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Dean’s Office Support for Faculty Research. CCAS 2010 New Orleans, LA Paula M. Lutz, Dean College of Letters and Science Montana State University; Bozeman. Montana State University Bozeman, MT. MSU-Bozeman: Institutional Information. Research expectations—set by departments

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Dean s office support for faculty research

Dean’s Office Support for Faculty Research

CCAS 2010

New Orleans, LA

Paula M. Lutz, Dean

College of Letters and Science

Montana State University; Bozeman



Msu bozeman institutional information
MSU-Bozeman: Institutional Information

  • Research expectations—set by departments

    a. sciences—grant-funded laboratory by tenure, grad students trained and peer-reviewed publications; oral presentations or posters at professional meetings

    b. letters—dissertation  monograph or peer-reviewed articles; presentation of papers at professional meetings

  • Office of Sponsored Programs: some centralized accounting and grant-writing support; OSP/VPR also provides start-up $ AND incentives (buyouts, Short Term Professional Development Leaves, annual research and creativity awards)

  • GRANTS ($109M in expenditures in FY10 campus-wide; $29M CLS) F&A  investment in research across all disciplines (start-up funds, $ for incentives and awards)


Policies and opportunities for specific disciplines
Policies and opportunities for specific disciplines

  • Natural sciences: equipment purchases--grants (NSF MRI), foundations (Murdock Trust), and start-up funds; travel funds from grants and start-up packages; all start-up from VPR at present; equipment maintenance funded from F&A return

  • Social sciences: current emphasis provides grant-writing mentoring and seed grants (INBRE); travel funds available from Research Enhancement Awards (REA’s) in the College and Scholarship & Creativity grants campus-wide; course buyouts through BEST awards

  • Arts and humanities: travel funds available through REA and S&C; course buyouts through BEST awards


Msu opportunities
MSU Opportunities

  • Research Enhancement Awards (REA) within the College: primarily for Letters; provide travel support for conferences; $75-100K from VPR and College F&A return (internal competition);

  • Buy-Out for Enhancing Scholarship and Teaching (BEST Awards): funded by VPR; competitive—15-20 per academic year; most often for Arts/Letters

  • Short-Term Professional Development Leaves (STPD’s): funded by VPR; funds longer research travel

  • Scholarship and Creativity Grants:funded by VPR; ($250k from central F&A funds via campus competition with external review); grants of $6k to 22k for lengthy, focused research projects/travel for Arts/Letters (such as summer research at an archive or an archeological dig)

  • Interdisciplinary Research/Creativity Proposals: up to $7.5K for ‘ID’ proposal development and submission

  • Montana Research and Commercialization Grants: Dept. of Commerce; $1.4M pool; requires 25% match


Policies related to research support
Policies related to research support

  • Encouragement of proposal production and success: through New Faculty Forum, INBRE seed grants (special emphasis on social science research from NIH and NSF), internal seed grants for interdisciplinary research

  • Annual faculty awards honoring research and creativity: Creative Scholarship & Teaching; Meritorious Technology & Science; Undergraduate Research and Creativity Mentoring; Meritorious Research & Creativity

  • Research leaves: negotiable post-tenure under special circumstances; campus sabbatical policy through Faculty Senate process—10-12 per year; course reductions negotiated with start-up packages or through grant funds

  • Applied research, pedagogical research, community engagement: special emphasis on interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research provides seed money at present; Teaching and Learning Center provides seed money for research in pedagogy; as a land grant, MSU has Extension as a CE link AND the Montana Agriculture Experiment Station (MAES) funding (primarily for the sciences)


Obstacles issues challenges
Obstacles/issues/challenges?

  • Research faculty/administration communication:

    a. Frustration over recent, sudden reductions in F&A return to colleges, departments, and PI’s;

    b. A new Research Board recently created as part of our new president’s faculty governance structure;

    c. Frustration over VPR, faculty, and deans’ sense that research F&A is used to backfill A&F shortfalls

  • Support services: social science researchers in departments just entering the chase for external funding have increasing needs for staff support;

  • Research space: Constant source of acrimony and discontent; negotiated in start-ups; expansions difficult; success in obtaining federal dollars for several buildings (USDA, NIH); self-funded one research building by bonding on future F&A returns;


Decanal support of faculty research scholarship and creative activity across different disciplines

Decanal Support of Faculty Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activityacross Different Disciplines

Christopher McCord

College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

November 11, 2010


Research expectations
Research Expectations Creative Activity

  • Standards for Promotion & Tenure and annual merit evaluation are set by department; approved by college.

