Section 3: Professional Development

Advanced Degree Study for Full-Time Faculty Members
Educational Expenses Support for Faculty and Staff
Faculty Awards: Nomination, Selection, Presentation, and Criteria
Faculty Development
Fees and Tuition -- Classification of Employees, Their Spouses and Their Children, and Graduate Assistants
Instructional Development Grants
Non-Instructional Assignments
Presidential Grant-in-Aid
Research Development Committee Grants

Advanced Degree Study for Full-Time Faculty Members

Faculty members may be admitted to the School of Graduate Studies through established procedures, or may enroll for graduate coursework on a non-degree seeking basis.  Though faculty members are generally ineligible to receive graduate degrees from East Tennessee State University, exceptions to this policy may be granted by the Dean of the Graduate School if graduate study at ETSU will be a special advantage to the University and when graduate study elsewhere is not feasible.

The faculty member will be subject to all policies governing graduate study as specified in the graduate catalog at the time of first enrollment.  A faculty member will not retain graduate faculty status while matriculating in a graduate program.

01/91; 11/08; 10/11;

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Educational Expenses Support for Faculty and Staff

Refer to ETSU Personnel Policies and Procedures Manual at

http://www.etsu.edu/humanres/relations/PPP13.aspx

TBR G P-130; 08/94; Effective 03/06, policy changes will appear on the webpage cited

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Faculty Awards: Nominations, Selection, Presentation, and Criteria

Each year, ETSU will recognize outstanding faculty achievement with three awards, one each for teaching, research/scholarship/creative activity, and service. Each college Dean can nominate one candidate for each award from his or her college’s faculty.  Criteria for each award as well as materials required for the nomination packets are outlined below.  These awards are meant to recognize excellence in teaching, service, and research/scholarship/ creative activity while employed at ETSU.  While each award is intended to highlight excellence in a single area, the nominees are expected to demonstrate contributions in the areas that are not directly related to their award nomination.

Nominations

During the first week of January, nomination forms for the three awards will be distributed by the Academic Affairs Office to faculty members. Forms will be available to students through the Office of Student Affairs and to Alumni through the Alumni Office. Individual students, individual faculty members, or groups of students and/or faculty members can complete these nominations.  Individuals may also nominate themselves if they meet the award criteria.  An outstanding nominee is to be chosen for superior achievement in teaching, research/scholarship/creative activity, or service cited in the nomination statements submitted in the nominee's behalf. The nomination statement should clearly indicate how the nominee has demonstrated outstanding achievement in the area of the award--teaching, research, or service. The statement should also indicate the faculty member's accomplishments in other areas of responsibility. While each award focuses on only one area of faculty achievement, nominees should be faculty who are generally productive, constructive members of the academic community.
A copy of the nomination form will be made available through the Office of Academic Affairs.

The completed nomination forms for all three awards are to be returned to the appropriate Dean no later than Friday of the first week of March.  Deans should also notify the appropriate chairs of nominations within each department no later than Friday of the second week of March.

Selection

Each college dean will select three to five faculty members from his/her college, or use an appropriate existing committee, to serve on a Screening Committee for that individual college.  Each College Screening Committee shall seek to identify the outstanding nominees in its college, based on the nomination statements submitted for each award. A college is not required to submit nominations for university awards. In the event that a single outstanding nominee cannot readily be identified for a particular award, the Screening Committee may select more than one nominee, subject to the restriction that the total number of nominees selected shall not be more than one (1) per fifty (50) full-time faculty members in the college. The definition of a full-time faculty member according to current TBR policy will apply here.

Each College Screening Committee may submit its outstanding nominees for each category with a composite supporting statement and nomination materials to a campus-wide ad hoc Final Selection Committee through the Provost’s office by May 15. This Final Selection Committee is to be chosen by the Provost in consultation with the deans to ensure appropriate representation. Members of College Screening Committees are not eligible to serve on the Final Selection Committee for that year.

The task of the Final Selection Committee is to choose from the outstanding nominees the faculty member to receive each faculty award--teaching, research/scholarship/creative activity, or service. This committee will also submit a composite supporting statement for the nominees, along with the nomination materials.

A list of the nominees will not be released; nomination statements will be kept strictly confidential, and the name of the person chosen to receive each award will be maintained in strict confidence until the awards are presented.

All completed nomination forms will be maintained until the awards have been presented, after which time they will be destroyed.  Any materials provided by the faculty nominee(s) will be returned to him/her.

