I was hired by an American state teaching college last year as a tenure-track assistant professor of humanities. The college did not offer me any fixed startup funding. Instead, I had to submit my research proposal to the college and line up with all other faculty members in the college to compete for the funding for attending conferences or doing research. In most of the cases, even if I got the funding, I had to pay out-of-pocket more or less for my research trip. This made me feel very insecure. I am wondering whether it is possible for me to negotiate some startup funding a year after I accepted the offer. Or whether there would be any chances to negotiate startup or research fundings?

2 Answers 2


You can of course always ask. The question is whether they will give you anything. Among the considerations for your department head or dean will be "Did other new hires get anything?", and "Do we offer anything of this sort to people who have been in the department for longer already?"

If none of the recent hires got a startup package, and if people generally pay for their conference participation out of their own pocket, then you're unlikely to get anything. Whether that is the case, of course, is something you can find out before you ask for it: Talk to your colleagues!


It is very unlikely that you could negotiate this type of funding after you are employed, particularly at the type of institution where you are working. I would put your energy into building collaborations that are fundable and applying for external grants.

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