A faculty research supports committee convened to develop strategies to address this need and established two broad aims. The first aim is to develop a system-wide infrastructure to increase and maintain research funding. Central to this aim is establishing an office for research support and hiring people who can help facilitate the grant writing process. Personnel should include operational and editorial support; post-award support, such as project and grants managers; and statistical support. Increased physical space for research activities, including space for research assistants and staff, are vital to cohesive operations.
The infrastructure will establish a committee of faculty to meet regularly to help all faculty pursuing grant applications. Ideally, faculty would submit a draft of their grant application to this committee for review and the committee would provide verbal and written feedback to faculty. This aim requires faculty to take ownership of the School’s grant activities and recognize faculty with expertise in writing grants across the school system. Faculty must also be made aware of research funding opportunities by providing ongoing education and communications around different forms of funding, such as types of federal funding mechanisms, as well as state, foundation, and private sources of research funding. While aspirational, the infrastructure would support mechanisms to pay faculty summer funding for writing grants. Negotiated with the dean, and contingent on faculty submitting a grant writing activity plan, such support increases faculty capacity to write grant applications over the summer. The research infrastructure and supports must be accessible to faculty across all campuses. One metric to demonstrate success of the infrastructure and related activities is an increase in the number of grant applications submitted and the number of research awards obtained.
The second aim is the development of content focused research groups. Faculty across the School share research interests; however, not all faculty are aware of overlapping research interests. Initially, we will determine those areas of shared research interest, such as mental health, school social work, child welfare, etc. Once established, these groups would meet regularly. Creating online communities could facilitate connection of group members and ensure all campuses are included. One activity for these groups would include writing manuscripts and grants together. Not only would these groups help to connect faculty with similar interests, they would help to develop research relationships across the state. The primary metrics to demonstrate success would include an increase in the number of manuscripts and grants generated from the research group partnerships. Further evidence of the research groups’ success would be an increase in the number of community research partners.
Source: Pew Charitable Trusts (2019). Two decades of change in federal state higher education funding: Recent trends across levels of government. Online at https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/issue-briefs/2019/10/two-decades-of-change-in-federal-and-state-higher-education-funding