Presentation

All these awards shall be presented by the Provost at the Annual Faculty Convocation. Each award shall consist of an appropriately inscribed plaque and a monetary award of no less than five thousand dollars ($5,000).

A faculty member may receive a particular award (teaching, research/scholarship/creative activity, or service) only once, but may receive each of the three awards.
.

Faculty Teaching Award Criteria

The award will be given for consistently superior teaching accomplishments.

The nominee must be a full-time, faculty member as defined by current TBR policy in service for at least three (3) full years at ETSU, and only teaching that applies to ETSU students, regardless of the teaching venue, will be considered in making this award.  Faculty who have achieved emeritus status no more than one year prior to the nomination are also eligible.  The nominee must have a completed nomination form, at least one letter of support from another faculty member at ETSU, and a letter of support from his/her Dean.

The teaching considered may be either undergraduate or graduate or both.

Documentation should focus on the effectiveness of instruction and multiple sources of evidence.

Areas of documentation may include such things as:
  • quality of presentation in classroom or field;
  • command of subject matter;
  • development and use of innovative methods;
  • student's achievement;
  • ability to motivate students;
  • peer evaluation;
  • student evaluation;
  • current and professional development;
  • advising, tutoring, direction of theses and dissertations, and other forms of assisting students;
  • textbooks or other published instructional materials indicative of teaching effectiveness;
  • design or revision of courses, curricula, and materials;
  • management of instructional programs or components;

Unless they are related to teaching effectiveness or pedagogy, copies of the nominee’s publications should not be included.

Faculty Research/Scholarship/Creative Activity Award Criteria

The nominee must be a full-time faculty member as defined by current TBR policy in service for at least three (3) full years at ETSU.  Faculty who have achieved emeritus status no more than one year prior to the nomination are also eligible.  The work for which the award is given must result in publication(s) or in comparable accomplishment(s) in the arts and will only be considered if it was accomplished while serving as a faculty member at ETSU.

The nominee must have a completed nomination form, at least one letter of support from another faculty member at ETSU, and a letter of support from his/her Dean.

Documentation for this award should include:

  • A brief description (approximately 1 page) of the research/scholarship/creative activity in non-technical language;
  • Full bibliographic information for publications, presentations, exhibitions, or creative activity that resulted from the work;
  • If applicable, copies of all publications stemming from ETSU that apply to the work;
  • Information for all grants and contracts that apply to the work;
  • If available, communications from experts in the field who have reviewed the work.

Faculty Service Award Criteria

The award will be given for distinguished service accomplishments achieved during a substantial period prior to the award.

The nominee must be a full-time, faculty member as defined by current TBR policy in service for at least three (3) full years at ETSU, and only service while employed at ETSU will be considered in making this award. Faculty who have achieved emeritus status no more than one year prior to the nomination are also eligible.  The nominee must have a completed nomination form, at least one letter of support from another faculty member at ETSU, and a letter of support from his/her Dean.

The service considered may have been provided to department, college, institution, professional organizations, community organizations, or the general public or a combination of these.

Service for which the faculty member received compensation will not be considered in making this award. (Expenses and modest honoraria are not considered compensation.)  

Documentation should focus on the nature of the faculty member's contribution, its quality, its impact, its relation to the general welfare of the university, and its effect on the university community.  The types of documentation for this award are expected to vary greatly, but they must adhere to the criteria below in regards to the amount of documentation allowed.

Guidelines for Faculty Award Nominations

Materials for award nominations should be limited to a 1.5 inch 3-ring binder.  Publications applicable to the Research/Scholarship/Creative Activity Award nominees can be in addition to the binder.  Materials within the binder should be well tabulated and logically organized to facilitate the work of the college-level and the Final Selection Committee.  The binder should include the original nomination form, the nominee’s vita, at least one letter of support from a fellow faculty member at ETSU, a support letter from the nominee’s Dean, and any additional supporting material specific to the award.

Nominees and college-level Selection Committees are expected to use discretion with regards to the content of the nomination packets.  Packets should include only material relevant to the award criteria.  Examples of materials that are typically non-essential and should be excluded from the packet are as follows: 

  1. Conference program booklets;
  2. Student evaluation forms;
  3. Committee meeting announcements, agendas, minutes, etc.,
  4. Thank you letters from the nominee;
  5. Copies of anything that can be equally accounted for in vita;
  6. Extra title pages.

Colleges should consider re-nominating worthy candidates, even though they have not been chosen before.

