Policies of the Associate Professor Support Fund

Application Guidelines

LSA Associate Professor Support Fund (APSF) Policy 2014 

Application Deadline: Friday, March 28, 2014

Review by Divisional Evaluation Committee: mid-April

Notification of awards: Thursday, May 1, 2014

Effective date of awards: Summer/Fall 2014

 

By virtue of their newly-won tenure, associate professors are well positioned to pursue the next phase of their research programs.  At the same time, they are expected to take on added administrative responsibilities and, in many cases, to tackle new teaching tasks while strategically preparing for promotion to the rank of full professor.

The associate professor support fund (APSF) acknowledges these new responsibilities of the rank and is intended to enhance the research support for associate professors, so that they can take fuller advantage of the opportunities afforded by tenure and move expeditiously to the next rank. 

Associate professors may apply for funding at any time following promotion to that rank, but are, in general, expected to apply only once.   Departments should develop procedures to advise Associate Professors on the optimal time to apply.  It is important that the application is timed in such a way that it will have the biggest impact on the research program and work that will be presented during the process for promotion to full professor.   NOTE:  Faculty who received an APSF award previously or who are currently under review for promotion in AY 2013-14, or who will be considered for promotion in AY 2014-15, are not eligible to apply for APSF.   Please address any questions to the relevant divisional Associate Dean.

The utilization of these awards will depend on disciplinary expectations and on the research needs of the associate professor.  The following paragraphs summarize the types of applications that are anticipated.  Alternatives that are consistent with the spirit of these proposals but are better tailored to the needs of an individual associate professor are welcome.  In every case, requests for support should be accompanied by a curriculum vitae, abstract, budget worksheet, and budget justification which will include a description of the proposed research project, a detailed explanation of how this project fits into the associate professor’s broader research program, what progress on the project has already been made, how the requested award will further this research agenda and what part this work will play in the ultimate promotion to full professor.  Funds should generally be expended within two years; if a project requires more time, this requirement should be explained at the time of application.  At the end of the two year period, a final report will be required.

In general, funds from this program cannot be used to reduce teaching.  In some cases, these funds may be most useful if coupled with a sabbatical leave.  As part of a research plan and with permission of the relevant unit(s) a faculty member’s first sabbatical at this rank may be postponed without loss of equity toward the next one.  Similarly for those associate professors close to eligibility for their second sabbatical at this rank some acceleration of that sabbatical may be permitted (on the understanding that the faculty member’s third sabbatical will be delayed by the same period as the acceleration of this second one.)  Associate Professors wishing to explore this possibility should discuss this with their chair.

The faculty member’s department chair must evaluate this proposal and, therefore, the faculty applicant should discuss these plans with the chair well in advance of the application.  Proposals for projects greater than $30,000 must also have unit level and/or other commitments for a minimum of 25% of total costs.  In addition, funding for summer salary will not be approved for any proposals above $30,000.  Faculty with joint appointments should request evaluations (and additional support, if relevant) from both of their chairs.

Humanities:  In much of the humanities, associate professors are expected to either finish, or at least make substantial progress towards a series of major articles or a second book manuscript in order to be promoted to professor.  It is expected that the APS funds will be used to complete a major project that will be important in their next faculty promotion.  In this division, faculty can apply for summer ninths (no more than two); funds for a graduate or undergraduate research assistant (no more than a .50 GSRA for nine months); funds for editorial or translation work; or funds to permit study at a distant site (e.g., a gallery or archive).  We envision making 8-12 awards per year in the $20,000-$30,000 range.  Please note that budgeted salaries should include fringe benefits and that there are additional budget justification requirements for requests greater than $30,000. Faculty who apply for this award may also apply to the Institute for the Humanities, the Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies, or for the Michigan Humanities Award in the same year, assuming they meet those eligibility requirements.  All leaves remain subject to the college leave policy.

