Research Enhancement Plan

A cooperative program between COAS and ORSP to encourage research and grant-proposal submissions in Arts and Sciences.


The College of Arts and Sciences Dean's Office, in cooperation with the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs and individual departments in the college, fund proposals for course releases and for research budgets as one means to enhance focus on research, research productivity, and on acquisition of grant funds.  The projects may be in any Arts and Sciences discipline; they must result in an external grant application, a high-quality scholarly publication (or submission of a paper to a first-class journal), or a work of similar scholarly merit.  Proposals may be submitted by any tenure-line faculty member.  

Applications are submitted first to department chairs who consider both the merits of the proposal and the availability of departmental resources that may be committed to applications.  Chairs then send to the dean’s office those awards they wish to recommend, in ranked order if the chair prefers.  Awards are decided by the dean and the associate deans.  Course releases are assigned subject to the needs of the department. 

The College makes awards in the following two categories:

(1) Course Releases.  an award of $1000, matched by $1000 from the applicant's department and by $1000 by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, that is used to provide a course release for the faculty member.  Whether the release is taken in Spring 2012 or Fall 2012 is decided by the department chair.  (No course release can be authorized in the same term in which a faculty member receives an overload.)

(2) Monetary Awards.  an award of $500, matched by $500 from the applicant's department and by $500 by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (for a total monetary award of $1500), that may be used as a budget for research expenses or research-related travel (but not as a salary supplement).  

The total amount of awards will not exceed $30,000 per year (including all matching funds).  Preference in making the awards will be given to projects that do not benefit from other sources of support.  Since funding for this program will come partially from dollars generated by prior grant activity, some of the awards likely will go to projects resulting in grant applications.  

Applicants submit to their department chairs an application packet consisting of the following items (double-spaced, 12-point Times-Roman or close equivalent):

  • One page project description, Half page description of the significance of the project both to the applicant’s research agenda and as a contribution to the discipline, 
  • Half page budget (in the case of a monetary award application) and timeline,
  • Contact information and signature of applicant, and 
  • (for the forwarded applications) Signature of departmental chair, indicating a commitment of the departmental matching funds, along with whatever comments the chair wishes to offer. 

  Deadline for submission of applications to the dean’s office is August 1. Awards are announced by September 15 to allow time for awards to be considered in the scheduling for Spring Semester.   


2010-11 Awardees: 

Stuart Chalk (Chemistry) -- research budget -- "Multivariate Method for the Analysis of Arsenate and Phosphate in Environmental Waters"

Chiu Choi (Political Science and Public Administration) -- research budget -- "Green Growth and Economic Development:  Collaboration and Management in the Face of Climate Change"

Nofa Dixon (Art & Design) -- research budget -- "Mosaic and Glazed Ceramic Tile Mural"

Lev Gasparov (Physics) -- course release -- "Thin Film Substrates:  A Spectroscopic Insight"

Dominik Guess (Psychology) -- course release -- "Dynamic Decision Making Expertise"

Melissa Hargrove (Sociology & Anthropology) -- course release -- "Reinventing the Plantation:  Gated Communities as Spatial Segregation in the Gullah Sea Islands"

Ronald Libby (Political Science and Public Administration) -- research budget -- "Great Expectations:  Challenges to Obama's Presidency"

Susan Perez (Psychology) -- course release -- "Children's Development of Executive Function Skills" (grant proposal development)

Stephynie Perkins (Communicaiton) -- research budget -- "The Norman Studios"

Bart Welling (English) -- course release -- "'No Blood for Oil': The Unnatural History of Oil Discources int he Modern Literature and Culture of the United States"

Greg Wurtz (Physics) -- course release -- "Non-Linear Optical Properties of Plasmonic Nanodevices" 

2011-12 Awardees: 

Scott Brown (Art & Design) -- research budget -- "Working Group for the Study of Medieval Sculpture"

Alison Bruey (History) -- course release -- "Bread, Justice and Liberty: Neoliberalism, Human Rights, and Grassroots Organizing in Pinochet's Chile"

Alicia Sitren (Criminology and Criminal Justice)  -- research budget -- "Deterence Theory"

James Worth (Psychology) -- course release -- "Non-Linear Optical Properties of Plasmonic Nanodevices" 

2012-13 Awardees:

Greg Ahearn (Biology) and James Gelsleichter (Biology) -- research budget -- "Is the Shark Spiral Valve a Nutrient Absorptive Organ?"  

Greg Ahearn (Biology) and Amy Lane (Chemistry) -- research budget -- "Heavy Metals Stimulate Essential Amino Acid Absorption"  

Keith Ashley (Sociology & Anthropology) -- research budget -- "Archaeological Research at the Mill Cove Complex"  

Lev Gasparov (Physics) -- research budget -- "Development of the National Science Foundation Research Experience for the Undergratuates Site Proposal"  

Thomas Mullen (Chemistry) -- research budget -- "Replicating Multifunctional Nanoscale Features"  

Jennifer Wesely (Criminology & Criminal Justice) -- course release -- "Interventions and Re-Offending Among Intimate Partner Violence Perpetrators: A Qualitative and Quantitative Approach"   

2013-14 Awardees:

Dale Casamatta (Biology) --course release -- "Assembling the Tree of Life: Cyanobacteria"

Terri Ellis (Biology) -- research budget -- "Analyizing Outer Membranes of Disease Causing Bacteria"

Stephen Gosden (Music) -- course release -- "Role of Cadences in the Music of Sergei Rachmaninoff"

Jenny Hagar (Art & Design) -- research budget -- "International Sculpture Symposium"

Eric Johnson (Biology) -- course release -- "Feeding Ecology of Invasive Lionfish in Florida Estuaries"

Christos Lampropoulos (Chemistry)  -- research budget -- "Developing a Versatile Platform for Synthesis of Molecular-Based Materials"

Amy Lane (Chemistry) -- research budget -- "Microbial Competition as an Activator of Natural Product Production"

Gordon Rakita (Sociology, Anthropology & Social Work) -- research budget -- "Processing and Analyzing Ground Penetrating Radar Data"

Daniel Santavicca (Physics) -- course release -- "Development of an Electron Beam Lithography System for Nanoscale Device Fabrication"

David Waddell (Biology) -- course release -- "Molecular Mechanisms of Skeletal Muscle Atrophy and the Associated Consequences of Muscle Wasting"

 For more information about this program, please contact David Fenner at