Colleges should adopt specific policies and procedures for submitting nominations for University Faculty Awards.

01/94; 08/96; 2/05: 11/09

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Faculty Development

The Tennessee Board of Regents recognizes the need for the continued professional growth and development of all faculty at East Tennessee State University.

Link to TBR policy on faculty development (5-01-02-05):

http://www.tbr.edu/policies/default.aspx?id=1466&terms=faculty%20development


The continued professional growth and development of faculty is necessary for institutions of higher education to continue to provide educational programs that: (a) include all new developments and knowledge in academic disciplines; (b) reflect new instructional, research, and public service techniques and strategies; and (c) meet the changing needs and expectations of students.  While all faculty are responsible for their own continued professional development, it is essential that the Board of Regents and the University provide planned, organized faculty development programs to encourage professional growth in accordance with their missions and goals.  Pursuant to the foregoing considerations, the University hereby sets forth the following minimum guidelines concerning faculty development:

The University implements on an annual basis a structured, coordinated program for faculty development. The program is designed to achieve predetermined institutional objectives and utilizes an appropriate variety of activities including, but not limited to, the following:

Systematic evaluation of instruction by students, faculty, and appropriate administrators to provide bases for planning means of increasing the effectiveness of the instructional program.


Encouragement of innovation and improvement of instruction by a recognition system, i.e., outstanding faculty awards.

Effective use of grants-in-aid and scholarships pursuant to Board of Regents Policy No. 5:01:04:00.

Provision of financial support through grant awards and other means for research, scholarly and creative activity, and professional service, and for faculty participation in major activities of their respective professional associations.

Sponsorships of local forums, lectures, and workshops on scholarly developments and activities.

04/19/89; 10/11;

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Fees and Tuition -- Classification of Employees, Their Spouses and Children, and Graduate Assistants

Classification of Employees, spouses and children, and graduate assistants for purposes of fees and tuition may be found in TBR Policy 5-01=04-10 at:

http://www.tbr.edu/policies/default.aspx?id=1454

Effective 10/11, policy changes will appear on the webpage cited

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Instructional Development Grants

Instructional Development Grants for faculty instructional improvement and innovation are funded annually in the East Tennessee State University budget. The Instructional Development Grants are administered by an ad hoc Committee composed of representatives from each college/school and the Faculty Senate. The representatives are nominated by the college/school dean and Faculty Senate president. The committee chair will be elected annually from its membership; the chair may be re-elected. The committee is responsible for reviewing applications and for making recommendations to the Provost.

Policy

The purpose of the instructional development program is to provide funding for special activities and projects directly related to improving instruction and curriculum. Funds may be allocated for released time, educational resources, and travel that may be necessary in support of activities undertaken to improve individual instructional activities, departmental instruction, or curriculum development. Grants are intended to support the development of new and innovative approaches that will not only stimulate faculty to develop new teaching methods and curricula, but will also enhance student learning. Upon completion of an activity or project, the faculty member will provide a written summary of what has been achieved and, where appropriate, results will be shared with departmental or college/school faculty.

Application forms for instructional development grants are available online at:

http://www.etsu.edu/senate/facultyhandbook/#3


Requests for funding should be directed to the Chair of the Instructional Development Committee, following the instructions communicated electronically in the fall semester to all faculty. All requests for funding must be supported by appropriate department chair and dean. The Chair of the Instructional Development Committee will forward to the Office of the Provost the instructional development proposals that they have recommended for funding. A description of all instructional improvement grants awarded will be distributed each year so that other faculty members at the University may also be aware of creative steps to improve instruction.

Eligibility

Full-time, tenured, tenure-track, clinical and research faculty, and lecturers at East Tennessee State University are eligible to apply for Instructional Development Grants. Temporary or part–time faculty are not eligible, nor are graduate assistants. Should an individual recipient of an Instructional Development Grant leave the university or no longer be employed by ETSU during the term of the grant, the grant funding will be forfeited.

Number of Grants

While the number and size of the instructional development grants will depend on the overall funding available each year, no upper limit has been established. It is expected, however, that individual grants will not normally exceed $5,000. It is also recognized that instructional development grants may be supplemented by resources within schools and colleges, and such supplemental support is strongly encouraged.

Selection Criteria

The committee weighs teaching innovations more highly than requests for equipment. In judging the merits of a proposal, the following criteria will be used:

  1. Clear rationale for project, including a well-defined set of objectives
  2. Originality and creativity of the proposal
  3. Number of students who would benefit from the project
  4. Applicability of project to courses or departments beyond those in which the project will occur
  5. Clearly defined protocol for assessing outcomes of the project
  6. Feasible calendar for implementing and assessing the project, including specific target date for completion.

