EAB’s executive roundtable sparks faculty grant program revitalization

Case Study

EAB’s executive roundtable sparks faculty grant program revitalization

The Challenge

Early-career faculty were not prepared for external fellowships

Through an internal grant program at the University of South Alabama (USA), faculty members could receive $5,000 in research funding for a small project. Research leadership did not feel like the money was achieving institutional goals of preparing early-career faculty to apply for external funding or fellowships, even though faculty were actively applying for the program and using the funding.

100%

of participants in the Fellows Program submitted a proposal for external grant funding
of participants in the Fellows Program submitted a proposal for external grant funding

The Results

University of South Alabama redesigns their internal grant program

The Vice President for Research attended an Executive Roundtable for EAB’s University Research Forum and saw the presentation Helping Faculty Achieve their Full Research Potential. After participating in the discussion with peers, the Vice President restructured the existing internal grant program at USA as a Fellows Program. The redesigned program prepares targeted early-career faculty to submit external proposals using three specific tactics from EAB’s white paper 10 Components of Successful Research Mentoring Programs.

3 strategies to structure support for early-career faculty

EAB RecommendationsHow USA Implemented these Tactics
Strategy OneCreate a time-limited program that lasts one to two academic years The Fellows Program requires a one-year commitment from both early-career faculty and senior faculty coaches.
Strategy TwoRequire an application process that communicates expectations upfront and holds mentors and mentees accountable Fellows commit to attending sessions focused on proposal development.

Coaches agree to attend meetings and provide feedback on documents and drafts mentees create. Coaches receive $250 (in their university research fund) at the completion of the program if they fulfilled their responsibilities.
Strategy ThreeProvide seed funding for the express purpose of applying for external funding Fellows Program applicants must identify a grant or external fellowship they intend to apply for during their award term.

Fellows receive the final $500 of their award after the submission of their external proposal.

Access the study used by University of South Alabama

More on faculty development

Many faculty are not provided the same training and support necessary for conducting research as they receive for teaching. Learn how Chief Research Officers can support faculty research by helping faculty secure early-career awards and establish long-term research goals.