  • All departments in CLAS expect faculty to be research-active for Promotion & Tenure.

  • Annual merit is based on research, teaching & service; weights vary by dept. and can be individualized in some depts.

  • Level of research activity varies by discipline & teaching load, which in turn varies depending on whether or not department offers PhD.

  • No department requires external funding for Promotion & Tenure; some are moving towards some requirement.


Research support
Research Support Creative Activity

  • Encouragement of proposal production and success

    • VPR funds “Research & Artistry” awards; separate categories for those in disciplines w/ access to external funding and those w/out

    • OSP has research development specialists who work w/ individual faculty to develop long-term research goals & funding strategies

  • Support for Undergraduate Research:

    • University funds Undergraduate Special Opportunities for Artistry & Research (student-initiated research funding requests)

    • College funds Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program (faculty-initiated funding requests to engage students in their research)

  • Research leaves:

    • Sabbatical leaves every 6 years (recently able to fund about 30 per year in CLAS)

    • Course buy-outs (15% of salary per course, up to $15,000)

    • Moving more & more towards differential teaching loads based on research activity.


Research support1
Research Support Creative Activity

  • Applied research, pedagogical research, community engagement

    • College has important role in validating & promoting such work

    • University Outreach provides contacts; VPR provides support on technology transfer

    • OSP provides same logistical support as for research funding

  • Start-Up Funding

    • Negotiated with individuals in laboratory sciences; college provides lead funding, with some support from VPR and department

    • For all other individuals, College provides fixed 8K award, to be used during first 2 years at faculty member’s discretion.

  • Shared Research Facilities

    • Working with VPR to move towards shared analytical facilities (including physical facilities such as NMR’s and gene sequencing; computing facilities; methods resources such as statisticians or quantitative research methods)

    • Moving towards centrally-funded facilities with cost recovery (both direct & indirect).


Research support2
Research Support Creative Activity

  • Engagement with National Laboratories:

    We support joint appointments and collaborative research partnerships with Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (FNAL) and Argonne National Laboratory (ANL).

  • Support for Interdisciplinary Research:

    • VPR returns 10% of F&A to formal interdisciplinary units

    • College promotes “shared credit”, formal joint appointments, embedding of interdisciplinary effort into reward & regard system; providing a “level playing field” for interdisciplinary work.

    • College & Provost’s Office fund specific interdisciplinary projects such as Environmental Studies & Southeast Asian Studies.

  • Joint Appointments

    • Joint appointments can be either internal (within college, across colleges, between 2 depts. or dept. and interdisc. Center) or external w/ ANL and FNAL.

    • College provides infrastructure and “moral support” for facilitating joint appts.: codifies how joint appts. work in annual reviews, merit, P&T, access to funding, etc.


Support for specific disciplines
Support for Specific Disciplines Creative Activity

  • Laboratory Sciences:

    • Equipment Purchases are funded through cost-sharing on grants (NSF MRI), and start-up funds

    • Space owned by departments; College provides some cost-sharing on renovations

    • Graduate assistants – moving towards incentives for externally-funded RA’s.

  • Single-Scholar Work:

    • Travel and release-time are the most valuable forms of support.

    • Both are provided to new faculty through startup packages;

    • Depts., college & VPR contribute to travel; VPR funds release-time through Research & Artistry awards

  • Creative Work & Interdisciplinary Work:

    • Recognition of the validity of both is an important form of support


Issues challenges
Issues & Challenges Creative Activity

  • Research faculty/administration communication:

    • Post-award support in Grants Fiscal Accounting is focused primarily on compliance; somewhat adversarial relationship between GFA & PI’s.

    • Lack of understanding of F&A distribution; believe that F&A distribution doesn’t direct resources to ongoing research support.

  • Research Facilities: University has created research facilities w/out providing funding beyond initial setup. Need support for staffing; maintenance; upgrades. Need methodology for deciding which facilities to provide on-campus; which to out-source.

  • Culture & Expectations for Funding: Efforts to “prime the pump” by providing university funding to underwrite research infrastructure has not been phased out and has become entrenched.


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