Grant Periods/Deadlines/Other Information

Proposals should be submitted to the Chair of the Instructional Development Committee according to disseminated instructions no later than the date indicated. Grants will be made by May 15th of each year and will ordinarily run from July 1 through June 30 of the next fiscal year. Award recipients must submit final reports to the Office of the Provost by September 30 of the year following grant award. Failure to submit the report will result in ineligibility to receive subsequent Instructional Development Grants.

Projects may be completed in a shorter time period or, under special circumstances, be granted an extension without any additional cost. While faculty members may receive more than one instructional development grant, they will not be eligible for two consecutive years. It is expected that a faculty member receiving an instructional development grant will communicate regularly with the department chair/dean concerning the progress of the project. Instructional development funds should not be used to purchase materials or services that are already available at ETSU or normally provided by departments. Any materials and items of equipment that can be used by the grantee’s department will become the property of the department when the project terminates. Computers (monitors, CPUs, or printers) are not funded and faculty stipends receive a low priority. Other electronic equipment necessary to complete the project is acceptable although innovative methods and activities define preferable consideration.  

10/28/92; 05/24/01; 10/11;

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Non-Instructional Assignments

Purposes

The purposes of Faculty Non-Instructional Assignment include: enhance scholarship and the academic excellence of the University; contribute to the professional growth and renewal of the faculty; and strengthen the University’s total curriculum and to improve teaching across the University in ways that cannot be accomplished under the constraints of regular workload assignments.

Eligibility

To be eligible for a faculty non-instructional assignment, an applicant must:

  1. Be a tenured member of the full-time teaching faculty, including department chairs;
  2. Have completed five (5) years in a professorial appointment at East Tennessee State University;
  3. Demonstrate significant scholarly or creative performance in the faculty member’s discipline.

Application Procedures

Application forms for non-instructional assignments are available online at:

http://www.etsu.edu/senate/facultyhandbook/forms.aspx

Applications must be submitted by the first Tuesday in December for the following fall semester, the first Tuesday in June for the following spring semester, and shall include the following:

  1. A statement of goals and objectives compatible with the statement of purposes for the program;
  2. Anticipated schedule of progress during the assignment;
  3. A resume of the applicant’s professional career, and
  4. If applicable, proof of acceptance by cooperating universities, approval by granting agencies, etc.

Proposal Design

Each applicant is free to design and describe the proposal to best suit the field of study.  An application cover page (for signatures of the chair and dean) is required.  The department of the applicant will provide a plan for instructional replacement with commitment by the Vice President for Academic Affairs for such funds as necessary.

Proposal Evaluation and Recommendation

College/school faculty committees will evaluate non-instructional assignment proposals and advise the dean as to which should be recommended for approval.  The dean will then recommend to the Vice President for Academic Affairs or Vice President for Health Affairs.

Completion of Assignment/Final Report

Upon completion of the assignment, each participant will submit a written report of the assignment activity to the President and forward copies to the Vice President for Academic Affairs or Vice President for Health Affairs, the appropriate dean, and to the chair. The report should include:

  1. A statement indicating the degree to which the objectives of the proposal were accomplished; and
  2. Evidence of work in progress or completed.

Sharing Benefits of Assignment

The faculty member will share the benefits of the non-instructional assignment with the University community through his/her participation in an appropriate forum on campus.

Regulations Regarding Pay and Benefits

The faculty member must comply with University regulations requiring a minimum of one semester of service for each semester of full-time non-instructional assignment. Non-instructional assignments shall be for one semester at full pay or an academic year at one-half pay. Full benefits will be continued for a faculty member who is pursuing a non-instructional assignment for the duration of the assignment.

Published Materials

Published materials or performances resulting from the assignment shall include acknowledgment of East Tennessee State University in the article, book, or public announcement of performance.

Reapplication

Eligible faculty members who are interested in applying should note the guidelines stated above for preparing the applications and the application dates. A recipient may apply again seven (7) years after completion of the previous non-instructional assignment.

