The name of the program is the Support for Faculty Scholars Award—SFSA. The purpose of the SFSA is to advance the research mission of the University. The fund supports research and creative activities that may not lead to external funding but that enhance the scholarly reputation of WMU and the faculty principal investigator. In addition, these funds are given to support:
- Faculty in the organizational phases of establishing their research and creative activity project.
- Faculty entering new areas of research or creative activity.
- Dissemination of original scholarship or work and/or engagement in professional collaborations associated with such work.
The Research Policies Council oversees administration of the program and establishes operational procedures regarding application, review, scoring, determination of eligibility, and award processes. The RPC also evaluates all final reports from awardees and assesses the outcomes of the program.
Apply online at https://wmich.infoready4.com. Log in with a Bronco NetID and password.
All proposals shall be written for a non-specialist audience.
- Awards are for one year; March 1st through February 28/29th.
- The maximum amount of an SFSA is $3,000. Award funds must be used within the one-year project period; they cannot be carried forward beyond the award termination date.
- Within 60 days of the end of the award year, the PI must submit a report describing the outcomes of the project, including a listing of any papers, presentations and creative works. The Office of Research and Innovation (ORI) will provide the RPC with an annual report on scholarly activity resulting from the SFSA program.
- Awardees cannot draw on Faculty Research and Creative Activity Award and SFSA funds simultaneously. Proposals for consecutive awards (i.e., FRACAA then SFSA or SFSA then FRACAA) must disclose the existing award and include a rationale for the connection if one exists.
Individuals or groups of individuals eligible for awards are restricted to all those holding board‐appointed faculty rank who are members of the bargaining unit at the time the SFSA proposals are due and who submitted a satisfactory final report for any previous SFSA or FRACAA award.
- An applicant whose appointment at WMU terminates prior to or during the year of award implementation may submit an application, but shall not receive an award until he/she has an appointment at WMU covering the year of implementation.
- Previous SFSA awardees are eligible every second year following the latest award.
- No SFSA Screening Committee member is eligible to submit a proposal while serving as a member of the committee.
- SFSA funds may not be used for salary purposes.
- The SFSA program does not fund projects solely for student research and creative activities.
- SFSA funds may not be used for student tuition, fees or travel.
- SFSA funds may not be used to support conference travel. Travel for the presentation of faculty research results is funded through the Faculty Research Travel Fund.
- Faculty may not use SFSA funds for the purpose of completing graduate study or professional training.
The proposed budget may not exceed $3,000 regardless of the number of collaborators. A proposed budget greater than the allowed maximum amount of $3,000 will disqualify the proposal. Such a proposal will not be reviewed.
A detailed budget must be included within the application. Proposed budget items must include a justification for the expense. The SFSA Screening Committee shall have the option of line‐item veto regarding the proposed budget.
The structure for the process of announcing and reviewing proposals includes the following:
- SFSA program coordinator (ORI staff member)—The Vice President for Research and Innovation shall designate one professional staff person from ORI to serve as SFSA program coordinator. The program coordinator shall assist in the determination of eligibility and administer all award activity (including program announcements, correspondence, record keeping, and preparation of the final report) regarding the program. The program coordinator shall attend screening committee meetings in a staff support capacity.
- SFSA Screening Committee—The SFSA Screening Committee will consist of a subcommittee of the Research Policies Council and will have representation from each of the following colleges: Arts and Sciences, Aviation, Haworth College of Business, Education and Human Development, Engineering and Applied Sciences, Health and Human Services and Fine Arts. The subcommittee reports to the chair of the RPC. The responsibilities of the SFSA Screening Committee include:
- Electing a subcommittee chair to coordinate the subcommittee’s activities and communication.
- Reviewing proposals to determine merit and contribution to scholarship of WMU and the principal investigator.
- Ranking proposals for funding.
- Based upon the pool of funds available, recommending proposals for funding.
- Orientation for the SFSA Screening Committee, as well as for interested faculty at large, shall be provided by the program coordinator, the chair of the RPC and by ORI.
The SFSA Screening Committee chair will function as coordinator of the committee’s work, assuring that the committee is working according to the guidelines and timelines. Additionally, the committee chair is responsible for other routine administrative duties, such as communication with faculty applicants on behalf of the committee and convening the SFSA Screening Committee for orientation by the Vice President for Research and Innovation.