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Professional and Scholarly Development Awards (PSDA)

The Office of Research and Engagement (ORE) is now accepting proposals for the 2020 competition for the Professional and Scholarly Development Awards (PSDA) in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. These awards of up to $5,000 are intended as seed funding to support applications for external research funding, collaborations, book contracts, juried competitions, fellowships, and journal papers. ORE anticipates funding for approximately 18 awards for the 2021 calendar year.

The main requirement is that it be a project in the arts, humanities, or social sciences that cannot incorporate a graduate student as a collaborative researcher. Projects that can incorporate graduate students as collaborative researchers are eligible for the Student/Faculty Research Awards from the Graduate School.

Eligible projects may come from departments and centers in the humanities and social sciences, the performing and visual arts, architecture, business, and law.

Tenured or tenure-track faculty at the rank of assistant professor or above may apply. Lecturers may also apply if they have served as a full-time member of their department for at least five consecutive academic years prior to the academic year of application.

The goal of the funds is to support the professional and/or scholarly development of the faculty member. PSDA funds may be used to cover such costs as research supplies, meeting with collaborators, and travel to work in libraries or archives. These funds are not intended to support travel to meetings or for purposes of scholarly presentation or for faculty or graduate student salaries.

Deadlines and submission procedures

Applicants should prepare and submit the proposal using InfoReady no later than 5:00 pm on Friday, December 11, 2020. Click here to submit your proposal.

An internal committee convened by ORE will evaluate the proposals based on the following review criteria:

  • The potential impact of the proposed activity on the applicant’s overall professional development and scholarship.
  • The potential of the proposed activity to generate tangible outcomes, such as specific research or fellowship proposals, collaborations, book contracts, juried competitions, or journal papers.

Final funding decisions will be made by ORE based upon the recommendations of the internal committee. The award period will be January 1 – December 31, 2021.

Proposal Instructions:

Each proposal must include the following elements:

  1. A narrative of no more than 1,500 words describing the proposed professional development activities.  It should explain briefly why graduate student collaboration is not feasible for this project. This narrative should be written for an educated, non-specialist audience and must include a clear explanation of methodology and expected outcomes.
  2. An itemized budget for the amount requested as well as a projected timeline for use of the funds. Estimated expenses for lodging, meals, and travel must be based on UT procedures. Requests for rebudgeting after the award is made will have to be submitted for approval. Applicants should also list current support held from other university or external sources, proposals under consideration by other university or external funding sources, and previous support from the Office for Research and Engagement.
  3. Plans for seeking external funding, including a list of proposed funding sources and a projected timeline for application.
  4. Applicant CV (5 page max).

If you have questions concerning this solicitation, please email AVCRD at AVCRD@utk.edu.