College of Medicine Faculty Participation

Faculty in the College of Medicine may participate in the University’s “Non-Instructional Assignment” opportunity.  However, due to the nature of the workload assignments in the College of Medicine, including twelve-month assignments, each request will be considered on its individual merits in a review that includes the Dean of the College of Medicine, the faculty member making application, and the faculty member’s departmental chair.  Applications should be submitted to the Departmental Chair in the College of Medicine by the first Tuesday in December for the following fall semester or the first Tuesday in June for the following spring semester. Requests for non-instructional assigned time during summer months will be considered with those for the subsequent fall semester and should be submitted by the first Tuesday in December.

This policy is in accord with TBR Guideline A-052 found at:

http://www.tbr.edu/policies/default.aspx?id=1668

12/11/89; 07/90; 9/92; 01/93

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Presidential Grant-in-Aid

The Presidential Grants-in-Aid for faculty development are funded annually in the East Tennessee State University budget. These funds are in lieu of external funding and in addition to resources in departments or other sources in the University. The Presidential Grants-in-Aid are administered by an Ad Hoc Committee composed of representatives from each college/school. The representatives are nominated by the college/school dean. The committee chair is appointed by the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The committee is responsible for reviewing applications and for making recommendations for awards to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Policy

The Presidential Grants-in-Aid may be awarded for planned programs of faculty development that enhance teaching, research development, or service. The awards may include funding for either credit or non-credit activities for continuing development in the applicant’s current discipline, preparation in a new area or discipline, or study leading to a degree. Individual faculty applications for a Presidential Grant -in-Aid will be given the highest priority. Full-time, tenured, tenure-track, clinical and research faculty, and lecturers are eligible to apply for an individual grant-in-aid. The maximum funding for an individual award is $5,000.  A department, school/college, or an interdisciplinary group may apply for an award to provide development activities of value to a number of faculty. However, group awards will be considered as an exception and must be carefully designed in detail. The application will require special scrutiny and special approval. Recipients of individual awards and the applicant for a group award must agree to submit a brief written report to the Presidential Grant -in-Aid Committee following completion of the activity.

General Information

The criteria used by the committee will include the merit of the activity for enhancement of teaching, research development, or service activities. The committee will rate submitted proposals and funding will be based upon the scores received. There are no restrictions on the number of awards an individual or faculty group (school/college, department, etc.) may receive over the years. However, if funds are not available to meet all requests, and all other factors are equal, preference will be given to those who have not received awards previously. Some types of activities will not be funded or will receive low priority. Applications to attend courses, training programs, seminars, etc. of short duration (e.g. 1-2 days) that require high costs of travel, per diem and registration fees, will receive low priority for funding. Research proposals will not be funded; however, preparation to conduct research may receive positive consideration. Funding to attend professional meetings or to present papers should be requested from department resources. On occasions where development activities occur in conjunction with professional meetings, partial funding may be approved.

Procedure for Submitting Applications

Complete the Presidential Grant-in-Aid form, available online in Microsoft Word format from the link below, and email as noted:

http://www.etsu.edu/senate/facultyhandbook/forms.aspx

Supporting material should be provided as a link in the document, an inserted image, or a separate scanned file. Applicant, chair, and Dean signatures are not required at the time of submission but will be needed before funds are released. However, the applicant may solicit positive comments from the Chair or Dean prior to review by the Committee.

Grant Administration Procedures

Following are the deadline months and the activity period for the deadlines. A specific deadline date within these months will be determined by the Committee Chair and distributed as a reminder to all faculty through the e-mail system.

May, for activity period July – September
September, for activity period October – December
November, for activity period January – March
February, for activity period April – June

Funding Procedures

All awards will be made through existing ETSU processes (e.g., travel, supplies, honorarium, etc.) Awards normally must be expended or, where permitted, encumbered by the end of the fiscal year (June 30). If an activity extends into a new fiscal year, the applicant(s) must divide the proposed budget to show which expenditures will fall into each fiscal year.

03/23/88; 11/19/01; 01/25/0; 11/05

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Research Development Committee Grants

The Research Development Committee of East Tennessee State University serves as an advisory body to the Vice Provost for Research and Sponsored Programs.  The Research Development Committee is also responsible for distribution of Research Development Committee Funds following the guidelines provided below.  The budget of the Research Development Committee provides funds for assistance to faculty members in support of individual research projects.  These funds are in addition to departmental and college/school resources, including the award of released time. 

Policy

Research Development Committee research funds are administered by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs on behalf of the Research Development Committee.  The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs also provides administrative support services to the Committee.  The Committee approves budgetary allocation of the funds available for the year, evaluates applications for grants, and approves those to be supported.  Three types of financial assistance are available from the Research Development Committee: Major, Small and Interdisciplinary Grants. 

