Summer 2015 faculty assistance grant proposal project summary

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(due electronically to the Dean’s office by noon January 11, 2015)

Title of Proposal:

Type of Grant Requested

A. Summer Research ___
B. Summer Curriculum – indicate which area the proposal addresses:

  1. Madison Collaborative ____

  2. Focus on Environment ____

  3. K-12 Science Education ____

  4. Other

Date and type of (research or curriculum) grant previously received _______ _______________

Project Director (Name)

(Please type or print)

Date Electronic Signature




Applicant’s Name

Department Phone

I certify that I have read and understand the appropriate guidelines and meet all eligibility requirements for the grant requested.

Applicant’s Electronic Signature



I recommend , do not recommend , that this application be considered for a College Faculty Assistance Grant.

Department Head’s Signature

To Department Head – please print off this page, fill it out, and have the applicant submit the original to the Dean’s Office by Jan. 11. 2015. Thank you.



The College of Science and Mathematics offers Summer Curriculum Grants and Summer Research Grants to assist faculty members who wish to engage in substantial instructional development, research, and other scholarly enhancement efforts that cannot reasonably be completed as part of their normal teaching and professional responsibilities.
Faculty Summer Curriculum Grants are designed to support instructional development projects. The proposal may address one of the following categories: 1. the Madison Collaborative; 2. Focus on Environment; 3. K-12 Science Education; and, 4. other ideas. Such efforts might focus on developing new methods of instructional delivery, including the use of technical innovations in the specific teaching discipline. They might also include training in innovative teaching techniques and planning for their incorporation into current courses. Curriculum grants will also support significant efforts to acquire knowledge to update or revise existing courses or to develop new courses. Methods for achieving these pursuits may include, but are not limited to, reading, workshops, conferences, visits to other institutions, collaborative efforts with other faculty, and formal course-work. Curriculum grant activities should benefit the faculty member, reflect departmental and college goals, and ultimately, further the mission of James Madison University. The proposal must address these points. Finally, it should also make clear to those outside of the discipline why this is important work.


Proposals in any field of science or mathematics may be submitted. The grant is to be used to support faculty salary only and it would be paid through payroll. Each grant award will be for a minimum of $4,000. The actual cash value of the award will be based on available funds and the number of grants funded. No funds are available through this program for supplies, equipment or travel.

The program is open to all full-time faculty members of the College of Science and Mathematics who are tenured, are in a tenure-track position or are on a revolving term appointment. Each summer grant is awarded with the understanding that the recipient will devote a full-time commitment to the project for at least two months during the summer session. If the applicant teaches in the summer in lieu of the fall or spring as part of the applicant’s contract, the semester the applicant is not teaching may be used for the summer grant.
Grant recipients will not be available to teach for any division of the University during the period of grant activity. Faculty members are eligible to apply for both a summer curriculum grant and a research grant for the same summer; however, only one grant will be awarded to the recipient.
Faculty members who receive either a summer curriculum or summer research grant will not be eligible to receive another curriculum or research grant for a two-year waiting period. (e.g., Recipients of a curriculum or research grant for the summer of 2013 are eligible to apply in the fall of 2015 for a summer 2016 grant.) Also, a candidate submitting a proposal may not serve on the College Faculty Assistance Committee.


The proposal must be submitted to the office of the faculty member's department head for initial endorsement. The department head shall sign the endorsement page indicating that the department supports this project. The applicant should take the original endorsement page to the Dean’s Office and forward an electronic PDF of the proposal to the Dean’s Office ( and, College of Science and Mathematics by noon January 11, 2015. Only proposals received by this date will be accepted for further consideration by the College Faculty Assistance Committee. Once submitted, the proposals become the property of the College and will not be returned to the applicant. (For information regarding the University's policy on “intellectual property,” please refer to policy number 1107 in your James Madison University Manual of Policies and Procedures.)

The Dean of the College will notify successful grant recipients in writing by February 15, 2015. Checks for curriculum and research grants will be distributed during the 2015 Summer Session in July.

