Dear Marianne and Mark,
As you heard during the previous faculty association meeting, the Research Committee would like to formally request two funding cycles for Research Grants. We will be meeting this Friday the 23rd at 3pm in the COEHS ESDE conference room 3500. We would like to invite you to this meeting to discuss this topic in more detail. Let me provide you with a little background prior to our meeting.
The purpose of having a second funding cycle in the spring would be to increase the quality and diversity of proposals funded. In the past you have followed our recommendation and accepted approximately 50% of the proposals submitted, roughly 25 proposals. We would like to work toward having 30 proposals funded, 15 in the fall and 15 in the spring. Eventually, we would like to see that number increase but we are willing to start gradually and see how and if the additional funding cycle changes the quality and possibly diversity of the proposals submitted.
A spring funding cycle would follow the following schedule (All grant would continue to be funded during Summer A session):
Jan.-Announcement for Call for Proposals is sent out
March-proposals are due before spring break
April-recommendation sent to the provost from the research committee
April or May-Provost notifies faculty who have won grants
We also believe having an additional funding cycle will allow junior faculty to learn more about the grant writing process. If their proposal was not funded, they will be provided feedback (upon request) to easily incorporate into their proposal for the next funding cycle. Waiting a whole year to accomplish this task may delay their ability to engage in their research. In addition, some faculty may heavy fall course loads which hinder their ability to apply for research grants in the fall. By having a spring cycle, these faculty will be able to apply in the spring without compromising work that must be dedicated to their classes.
Thank you for your consideration.
With regard to two funding cycles, I am sorry to say that I cannot endorse that modification because the department chairs need to know which of their faculty wish to teach in the summer well in advance of late spring. For that reason it makes far more sense for that to be only one review each year.
As you are aware, while we set aside funds to support these grants, up to our ability to do so we only fund those that come with the strongest endorsement of the committee (rather than a predetermined number regardless of quality). If the recommended proposals do not exhaust our funds, we shift the excess to the teaching or grant development proposals (or vice versa). One way or another we do indeed allocate all our available resources for faculty development.
If there is still a need to do so I will be happy to meet with the committee but I already am booked up this Friday afternoon.
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