Major Research Grant (up to $10,000)

Major Grants support research and scholarship costs as student assistants, supplies and equipment, travel necessary to engage in research, development of collaborations and released time.  Specific guidelines for the use of the funds are updated and posted each year.  Applications are submitted once per year and reviewed by the Research Development Committee members and ad hoc reviewers.  Grants are approved on the bases of merit and of priority of the individual proposal and appropriate justification of specific needs to carry out the research.  Grants are made for the university fiscal year.

  1. Summer Research Stipends.  A request for a summer stipend may be included in an application for a research grant.  The amount of the stipend for the summer research grant will be equivalent to the teaching of one three‑hour course during the summer, up to a maximum of $2500.  During the entire summer term, the recipient of a summer research stipend will not be permitted to teach more than one course or a maximum of four semester hours.  The total amount of other summer salary support (e.g., from an extramural grant) must follow the Tennessee Board of Regents policy (TBR Policy 5:02:04:10) concerning total compensation permitted for academic year appointees during the summer. 
  2. Research Graduate Assistants. The funding of a graduate assistant may be included in an application for a research grant. The graduate assistant will receive the approved stipend rate for the academic year during which the appointment is held. Such support is to be included in the total budget of a research grant and money to pay the in-state maintenance fee (i.e., tuition) must be included.

Small Grants ($1,500 maximum)

Small Grants may be requested up to a maximum of $1,500 to support modest costs of research, such as supplies, chemicals, travel to libraries and travel for the purpose of data collection.  Small Grant funds may also be used to defray journal article publication costs and purchase of reprints for pre-tenured faculty.  Applications for small grants may be made at any time during the year until funds are exhausted; however, awards must be spent by the end of the current fiscal year (see below).  The Research Development Committee uses a rapid review process to make timely decisions on these applications. 

Interdisciplinary Grants ($50,000 maximum)

Interdisciplinary Grants may be requested up to a maximum of $50,000 to support the costs of developing interdisciplinary research interactions among ETSU faculty.  The funds may be used in the same manner as those for Major Grants (see above), and may include equipment purchases as well.  Applications are submitted once per year and reviewed by the Research Development Committee members and ad hoc reviewers.  Grants are approved on the bases of merit of the individual proposal and appropriate justification of specific needs to carry out the research.  Grants are made for the university fiscal year.

Cut-off Dates

All funds must be expended by the end of the university fiscal year, currently June 30, of the year for which the award is made. The chairperson of the Research Development Committee will establish appropriate cut - off dates prior to June 30th for the initiation of grant expenditures.

Eligibility

Any tenured, tenure-track, or full-time employee of the University who holds faculty rank is eligible apply for funding from the Research Development Committee.  However, in the case of individuals on renewable yearly contracts the department employing the individual must guarantee that if the award is made, the recipient will be in the employ of the University during the time period in which the grant is in effect.  Students of the University are ineligible.  

The Committee will not award a Major Research Grant to the same individual two years in a row, and no more than two Major Research Grants to the same individual in any five-year period.  In a single funding cycle, an individual may submit no more than one Major Research Grant application as Principal Investigator and no more than one as Co-Investigator.  

An individual may only be funded on one Small Grant during any fiscal year.  

There are no limitations on participation in Interdisciplinary Grants.  

Priority Funding

The Research Development Committee will consider applications from all eligible faculty members; however, priority will be given to those applicants who meet the following criteria:

  1. new researchers;
  2. researchers at all levels for whom an RDC grant will enable completion of preliminary work that will help the researcher become competitive for external funding;
  3. experienced researchers in need of additional funding to sustain a research project pending receipt of external funds or whose track record is such to suggest a high likelihood of successful results;
  4. experienced researchers entering new research fields; and
  5. researchers for whom external funding realistically is not available.

Faculty members who have some external funding are not automatically precluded from receiving a Major Research award from the Research Development Committee if the project is not the same project as that receiving external support and the researcher is a new faculty member or an experienced investigator in process of changing direction in their research or scholarly activity.  However, Major Research Grants may not be used to duplicate existing extramural support.  Additionally, the applicant must inform the Research Development Committee if he/she is submitting a proposal to an external funding source requesting support for the same project described in the application to the Research Development Committee.  In the event that the award is made by the external agency before the Research Development Committee grant begins the money will be returned to the Committee for assignment to another applicant.  If the external award is made after Research Development Committee funding has begun the disposition of the remaining funds will be determined by the Chair of the Committee and the Vice-Provost for Research and Sponsored Programs after discussion with the Researcher.

