Funding FAQ

Q: Does the Weiss Family Program Fund cover indirect costs?
A: No, the Fund does NOT cover indirect costs, such as a percentage for overhead or a country management fee. If appropriate, costs for items such as office rent in the developing country or accounting services are eligible, but only if directly attributable to the project and itemized in the proposed budget. For example, an applicant who plans to work with an organization like Innovations for Poverty Action must itemize and justify specific expenses.

Q: Can Weiss Family Program funding be used to purchase existing data as opposed to gathering one’s own?
A: Yes, grants can be used to purchase existing data. Data entry and data aggregation costs are also eligible.

Q: Do Associate Professors count as Junior or Senior faculty?
A: Any tenure-track faculty member who has not yet been tenured is defined as junior. Untenured associate professors will thus be considered as junior faculty, while tenured ones will count as senior faculty.

Q: Are visiting or adjunct professors at the participating schools eligible?
A: No. Only tenured or tenure-track ladder faculty at participating schools are eligible.

Q: Does the Weiss Family Program Fund cover cost of PI time (i.e., course-buyout or summer salary) as part of the budget?
A: No. No salary expenditures for the grant recipient are allowed.

Q: Do UC-Berkeley applicants apply both through UC-Berkeley and the Fund?
A:
 UC Berkeley applicants should complete the online application and request the letter of recommendation.  They also must submit a full proposal through the UC Berkeley Sponsored Projects Office (SPO) in accordance with SPO policies and deadlines.

Q: What is the period of funding?
A:
The proposal should state the requested dates of funding. The Weiss Fund ordinarily will not provide support to new projects being started by PhD students during their last year of the program. All students are expected to complete their projects before graduating from their program. Faculty may propose projects with longer timelines. Awardees whose timelines or project details have changed since the date of award, should direct their modification or no-cost extension requests to wfp@fas.harvard.edu.

Q: Does the expression of interest (EOI) application need to include Human Subjects/IRB approval for the proposed project?
A:
At the EOI application stage, documentation of IRB approval for the proposed project is not required. However, before funds can be disbursed to an awardee, evidence of IRB approval of the project, or evidence of exemption from approval must be documented.

Q: How will ability to successfully implement the project be assessed?
A: The committee is looking for evidence of ability of the PI(s) to successfully execute the project and for evidence that the applicant is proposing to use an appropriate technical approach to test the hypothesis, estimate parameters, etc.

Q: Does the Weiss Family Program Fund cover the cost of a research assistant?
A: Yes, this can include the hiring of a research assistant (RA), if the need for the RA is clearly justified in the budget narrative. Data entry costs and data aggregation costs (such as matching observations across complex datasets) are allowable but hiring of RAs by students is discouraged. Specifically, student PIs should be willing and able to take on data analysis on their own instead of recruiting RAs to do the analysis.

Other questions?

Please email the Weiss Family Program Fund (wfp@fas.harvard.edu) with any further questions.