Faculty Equity, Inclusion, and Productivity Program

Available to tenured and tenure-track faculty and full-time professors of the practice

The Dean’s Office in Arts and Sciences recognizes that providing family care (whether it be for children, elderly family members, siblings, or partners) can create significant barriers to the timely completion of research/creative projects or for workshop or conference participation. Those delays can impact faculty productivity and the pipeline to tenure and/or promotion. The Dean’s Office acknowledges that these barriers to research productivity may disproportionately impact certain groups of faculty. The Faculty Equity, Inclusion, and Productivity Program hopes to address some of these potential barriers to tenure and promotion.

To help support faculty whose caregiving responsibilities impede their ability to travel for research or to participate in workshops, professional conferences, or other research-related collaborations, the Dean’s Office invites you as tenured and tenure-track faculty and full-time professors of the practice to apply to receive a limited portion of your university-allocated research funds as a disbursement to cover family care costs associated with research travel, research-related collaborations, or workshop or conference participation. 

This program is intended to encourage professional development. It is not intended to cover your regularly-scheduled family care, only care necessary to support travel or other costs related to a specific research project. We hope that these funds can be used to supplement existing or additional dependent or family care costs during the period of research in question. The parameters for the use of these funds are outlined below.

1. You may apply for no more than $5000 in salary supplement related to caregiving in any given fiscal year.  These funds will be disbursed from your research account (pending their availability and please note that funds may not be taken from laboratory budgets or grant funds).  Distributions are subject to any applicable taxes (including those that apply to taxable income).[1]

2. You can apply via this link. The application stipulates the use of the funds for a specified period of time. Please describe the projected use of the funds, the project in progress, and the current state of the project. If for some reason, you are unable to use the funds for their proposed project (the cancelation of a conference due to COVID, for example), you should contact your department and the Dean’s Office about returning the funds to your research account (if they have already been disbursed) or about canceling the request so that the funds remain available for the future.

3. Within six months of the completion of each disbursement, you must submit a brief report (500-600 words) describing your research progress.

4. Applications may be submitted on a rolling basis throughout each fiscal year (for a total of $5000/year).  Please allow up to 2-3 weeks for applications to be reviewed.

Sample list of potential projects covered by the funds

  • May be used by recipients for dependent care at a conference, or at an alternative location (including at home if the recipient is required to participate in a project that temporarily disrupts/increases the need for their regular dependent care) and may include those expenses incurred in transporting a caregiver (other than the faculty member and/or spouse/partner) or the child/sibling/elder/partner receiving care.

  • May be used by recipients who require dependent care over and above regularly scheduled care to engage in off-site research.  For example, this might include faculty members supervising laboratory work, conducting field work, collaborating off-site with colleagues or graduate TAs on a specific project related to their research.

  • May be used by faculty who need to spend additional time off-site/outside the home to access campus resources such as maker spaces, AV labs, art studios/gallery spaces, or computer labs related to their work.  Funds may be used to supplement additional family care needed during that time.

  • May be used by those whose “travel” may consist of time in an off-site local laboratory or other site of collaboration for the time stipulated in the funding proposal. 

Activities that would not qualify

  • Family care provided while faculty member in question is teaching summer school.

  • Family care provided on an ongoing basis, and not related to a specific research/creative project which requires additional time outside the home/away from family care beyond normal work expectations.

  • Cannot be used to extend travel time beyond a research trip/conference/workshop participation.

  • Cannot be disbursed from a research grant (internal or external) and should not be drawn from laboratory funding support.

[1] Please note that if you have questions about whether these expenses can be counted as deductible dependent care for tax or FSA purposes, please consult with the Tufts HR Benefits staff, rather than your Chair or Dean to ensure that you get the most current and accurate information specific to your situation.