Research Intensive Semester Program
Application Due Dates:
September 27, 2013 (Assistant Professor application to department head/chair)
October 4, 2013 (application, cover sheet, and department head/chair letter of support to Assoc. Dean Rex Wallace)
The Provost and the College of Humanities and Fine Arts are pleased to support the Research Intensive Semester (RIS) Program for junior faculty that was developed in collaboration with the Massachusetts Society of Professors. Through this program, HFA departments are able to offer eligible junior faculty one "research-intensive semester" before their tenure decision to foster progress on those projects critical to the tenure review process. In this context, we use the word "research" to include a broad range of creative and scholarly work.
During a Research-Intensive Semester junior faculty members are released from their teaching duties; this is not a leave or a sabbatical. While participating in an RIS, faculty members will ordinarily remain in residence and be available for advising and service responsibilities, such as hiring or other committees. There may be exceptional circumstances when the goals of the RIS can best be met if part or all of the time is spent off-campus or if the research-intensive focus were distributed across two semesters. Such arrangements may only be made with an explicit agreement among the dean, the department chair, and the faculty member. Furthermore, the RIS Program is designed to support HFA tenure-track faculty members who have carried a normal teaching load and who have not otherwise received an analogous opportunity to focus on research. Assistant professors who have had a research fellowship while at UMass Amherst will not generally be eligible.
While the main purpose of this program is to allow HFA junior faculty to concentrate more intently on their research and creative activity, a secondary purpose is to encourage development of their talents as a whole. RIS applications must show, therefore, that the applicant has taken some initiative to prepare and submit a grant application. A January 4, 2012 article published online by Inside Higher Ed covers several commonsense and practical measures that can help focus your efforts to identify potential funding sources and to prepare a well-crafted proposal. If you have not applied for grant funding you are encouraged to read Russ Olwell's essay, "Apply for Your First Grant." Additionally, RIS applicants are encouraged to take advantage of the services to evaluate and improve teaching skills available through the Center for Teaching.
For more information, talk to your department head or chair or contact Associate Dean Rex Wallace.