Faculty Research Committee Grants
Deadline for applications is January 31, 2013 at noon.
- Maximum amount of award - $5,000
- Maximum amount for one credit hour per semester of teaching load reduction - $750
- Duration of award – July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014
- Your proposal is not eligible for funding if you have received funding during 2011-12 and 2012-13
- 2013-2014 Application Materials
- Faculty Research Handbook
- Faculty Research Committee Procedures
Handbook for TTU Faculty Research Committee Grants
The Faculty Research Program was established in the fall quarter of 1963 to:
A. Stimulate interest in research on the part of the faculty.
B. Provide institutional assistance to faculty members who wish to undertake research projects.
C. Assist in the dissemination of information developed in faculty research projects.
The research program provides support for investigations of new research areas for the faculty members involved. The results of such support are expected to be publications or other dissemination of results and, where appropriate, proposals for external funding. It is anticipated that the results of faculty research will filter downward into the classroom, particularly to graduate courses. The University takes the view that a primary benefit of faculty research lies in its potential to improve instruction. New faculty members are particularly encouraged to apply for a Faculty Research Committee Grant.
The financial support of the Faculty Research Program is derived from the indirect cost generated on faculty research. This income is distributed throughout the University as a means of stimulating faculty interest in research—first to the department where the principal investigator is located, second to the college of the principal investigator, and third to the University. Of the portion allocated to the University, part is distributed to the Faculty Research Fund.
The Faculty Research Program is coordinated by the Faculty Research Committee. This committee consists of nine faculty members. Representation by college is as follows: Agriculture and Human Ecology, 1; Arts and Sciences, 2 (one from sciences/math and one from social sciences/humanities); Business Administration, 1; Education, 2 (one from professional education and one from fine arts); Engineering, 2 (from different disciplines); and Nursing, 1. All members are appointed by the President in accordance with approved procedures. The Associate Vice President for Research serves as the Executive Officer of the committee. The Faculty Research Committee meets periodically to evaluate research proposals, progress reports, and the general status of faculty research supported by the University.
II. Types of Faculty Research Programs
The Faculty Research Program is divided into two parts: (1) 40 percent of the funds to the Faculty Research Development Program, and (2) 60 percent to the Faculty Research Initiation Program. In order to provide flexibility in the allocation of funds between the two categories, any unused money may be transferred from the Initiation Program to fund meritorious proposals in the Development Program.
The purpose of the Faculty Research Development Program is to support (a) the scholarly and creative accomplishments of faculty in disciplines where external funding is typically not available, (b) faculty who have limited experience in applying for and receiving competitive external funding, and (c) pilot projects that are expected to lead to the development and submission of proposals for external funding. Applicants may be tenured or non-tenured faculty.
The purpose of the Faculty Research Initiation Program is to provide seed money for tenure-track faculty to initiate and develop their research program.
Guidelines for the Faculty Research Initiation Program include the following:
A. Applicants must be full-time, tenure track, professorial rank faculty.
B. Proposals will be evaluated based on their intellectual merit, potential for external grant proposals, and current and planned research thrusts of the unit.
C. The Department Chair/Director will be required to endorse the applicant’s proposal by stating the level of in-kind or in-cash match to the project, and the impact of the proposed activity to the unit’s research program (Appendix A). In-kind or in-cash department match must be new resources and not less than the equivalency of one (1) contact hour of release time per fiscal year.
D. Faculty will be limited to two Faculty Research Initiation awards while on tenure track.
E. Awardees will be required to submit a proposal to a funding agency by the second Monday of January following the conclusion of the research project.
F. A faculty will not be eligible for a second Research Initiation award if Item E is not met.
G. Proposals for both the Research Development Program and the Research Initiation Program will be considered ineligible for consideration by the Committee if any of the following conditions are satisfied:
1. Faculty who have received two consecutive awards regardless of the program under which proposal was funded.
2. Proposals by faculty to complete requirements for their own degree.
3. Proposals that are substantially similar to proposals previously funded by the Faculty Research grants program.
4. Proposals that have received external funding.
5. Proposals that are not in compliance with instructions for preparing the narrative.
III. Types of Projects Eligible for Assistance
The research program is designed to assist faculty members engaged in basic and applied research, as the terms are generally understood. It is recognized that the terms basic and applied research may have somewhat different meanings in different disciplines. It is the responsibility of the faculty member proposing a research project to explain the significance, relevance, and appropriateness of the research proposed. It is the responsibility of the evaluators (i.e., members of the Faculty Research Committee) to decide on the merits of research proposed and which proposals are most worthy of funding. Since the intent is to provide a beginning impetus to a faculty member’s research project, faculty who have received funding for two consecutive years will be ineligible for the subsequent year (either as an individual or as a member of a team) regardless of the program under which the proposal was funded. One academic year of funding is the norm. A proposal that serves to extend a project previously funded by the Faculty Research Program should state this, describe what has been done to date (including a progress report attached as an appendix), and explain why additional funding is warranted (see Appendix C).
