Untenured Faculty Research Initiative

Program Description and Guidelines

 I. BACKGROUND

The Kean University Untenured Faculty Research Initiative (UFRI) was established through a letter of agreement between Kean University and the Kean Federation of Teachers to support the competitive research efforts of untenured faculty that will advance the state of the art or knowledge in a specific field or area of professional activity; enhance the ability of untenured faculty to participate successfully in the Release Time for Research Program; and promote proposal-writing skills suitable for the preparation of applications to external funding agencies. Through this program, faculty and librarians apply to receive research awards of released time (up to 6 credits) and limited direct costs. The UFRI program is open to all untenured full-time faculty members and untenured full-time librarians submitting proposals for original research or creative works in any discipline. Funding levels may vary from year to year. The Untenured Faculty Research Initiative is sponsored by the Office of the President and is administered through the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP).

II. PURPOSE

UFRI support is intended to facilitate competitive research efforts of untenured faculty that will:

  1. advance the state of the art or knowledge in a specific field or area of professional activity;
  2. enhance the ability of untenured faculty to participate successfully in the Released Time for Research Program (which is open to all faculty); and
  3. promote proposal-writing skills suitable for the preparation of applications to external funding agencies.

III. ELIGIBILITY

The UFRI program is open to all untenured full-time faculty members and untenured full-time librarians submitting proposals for original research or creative works in any discipline. Only untenured faculty or librarians may receive awards in the UFRI program, but no untenured faculty or librarian may receive the UFRI and the RTR awards concurrently. If the University Wide Untenured Faculty Research Committee does not recommend an applicant for an award, the applicant will be allowed a period of one week to resubmit that application to the University Wide Release Time for Research and Creative Works Committee. Untenured faculty and librarians may receive a maximum of two UFRI awards. After receiving two UFRI awards, they can participate only in the regular RTR program.

IV. CRITERIA

The Department Committees, when appropriate, and the University Wide Untenured Faculty Research Initiative Committee will use the criteria below in evaluating research proposals. Any additional criteria developed by the Department Committees must be submitted to the University WideUntenured Faculty Research Initiative Committee and the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs to assure applicability to existing policy, and then made available with Untenured Faculty Research Initiative applications at the time of their submission.

  1. The proposal should be considered on its own merits insofar as possible.
  2. The proposal clearly indicates that the person submitting it has the necessary competence to carry out and complete the project.
  3. The methods detailed in the proposal are adequate to carry out the project.
  4. The proposal details the use of all necessary special tools and equipment and indicates that these are or will be available.
  5. The proposal is likely to result in: publication by major presses here or abroad or publication in scholarly journals; presentation at major professional conferences; public performances and exhibitions; the receipt of external funding.
  6. The applicant is not receiving external funding for total support of this proposal. Applicants who have received partial external funding for this project and need Released Time for Research as a supplement should explain and justify this need in the application. Applicants who have applied for total external funding which is pending must: a) attach their application for such funding; and b) include a statement indicating that Released Time for Research will not be needed if the external award is received.

IV. POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

  1. The maximum number of UFRI Awards granted in an academic year will be determined based on funding levels and the number of awards may vary from year to year.
  2. Each released time award shall range from one to six teaching credit hours and cannot exceed six hours per academic year. Reassigned credits received through the award must fall within the total 12-credit teaching assignment. The UFRI awarded credit cannot bring the faculty's total credit commitment over 12 credit-hours per semester. As an example, a faculty member with a UFRI award for 3 credits in a given semester would have 9 credits of teaching and 3 UFRI credits for research. Faculty awards do not affect responsibilities for office hours and other non-teaching responsibilities.
  3. An awardee's normal teaching or workload assignment released by the research award may be reassigned by the department chairperson or supervisor in consultation with the dean or vice president, as appropriate.
  4. Awards for released time for librarians shall be up to a total of twenty (20) days for the semester.
  5. Direct cost support not to exceed $400 may also be awarded based on project need, proposal budget and available funds.
  6. In the case of a joint submission, the "senior research associate" must be identified.
  7. The applicant must have filed all interim and summary reports due on past UFRI Awards with the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. If interim reports have not been filed, the new application will not be considered. Interim reports are due on December 15th and final reports are due on June 15 of the award year.
  8. Awardees who plan to submit a continuation project for a new award period must use the renewal application form and provide a progress report as part of their current application.
  9. UFRI Awards cannot be granted to support research toward an advanced degree.
  10. Requests for UFRI Awards shall be made using the online application on the ORSP website. The UFRI calendar shall be adhered to for all deadlines.
  11. Funds awarded as part of a UFRI award must be spent within the time period of the award. Purchase orders or reimbursement requests must be made to the ORSP by June 30th of the year that your award is active. No requests made after that date will be honored.

V. TWO-STAGE REVIEW

A faculty member's proposal is evaluated by a Departmental* Committee, established by Letter of Agreement #27 between Kean University and the Kean University Federation of Teachers. The Committee, composed of three full-time faculty members, must adhere to the calendar for Untenured Faculty Research Initiative Awards. *where a department structure does not exist, the program coordinator will be asked to form a committee to review applications submitted by faculty in that program.

The Department Committee convenes to review each proposal and to rate it on a three point scale: (1) Highly Recommended; (2) Recommended; (3) Not Recommended. Written comments must accompany each rating and are appended to the electronic file. All proposals are then submitted to the University Wide Untenured Faculty Research Committee for evaluation. Proposals from librarians are submitted directly to the University Wide Untenured Faculty Research Committee, as required by Letter of Agreement #81 between Kean University and the Kean University Federation of Teachers.

The University Wide Untenured Faculty Research Committee, established by Letter of Agreement #100 between Kean University and the Kean University Federation of Teachers, is composed of nine voting members plus a non-voting representative (observer) appointed by the Kean University Federation of Teachers, the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research or designee - ex-officio without vote, and the Vice-President for Academic Affairs or designee. The full-time faculty of each college elects a total of eight tenured faculty members to represent their respective college. The unit Librarians elect one tenured Librarian. All elected members serve a period of two years.

The full Committee (two-thirds of the voting members constitute a Quorum) reviews the recommended proposals and, based on the proposals' merits, makes final award recommendations in rank order to the President.

VI. NOTICE OF AWARD

The President's office will announce awards on the date established by the calendar for that year. Notice of released time granted will be accompanied by guidelines outlining purchasing procedures and forms for the submission of interim and final reports. All administrative procedures will be coordinated and assisted by the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, through the Office of Research & Sponsored Programs.