FACE Foundation

Supporting French-American Cultural Exchange in Education and the Arts

Thomas Jefferson Fund


Program and application process

What is meant by supporting ‘young researchers’?

Projects should be carried out by principal investigators in the early stages of their careers and PhD students. So far, selected projects have been realized by principal investigators between 3 years and 16 years after their PhD. The majority of selected PIs obtained the funding around 10 years after their PhD. In all cases, the involvement of PhD students in the project team is essential.

How can we involve PhD students?

PhD students can benefit from the project by being fully involved in the research tasks, participation and presentation of the joint works during conferences or workshops. As a result of their participation, some PhD students include the project’s research in a chapter of their thesis.

Do I need to be the advisor of the PhD student(s) involved in the project? Do I need to hold an HDR (habilitation à diriger des recherches) in the French institution?

No this is not necessary. You can involve PhD students of your institution with relevant skills supervised by other researchers.

Is it possible to apply as a full professor?

Young researchers will be chosen in priority, with more or less 15 years of experience. This can in rare cases include full professors.

Is it possible to apply if I am not a post-doctorate yet? 

No, only applicants with a PhD are eligible. You can encourage a more advanced member of your research team to apply and contribute to the project.

Is it possible to apply if we do not have any junior researcher in the project?

Yes, but PhD student and Post-Doc participation is an essential criterion in the evaluation of project. You would need to explain why you cannot involve any.

Can there be an overlap between the publications listed in the two sections of the application form (list 5 of the most significant and relevant publications by the French and American project leaders, as well as joint publications) or should the publications in each of these sections be unique?

They should be unique in each section.

Can a startup apply?

No, only researchers employed in a research institution/university can apply. Startups can be listed as additional partners to support the project.

What is the success rate per call?

There is an average of 15-25% selected projects per call.

Is it possible to apply for a new call if I am currently being funded by the TJF to continue the project?

No, a project can only be accepted for one grant, and there cannot be an overlapping of TJF grants.

Is it possible to apply for a project with a new partner institution if I currently have a TJF grant with a different institution?

No, there cannot be an overlapping of TJF grants.

We do not have joint publications yet, is this a problem?

No, but evidence of the cooperation is always appreciated in the evaluation, and listing joint publications is one example of an already stable cooperation. You could also mention if you have worked in the same research team at one point or how you became aware of each other’s work.

What can be in kind contributions for a Humanities and Social Science lab?

Access to conference rooms for instance.

Why is the program named after Thomas Jefferson?

This name was chosen at the creation of the program in 2017 due to the important links of Thomas Jefferson with France and research. He was an engineer, the founder of the University of Virginia and was appointed Minister to France from 1785 to 1793 before becoming the third President of the United Stated from 1801 to 1809. However, he was also a slave owner and while we recognize Thomas Jefferson’s achievements, we also acknowledge his failures. We think it is important to take into account the complexity of historical figures and to examine their legacy as a whole.

Use of the grant and eligibility of expenses

What can we do in the COVID crisis context and until international travel is allowed again to work on the project?

Selected projects work remotely until international travel resumes and participate in virtual conferences or workshops for instance. At the end of the project, delays in the work plan linked to COVID can be used to request a no-cost of extension of the funding.

Is it possible to use the grant to fund a mobility outside of France or the US? 

Yes, for dissemination or research purposes. These expenses are to be declared under ‘other expenses’, which are limited to 40% of the grant.

Is it possible to pay for registration fees or a package with the grant?

Yes, this type of expenses falls under ‘other expenses’ section and must be limited to 40% of the grant.

Can visa fees be funded as living expenses?

Yes, they can if you still respect the existing thresholds.

Does the grant cover meal costs during travels and conferences? If so, where should that be included in the budget?

Yes, these expenses can be covered and should be included under other expenses for a conference, and under living expenses for a project mobility.

Can undergraduate students be funded? 

No, only PhD student mobility can be funded.

Is it possible to fund the co-supervision of undergraduate senior theses?

No, they cannot be funded, but Bachelor students can participate in the project as long as the grant is not used to fund their mobilities.            

How can we involve undergraduate or Master’s students?

They can participate in the project, but not in the mobilities funded by the Thomas Jefferson Fund grant. Usually, they are involved in the preparation work for on-site research, organization of joint conference or workshop. It is also possible to involve them in exchanges with the partner team, in a long-term collaboration perspective.

Is it possible to buy equipment with the grant?

No, only mobilities or disseminations costs can be accepted (publication, translation, conferences).

Can a travel be allowed for US interstate mobility?

Yes, and it should be included under travel expenses if the mobility is for the French partner, but under other expenses if this is an American partner mobility.

Can the funding be used to pay travel/accommodation costs of a collaborator from an “additional partner institution”, and who is not at either of the institutions that receive payments directly? 

Yes, this person will be considered as ‘additional researcher’ and his/her funded mobilities should be included in ‘other expenses’ section. All additional partner institutions must be clearly identified in the project application or the progress reports.

Can the TJF fund mobilities for another researcher from one of the partner institutions, but who is not the principal investigator or a PhD student?

Yes, his/her mobility should be included under travel/living expenses in the financial report, where there is a line for ‘other researcher’.

What happens if as a Principal Investigator I move to a different institution during the project?

In case a Principal Investigator changes their position to a different institution, they will have to find a colleague in the initial institution to replace them as the Principal Investigator. The grant cannot be transferred to a new institution. We encourage Principal Investigators who change institutions to become additional partners to continue contributing to the project and to be able to benefit from it in a limited way.


French Embassy in the U.S.
Higher Education Department