The following special categories of expenses are considered to fall within the definitions of basic and applied research, including the necessary dissemination of information, and thus are eligible for funding:
A. Travel primarily within the continental United States in connection with the research. Funding is limited to $2,000 per fiscal year. Travel funds requested for anything else will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Faculty will be required to provide justification for any travel in excess of $2,000.
B. Payment of the minimum amount for the expense of publication in scholarly journals of short articles or abstracts of articles related to research supported by the Faculty Research Program when the journal absolutely requires that the author or the institution bear the cost. Also included is the payment for the minimum number of reprints of articles related to research supported by the Faculty Research Program when the journal absolutely requires that the author purchase reprints as a part of the publication agreement.
C. The publication by University Printing Services of handbooks and similar works related to research supported by the Faculty Research Program when the document is of broad interest and when support of such publication cannot be arranged through an outside agency.
D. Descriptive or normative surveys; i.e., the compilation of data through questionnaires or similar methods and the analysis of the data.
E. The making of recordings when such is an essential part of the proposed research.
IV. Administrative Regulations Governing the Research Program
A. Assistance may take the following forms:
1. Reduction in teaching load.
2. Funds for special aids such as typing, laboratory assistance, data processing, etc.
3. Funds for special supplies and equipment. (Special justification must be included in the budget summary of the proposal if computer hardware is requested.)
4. Funds for travel.
5. Compensation of personnel for projects eligible for summer assistance.
6. Funds can be requested to support a student (advanced undergraduate or graduate) if the purpose of support is to assist faculty collect preliminary data that can be used in developing a research proposal. Adequate justification must be provided.
B. Assistance in the form of reduced teaching load will apply only to the regular academic year and will not exceed one course per semester.
C. Assistance in the form of special aids, travel, special supplies, and equipment may apply to the summer semester as well as to the regular academic year.
D. Assistance may be terminated at any time if the researcher does not make satisfactory progress.
E. Applicants eligible for the Faculty Research Development Program must be full-time, tenured or full-time, tenure track faculty, and applicants for the Faculty Research Initiation Program must be full-time, tenure track, professorial rank faculty. Administrative personnel are eligible to submit either a Faculty Research Development proposal or a Faculty Research Initiation proposal if a tenured or non-tenured faculty member serves as the principal investigator on the project.
F. A proposal may be authored by multiple faculty members. The role of each must be clarified, if not obvious. The maximum amount that may be requested is the maximum for an individual multiplied by the number of individuals. In evaluating a multiple-authored proposal, the evaluators will take into account the amount requested and the impact, if funded, on the ability to carry out the purposes of the Faculty Research Program.
G. A faculty member may apply for an instructional grant, a non-instructional grant, and one faculty research grant for the same academic year. If more than one grant is approved, the faculty member must select the one to be awarded.
H. If a faculty member is awarded a faculty research grant for a given year but is not able to accept it that year, the award is forfeited. The faculty member may resubmit the proposal for consideration in a subsequent year’s award competition.
I. Faculty Research Committee members may submit a proposal but will not review their own proposals. They must excuse themselves from the meeting if their own proposals are under discussion. Although their proposals may or may not be funded, they may continue to serve their term on the committee.
J. Funds that may be part of an award will not be carried over into the next fiscal year unless some severe and unanticipated development has delayed the research.
Any request to carry over unexpended funds must be submitted in writing to the Executive Officer of the Faculty Research Committee at least one month prior to the end of the last semester of funding. In no case will such unexpended funds be carried over into a third fiscal year.
K. Funds may be granted to support multi-year projects provided that special justification is provided and the total time span of the project is given in the initial proposal. Funding for year one of a multi-year project does not guarantee funding for succeeding years. To obtain funding for a succeeding year, a new proposal must be submitted. A proposal for a succeeding year should follow all proposal guidelines, include a statement that it is a continuation project, and have attached a progress report for the current year.
