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K-State Today

August 27, 2015

Faculty Development Awards and University Small Research Grants call for proposals

Submitted by Karen Burg

Dear Faculty,

I hope all of you already know about our Faculty Development Award, or FDA, and University Small Research Grant, or USRG, programs. The FDA program supports travel to international meetings or to meet with program officers from potential external sponsors, and the USRG program provides seed funding to support early research, scholarly, and creative activity and discovery.

These awards provide vital assistance, especially in units that traditionally have had little or no startup funding or forms of support. The funds bolster the RSCAD initiatives of many professors and make a difference in activities in classrooms, recital halls, studios and conference rooms. They also provide good return on investment, because the seed money helps us compete for external funding.

Many of you expressed that the programs needed improvement. The information, application materials, and review processes were confusing because the programs were discussed and administered together, funding priorities were unclear, review processes lacked transparency and the application process wasn't automated.

In response to your concerns, the Office of Vice President for Research gathered a focus group from across the university. The group was chaired by Tim Keane from the College of Architecture, Planning & Design and included Mark Haub from the College of Human Ecology; Beth Montelone, Rebecca Bahlmann, Emily McLaurin and Wayne Goins from the College of Arts & Sciences; Kerry Priest from the Staley School of Leadership Studies; and Linda Thurston and Doris Carroll from the College of Education.

I hope you'll join me in thanking these people when you see them for excellent recommendations that helped us make positive changes, including the following:

  • Guidelines for the two programs are separated to clarify their differences.
  • Two information sessions will be offered for interested faculty instead of only one.
  • Principal investigators are limited to one submission per cycle.
  • Submission is all electronic and uses eSign for signatures.
  • Separate review forms for each program are improved to better reflect each program's stated priorities.
  • An information session for reviewers will improve review consistency.
  • A definite date is specified by which applicants will know whether they have an award.
  • A short final report is now required of awardees.

Another change to note is that out-of-round FDA submissions will no longer be accepted.

Thank you, too, to Mary Lou Marino, Allison Stratton and Sarah Hancock from the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs and Office of the Vice President for Research for their assistance in developing new materials and procedures according to the focus group's recommendations.

I’m happy to announce the call for proposals for fall 2015 FDA and USRG awards. Please note the deadline is 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 5. Information sessions will be at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 1, and Monday, Sept. 14, in K-State Student Union 209. Applications, review forms, and more details are available on the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs website.

We look forward to reviewing your proposals and supporting exciting RSCAD around campus.