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Social Sciences Research InstituteSocial Sciences Research Institute


 Research Professorships

The Research Professorship award provides one semester of release time from teaching duties so the awardee can concentrate on a major innovative research project.  Interdisciplinary work is encouraged, but not required.  The release semester is typically the one during which the faculty member teaches only one course.  There will be three such awards available: one for untenured faculty, one for tenured faculty, and one for either.  All full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty, regardless of their current teaching loads or other release-time opportunities, are eligible to apply, although untenured faculty in their third year must successfully complete their first contract renewal before their release semester commences; if the faculty member’s contract is not renewed, the award will be rescinded.  The proposals will be evaluated by the School’s Faculty Advisory Committee, a 14-member panel which consists of two members from each department, so proposals must be written with a multidisciplinary audience in mind.  Awards may be contingent on resource and teaching needs in the applicant’s departments.  During the award semester, the faculty member receives his/her usual salary and must maintain his/her service responsibilities to the University and department.  If a patch hire is needed by a Research Professorship award recipient’s department to cover a course left vacant during the faculty member’s leave semester, the dean’s office will fund $6,000 plus fringe benefits at the current rate from the school faculty patch hire pool for that semester.  Please note that investigators are permitted to submit applications to just one competitive SSRI program each year, so the submission of a Research Professorship proposal would make an investigator ineligible for the Seed Money or Collaborative Research Grant competitions in the same year.  In addition, recipients of a Research Professorship are not eligible to apply for another Research Professorship award for five academic years. Members of the Faculty Advisory Committee are ineligible for Research Professorship awards while they are serving on the committee.  

Application Packets

Applications are not being accepted at this time.


The primary criterion for a successful proposal is the quality of the proposed research itself:  the significance, sophistication, innovativeness, and consequences of the proposed work.  However, the proposal should also state why this particular funding mechanism (i.e., the Research Professorship) is the most appropriate one for the project being proposed.  Applicants are encouraged to contact former members of the Faculty Advisory Committee for guidance when preparing their proposals.  The following seven criteria must be addressed in the proposal narrative:

1. Are the leading ideas and their significance clearly articulated, and in a manner that is understandable and appreciated by a non-specialist, academic audience?
2. Are the research methods well presented and justified?
3. Is the Principal Investigator aware of the existing literature of the field?
4. Is it demonstrated that the project can be completed in the available time?
5. Is the end product defined, and is it reasonable for the project?
6. What are the Principal Investigator’s professional qualifications to complete the proposed project?
7. Does the Principal Investigator have a history of scholarship commensurate with his/her career stage?

Successful Applications

Those who receive a SSRI Research Professorship are required to submit a 1-2 page research report submitted within 60 days of the completion of the semester off describing the activities undertaken and products produced during the leave semester.

 Past Grant Recipients