Scholarly Pursuit Award
The Scholarly Pursuit Award Program supports scholarly and creative projects and activities that advance fundamental research. It provides support for scholarly pursuits leading to completion of a defined goal (e.g., journal article, conference presentation, art piece, performance or other product of significant impact). The budget may include a request for a stipend of up to $3000 (not including fringe benefits) and may provide additional support for other items for a total budget of no more than $5000. Stipends are paid not earlier than the end of the summer and require receipt of the deliverable.
Submitted applications with budget requests in excess of $5000 will be rejected without review. The intent of the program is to offer full time core faculty members the opportunity to focus intently and exclusively on a discrete project and to promote scholarship.
Examples of acceptable Scholarly Pursuit proposals might include:
1. Active research or other creative enterprises that relate to larger research plans or that builds on previous scholarship, provided that specific objectives and expected outcomes for the duration of the project are identified and can be assessed.
2. Completion of a journal article, art piece, or other major publication of significant impact.
Eligibility is open to the Corps of Instruction, as defined by the Board of Regents: Full-time professors, associate professors, assistant professors, instructors, lecturers and teaching personnel with such other titles as may be approved by the Board, shall be the Corps of Instruction. Persons holding adjunct appointments or other honorary titles shall not be considered to be members of the faculty.
- Members of the Faculty Research Committee are neither eligible to apply for funding nor write letters of support for applicants.
- Research proposals for projects leading toward an academic degree are not eligible.
- Students, temporary faculty, adjunct faculty, emeritus and honorary faculty, as well as full time researchers are not eligible.
- Faculty who have received Faculty Research Funding through a Research Seed Award or Scholarly Pursuit Award in the previous funding cycle are not eligible.
- Funded faculty may not be on terminal notice, retired, emeritus, resigned, on leave of absence or have accepted a position at another institution. Loss of affiliation with GS during the term of the award will result in forfeiture of the entire stipend amount.
- Applicants who apply for a project stipend must demonstrate a commitment to devote at least one month full time to their summer project and must demonstrate that that they are not contracted to teach summer courses during that committed month.
- Faculty receiving a stipend will be required to demonstrate completion or substantial progress towards completion of the funded objective prior to receipt.
- Faculty who have received funding in the past 5 years and did not complete the contract commitment or final report requirements are not eligible to apply. (A researcher who was unable to fulfill the terms of the award and followed the termination process outlined in the FRC award notice of agreement will maintain eligibility.)
- Faculty receiving Start-Up funding will not be eligible to receive Faculty Research Committee Scholarly Pursuit funding in the same fiscal year without a complete justification for why the funds requested are distinct from start-up eligible expenses and why they are needed to supplement the Start-up funding.
- Receipt of an Internal Funding Award does not affect eligibility for an Award for Excellence in Research and/or Creative/Scholarly Activity.
- Funding under this program and under the Research Awards Program are mutually exclusive, and an applicant should submit a unique proposal, to only one of these programs in a given funding cycle.
- The Committee strongly recommends that applications be submitted on forms applicable to the current year’s funding cycle.
- All submitted documents should be written to be read by an individual who is not familiar with the applicant’s discipline. Applications not written for a lay reader will be rejected.
- Use of appropriate grammar and adherence to guidelines will have material weight in funding decisions.
- Proposals that are incomplete or not in compliance with the guidelines will be eliminated from the competition without review.
- Proposed projects must be directed toward research/scholarly/creative activities and should result in quality publications, recitals, or exhibits. Projects may not be directed toward preparation of courses.
- Stipend payment will be in accordance with current university policy and process.
- Stipends for Scholarly Pursuit project work will be paid upon documentation of the deliverable. Awardee should supply a copy of the deliverable and a request for payment of the stipend amount.
- Project stipends may not be sought for work funded by any other source.
- Faculty stipend requests within the budget are not required.
The forms that must be completed and submitted as part of the Pursuit Application are:
(Toggles below provide guidance per application section)
Proposal Cover Sheet
Note that this form includes a section on “Prior Scholarly Pursuit Funding for internal funds and stipends received as either the Principal Investigator or as a Co-Investigator during the past five years.” The Committee’s evaluation of each proposal will include a consideration of the results/product/services/outcomes associated with previous awards to that applicant.
