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Frequently Asked Questions

College of Liberal Arts Faculty Research Fund Support Program

Q.  Will the ASPIRE program replace current annual CLA contributions to department travel funds for faculty?

A.  No, the ASPIRE program is meant to provide additional funds and opportunities. It will provide for additional travel and research beyond what is currently available to faculty through their departmental allowances and the annual CLA faculty travel allocation. 

Q.   Will the ASPIRE fund replace the PRF International Travel Grant Competitions?

A.   No, the PRF International Travel Grant Competitions will continue to be available with a reduced frequency of once per year.  We encourage faculty to apply first to the ASPIRE program as these applications will be accepted and evaluated on a rolling basis.

Q.   Will the ASPIRE fund replace the current Research Incentive Grant Program?

A.   Yes, ASPIRE funding covers the small research and travel needs that were previously funded by the Research Incentive Grant program, so we have discontinued the Research Incentive Grants. 

Q.    Can faculty apply to ASPIRE for publication fees required by open access journals?  

A.    Yes, Faculty may apply for ASPIRE to cover or offset publication fees associated with selective, high quality, open access publications that contribute to their scholarly profile and enhance their visibility in their fields.  

Q.   The ASPIRE document states that applications from assistant professors are unlimited but places limits on applications from associate and full professors. Is there any flexibility in the number of ASPIRE applications associate and full professors may submit each year? 

A.    Yes, there is flexibility and requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  Faculty members who have additional research or travel needs should apply. 

Q.   Are graduate students eligible to apply for the ASPIRE program? 

A.   Faculty members may apply to ASPIRE for funding to support their collaborative research with graduate students or to fund travel by a graduate student to present co-authored work.

Q.   Can Department Heads apply to ASPIRE?

A.    Yes, Department Heads are encouraged to apply to ASPIRE. Their applications will not compete with those of faculty members.

Q.   Are faculty eligible to apply to ASPIRE if they have travel, start up or other research funds available to them?

A.    Faculty may apply for the ASPIRE program if they have additional expenses that will not be covered by departmental travel, research or start up funds. Faculty will not be penalized for having external support for a project. If they can justify the need for additional funds, it will be considered as a legitimate request. The application will include a statement that says any existing start up or research funds are obligated for other purposes.

Q.   Will mid or late year applications to ASPIRE be less likely to be funded?

A.    We will be monitoring the program closely to make sure late submissions are not disadvantaged. We will continue to monitor the program; depending on the level of demand we may need to make modest changes.

Q.    What will the role of Department Heads be in the applications?

A.    Department Heads will provide an electronic signature as an endorsement that the request is worthy of support.

Q.    Who is reviewing and approving the applications?

A.     Applications will be reviewed by the Dean and the Associate Dean for Research