Distinguished Early Career Grant

The purpose of this grant is to recognize and support early career faculty who have a distinguished record of ongoing scholarship. This award provides time to faculty for advancing their scholarly agenda at a generative moment in their careers.

The Distinguished Early Career Grant is available to tenured faculty at UST who have completed at least 4 years and not more than 10 years of service at UST at the time of application. Faculty whose appointments at St. Thomas include regular release time for scholarly work and endowed chairs are not eligible for this grant. Faculty can be awarded the Distinguished Early Career Grant only once. Two awards are available per year.

Applicants must show evidence of national or international reputation by providing information on external funding of peer reviewed work, publications by a recognized publisher, or national or international awards from professional societies. Applicants who do not meet these requirements are encouraged to apply for Research Grants, Levels 1-3.

The essence of the grant is to provide the recipient with a three course release from teaching for scholarly work over a two year period (a total of six course releases). Recipients are allowed to take one course release per year as a summer stipend, if needed. Awardees are otherwise expected to continue with their regular faculty duties during the time of the grant (teaching, administrative and service duties). These awards 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 DEC recipients: Teaching and/or administrative overloads are not allowed during the period of the grant. Faculty may not combine the Distinguished Early Career Grant with any other Faculty Development grant during the two years of the grant period (including summer), but awardees may plan a sabbatical leave in the year following the grant period, if eligible for such a leave. Applicants should clarify their intent to include sabbatical plans in their timetable and project narrative. Faculty may not receive research course releases from non-UST sources during the DEC grant period.  However, they may seek external funds for other purposes related to the project (e.g., equipment, travel). After completion of the DEC award, recipients may not apply for other FD grants for the same project that was supported by the DEC.

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, 2014 will be reviewed during Fall 2014 for work to begin in Fall 2015). Materials should be emailed as a Word document or PDF file to the Faculty Development Center (facdevctr@stthomas.edu.) 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 8.

Annual/Final Report Deadlines: Participants need to file Annual Reports for each year of the DEC, 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 consecutive years, with one of the following options: three course releases during each academic year or two course releases during each academic year and a summer stipend of $4300. The award maximum is $12,900 per year.

Application Process: Competition for these awards is significant, and because of the nature of the award, applicants must be able to demonstrate a distinguished 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 Executive Vice President and Provost on all applications for this grant. The final decision on the award, however, rests with the EVP and Provost, who communicates that decision to the applicant.

  • 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 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.