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.


The Research Enhancement Plan (REP) Review Committee is composed of the previous year’s winners of an REP. Faculty on leave are excused from service. If the REP Review Committee does not include a representative of one or more of the four disciplinary areas (fine arts, humanities, natural sciences, social sciences), the chairs of the departments in that area will select an additional member of the REP Review Committee. The REP Review Committee will rank the applications according to the criteria in this policy and submit this ranking as a recommendation to the Dean. Awards are decided by the Dean in consultation with the associate deans.


The College makes 5 to 10 awards in the following two categories:

  • 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 or Fall is decided by the department chair. (No course release can be authorized in the same term in which a faculty member receives an overload.) Course releases are assigned subject to the needs of the department.
  • 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).

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.

Applicantsvsubmit to their department chairs an application packet consisting of the following items:

  • 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
  • A statment from the departmental chair, indicating the chair's recommendation (and ranking if faculty from a department submit more than one application), a commitment of the departmental matching funds, and whatever comments the chair wishes to offer.

Format Requirements

  • PDF Format
  • 12 point Times New Roman font
  • 1.5 line spacing with 1" margins on all sides
  • All proposals must be submitted electronically to Lev Gasparov


  • The submission deadline is September 15.
  • If this deadline falls on a holiday, it is extended to the following business day.
  • Awards will be announced by December 15.
  • All funds must be expended and all course releases must be taken in the subsequent fiscal year.

Questions? Contact Lev Gasparov,


2018-19 Awardees:

  • Mike Aspinwall (Biology) -- course release -- “Range Size, Environmental Tolerance, and Acclimation Capacity: Are They Positively Associated Across North American Tree Species?”
  • Jenifer Hager (Art and Design) -- course release -- “Public Art Project for Shelby KY Tourism”
  • Jack Hewitt (Physics) -- course release -- “IceACT: An Array of Cherenkov Telescopes for the Next Generation of Neutrino Observatories”
  • Andy Kozlowski (Art and Design) -- research budget -- “Solo Exhibition: Artspace Visual Arts Center, Raleigh NC”
  • Sarah Provost (Music) -- course release -- “U.S. Jazz Musicians and Their Relationships to Jazz Historiography”


Previous Research Enhancement Plan Awardees