reconnect2scholarship

Reconnect to Scholarship (R2S)

The Office of the Provost, with financial support from the Office of Chancellor, is pleased to announce Reconnect to Scholarship (R2S) as part of the Project 2020 launch. R2S is a research initiative intended to support associate professors who have undertaken significant administrative responsibilities. The objective is to support the activities of eligible associate professors related to scholarship and professional development, including pursuit of promotion to full professor. 

Recipients of this award, which is competitive, will receive support in the form of release time from teaching responsibilities, a salary stipend (under certain circumstances), and actual discretionary costs to support project needs and program related costs. The Office of the Provost anticipates funding 3-4 new awards per year. R2S submissions will be live on the Provost’s Office InfoReady space by October 1. Applications should be submitted via the UM-Flint InfoReady competition space by December 1. A RFP describing the program eligibility and submission requirements will be posted via the R2S competition page in InfoReady. Applications will be reviewed by the RCA Committee and funding decisions announced by February 1.

Program Description 

The Reconnect2Scholarship (R2S) program is a competitive, campus-wide program sponsored by the Office of the Provost. It is designed to provide protected time for Associate Professors who would benefit from intense focus to reinvigorate and advance their scholarship after completing a substantial administrative assignment (e.g., department head, associate dean,  associate provost, etc.). Scholarship in any field including pedagogy and public and community engagement are included in this program. Preference will be given to faculty members who have played significant administrative roles or faced other situations that required substantial efforts. In order to assure the needed protected time for participation in the R2S program,  faculty will receive total release time for two courses for the duration of the award. 

Faculty will be selected based upon the potential impact of the proposed work on their research  careers and upon the need for protected time to make progress toward promotion to the full professor rank. In addition to the course release to provide protected time, examples of  supported activities may include travel to meet funding agency program officers, travel to workshops and conferences, and travel to meet with experts and collaborators. 

While activities are expected to continue after the initial support period from the Office of the Provost, the duration of R2S support will be up to one year (including Spring/Summer) to allow sufficient time to reinvigorate scholarship or establish a new research direction. At the end of  the award period, recipients will be asked to provide a brief description of their activities during the award period and the contribution of R2S support to their scholarship or area of research.  The expected outcomes of R2S program for each award holder include: either the submission of an external grant proposal, the submission of a scholarly work for publication, the organization of creative activities, or some other deliverable appropriate to their field within the first six months following completion of the R2S project. 

Eligibility 

The Reconnect2Scholarship program is open to Associate Professors who have been in rank for at least four years as of the proposed release-time semester(s). Preference will be given to faculty members who have had no teaching release for the purpose of scholarship, including sabbaticals, in the two academic years prior to their proposed release semester(s), but  exceptional cases with more recent release time will be considered. In unique cases, an approved sabbatical leave may immediately follow the project period where it is clearly justified that the sabbatical leave will provide an opportunity to build significantly on the work accomplished in the project through developed collaborations, new research, ideas and/or  acquired expertise. The Reconnect2Scholarship program may not be combined with any internal or external fellowship or research leave.

Funding 

R2S proposals may include up to a total of $10,000 for salary stipend and actual discretionary costs to support project needs and program related costs. For University-Year Faculty, up to $8000 of this $10,000 can be used to cover the salary stipend if the project extends through the Spring/Summer. In addition, up to $12,000 over two semesters for the approximate costs of  replacement teaching will be provided to the department. All unused money will be returned to the Office of the Provost at the end of the project. 

Guidelines 

  1. Applicants must propose a program that includes specific plans and activities that will advance their scholarship and progress toward promotion to full professor rank.
  2. Applicants should outline a three-year development plan that includes the R2Ssupport period. The plan should include clear benchmarks and expectations for the faculty member’s development during the project, and detail any assistance from the Department. 
  3. Prior to submitting the online application, faculty member must discuss their submission plans with their chair and dean for requested course release and protected time to focus on their three-year plan for the R2S program. Because online applications will be routed to chair and deans for their review and electronic approval, failure to notify the chair and dean in advance of submission, may result in a non-approval at the unit level (and hence, non-review). 
  4. Applications must be submitted via the UM-Flint InfoReady competition space by December 1 for projects that begin during the next academic year. Competitions will be live on InfoReady 30 days in advance of the deadline. 
  5. Expected outcomes of R2S support include one or more of the following: the submission of at least one external grant proposal, one scholarly work for publication, the organization of a set of creative activities, or some other appropriate deliverable within the first six months following completion of the R2S project. 
  6. Award recipients who receive the Summer Salary stipend are precluded from Spring/Summer teaching for the duration of the award period. 

The Application 

The online application form in InfoReady will gather basic proposal information: Project Title, Project Abstract (150 words or less), Project Duration (proposed start and ending dates), total amount of Funding Requested, Applicant Name, Campus Address, and Statement of Eligibility.  

The eligibility statement should include details as to how the applicant meets the eligibility criteria for this award. These details should include but not be limited to administrative duties previously undertaken and course release and compensation received for those duties. 

Applicants must upload:

  1. project description (2 pages single-spaced maximum), 
  2. budget and budget justification (a brief line-item summary of the budget requests – followed by a brief narrative description of the line-items), and 
  3. abbreviated CV or biosketch (2 pages maximum). 

Project descriptions are limited to two single-spaced pages (minimum font size of 11 point Arial), and should include as much detail as possible about the planned work and how R2S project will reinvigorate the applicant’s scholarship and assist in their progress to the full professor rank. The description should provide a clear statement of the work to be undertaken  and must include an outline of the general plan of work, including the broad design of activities to be undertaken and, where appropriate, provide a clear description of the methods and procedures. Applicants should address what they want to do, why it is significant for their scholarship, how they plan to do it, and what the likely outcomes will be. In addition to a  statement of the anticipated outcomes of the funding period, the project description should outline a plan for further scholarship and professional development over the two years beyond  the initial performance period of the award. 

Proposals will be evaluated at the winter review meeting of the Research and Creative Activities Committee, a campus-wide review committee that reviews small grant applications for internal funding through the Office of Research. A common scoring rubric will be used to evaluate each proposal. The RCAC reviewers will score the proposals based on 3 common criteria, with space in the online review form for scores and comments in each section. 

Evaluation Criteria (will include): 

Significance: potential impact or scholarly merit of the project is clear for the applicant and their field or the applicant’s professional progress. 

Approach: overall strategy, approaches, methods, creative and research strategies are appropriate to achieve the stated aims. 

Outcomes and Future Plans: the proposed outcomes are realistic and represent a promising reconnection to scholarship or future research agenda. 

Awards for the upcoming academic year will be announced following the review meeting. Projects will be expected to start in the Fall semester, but can begin with Summer term. Project spending can be proposed for one year. The Provost’s Office anticipates funding 3-4 new awards per year.