Committee submits proposals for grants

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Cal State Fullerton’s Faculty Research Committee will submit proposals to the Intramural Grant Program in hopes of gaining funding to further their studies.

Part of the Academic Senate, the committee includes 12 faculty members representing each college on campus who work to ensure their research is properly funded. Their purpose is to nominate faculty members as possible recipients of intramural, junior and enior awards. The president then approves the nominees and distributes the grant.

Grants are given to faculty members to enhance their research, scholarly and creative activities with the assistance of undergraduate and graduate students.

Terri Patchen, Ph.D., the committee’s co-chair, said the program was created to support important scholarly and creative activities of CSUF faculty while providing them with a test-ground for the pursuit of external grants.

The faculty’s application process was designed similarly to allow members to familiarize themselves with common prompts used by external funding agencies, said Patchen.

“Each application is read by three committee members—and we make an effort to ensure that the college representative is one of the readers. But that means, that two of the readers are not part of the college—and that is one of the strengths of this system – applicants are writing to the broader population of their peers,” said Merri Lynn Casem, last year’s committee chair.

The three committee members give individual scores to the proposal based on certain criteria. A committee meeting and final review leads to the final ratings, at which point recipients will be chosen.

Recipients can begin to use their awards between July 1, 2013 and June 20, 2014 to comply with the fiscal calendar.

These grants are used to fund research for publication, data collection or analysis, conference participation, research supplies, materials or equipment, productions and collaborations with communities, school districts or other universities.

“The Intramural Grant Program is important because it provides support for faculty who are interested in exploring innovative research ideas,” said Natalie Tran, Ph.D., a secondary education professor. “This type to support is needed to nurture creativity and enhance intellectual development of faculty and students.”

Last year’s grants were divided into different areas: Incentive grants, junior/senior faculty grants, general grants and the one-time Milton A. Gordon (MAG) grant.

Tran was awarded an incentive grant last year. The grant has allowed her to transform K-12 classrooms to facilitate student learning and has allowed her to work with talented students from around campus.

Jim Volz, PhD., a theater professor, was awarded a senior grant last year. This allowed him the travel opportunities and time to write two books, which are used by both undergraduate and graduate students internationally.

Volz said the grant also made it possible for CSUF students to participate in a Shakespeare Conference, a National Theatre Conference in New York and work on a National Endowment for the Arts grant as part of a Washington, D.C. program.

However, fewer funding opportunities are available for faculty this year because of budget cuts. According to co-chair Barbara Ker, the committee’s aim remains to fund as many high-quality faculty projects as the funds allow.

April Bullock, Ph.D., a liberal studies professor and recipient of a Senior Grant last year, said faculty may receive a smaller amount, only up to $2,000, for awards this year due to cuts. Bullock added that faculty members are only allowed to apply every third year.

“While $2,000 may sound like a lot, it really doesn’t go very far,” said Bullock, adding that the intramural program and other sources of intramural funding have been critical to her scholarly productivity.

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