By September 15, 2015 a written report detailing project accomplishments must be submitted to the department head and college dean as a reasonable part of the annual evaluation process immediately following completion of the grant activity; therefore, consideration for a merit raise is absolutely linked to receipt of the report.
The report should include a description of contributions the grant activities will have to the mission of the department and college, and to the university. Also, grant recipients may be asked to speak at a departmental or college-wide symposium to communicate the results and findings of their grant activities to the university community. Any publication or publicly disseminated product resulting from activity assisted by the summer teacher or research grants shall say: “This work was supported by the James Madison University Program of Grants for Faculty Assistance.”

Proposals which do not conform to the following specific format guidelines will not be considered by the college faculty assistance committee.
Project Summary (Form Attached)
Include a short, descriptive project title and a one paragraph abstract.
Endorsements (Form Attached).
Project Narrative
Project descriptions will vary with the specific focus and intentions of the project director. An applicant should not presume extensive knowledge of the subject, innovation, or strategy on the part of the reviewers. The applicant should therefore provide specific and concise information on the project stated in a plain, non-technical language. There is no required format for the narrative; however, the following points should be addressed:
1. Relevant literature or state of affairs.

2. The rationale of, or need for, the project.

3. The specific objectives or aims of the project (or outline of what the project is to achieve). Include hypotheses to be tested if appropriate.

4. The significance of these objectives to the overall mission of the academic department, college, and University.

5. Specific strategies for achieving these objectives, which may include things such as an outline of the process or methods, a description of courses to be taken, workshops to be attended, or field sites to be visited.

6. A description of the methods for evaluating the impact of the project on the overall mission of the academic department, college, and University.

7. Future teaching initiatives or scholarly activities that might be expected as a result of the leave.
The narrative is not to exceed five double-spaced printed pages or 1,250 words.

Professional Resume
The applicant shall provide an up-to-date outline of professional activities and accomplishments, including:
1. Degrees earned and date of conferral.*

2. Citation of publications.*

3. List of papers presented at professional meetings or other professional presentations.*

4. List of academic honors, awards, or fellowships, and dates received.*

5. Other pertinent experiences and current activities.
*List most recent first. Note that the College Faculty Assistance Committee will evaluate grant applications first and foremost on the merit of the proposal. Professional credentials will be considered when reviewing proposals of equal or comparable merit and when determining an applicant's potential for successful grant activities.
All College Grant proposals submitted for consideration for funding must include a letter of endorsement from the department head (see endorsement form, page ii). The department head will forward proposals to the dean who will, in turn, forward the proposals to the chair of the College Faculty Assistance Committee. After review completion, the chair will forward recommendations to the college dean for final action.
The College Faculty Assistance Committee will make recommendations based on the following criteria and governing policies:
1. Competition is open to all full-time faculty members of the College, including department heads, who are in a tenure-track position, or who have tenure, or are in a revolving term appointment.

2. Proposals must be written in a clear and concise manner.

3. Consideration will be given only to those proposals which conform to the required format.

4. If eligible, faculty may apply for both a summer curriculum grant and a research grant; however, in the case that both proposals are recommended for funding, only one grant will be awarded.

5. No further summer curriculum or research grants will be awarded to faculty who have already received a summer curriculum or research grant until a full two-summer waiting period has passed.

6. Final choices will be based upon judgments made by the dean after consideration of recommendations from the review committee regarding the relative merit of each proposal.

7. If projects involve research or data collection using human subjects, the applicant must acknowledge that Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval, according to policy number 1104, is required of all awarded grants.

8. If projects involve research or data collection using live, vertebrate animals, the applicant must acknowledge that Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee approval, according to policy number 2202, is required of all awarded grants.

9. All proposals become the property of the University and will not be returned to the applicant.

10. Awards will not be given for completing degree requirements or merely polishing a dissertation for publication. Proposals clearly identified as extensions of completed dissertations may be submitted.

11. Support normally will not be given to projects intended for funding by publishers and leading to remunerative publication contracts.


