RESEARCH COMMITTEE PROCEDURES AND POLICIES

Approved 12/3/86 and amended 4/14/89, 9/30/92, 4/27/00, 9/22/04, 10/13/13

Administration of Faculty Research Funds

The Vice President of Academic Affairs (or his/her designee) administers the faculty research fund. The charge to the Research Committee is to:

1.      Recommend policies and procedures for faculty research funds.

2.      Review all faculty grant applications submitted.

3.      Recommend faculty grant applications for funding.

4.      Review and approve all final research project reports.

Eligible funding Grant Categories

The Research Committee funds three project funding categories:

1.      Faculty research projects (one or more investigators).

2.      Faculty travel projects for:

A.    Sound research conducted by the individual investigator.

B.     The formal presentation at a professional meeting of sound research findings obtained through the efforts of the individual investigator.

3.      Fall and Spring semester three/four hour course releases.

Eligibility for Faculty Research Grants

Faculty research grants will be considered for full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty. No portion of grant funding can used to support student-related expenses such as student travel to conferences.

Funding Limits:

In order to fund as many meritorious requests as possible, the committee recommends a request limit of $2,000 for any applicant. Applicants who wish to acquire expensive equipment, or who plan on expensive or extensive travel, may have to seek additional funds though other expense accounts or through grants.

Application Procedure and Deadline

Grant application forms may be secured on-line at: http://www.wnmu.edu/plans/policies/research_committee/researchProposalForm.shtml. The deadline for submitting a grant application is midnight of November 15.  Completed grant applications shall be submitted electronically to the chair of the Research Committee who will be responsible for forwarding copies to each Research Committee member.

Funding shall be provided for no more than one proposal per faculty member for each budget-year period.  No faculty member will be eligible for new funding until a final report on previously funded research from this fund has been submitted to, and approved by, the Research Committee.

General Considerations

The Research Committee will consider recommending for funding those research proposals which will likely:

1.      make a scholarly contribution to the discipline in which the research is conducted,

2.      contribute to the professional development of the faculty conducting the investigation

3.      be suitable for submission for publication, exhibition, or performance in the discipline in which the research is conducted and/or,

4.      assist faculty in conducting the research to apply for funding from sources outside the University.

Applicants should bear in mind that the awarding of research grants is competitive, based on the merit of the application (this includes its thoroughness, its specificity, and its readability). The committee’s main evaluative criteria are the feasibility and professional caliber of the application. Equally important is the question of how the grant will, over time, benefit not only the applicant in his or her professional development but WNMU as well (in refereed publications, juried exhibits, national and international conference presentations, groundbreaking investigations, activities, devises or acquisitions).

Criteria for Evaluating Faculty Research Project Grant Applications.

1.      The merit of the proposal will be the primary criterion of evaluation. However, first-time applicants and/or applicants who are unlikely to have sources of funding outside the University will be given special consideration in cases where the merit of proposals is judged to be equal.

2.      Each proposal must contain a clearly stated goal and demonstrate that the goal can be attained with the support requested. The expected product of the research proposal--e.g. device, patent, publication--should also be indicated.

3.      Each proposal must evince the use of sound research methodologies and be suitable for publication, exhibition, or performance in the discipline in which the research is conducted.

4.      Since the Research Committee will be comprised of individuals from a variety of academic backgrounds, the applicant must draft the proposal so that it can be understood by reviewers not in his or her field. It must be clear, detailed, and specific.

5.      All grant expenditures must conform to State and University regulations. The budget requested must be appropriate for the work proposed.

6.      Any research proposal involving human subjects must be submitted to the university Internal Review Board (IRB) for approval. It is up to the members of the IRB to determine which IRM process the research is subjected to. Upon IRB approval, funding will be disbursed.

7.      Attention will be given to the researcher's management of previous grants. Previous difficulty with Western New Mexico University grant(s) may disqualify an applicant.

Criteria for Evaluating Faculty Travel Projects

Faculty travel projects to be undertaken for the purpose of conducting research will be evaluated according to the criteria for evaluating faculty research project grant applications (above).

Faculty travel projects intended for the formal presentation of research findings at a professional meeting should be based on sound research findings by the applicant and should have evident value to the applicant, to his/her particular discipline, and to the university in its national and international context. An applicant for this funding category must exhaust other university funding sources, including departmental travel funds, prior to consideration for faculty research funds. Applicants who wish to deliver papers at professional meetings should secure acceptance of their proposals before making an application for research funds, and they should verify this acceptance in their application.

Criteria for Evaluating a Course Release

1.      A request for course release will be considered after the department chairperson (academic supervisor) and the appropriate Dean (or VPAA) have indicated the acceptability of an adjunct alternative for a designated course (without regard to the merit of the proposed research). However, the absence of the department chairperson’s or Dean’s signature shall not be sufficient to veto the application.

A.    An eligible course is one taught in the Spring or Fall semester subsequent to the award.

B.     A course-release grant must not result in the grantee undertaking any overload teaching in the semester in which the course release is awarded. (In most cases this will result in a nine hour teaching load in the semester in which the course release is granted.)