Review Criteria and Rating

Major Grant Review Criteria

Major Grant Reviewers will rank applications based on both Priority and Merit criteria.

Major Grant Review Priority Criteria

  • New researchers
  • Researchers at all levels for whom an RDC grant will enable completion of preliminary work that will help the researcher become competitive for external funding
  • Experienced researchers in need of additional funding to sustain a research project pending receipt of external funds or whose track record is as such to suggest a high likelihood of successful results
  • Experienced researchers entering new research fields
  • Researchers for whom external funding realistically is not available

Major Grant Review Merit Criteria

  • The description of the research is detailed enough to permit adequate evaluation.
  • The research problem is of sufficient importance, significance, and originality.
  • The problem is not more complex than stated.
  • The specific aims are measurable.
  • The project is likely to produce new and useful information.
  • The methodology is adequate and appropriate to the research.
  • The overall design of the research or scholarly activity has been carefully thought out.
  • The investigator appears to be familiar with pertinent literature and methodology.
  • If a scientific investigation, the proposed research is based on a sound hypothesis that rests on sufficient evidence.
  • The proposed budget is reasonable and sufficiently justified.
  • There is a good possibility of external sponsored support.

Major Grant Review Summary Ratings

Each application is given a score for Priority and for Merit according to the descriptions above. The following table shows how scores should be assigned, with final decisions to be made by the individual reviewers prior to the formal meeting of the review group.

Score Priority Descriptors Merit Descriptors
1 New Researchers Exceptional
2 Outstanding
     
3 Research enabling preliminary work increasing competitions for external funds Excellent
4 Very Good
     
5 Experienced researchers needing bridge funds or previous successful track record Good
6 Satisfactory
     
7 Experienced researchers entering new research fields Fair
8 Marginal
     
9 All other researchers Poor

 

The final score for the proposal is determined by the reviewer based on these two scores.  The final score is typically, but does not have to be, the average of the two scores.  Each reviewer’s final score will be discussed at a reviewer group meeting.  Changes in scores will be made as desired after discussion, and then all members of the review group will record their scores to be used in calculating a Summary Score.  

After all review groups have completed scoring, all the Major Grant scores are combined and normalized for determining the pay line.  Final authorization of the pay line is made by vote at the annual Spring meeting of the RDC membership, including ad hoc reviewers, using blinded grant information.  

Small Grant Review Criteria

Small Grants are reviewed and awarded based on merits and justification of specific needs to carry out the specific research that advances the stature of the university.  Additionally, review includes consideration as to whether the proposal will increase the likelihood of extramural funding flowing into the university; “leveraging” of funds is a critical aspect of the review.  Reviewers are given wide latitude in the personal determination of these criteria for each small grant.  Scoring is made as either Acceptable or Not Acceptable by each reviewer.  Final determination is based on the majority of reviewer scores. 

Interdisciplinary Grant Review Criteria

Interdisciplinary Grants are awarded on the basis of the individual proposal and appropriate justification of specific needs to carry out the seed grant research or the interdisciplinary symposium, according to the following criteria:

  • The research is interdisciplinary.
  • The project establishes cooperative and interdisciplinary research programs at ETSU.
  • The description of the research is detailed enough to permit adequate evaluation.
  • The research problem is of sufficient importance, significance and originality.
  • The problem is not more complex than stated.
  • The specific aims are measureable.
  • The project is likely to produce new and useful information.
  • The methodology is adequate and appropriate to the research.
  • The overall design of the research or scholarly activity has been carefully thought out.
  • The investigator appears to be familiar with the pertinent literature and methodologies proposed.
  • If a scientific investigation, the proposed research is based on a sound hypothesis that rests on sufficient evidence.
  • There is a good possibility of external sponsored support.

Interdisciplinary Grant Review Ratings

Each application is scored for Merit according to the descriptions above. The following table shows how scores should be assigned, with final decisions to be made by the individual reviewers prior to the formal meeting of the review group.

Score Rating Descriptor
1 Exceptional
2 Outstanding
3 Excellent
4 Very Good
5 Good
6 Satisfactory
7 Fair
8 Marginal
9 Poor

 

The final score for the proposal is determined by the reviewer based on these descriptors.  Each reviewer’s final score will be discussed at a reviewer group meeting.  Changes in scores will be made as desired after discussion, and then all members of the review group will record their scores to be used in calculating a Summary Score.  

