on all grant applications. In its deliberations, the Governing Council will consider the intellectual merit and feasibility of each proposal, as well as other factors such as its public impact and/or its contribution to the Chao Center's mission, especially with respect to innovative research on Transnational Asia, building national and global collaborations, and public-facing/community outreach. Please include brief information on the envisioned audience for your proposed event (faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, the wider public) and how the event will advance disciplinary and/or interdisciplinary inquiry and exchange. Preference may be offered to projects which are inter-disciplinary and/or establish collaborations with other institutions or individuals. The applicant must demonstrate that Chao Center funding will play a key role in the project and clearly state what outcomes are expected. A realistic estimate of time and expenditures is also an important criterion.


Application deadlines vary according to the time period in which funds are requested to be received.

Spring | November 1
Summer | March 1
Fall | April 1