In order to compete successfully for external support for research projects faculty often need to develop new methodological skills, need specialized equipment, require release time, need research assistance, or need to consult with experts. The Center will support these activities with small-scale awards to Center faculty and their graduate students. These funds should be regarded as seed money to help faculty obtain independent, external support of research projects; they are not intended to cover the total cost of any research project. A Faculty Development Award is intended to help faculty submit competitive research proposals; to increase research productivity; and to encourage interdisciplinary collaborations. In this context, awards will be granted for:
(i) teaching relief or summer support for Center faculty or their graduate students;
(ii) essential (preferably shared) equipment;
(iv) visits by scholars; and to
(v) organize or participate in technical workshops.
The impetus for all awards is to promote the successful acquisition of external funds to support faculty research projects. The Center may support activities not listed if they serve to promote the research potential of Center members.
All Center faculty members (and their students) are eligible for support. A graduate student is eligible for a maximum of one full year of support, divided into three (two semesters and one summer) separate awards. A single proposal may be submitted for continuous support of a graduate student (i.e., to request that all three awards be granted in sequence), but the decision to provide continued support will be made at the end of each semester (summer) contingent on evidence of productivity and the need for continued support (see Conditions of Receipt of Award). Projects that involve multiple members of the Center will receive special consideration.
2. Review Process
Proposals will be reviewed by the Center co-directors and one additional Center faculty advisor, appointed by the Center directors. The criteria for selection of projects include its centrality to the mission of Center; the extent to which a project involves interdisciplinary collaboration; and the extent to which support by the Center will help a researcher to obtain external funds for his or her project. The Center is especially interested in innovative research projects that involve collaborations between faculty members from different specialty areas. Thus, interdisciplinary projects are given highest priority in the review process. Junior faculty and faculty who plan to submit a proposal to the National Institutes of Health or the National Science Foundation will also receive higher priority in reviews.
Applications will be accepted throughout the year, although applicants are encouraged to contact one of the Center directors prior to the preparation of a proposal. Each applicant must submit three hard copies of the following items to one of the two Center directors to be eligible for support.
(i) Cover letter
The applicant should provide a general plan for use of Center funds (e.g., whether the application is for equipment or to support a graduate student) in a cover letter. The applicant should also explain how receipt of the award will aid the applicant in his or her research agenda. Applicants are encouraged to solicit additional support from other in-kind University resources (e.g., their home Department or Sponsored Programs and Research). The cover letter should indicate if funds have been or will be solicited from these sources and whether the applicant is currently funded by other sources.
(ii) Proposal Description
The applicant must submit a brief description of the proposal for which funds are requested. This description should be not more than three pages in length, single-spaced (citations or figures do not count toward this limitation). Applicants should describe the aims of the study and specify in detail how the award will help the applicant obtain external support for the project.
Applicants must provide a detailed budget with a brief budget narrative. Applicants may budget for teaching release, summer support, graduate student support, travel, course fees, or other justifiable costs.
(iv) Biographical Sketch
The applicant should submit a current biographical sketch that includes publications and evidence of other forms of research productivity. The sketch should include a list of proposals submitted through the Center, whether funded or unfunded. If the request is to support a graduate student, then a biographical sketch should be provided for the student and the faculty advisor.
4. Conditions of Receipt of Award
Awardees will be required to submit a grant proposal through the Center to an external funding agency within one year of receipt of the award. Awardees will be required to sign a letter in agreement to meet this obligation and to prepare a brief report detailing their use of Center funds for inclusion in the Center annual report. If a graduate student is supported for more than one summer or semester, then the proposal must be submitted within one year of the first award. If the award is for graduate student support a proposal may be submitted for his or her continued support or to support related research by the faculty advisor. However, the faculty advisor is considered to be the awardee, even if monetary support is provided to a graduate student. If a single proposal is submitted for the continuous support of a graduate student (i.e., a request for a graduate student to receive all three awards in sequence), then evidence of productivity and of the need for continued support must be submitted and receive approval from the Center prior to each period of support.