L. Consideration may be given to proposals for summer compensation (see paragraph M) that meet one or more of the following criteria:
1. The research involved is of a seasonal type that requires summer climatic conditions or deals with growth phases or other characteristics that are obvious only during the summer.
2. The research, because of its nature, cannot be interrupted without compromising the results of observations being made, etc. This provision is designed to apply primarily to research that has been approved for the regular academic year and that has been delayed or prolonged by circumstances beyond the control of the researcher.
M. A faculty member working on a project that satisfies the requirements of the preceding paragraphs will receive compensation in lieu of teaching load reduction. The amount of such compensation will be computed at the rate at which a regular teaching load reduction for research is valued. In no case may the total of (1) the number of semester hours for which the research is being compensated and (2) the number of semester hours being taught during the summer school exceed the limitations on summer teaching.
N. Assistance to individual faculty members in any 12-month period will be limited to $5,000. The amount will include reduction of teaching load, summer compensation in lieu of teaching load reduction, special aids, travel, special supplies, and equipment.
V. Procedures Utilized in Processing Applications for Assistance
A. A Cover Sheet (Appendix A), Budget Summary form (Appendix B), Summary of Previous Assistance Received from the Faculty Research Committee (Appendix C), and Instructions for Preparation of the Narrative (Appendix D) are provided for use in preparing a proposal. When writing a proposal, it is important to remember to “target the audience.” It is the members of the Faculty Research Committee (see Section I. for membership) who evaluate the proposals and decide which are eligible and which will actually receive funding. Although the committee members are knowledgeable about research, they are not usually experts in the specialized area of research in the proposal. They are an educated, intelligent, “lay” audience.
B. The committee will issue a call for proposals during the fall semester of each year and announce a deadline date for the submission of proposals for the following year. PROPOSALS AND/OR ANY SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION RECEIVED AFTER THE DEADLINE WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED. The committee will act on the resulting proposals before the end of spring semester. If funds permit, the committee may issue subsequent calls.
C. When a proposal has been completed by the applicant, the proposal must be routed in turn to the departmental chairperson and to the dean of the applicant’s college/school (or the dean’s designated representative) for comments and/or recommendations in the spaces provided on the Cover Sheet. Individual faculty members are then required to submit their proposals to the Office of Research no later than 12:00 noon on the deadline date via electronic submission (Appendix H). After all proposals have been received, the Office of Research will distribute them to the Faculty Research Committee.
D. The Faculty Research Committee will evaluate the proposed project. If necessary, the evaluation will incorporate consultation with members of the discipline area in which the proposal occurs. Appendix E describes the rating system and method of ranking proposals that are used to decide which proposals will be funded. Usually, there are insufficient funds to fund all worthy proposals.
E. The committee chairperson will forward the committee’s recommendations to the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs.
F. When the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs has acted on the committee’s recommendations, the committee chairperson will notify the applicant, departmental chairperson, and dean.
VI. Criteria Utilized by the Committee in Evaluating Research Proposals
A. The researcher must be knowledgeable and experienced in the area of the proposed research.
B. The research project must promise significant contributions to knowledge in the field of work.
C. The results of the research must hold good possibilities of publication.
D. The project must not duplicate research already accomplished by others but may represent extensions of such earlier research.
E. Funds cannot be used to assist faculty to complete the requirements for any degree.
F. In reviewing proposals, the committee will carefully look for the following:
1. Evidence of plans that have been thoughtfully and carefully worked out.
2. Clear definition of the objective(s) and an outline of steps, methods, and procedures leading to the accomplishment of the objective(s).
3. Thoughtful estimates of required time frames and anticipated needs for special aids, equipment, supplies, travel, and other assistance as needed.
4. If public schools or other outside agencies are involved, letters of agreement from appropriate persons included in the form of an appendix.
5. Statements relative to the possibility of publication of the results.
6. Statements relative to the possibility of preparing a proposal for external support.
7. Adherence to the guidelines.
VII. Planning and Conduct of Projects
Proposals should be carefully worked out prior to submission to the committee. The researcher must clearly define the objective(s) and outline the steps, methods, etc. by which the objective(s) is/are to be achieved. Thoughtful estimates of the time required to complete the project, as well as foresight in establishing the needs for special aids, supplies, travel, and equipment, must be clearly stated.
The committee is fully aware that successful research is partially based upon inspiration and that considerable flexibility must be allowed for variations from original plans. Even within this context, however, the committee sometimes notices evidence of defects in initial planning. The following are examples: failure to include itemized lists of equipment and other needs in the proposal, failure to delimit the objectives so that they can be attained within the approved time period, approval of the proposal followed immediately by a request from the recipient to transfer the assistance to another project, etc.
