The Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs invites proposals from Colby students, regardless of major, for funding of original research projects (including collaborative research) on topics related to public affairs or civic engagement. A wide range of student research projects may qualify for funding under this program, however, preference will be given to students working on honors projects or independent studies or on extended class-related papers for which no other adequate funding sources are available.


Grants are available to continuing, full-time Colby students. Grants will average $3,000, with maximum funding allocated to those grants that are either collaborative or for those that require international travel. Funds may be allocated to cover any legitimate research expenses including, but not limited to: the purchase of research materials, travel, food, and lodging expenses associated with data gathering. Students may not qualify for stipends under this program, except for unusual circumstances, which should be specifically documented at the time of the application. The Center hopes to fund two or three projects from this round of applications.

Applications for Jan Plan Funding 2021 will be live on this DavisConnects webpage on October 12, 2020. Students will submit a general application (please visit that DavisConnects funding page to prep all essay questions and application materials) in addition to the following questions by October 29, 2020, at 11:59 PM EST.

  1. Please prepare a PDF of your unofficial transcript to upload to the application.
  2. Please choose a faculty sponsor, with enough advance notice of the deadline, who will evaluate your proposal and ability to see it through. You will be asked to enter their name and Colby’s email address in the application. This will send them an email prompt to login and fill out a brief form for committee review.
  3. Provide a brief abstract describing the project.
  4. What is the topic’s connection to the Goldfarb Center’s public affairs mission?
  5. Literature Review and Research Design. Please upload a PDF that responds to the following questions:
    1. Provide a brief literature review (consult with your faculty sponsor for examples relevant to your field) that indicates the significance of your research questions.
    2. Describe the methodology, including a clear indication of how data will be gathered and how variables will be defined.
    3. Please provide evidence that you have the skills necessary to gather the information in this way, usually indicated by significant coursework. Defend why this project is viable.
    4. What is your timeline for data-gathering and writing?
    5. Are you applying for funding from any source other than through Goldfarb Sandy Maisel grants? If so, indicate the source and how much are you requesting.
    6. If applicable, please explain any extenuating circumstances that may have impacted your academic record.
    7. If applicable, please explain any extenuating circumstances that may have an impact on your financial status.

If the project involves human subjects, the proposal should be submitted to Colby’s Institutional Review Board simultaneously with submission to the Goldfarb Center. Your project must be approved before we will disburse funds.


The proposal should specify the intended end product for the project and at least preliminary thoughts on means of dissemination. Students receiving funding under this program will be expected to make presentations as part of the Colby Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Sandy Maisel Student Fellows

Thanks to a generous gift of a group of alumni seeking to honor Professor Maisel, students receiving research grants will be named Sandy Maisel Student Fellows for the academic year in which their work is completed and should include that designation on all work that results from this grant. Sandy Maisel Student Fellows are expected to attend Goldfarb Center events throughout the year on a regular basis.


You must keep all receipts and submit the originals in a timely fashion to the Goldfarb Center’s administrative assistant. The receipts need to show both what was purchased and for how much (this is to keep both the accountants and IRS happy). You do not need to wait until the project is finished to submit your receipts (in fact it is best to submit within 30 days of the expenditure). You should keep a log of all of your expenses (an Excel spreadsheet is a good idea). It is a good habit to get into but more importantly ensures accurate accounting for yourself and the Center.


Application Opens: October 12, 2020, at 12:00 AM EST

Application Closes: October 29, 2020, at 11:59 PM EST

Award Notifications: November 20, 2020

Post-Acceptance Requirements: December 18, 2020


For questions about the grant process, contact Scott Lamer at

For all other questions, contact Goldfarb Center Assistant Director Sherry Berard at