2.      The research proposal must indicate how the faculty member will use this time to advantage without additional budgetary assistance. The proposal must address why it is that release time is critical for conducting this research.

Fiscal Conditions

Grant applications are subject to the following fiscal conditions:

1.      The Research Committee expects that small research projects can and should be undertaken and completed by faculty members on a voluntary, non-funded basis. In other words, some projects may not be deemed work-intensive enough to warrant time off or financial assistance.

 

2.      All budget item requests in the proposed budget are subject to approval, revision, or elimination.

 

3.      All individual grant applications are subject to an announced maximum funding amount ($2,000 annually), and will be awarded in variable amounts, depending on the amount of available funds.

 

4.      Grant funds will normally be expended within two years from the date of award.

Guidelines for Documentation of Research Expenses for the Purpose of Reimbursement

Western New Mexico University recognizes the value of ongoing research efforts as an important function within the mission of the University. However, accountability to funding sources is also an important aspect of the continuance of such research. To respond to the need for accountability and be responsive to special difficulties that may be encountered in certain research situations, the Research Committee has adopted the following guidelines:

1.      In general, all claims for reimbursement should be documented by acceptable receipt whenever possible. In cases where this is not practical, explanations should be submitted in writing to the Business Office, with a copy to the Research Committee.

2.      Documentation of travel should be made by airline receipts, credit card receipts, or other appropriate means. For those instances where cash is the only acceptable tender, on-site documentation should be obtained. A grantee may claim per diem rates if he or she complies with the Official Travel

3.      In accordance with University policy, travel reimbursement for research shall be limited to transportation, documented lodging expenses, and documented food expenses.

4.      Payment to personnel other than the grantee (for example, research assistants) should be specified in the grant proposal. Written proof of payment to such personnel must be submitted to the Business Office (with a copy to the Research Committee) with the request for reimbursement from the research fund.

5.      For purchases of supplies in excess of $30.00, University purchasing procedures will be followed.

6.      All claims for reimbursement on Research Committee approved research grants should be submitted to the Business Office. All reimbursements shall be in accordance with the approved research grant budget outlined in the grant application or changes that have been approved by the Research Committee in advance of expenditure. The authorizing signatures necessary for purchase requisitions and travel requests are the Vice President of Academic Affairs (or his/her designee) and (except during the summer) the Chairperson of the Research Committee. Any payments on claims for reimbursement are subject to final approval by the Research Committee at the time of approval of the final report.

Review Procedure

The review procedure for faculty grant applications has two parts: (1) evaluation of the proposals and (2) review of the final reports. 

(1)               Evaluation of the Proposals:  At the close of the application period, normally November 15th of each year, the applications will be reviewed by the Research Committee membership.  The Committee will meet to review submitted proposals, will prioritize acceptable applications when necessary, and recommend funding as available.  The chair will forward a copy of the recommendations to the Vice President of Academic Affairs (or his/her designee).  The Committee chair will then officially notify each applicant of the disposition of his/her application.

(2)               Review of the Final Reports:  It is the responsibility of each successful applicant to submit a final report in writing to the Research Committee at the conclusion of the grant period (see below).  The Research Committee will review each report to ensure that the project has been successfully completed.  Once the report has been accepted by the Committee, it is the responsibility of the chair of the Research Committee to acknowledge in writing the successful completion of the research project.  

Applicants should note that the Research Committee operates under limited sources of research support and the number of applications to be funded is determined solely by the available funds and the quality of the applications submitted during any funding cycle. Those faculty research grant applications approved by the Committee normally will be announced by December 1. In the event funds still remain for research projects after the fall funding cycle, a second grant application solicitation may be set by the Research Committee.

Publications

Any publication resulting from research support by the Research Committee should acknowledge that the project was conducted wholly or partially through a Western New Mexico University Research Grant.

Permanent Equipment

The grantee shall release all equipment purchased under the grant (books, microfilm, laboratory equipment, etc.) to the University. A list of this equipment is to be appended to the final report.

Patents and Copyrights

The grantee will adhere to the patent and copyright policy of the Regents Manual.

Reporting Requirements

1.      Progress Reports - Recipients of grants that extend beyond a one year period are expected to submit a progress report to the Research Committee by the first anniversary of the award date.  The report must include a statement of expenditures to date.

 

2.      Final Reports

A.    Course-Release Reports - A formal comprehensive report of research efforts undertaken and all related accomplishments during the time-frame of the grant is to be submitted electronically to the chair of the Research Committee within one month of the completion of the semester of the course release

B.     Final Research or Travel Project Reports - The final report must be submitted electronically to the chair of the Research Committee by a date not to exceed one month following the completion of the grant period.  The final report must be approved by the Research Committee before any final disbursement of allocated funds. The final research report must contain—at a minimum—a  description of the project undertaken including research results, manuscripts completed, and other pertinent products resulting from the grant, and a detailed final accounting of funds expended.