University Scholars Grant

The University Scholars Grant is available to tenured faculty with Associate or Full Professor rank, who have completed at least 10 years of full time service at St Thomas at the time of application. Applicant should have a distinguished record of ongoing scholarly achievement, attained while at St. Thomas while doing full time teaching or its equivalent. Faculty whose appointments at St. Thomas include regular release time for scholarly work and endowed Chairs are not eligible for this grant. Faculty will be eligible for a University Scholars Grant no more than once every 10 years, and faculty must be employed full time to receive funding. Two awards are available per year.

Applicants should show evidence of national or international reputation by providing information on external funding of peer-reviewed work, publications by an internationally recognized publisher, invitation to present at prestigious national or international conferences, or national or international awards from professional societies. 

The essence of the grant is to provide the recipient with significant time for scholarly work over a significant period. Recipients are otherwise expected to continue with their regular faculty duties during the time of the grant (teaching, administrative and service duties), and no more than two course releases may be taken during a semester. USGs may not be used for course or curriculum development, pursuit of a higher degree, revision of existing written work, or purchase of equipment.

Restrictions on other support for USG recipients: Teaching and/or administrative overloads are not allowed during the period of the grant. It is expected that the USG support will not be further supplemented with other internal grant support, especially from Faculty Development. During tenure of the USG award, recipients cannot apply for other FD grants or receive research course releases from other sources. After completion of the USG award, recipients may not apply for other FD grants for the same project that was supported by the USG.

Application Deadlines: The application is due by 4 p.m. on June 1 of the year preceding the request for support (that is, applications received June 1, 2017 will be reviewed during Fall 2017 for work to begin in Fall 2018). Materials should be emailed as a Word document or PDF file to the Faculty Development Center ( The deadline for the complete application is 4 p.m. June 1. The Chair/Dean Letter of Approval is due by 4 p.m. June 15.

Annual/Final Report Deadlines: Awardees are required to file Annual Reports for each year of the USG, due on October 1. A Final Report will be required at the end of the grant period, also due on October 1.

Award: The award will provide the Scholar, for two or three consecutive years, with three course releases during the academic year.

Application Process: Competition for these awards is significant, and because this is such a prestigious award, applicants must be able to demonstrate a significant past record of scholarly work as well as a carefully thought-out plan of scholarly activity for the next two to three years. Applicants are encouraged to contact the staff of the Center to discuss their projects prior to submitting an application. Application materials include a proposal narrative, three to five representative examples of recent scholarly work, a Curriculum Vitae, and a list of three to five potential external reviewers in your field, with whom you have no close personal or professional relationship. The scholarly work samples must be in digital form to allow for easier distribution of the work to internal and external reviewers. Refer to the application instructions for full description of the requirements of the application itself. The applicant must fill out the top portion of the Chair/Dean Letter of Approval document and send it to the Chair/Dean for completion and submission to the Faculty Development Center.

Selection Criteria: The Faculty Development committee reviews and makes recommendations to the Provost's Office on all applications for this grant. The final decision on the award, however, rests with the Provost.

  • The application clearly demonstrates the applicant’s distinguished past record of accomplishment.
  • External reviews validate the feasibility and potential contribution of the plan of work.
  • Applicant’s plan of work and timetable is reasonable, feasible, and sufficiently detailed.
  • The application clearly demonstrates the significance of the proposed work and its potential contribution to the discipline and faculty member’s professional development (Narrative, section 4, “Project’s Value”).
  • The narrative is well-written. In general, proposals should be written in a way that minimizes disciplinary jargon as much as possible (if necessary to include, provide definitions) and is understandable for a non-technical reviewer.
  • Applicants must provide all requested information, as stipulated in the "Instructions to Applicants" document.
  • Applicants must fit the eligibility criteria as outlined above.