External current and pending projects are also required.
Biographical Sketch Form(s)
Must submit form(s) for the Principal Investigator (and any Co-Investigators if applicable).
The sketch is limited to two single-spaced pages. Please include only the requested information.
Proposal Abstract Form
The abstract should be 200 words in length or less, and follow the same type and font guidelines given for the proposal narrative (see below). This is a key element in all proposals and should include statements concerning: In short, the abstract should give reviewers a clear overview of the entire project in straightforward language.
Proposal Discipline Support
The discipline support section was added to give you a space to tell the committee how your research is normative within your discipline. Because the committee members come from a wide variety of disciplines, it is helpful to know what constitutes quality research from the perspective of your discipline to allow fair evaluation of projects. E.g., some disciplines value single authorship while others value collaborative publication. Some disciplines generate a quantity of journal articles while others produce a smaller number or even a single book and are viewed as highly productive. Some disciplines have performance types of projects that are viewed as research – like master classes in music or exhibitions in art or community involved evaluations in public health.
The narrative must meet the following guidelines:
- Pages submitted must be of standard size (8½ inch x 11 inch) white paper. All margins (i.e., top, bottom, and sides of pages) must be at least one inch.
- The narrative must be double-spaced and limited to a maximum of six (6) pages. The type size must be clear and readily legible, in standard size – i.e., 10 to 12 points. Do not reduce or condense type or line size.
- Attachments in the form of appendices may include a list of references cited (no more than 2 pages) and other materials which help clarify your proposal’s content (e.g., a copy of a questionnaire, a letter of agreement for you to use a library collection critical to the research, data tables and/or other illustrations of preliminary results from your research, photographs or other reproductions of prior or preliminary creative or scholarly works). In order to increase the odds that the Faculty Research Committee will have time to review your key attachments, it is to your benefit to be brief. Please do not include a resume or vita.
- The proposed research should be explained in a manner understandable to persons not expert in the field. As much as possible, use terms and concepts accessible to a Faculty Research Committee that has no background in your proposal’s subject area. It is helpful to have a colleague from an unrelated discipline read your proposal before submission to assure your reviewers will have a clear understanding of your proposal.
This section should answer the question, “What do you intend to do?” You should begin with a concise statement of the general purpose or major objectives and goals of the proposed project. This statement, often in combination with the limited objectives or specific aims, should describe the research/scholarly/artistic issue or problem to be addressed, product to be developed, work to be created, external funding opportunity, etc. (If a hypothesis is appropriate for your proposed project, it should be presented as part of this discussion.) The committee will review your proposal to determine the extent to which you have chosen your purpose and goals carefully and logically, and stated them clearly and concisely. Be specific about the results, products, or consequences of your project’s purpose or objectives.
This section should address the broad importance of the project in the field and its potential to generate quality publications, professional presentation, public exhibit, and/or external funding. For example, will the project address a gap in your field or discipline, make a contribution to an important or noteworthy scholarly or aesthetic issue, advance the understanding of your area of work, have immediate or eventual practical value (e.g., enhance opportunities for students, provide a stepping stone for your interest area, or lead to proposal for outside funding or public exhibit), produce new data and concepts, or test existing hypotheses and assumptions? Will the projects develop a pool of pilot data relevant to an identified funding source or contact base? Document the significance and originality of your project’s approach. Specify likely outlets for dissemination of your results (e.g., journals or other publications, conferences, associations, exhibits, museums, societies, or potential user groups). This section should convince the Committee of the overall merit of your project.
Keep in mind that, while your project may fit in a long term line of research, reasonable objectives for your summer project need to be stated, and will be evaluated.
3. Procedures/Process/Work plan/Methodology/Method of Analysis
This section should describe project activities in detail; describe the sequence, flow, and interrelationship of activities; and present a reasonable scope of activities. If appropriate, a schedule or timetable may be incorporated within the narrative or included as a separate attachment. The case should be made in this section that the methods and procedures are familiar to the applicant and are appropriate for the purpose or objectives already described. If established methods or procedures cannot serve the project, describe how modifications will enable you to overcome shortcomings in existing approaches. Methods of analysis should be clearly explained.
