Course Release Program for External Funding Submissions

Program Guidelines

The Course Release Program provides a framework to encourage external funding by creating a program offering a single course release over an academic year. The program is designed to advance faculty research and scholarship – including scholarship of teaching and learning. The Course Release Program is independent of whether the funding opportunity for which the faculty or staff member applied is ultimately awarded. The program begins on a trial basis in the 2023-2024 academic year and will continue based on continuing good results and availability of funds. Full-time faculty are eligible to apply

Project Eligibility:

  • Faculty must submit a grant proposal or contract to an off-campus grant or agency within one year of the start of the project period.
    • Not eligible: pre-proposals, letters of intent, non-competitive renewals, and resubmissions.
  • Projects with research, teaching or training aims are eligible.
    • SSW faculty applicant is PI or multiple PI as long as the SSW serves as the primary institution.
  • Grant minimum across all project years is >$100,000.

Due Date:

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis but must be submitted 3 months before the beginning of the semester in which the course release will be requested.

Application Requirements:

Faculty should complete the Course Release Request Form and submit the following application components as one PDF file to ORS via

  • The funding mechanism which is being applied for (the agency/organization/funding source; deadline; eligibility; amount of the award being sought).
  • A rough draft of the specific aims and timeline for submission.
  • A statement of a commitment to completing the application by the deadline.
  • Other relevant information regarding the application (co-investigators; grant writing supports to be requested; a rough estimate of the total budget and years of external support to be requested).
  • A statement regarding the potential benefit of the work to be funded by the application to the school and the field.

Faculty Obligations:

Faculty will submit an external grant proposal or contract to the sponsor within a year of the start of the Course Release Program period. An investigator obtaining any of these supports for the preparation of a grant application is required to submit the grant through the OVPR/SPS office with the School of Social Work at UConn as the primary organization submitting and managing the proposal.


Decisions about the course release will be made by the Dean, in consultation with the Dean’s cabinet, and will be contingent on the merits of the request, workload considerations, and the availability of resources to respond to the teaching needs of the school. All feasible projects are encouraged and will be considered, although new projects will be prioritized. If the grant is not submitted as planned, the faculty member who is granted the course release will owe the school an additional course in the following academic year.