Released Time Grants

Purpose: Four “Released Time Grants” enable tenured and tenure-track faculty to undertake a major scholarly or artistic project and to disseminate the results through significant professional publications, shows, or performances.   One of these is available to all qualified projects.  A second is funded by the Virginia Ann Dekker Groot endowment to support faculty projects involving intensive work in another language pertaining to research, pedagogy, or refinement of linguistic skills.  Up to two others are supported through the Institute for Freedom and Community (IFC) to support faculty projects that advance or engage with diverse ideas about politics, markets, and/or society [and align with the IFC’s  mission and guiding principles.]

Examples of projects include:

  • Significant portions of a book manuscript, or article for submission to a peer reviewed journal
  • A laboratory or field investigation
  • A peer-reviewed electronic publication or portfolio
  • A series of paintings or compositions

How to apply:  In order to be considered for funding for Released Time Grants, an application must include a copy of each of the following (electronic versions are acceptable):

* A completed FLC Released Time Grant Application Cover Form. (This link provides a form that you can print.)
* A narrative proposal of no more than five (5) single-spaced pages that is clear, specific, and comprehensible to the non-specialist and addresses the review criteria listed below, under “Criteria for Review”:

  • A current curriculum vitae for the applicant.
  • Two letters are required addressing the substantive merit of the proposal, its value to the professional development of the applicant, and, where appropriate, its value to the department and/or other programs of the college:
    • one from the applicant’s department chair (or, if the applicant is a department chair, from a past chair or a senior department colleague)
    • one from the Associate Dean of the Faculty indicated on the FLC Grant Application Cover Form. A copy of the application should be provided to each letter writer at least two weeks before the deadline.  Letter writers should be advised to consult the Criteria for Review (see below).
    • For proposals that may meet the criteria for IFC funding: a check-off by the Director of the IFC on the FLC Released Time Grant Application Cover Form.

Deadline:  See current year Application Deadlines. All materials, including supporting letters, must be received in the Dean’s office by noon on the date indicated.

Eligibility:  Tenured or tenure-track faculty with appropriate terminal degree completed by the beginning of the grant period are eligible.  In the case of a tenure-track member, the grant must be completed prior to the year of tenure review.  Released time will not be awarded immediately preceding or immediately following a sabbatical leave.

During the period of St. Olaf funded released time, faculty may not hold a released time grant funded from another source.  This does not, however, preclude the possibility of securing other released time grants, not funded by St. Olaf, in terms preceding or following the semester in which the St. Olaf-funded released time grant is held.  Indeed, acquisition of additional grants from external sources to allow travel, purchase of equipment, extension of released time, etc. is strongly encouraged.

Award:  Two courses released time, normally during one semester.  Recipients are normally expected to be in residence and to continue advising and committee responsibilities, but to be completely released from teaching, during the semester of the award. With approval from the recipient’s department chair, the recipient may be absent from campus for periods no longer than 2 weeks.

Criteria for review:  Applicants may consult with a past grant recipient as they prepare their application.  Copies of past successful applications will be placed on reserve in Rølvaag Memorial Library.  Applications for a Released Time Grant must address the following specific criteria:

  • Contribution of the project to the applicant’s field(s).  Discuss the significance of this project to your field(s) or discipline(s) in clear language accessible to the non-specialist.  If the project may qualify for a Dekker-Groot grant, also describe how the project will involve intensive work in another language pertaining to research, pedagogy, or refinement of linguistic skills.   If the project may qualify for an IFC grant, also describe how the project will advance or engage with diverse ideas about politics, markets, and/or society.
  • Project design.  Describe the activities and overall time frame of this project.  Include a schedule.
  • Impact of the project.  Describe the significance of the project for:
  • the applicant’s career
  • St. Olaf College
  • Plans for dissemination.  Applicants should specify their plans for dissemination to audiences beyond St. Olaf.  Examples of appropriate vehicles of dissemination include books, peer-reviewed journal articles, peer-reviewed conference papers, performances, exhibitions and the like.  Where appropriate, applicants should describe any progress they have made toward realizing their plans, and provide supporting documentation thereof.  In addition, the recipient of a released time grant is encouraged to make an on-campus, public presentation based on project results.  Applicants can consult with the Director of the Center for Innovation in the Liberal Arts (CILA) in developing their plans for on-campus dissemination.

Reporting:  Within two months of completing the project, grant recipients must email a 1-3 page final report to the Dean of the College (, with copies to the chair of the Faculty Life Committee, and the applicant’s Department Chair and Associate Dean.  Reports should describe activities, results and expenditures with adequate receipts (as applicable).

Revised: 5/21/2018