For the entire project, demonstrate an understanding of the linkages between your process or methodology, the activities to be undertaken, the project aims, the limitations on what can be produced or concluded, and the plan for evaluating whether the project has been accomplished.
4. Methods of Evaluation
Indicate what evidence will be collected and reported to describe the project outcomes. Describe how you will determine if the project objectives have been met.
Provide a description of the strategic advantage to the university if this project is completed.
5. Intended Outcome
Be specific about what you intend to produce and what the intended distribution of that product will be. You should be able to identify a deliverable to be supplied at the end of your funded period. Stipend funds will not be paid until the deliverable is provided.
The Committee uses cross-disciplinary criteria to evaluate proposals and to establish funding priorities. You are strongly encouraged; therefore, to keep these criteria in mind as you prepare your proposal. Careful editing and proofreading are essential. As appropriate, you are expected to incorporate references to pertinent literature throughout your narrative.
Intrinsic Merit of the Project
This criterion considers the likelihood that the project will lead to discoveries or advances within its field or discipline, or have substantial impact on progress in that field or discipline. The concern is that the project is soundly conceived in terms of current work in the field, existing literature on the subject, and appropriateness of procedures for the task. (The term “project” as used in this and the following contexts refers to the central concern of the proposed activity – for example, this may be a current or emerging issue in a discipline such as chemistry or economics, a question of interpretation of an artistic creation or historical event, the technical or procedural choices in the production of an artistic or other creative work, or an assessment of current or alternative social policies or programs.)
Proposer’s ability to carry out the project
This criterion considers the capability of the applicant in terms of his/her past training, publication activity, and other scholarly or creative accomplishments. The adequacy of the resources available including ability to complete the work within the award period is also considered. As appropriate, the applicant should include details on recent research/scholarly/creative projects. Beginning researchers may include their student work.
Strategic benefit to the University of the proposed outcome
This criterion considers the nature of the benefit to the university if the proposed outcomes are achieved. This can include for instance, advancement to the reputation of the university through high profile publications.
Itemized Budget Form
The maximum request for a Scholarly Pursuit award is $5000. The itemized budget form must include all proposed expenditures. Please note that faculty stipends not to exceed $3000 per application and student support are eligible costs. Academic year salary and summer salary are not eligible costs.
- The itemized budget form must include all proposed expenditures.
- Budget justifications should be detailed to include the need for personnel support. Well sourced budget justifications will be given a higher priority in funding decisions including partial awards.
- Review budget justification guidelines below for eligible expensive guidance in specific spending categories.
The budget form must be followed by a Budget Justification page, which supports the need for each budget item (or group of items if related) in order to attain the project’s objective and reflect current reasonable costs.
- Fringe benefit amounts must be calculated on top of the stipend amount and included on a separate line. (Auto-calculated on the budget template)
- The stipend amount may be split between co-investigators but may not exceed the maximum of $3000.
- All stipends awarded will be paid upon receipt of the deliverable.
- Explain research assistant duties/responsibilities.
- Research proposals for projects leading toward an academic degree are not eligible. Research assistants must work directly for the funded faculty member’s project. The PI must be responsible for the project outcome.
- Requests should include the number of hours and intended pay rate. The rate of pay should be consistent with the GS HR student wage scale. A justification if rate of pay exceeds federal minimum wage or GS wage scale. (Note: Student wages should reflect realistic usage. Student wages will not be re-budgeted.)
- Students employees must be GS students.
- Describe how requested programmers, consultants, translators, research assistants, etc. are essential to the project. Requests should include the number of hours and intended pay rate.
Supplies and Materials
A separate justification is not necessary for individual items. (E.g., disposable supplies, multiple chemical purchases)
- Travel is supported only when it is clearly essential to the project and will be funded at the lowest possible rate.
- Travel will only be supported for the researcher required to gather data.
- Applicants are encouraged to identify electronic means to meet the need prior to requesting travel funds. A statement should be included to address the need to travel where electronic means of communication or collaboration are available.
- Applicants requesting funding for travel outside of the United States are urged to investigate the available charters or other low-cost fare options.