After all review groups have completed scoring, all the Interdisciplinary Grant scores are combined and normalized for determining the pay line.  Final authorization of the pay line is made by vote at the annual Spring meeting of the RDC membership, including ad hoc reviewers, using blinded grant information. 

Exclusions

Grants from the Research Development Committee may not be used for support in obtaining advanced degrees, the research for or preparation of theses or dissertations, the publication of thesis or dissertations, or any other use specifically mentioned in the current pertinent Guidelines.

Submission Procedures

Application forms for Research Development Grants may be obtained in electronic format from the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs or online via the Research Development committee website.  The Research Development Committee will establish and publish deadlines for a single funding competition for Major and Interdisciplinary Grants, typically at the end of February.  For all grants, the completed application must be routed through the appropriate chair and dean, or supervisor and director, then submitted to the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.  The application must be signed by all these individuals before it will be considered for review.

Although a proposal may be submitted to the RDC before approval is received, research projects involving special approvals for human subjects, animals, hazardous materials or other items listed in the Guidelines must be approved by the appropriate University committee before the funds are released and the project can begin.

Major Grants

For Major Grants, one (1) paper copy of the signed application and the electronic version of the Grant must be submitted to the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs by the published deadlines (date and time) for distribution to the Research Development Committee. Applications submitted after the published deadline will be returned to the applicant.

Small Grants

Applications for Small Grants are accepted at anytime during the year until funds dedicated for support of this program are exhausted.  One (1) paper copy of the signed application and the electronic version of the Grant must be forwarded to the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs for distribution to the Small Grant Review Subcommittee of the Research Development Committee.

Interdisciplinary Grants

For Interdisciplinary Grants, one (1) paper copy of the signed application and the electronic version of the Grant must be submitted to the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs by the published deadlines (date and time) for distribution to the Research Development Committee.  Applications submitted after the published deadline will be returned to the applicant.

University Expectations

The Research Development Committee makes awards to support research with the following understandings:

Research grants are awarded for the purpose of conducting professional academic research.  Acceptance of the award signifies the intent of the employee to continue at the University for the following academic year.  Recipients of awards must sign the acceptance form before an account is established and expenditures can be made.

The University exercises no direction or supervision over the details of the research to be performed, but it does require adherence to the original objectives and purposes of the research and adherence to the established policies of the University.

Each recipient of an award must report to the Committee upon completion of the project or the grant period as to the final expenditure of funds, the results of the research, and proposed or resulting publications.  The report must be submitted to the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs using the electronic forms available on the Research Development Committee website no later than 180 days after the termination date of the grant.  No person shall be eligible for consideration for a Research Development Committee award unless final reports from previously funded projects have been filed and approved by the Committee.

Each publication resulting from a research grant must carry an acknowledgment that the research was supported by the East Tennessee State University Research Development Committee.  Each recipient of a Grant is required to provide one copy of any resulting papers or publications to the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs and one copy to the University Library.

Recipients of a summer stipend will devote a large part of the summer period to the research proposed in the grant.  No other substantial effort, such as teaching more than one course or the equivalent in sponsored program activity, will be permitted.  Persons employed under a twelve‑month contract will not receive a stipend in addition to their regular salary.

If a patentable invention or copyrightable material results from grant support, the Principal Investigator must follow procedures described in the East Tennessee State University Policy on Patents and Copyrights.

Grant Administration Procedures

Following notification of award, the Principal Investigator will be contacted by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs to discuss and finalize the project budget.  The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs will request an account number on behalf of the Principal Investigator, and provide the Principal Investigator with this number, a copy of the final budget, and the Research Development Committee expenditure guidelines.  The Principal Investigator is expected to carry out the research project as specified in the proposal, and to administer the account in accordance with established University fiscal procedures and regulations.  Payment of any overdrafts on Research Development Committee accounts will become the responsibility of the Principal Investigator’s department.

Any changes in the budget for the project must be approved by the chair of the Research Development Committee and the Vice Provost for Research.  Requests for such adjustments must be made in writing.

Grant funds must be expended or, where permitted, encumbered by the end of the university fiscal year.  The Principal Investigator is responsible for meeting this deadline and for not exceeding the budget allocated in the grant.  If expenditures exceed the amount granted the Principal Investigator’s department will be responsible for provision of funds to cover the overdraft.

01/05/89; 10/17/96; 08/04/11; 10/11;

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