The College Faculty Assistance Committee is composed of one full-time, tenured or tenure-track faculty representative from each of the departments in the college and a member of the Dean’s staff, who will chair the committee. The committee will determine the appropriate review procedures and process to be followed, and will recommend for Summer Curriculum and Research Grants only those proposals which are consistent with the criteria outlined in the attached documents, A Definition of Instructional Development at James Madison University and A Definition of Research at James Madison University . Grants awards will be based on the merit of each proposal. The committee's recommendations and the dean’s decisions are not subject to appeal, but upon written request of an applicant, the chair of the committee will meet with an applicant and provide a brief summary evaluation of the applicant's proposal.


The College Faculty Assistance Grants program was developed to offer faculty members extended opportunities to explore teaching effectiveness. The purpose is to encourage and assist faculty members who wish to engage in substantial teaching enhancement efforts that cannot reasonably be completed as part of normal teaching and professional responsibilities. Summer Curriculum Grants are not intended to support research projects, which are funded under the separate award category of Summer Research Grants. In general, Curriculum grants are intended to support instructional development projects. This definition of instructional development was created as a guide for use by the University Selection Committee in determining the award of Summer Curriculum Grants.
Instructional development focuses on constructing the conditions necessary for learning, particularly courses and curricula. The emphasis is on the integration of learning principles with course content in order to develop the most effective and meaningful learning experiences for students. At JMU, instructional development has evolved as an inclusive term. Instructional development can involve creating a new approach to presenting standard material for a course. It can include the acquisition of skills in traditional or innovative teaching techniques. Instructional development may also consist of restructuring the content of an existing course or designing a new course. If a faculty member needs special preparation or experience to be able to execute these activities, this preparation would constitute instructional development.
A comprehensive version of an instructional development project would consist of an attempt to increase teaching effectiveness by revising course content and enhancing teaching techniques as part of the same project. This approach could also include developing a more effective integration of subject matter and teaching techniques.
Within these basic categories (i.e., teaching techniques, curriculum change, and integration of the two), current challenges within higher education make several specific themes especially relevant: planning for the appropriate integration of student learning style with teaching style and course structure; planning to enrich or deliver a course by use of digital technologies and other media; and designing an interdisciplinary course.
Methods for achieving these pursuits may include, but are not limited to, reading, workshops, conferences, visits to other institutions and with other teachers, collaborative efforts, and formal course-work.
Instructional development does not extend to conducting comparative studies designed to determine which teaching technique(s) produce the best results. Instructional development would typically not include comparing the learning outcomes of groups of students enrolled in different versions of the same course.

The definition of research used by the College Faculty Assistance Committee in the Summer Research Grants awards process is an internally generated definition created by a representative faculty group. This definition is found in Part One of “Research at JMU: Possibilities and Realities,” which is the report on The 1987 Madison Conference. A summary of and key quotation from this document follows.
“Research is a multidimensional process that is best defined operationally. It includes scholarly inquiry and investigation, and formulation of a cognitive or affective creative activity or expression into a representative form.”
After making clear that research must be broadly construed to include the methodologies used in all disciplines, the report continues:
“Information retrieval alone does not constitute research. Rather, research is a systematic investigation structured to provide new insights with the goal of increasing the total knowledge of a subject. Research usually requires the satisfaction of at least the following conditions:
1. An orderly investigation of a defined problem.

2. The presence of creativity, intuition and speculation in suggesting and directing the research.

3. The use of appropriate research methods.

4. The gathering of adequate and representative evidence.

5. The exercise of logical reasoning which eschews false assumptions and biased statements and draws conclusions based on evidence.

6. An outcome that demonstrates the reasonableness, elegance and wisdom of the researcher.

7. Results that yield general principles, laws, artifacts or information that can be used with confidence.
Although the methodology, strategy or approaches used vary with the subject matter and individual researcher, there are five equally legitimate approaches to research. They are (l) opinion/behavioral, (2) experimental, (3) archival, (4) analytic, and (5) artistic. Since combinations of approaches may be used within a single research project, it is far more important that research endeavors meet the seven conditions listed above than that they fall within a particular strategy or approach.”
The definition of research noted above strongly suggests that the methodologies of all disciplines are appropriate. Judging summer research proposals by their internal quality according to the seven conditions noted above is therefore more appropriate than comparing proposals based on the degree to which their methodologies represent a strict conformity to “experimental” designs.

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