Funding for Faculty and Researchers

Thanks to a generous gift from the Chao Family Foundation, the Chao Center is pleased to offer funding support toward academic endeavors of Rice faculty and researchers.

A broad range of proposals may qualify for funding. Typically, these include, but are not limited to:

  • travel for a conference to present a paper (an invitation must be included as part of the application)
  • a research trip and/or fieldwork
  • the purchase of research- or teaching-related materials
  • a book subvention and/or indexing expenses
  • inviting a guest lecturer
  • co-sponsoring a small workshop or other such event.

The amount of each grant will vary, depending on the nature of the request and other variables, including the applicant's rank, the availability of other sources of funding, etc. The maximum amount the Center grants is $1,000.

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

As a general rule, the greater the amount of funding available to the applicant, the smaller the Chao Center grant. This would mean that, all else being equal, junior faculty and researchers will be eligible for comparatively larger amounts than senior faculty.

The Chao Center asks all applicants to acknowledge the Chao Family Foundation funding support in the event a project outcome has been generated.


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

Spring | September 30
Fall | February 28
Summer | April 30


All full-time faculty, 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 Center before applying.

Review Process

The Chao Center Governing Council will make the final decision on all grant applications.

Selection Criteria

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 our mission of developing innovative teaching and research on transnational Asia and building national and global collaborations as well as strong community outreach. The applicant must demonstrate that the Center's 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, as is evidence that the applicant has sought or is seeking other sources of funding. Co-funded proposals will be viewed with particular favor.

How to Apply

Applicants are encouraged to make a preliminary inquiry to the Center at All requests must include a detailed description (one or two pages) and an executive summary (one or two paragraphs) of the project, likely outcome/product/result of the project, detailed budget including sources of other funding, and timeframe of execution. Applications are submitted using the form linked below. Additionally, a letter of endorsement from the applicant's departmental chair or director must accompany the application. It is the applicant's responsibility to request that the departmental chair or director submit the letter directly via email to as the system does not generate a request on the applicant's behalf. Please note that the Center requires all recipients to submit a brief report upon completion of the project.