Skip to Main Content
excited student during graduation
chemistry student searching shelf
art and design iron pour
students playing in symphony

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 are intended to support projects that will lead to an external grant application, a high-quality scholarly publication, a prestigious presentation of creative activity, or a work of similar merit. Proposals may be submitted by tenured or tenure-track faculty members.


Applications are submitted 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 sends to the dean's office those awards they wish to recommend, in ranked order.


Applications are reviewed by a committee composed of past winners of COAS faculty grants. This committee makes a recommendation to the Dean. Here is the award selection rubric. When the review process is complete, applicants may request their rubric scores. The review committee does not provide written comments on proposals.


Winners of an REP grant may not apply for an REP grant in the subsequent year. Winners must agree to serve on a committee to review COAS grant applications in the subsequent year. (Faculty on leave are excused from this service.) Award recipients must also agree to offer a public lecture on the subject of their projects. Winners are required to submit evidence of completion of their projects. Such evidence may include a confirmation of grant submission, a confirmation of an article submission, a program of a concert, an announcement of art exhibition, etc. This evidence must be submitted to the Associate Dean for Faculty Advancement by the end of the academic year after the year in which the award was received. Submission of this evidence is a requirement to be eligible for any future COAS faculty funding awards.


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.

Application Instructions

Applicants submit to their department chairs an application packet consisting of the items below. All questions must be answered completely and in the order indicated below.

  • 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,
  • A paragraph that identifies the potential source of external funding, the deadline for the application, the timeline for development of the proposal as well as the applicant’s track record of securing external funding,
  • Half page budget (in the case of a monetary award application) and timeline,
  • Contact information and signature of applicant, and
  • A statement 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


  • The submission deadline is October 1.
  • If this deadline falls on a holiday, it is extended to the following business day.
  • Awards will be announced by November 1.
  • All funds must be expended and all course releases must be taken by the end of the subsequent fiscal year (i.e., June 30 of the subsequent fiscal year).
  • A successful applicant should submit a written report to the Associate Dean for Faculty Advancement that demonstrates the outcomes of the project. The report is due at the start of the fall semester that follows the end date of the award. For example, if you received the award in November of 2020 your report will be due in August of 2022.

Questions? Contact Lev Gasparov

2021–22 Research Enhancement Plan Awardees:

  • Sara D. Davis, Psychology: “Evaluating the Impact of Showups on Later Lineup Confidence
  • Mandi N. Barringer, Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work: “Preaching on the Quad: The Sociological Analysis of Campus Preachers
  • Chris Rominger, History: “The Mediterranean Overturned: Transnational North African Politics at the Intersection of Empire
  • Fei Heng, Mathematics and Statistics: “Sieve Analysis in COVID-19 Vaccine Efficacy Trials, by Cox Modeling
  • Christa L. Arnold & Margaret C. Stewart, Communication: “Deception in Social Media Posts: Developing a detection methodology

2020–21 Research Enhancement Plan Awardees:

  • Felicia Bevel, History: “Challenging Settler Colonialism Abroad: Paul Robeson, Ol’ Man River, and the Fight for Aboriginal Rights in Australia
  • Josh Gellers, PSPA: “Rights of Non-humans in the Anthropocene
  • Andy Kozlowski, AAHD: “Routine Maintenance: A themed portfolio and exhibition of original prints.”
  • Jacqueline Meier, SASW: “Animals of the Artisans: Examining social inequality at Mycenae, Greece
  • TJ Mullen, Chemistry: “Extending Hybrid Patterning to Semiconductor Nanomanufacturing
  • Judy Ochrietor, Biology: “Basigin gene expression in mouse retina in response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS).
  • Anne Pfister, SASW: “The Evidence is Life: Joy and Social Justice through Mexican Sign Language- book proposal
  • Chris Trice, AAHD: “Participation support for the solo exhibition at the Etherredge Center Visual Arts Gallery, University of South Carolina, Aiken

2019–20 Research Enhancement Plan Awardees:

  • Elena Buzaianu, Mathematics & Statistics, "Selection among Treatments with Tow Binary Endpoints in Comparison with a Control"
  • Terri Ellis, Biology, "Antibiotic Resistance over a Slow Exposure to a Drug"  
  • Phil Kaplan, History, "The Tattooed Slave: Messages and Messengers in Greece and East Mediterranean"  
  • Chunsik Lee and Junga Kim, Communication, "Examining Effective Intervention Methods for Defending Brand Safety"  
  • Hannah Malcolm, Chemistry, "Characterizing the Mechanosensitive Response of Parburkholderia xenorvans Membranes

2018–19 Research Enhancement Plan Awardees:

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

Previous Research Enhancement Plan Awardees