Social sciences:  Faculty in the Social Sciences engage in a variety of types of scholarship, ranging from field work to survey research to experiments in the laboratory.  Some work in book disciplines, which require them to travel to distant archives or field locations; some produce articles, often in collaboration with colleagues here and elsewhere.  Given the diversity of research methods in the social sciences, awards in this discipline may involve summer ninths (no more than two); funds for a graduate or undergraduate research assistant (no more than a .50 GSRA for nine months); money for travel to complete fieldwork or to work with collaborators housed at other universities; or funds to retool methodologically by attending workshops and seminars in alternative methods.  It is expected that the APS funds will help the applicant to make substantial progress on a major project that will be important in their next faculty promotion.   We envision making 8-12 awards per year in the $20,000-$30,000 range.  Please note that budgeted salaries should include fringe benefits and that there are additional budget justification requirements for requests greater than $30,000.  Faculty who apply for this award may also apply to the Institute for the Humanities, the Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies, or for the Michigan Humanities Award in the same year, assuming they meet those eligibility requirements.  All leaves remain subject to the college leave policy.

Natural sciences:  Recognizing the importance of research funds for initiating new ventures in the sciences, LSA has created, with generous support from the estate of Margaret and Herman Sokol, a fund to invest in the research initiatives of recently promoted associate professors in the natural sciences.  We envision making 5-7 awards per year in the $20,000-$100,000 range with an average award of $75,000. Please note that budgeted salaries should include fringe benefits and that there are additional budget justification requirements for requests greater than $30,000. The primary intent of this investment is to enable associate professors to pursue new ideas or initiate a new research direction.  It is expected that the APS funds will help the applicant to make substantial progress on a major project that will be important in their next faculty promotion.   Examples of appropriate proposals include acquiring major equipment, new instrumentation, organizing a research meeting which brings experts to campus, or reconfiguring a laboratory.   All leaves remain subject to the college leave policy.

SUBMISSION PROCEDURES

The submission process is electronic.  Required components of the application (detailed below) should be submitted to the chair/director who will add the required confidential letter of evaluation and forward the application materials electronically to the appropriate divisional address: APSFHumanities@umich.edu, orAPSFNatSci@umich.edu, or APSFSocSci@umich.edu. Applicants will receive a system generated acknowledgement of receipt of the application.

Departments may establish procedures within the unit to prioritize applications. Proposals will be reviewed by the appropriate Divisional Evaluation Committee once a year.

PROPOSAL ABSTRACT: (Not to exceed 250 words)

BUDGET JUSTIFICATION: (Not to exceed two pages for amounts up to $30,000; no more than three pages for amounts exceeding $30,000)  A narrative, following the model of the Sample Budget Justification (see page 4) should be included with the materials and should fully explain the relationship of costs to the proposed activity and the basis for cost estimates.    

PROPOSAL NARRATIVE*: (Not to exceed four pages)

A narrative should be included in the application which provides a concise description of the research, scholarship, or creative activity, including:

  1. Statement of nature, objectives, and expected outcome of proposed research activity;
  2. Description of the significance of proposed research in the discipline;
  3. Explanation of how this project fits into the associate professor’s broader research program and what part of this work will play in the ultimate promotion to full professor, including clarification of whether the proposed investment will enable a new research direction or the completion of an ongoing project; and
  4. Detailed timeline for accomplishing objectives (Plans should acknowledge that the funds requested should generally be expended within two years from the date of award).

*For project requests exceeding $30,000, please note the following additional criteria which must be addressed in the narrative to be considered for funding.

    e.What is the likely long-term impact of the proposed investment? Priority will be given to projects from investigators with a track record of external funding and proposals deemed likely to generate significant amounts of new external funding.

    f. Is there broad support for this (i.e., are other units and individuals also contributing to the cost of the project)? The amount of other contributions will depend on the details of the proposal, with a required minimum contribution of 25% of the total cost by the faculty member’s department(s) and other relevant units.

    g. For large requests, preference will be given to investments in research infrastructure that affect more than one faculty member over one-time expenditures (e.g. salaries).    

Guideline for Final Report

In May, two years after the award is granted, recipients will be contacted by their Associate Dean and reminded to submit a final report by the end of July that year.

The report should address how the award has been used to meet the goals of your proposal, list any publications or grant proposals that resulted from work supported by this fund, provide a brief description of how the funds were expended, and briefly describe how this has helped you prepare for promotion to full professor.  

Your report should be between one and two pages and should be submitted directly to the Associate Dean. 

 

APSF Application Cover Sheet (Word document)

Budget Worksheet (Excel spreadsheet)

Budget Justification Guidelines

APSF Sample Budget Justification

Letter from Dean Gelman


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