- Applicants must document available rates.
- Travel costs for transport, food and lodging must conform to state travel requirements. (E.g, rental cars and lodging must be through a commercial establishment; meals are paid by the calculated per diem for the local.)
- Travel to conferences – even to present results, cultivate collaborators or get feedback relating to research – is not an allowable expense under this competition.
- Only equipment that is specific to the project or unusual for the applicants department will be considered for funding.
- Applicants must justify the need for equipment in reaching the objective/goals of this project and how it is essential in meeting the long-term research agenda.
- Equipment purchased under the grant remains the property of the University following completion of the project. Applicants may wish to consider leasing equipment as an alternative to purchasing it.
- Books, periodicals, databases, and other library materials are not eligible for licensing or purchase under this funding unless a purchase request has first been declined by the Georgia Southern University Libraries. For more information about submitting purchase requests for library materials, contact the GS Libraries.
- If declined for licensing/purchase by the GS Libraries:
- Justification for the requested books, periodicals, databases, or other library materials must be specific to the funded project.
- Requests must be for specific titles.
- Documentation of the Libraries’ denial should be supplied in an appendix to the application.
- Funded books, periodicals, databases, or other library materials will be the property of the GS Libraries to be made accessible to the funded faculty member unless ownership is declined by the Libraries. If ownership is declined by the Libraries, ownership will revert to the funded faculty member’s home department.
- Basic computer equipment or software will not be considered for funding. Any computer components requested must be justified to include the reason it is unique to the project.
Research Integrity Assurance
A written assurance that application to the Institutional Review Board (IRB), Institutional Animal Care and Use (IACUC) or Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) (as appropriate) will be made prior to July 1 if funded and work will not begin until approval is obtained is required for any project that gathers data from human subjects (IRB), utilizes vertebrate animals (IACUC) or utilizes biological materials or recombinant DNA (IBC).
Evaluation Summaries and Funding Decisions
Committee members will provide an initial evaluation summary for each proposal, using the following categories:
- OUTSTANDING: Vitally important project undertaken by a qualified investigator who can be expected to have substantial impact. This rating should be reserved for truly excellent proposals, but should be used when warranted. Top priority for funding. Point value: 5
- EXCELLENT: Proposal considered superior, both for the intrinsic merit of the project and the ability of the investigator. Should be supported. Point value: 4
- VERY GOOD: Proposal considered superior, both for the intrinsic merit of the project and the ability of the investigator. Should be supported if funds permit Point value: 3
- GOOD: Worthwhile project by a competent investigator, but routine in nature. May be supported if funds are available. Point value: 2
- FAIR: Proposal has serious deficiencies that decrease the probability of successful completion. Might merit consideration if resubmitted with major changes in future competition. Point value: 1
- POOR: Clearly not deserving of support or is written in language that prohibits adequate merit evaluation by reviewers. Point value: 0
- UNRESPONSIVE: Proposal is incomplete or not in compliance with the guidelines. Point value: 0
The committee will meet to discuss each proposal, using the initial evaluation summaries as the basis for discussions and ranking. Following these discussions, the committee may recommend full funding, partial funding, or no funding. In the event of a partial award, the awardee may wish to alter the scope of the proposed research or may even choose to decline the award and reapply at another time. Partial funding removes the awardee from the following year’s competition.
Special Notice Regarding Intellectual Property
Please note that receipt of this award for the development of creative and scholarly works and new material, devices, processes, or other inventions which may have commercial potential are governed by the Georgia Southern University Intellectual Property Policy. Assistance is available through the Research Services Foundation.
Conflicts of Interest
A current Financial Conflict of Interest disclosure will be required to apply to this program. Any potential financial conflict of interest that may be inherent in this project must be reported to the Vice President for Research and Economic Development. A conflict of interest that can be managed will not make the project ineligible for funding. Please refer to the Georgia Southern University Conflict of Interest Policy.
There are a limited number of awards available on this program. Review comments for non-funded projects may be provided to the principal investigator at the discretion of the committee. No comments or funding decisions will be provided to applicants until annual funding appropriations are finalized by the Vice President for Research and Economic Development.
Last updated: 4/27/2021