If the award includes funds other than the reduction of teaching load, the recipient should expend the funds in a timely manner. If, for example, purchasing approved equipment is delayed, it may be necessary to apply for an extension of the ending date of the award. The committee may not approve the extension if doing so will deprive other applicants of research assistance. In any event, delays in making expenditures may lead to the loss of funds with the expiration of the fiscal year (see Section IV.J.).
VIII. Funding of Approved Projects
A. If human subjects or laboratory animals are involved, the committee, in approving a proposal, will make the award contingent upon the applicant’s obtaining appropriate clearance from the Institutional Review Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects or the Institutional Committee for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals in Experimentation.
B. When a research proposal has received final approval, the committee chairperson will notify the Grants Accountant of the recipient’s name, department, and released time funds (and/or summer compensation in lieu of teaching load reduction) that are to be received. The committee chairperson will also provide the Grants Accountant with a copy of the recipient’s budget or itemization of expenses if funds other than released time are involved.
C. In cases involving release time, i.e., reduction of teaching load, the Grants Accountant will transfer the portion of the recipient’s salary from the Faculty Research account into the appropriate departmental account. The department must then submit a properly completed “Request for Revision in Budget” form transferring funds from the faculty member’s salary line to the appropriate object from which the funds will be expended.
D. If funds for special aids, special supplies, travel, and equipment are involved, the Grants Accountant will assign an account number to the project and establish the account. Expenditures shall be made in accordance with University policies and procedures. Standard requisition forms shall be used and shall be forwarded through regular department and college/school offices for approval.
E. In cases involving summer compensation, the Grants Accountant will transfer payment to the recipients from a special account. The notifications sent out by the committee (as per section V.F.) will inform departmental chairpersons of their faculty members receiving compensation and the amounts to be received. The chairpersons will add to their summer school payrolls the names of the faculty members involved, the compensation that has been authorized for each individual, and a notation that payment is to be made from the Faculty Research account. Payments will be made with summer school paychecks.
IX. Ownership of Equipment
The ownership of all equipment purchased from funds allocated for faculty research shall rest, upon completion of the research, with the faculty member’s department or center. The committee may make the decision, when there is an overlap of pertinency, that items such as microfilm revert to the Library or may give special consideration to equipment disposition in other cases, such as grants involving faculty from more than one department/center.
X. Project Reports
Recipients of research assistance are required to provide the committee with final reports relative to their projects as well as special reports if requested. These reports are necessary in order that the committee may constantly assess the progress of both individual projects and the overall research program.
The report should be submitted on the Project Report form (Appendix F). It should summarize the results of the entire project and should be prepared at the end of the last semester of funding. The completed report should be transmitted by recipients in order to reach the Office of Research no later than October 1—WHETHER OR NOT THE RESEARCH HAS BEEN COMPETED. In cases where a project was not completed on time, a revised report should be submitted when the project has been completed.
The committee will not consider any request for extension of a project or for a new project until the required final report on the previously completed project has been received. Recipients of assistance are encouraged to make special progress reports at any time, particularly if they encounter unanticipated difficulties and delays in their projects. They are also encouraged to consult the committee in such cases.
Many faculty research projects result in publications of one type or another or in papers presented at scholarly meetings. Such publications and papers provide one of the most significant measures of the overall success of the research program. The Project Report form has spaces for listing these evidences of the successful conclusions of the project. It is realized that some articles and papers will not have been published and/or presented at the same time the final report is prepared. The committee should be furnished a copy of the reprint of each article resulting from faculty research projects. In submitting articles for publications, recipients of Faculty Research Program assistance should identify themselves with Tennessee Technological University.
XII. Research Assistance from Outside Agencies
A proposal that has received funding from an outside agency will be considered ineligible under this program.
XIII. Responsibility of Recipient in Case of Outside Funding
If a recipient’s approved project is subsequently funded by an outside agency, it is to be immediately reported to the committee for review and modification of objectives or termination of Faculty Research Program support. The committee, in its review, will consider each case on an individual basis.
XIV. Patents and Copyrights
The provisions of the Tennessee Board of Regents Policy 5:01:06:00 (Policy on Patents and Copyrights-latest version) and of such University policies as may be devised to implement the foregoing will govern the interests of the researcher and the University in all inventions, discoveries, or copyrightable materials resulting from a faculty research award. Information and assistance is available in the Office of Research.