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Faculty Programs

The RD staff coordinates a variety of programs to help faculty strengthen their proposal writing skills, understand the nuances of the different funding sponsors and agencies, and identify the most appropriate funding opportunities. In addition, several programs focus on special areas. These Include:

This yearlong internal seed program was designed for selected recently tenured faculty who have a big idea but not a full team or complete research plan. Research Development staff work with a small group of these emerging research leaders to support significant, collaborative transdisciplinary research.

Through the structured program, awardees develop the skills and knowledge necessary to lead large teams or centers. Components of Expanding Horizons include monthly presentations and discussions, mentorship, specific capacity-building activities, and up to $50,000 in seed grant funding. Researchers also receive critical input from program officers, other center directors, and influential scholars.

Expanding Horizons is one of four seed programs managed by Research Development staff.  Other seeds include Collaborative Humanities Research, Community-Engaged Research, and Interdisciplinary Research seed programs, which were awarded in early 2020.

For more information, contact AVCRD@utk.edu.

The Office of Research and Engagement, in cooperation with the Office of the Provost, launched a program which supports the accomplishments of junior faculty in all fields. The program focuses on prestigious national faculty awards and on interdisciplinary collaborations in fields of emerging significance.

The program has two primary aims:

  1. To support applications for prestigious national faculty awards, especially those listed by the Center for Measuring University Performance (CMUP) as one of nine measures of research universities. Because these awards are so highly competitive, participants in this program will receive specific instruction and intensive coaching at multiple levels and will construct a pre-tenure calendar of award applications.
  2. To develop interdisciplinary collaborations outside departmental boundaries, especially in fields of emerging significance. In response to the difficulty noted by junior faculty in meeting potential colleagues outside their own department, this program will help to identify collaborators and to facilitate meetings.

The PWI creates an opportunity for faculty to utilize expertise from the Research Development office while also working within a community to advance their research interests. In 2020, the PWI’s focus is on National Science Foundation CAREER awards. This prestigious award funds early-career tenure-track assistant professors.

Faculty who are eligible according to NSF criteria were recently contacted to encourage their participation in the program. RD staff meet individually with participants, developing a timeline and focusing on creation of a one-page concept paper during the spring semester. The group then meets twice a month during April, May, and June with the goal of submitting a proposal to NSF in July.

Key benefits are connections to those who can help faculty succeed, a system that includes accountability check-ins, and a fresh approach to proposal development. Information on the 2020 NSF CAREER program can be found here. For more information on the PWI, contact Diana Moyer at dmoyer@utk.edu.

The RDA was created to empower faculty from diverse backgrounds to advance their research, scholarship, and/or creative activities. The one-year program, commencing in January 2020, offers one-on-one coaching sessions with Associate Vice Chancellor of Research Development Kimberly Eck, discussions with department heads, support from research development staff, and internal funding to pursue a research development activity or small project.

Hosted by UT’s Office of Diversity and Engagement and Office of Research and Engagement, the inaugural class represents four departments:

  • Elizabeth D. Barker, assistant professor of mechanical, aerospace, and biomedical engineering;
  • Stefanie Benjamin, assistant professor of retail, hospitality, and tourism management; 
  • Lyndsey M. Hornbuckle-Lampkin, assistant professor of kinesiology, recreation and sport studies;
  • Anchalee (Joy) Panigabutra-Roberts, Head, head of cataloging and associate professor for UT Libraries; and
  • Jason L. Scott, assistant professor of kinesiology, recreation and sport studies.

For more information on this and other programs in the Office of Research and Engagement that seek to empower faculty, please contact Eck at AVCRD@utk.edu.

This program was created to help new faculty engage in multi-year planning to advance their research, scholarship, and/or creative activities. It enables the Office of Research & Engagement to gain an understanding of our newest faculty members’ expertise and help connect them with resources, target funding opportunities, identify potential collaborators, and achieve success. With this program, Research Development staff offer individualized sessions for new faculty, especially during their first two years on campus. The process for assisting new faculty is flexible to meet the needs of each college and complement college-based resources and supports. 

For more information on Scholarship Agenda, contact AVCRD@utk.edu.

This new encourages external proposal submissions, provides internal peer review and formative feedback, and leverages Research Development staff assistance. Eligible academic units include those with more than five faculty members where less than 60% of full-time tenure/tenure-track faculty members are currently externally funded. Funds may be used to cover programmatic costs necessary for convening review committees and to support research activities for participants and internal reviewers. 

For more information on this program, contact AVCRD@utk.edu.