Pete Larson, Research Development
Several early-career research programs are coordinated annually through federal research agencies. Below is some information on programs of particular interest to Michigan Tech faculty.
DARPA Young Faculty Award
Deadline: Executive Summary 10/26/20 (encouraged); Full Proposal 01/08/21Basic eligibility: Untenured in a tenure-track position OR tenured within 3 years of tenure date, employed at a US institution, no prior YFA award. For more information, click here.
Department of Energy (DoE) Early Career Research Program
Deadline: Pre-application (required) due 11/20/20. Full application due 02/16/20. Basic Eligibility: No prior DoE early career award; no more than 10 years since Ph.D. awarded, untenured assistant professor OR untenured associate professor on tenure-track. See solicitation for additional details. For more information, click here.
National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Program
Deadline: July 26, 2021. Basic eligibility: Ph.D. in NSF-supported discipline, untenured and in a tenure-track position, no prior CAREER award, and limit of three submissions pre-tenure. See solicitation for additional details. For more information, click here. Due to the wide interest in this program across campus, the research development office offers a short series of sessions leading up to the NSF CAREER submission deadline each year. Watch your email for an invite to these sessions early in the spring semester.
Several NSF directorates and programs have recently announced that the CAREER program is being re-focused to try to fund PI’s at an earlier career stage, rather than just before tenure. If you have been previously advised to not submit a CAREER proposal early in your career, the situation is now changing at NSF.
There are also several other programs of potential interest, including the Department of Defense, Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Program and the Air Force Young Investigator Research Program (current year information not yet available), among others. If you’d like to discuss submission to any of these programs, feel free to reach out to the research development team (email@example.com) for assistance.
Pete Larson, Research Development
Dear New Faculty,
This recent Tomorrow’s Professor post, Rethink Your Writing Time, provides advice on how to be productive in your writing as you also become increasingly busy with other aspects of your new position. I hope you find some of the tips to be useful to increase your own research productivity.
Rethink Your Writing Time
In last week’s Monday Motivator, I challenged each of you to create a Strategic Plan by identifying your goals for the term, mapping out how to achieve them, and committing specific weeks in your calendar to particular projects. If you haven’t created your strategic plan yet, you can click here and listen to our Every Semester Needs a Plan webinar to get yours started.
This week, I want to focus on how you can move from having a written Strategic Plan to actually executing it! Based on the findings of faculty development researchers, the answer is straightforward: Write every day for at least 30 minutes.
It sounds so easy, but for most academics, writing for at least 30 minutes every day is anything but simple. It is more difficult than it sounds because even though we KNOW that writing and publication are high priorities, we often BEHAVE as if writing is our lowest priority. In other words, despite knowing that writing is critical to our professional success, we often treat it as an optional activity. We “try to make time for it” at the end of the day or “hope to get to it” after everything else has been done and everyone else’s needs have been met. I want to make a radical suggestion this week: Let’s re-think our writing time by giving it the same weight in our schedule that it will have in our tenure review, promotion decision, and/or how we are valued on the job market.
To begin re-thinking your writing time, try an experiment this week by blocking out at least 30 minutes of each day for writing (Monday through Friday). In order to send a powerful message to yourself and the universe, go ahead and block that time out of your calendar the same way you would a meeting or a class. Then treat your writing time with the same respect and professionalism that you would extend to your colleagues or your students. That means your writing time is non-negotiable. Nothing else can happen during that time, and if anybody asks to schedule something during your writing time, the answer is: “Unfortunately, I’m not available at that time. I have a meeting.”
The Weekly Challenge
This week, I challenge you to do the following:
- Create a Strategic Plan (if you have not done so already).
- Block out at least 30 minutes of time each day this week for writing. I mean literally write it in your calendar! If you are feeling bold, go ahead and block out your writing time for the entire term.
- Treat your writing time with the same respect that you would a meeting with your colleagues or your students.
- Show up at your computer during the writing time this week, and see what happens.
- If you need support and accountability in developing your daily writing, join us in the Monthly Writing Challenge Discussion Forum.
- If you find yourself unable or unwilling to do any of the above, gently and lovingly ask yourself: WHY?
- If you want more help in developing a daily writing practice, consider reviewing our Core Curriculum Webinar: How to Develop a Daily Writing Practice.
I hope this week brings you the openness to re-think your writing time and the strength to aggressively, pro-actively, and even ruthlessly make time for writing every day. You deserve it!
Kerry Ann Rockquemore, PhD
Founder, National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity
By Susan Liebau, Asst Dean of Students & Director of the Waino Wahtera Center
As a faculty member, you have many opportunities in class, lab, office hours, and other places to engage with your students. When you find yourself in a situation where you feel a student may need additional direction or assistance, the Waino Wahtera Center for Student Success staff is happy to step in. We can meet and work directly with students on specific and/or underlying challenges and get them connected to other services on campus.
The Wahtera Center houses a variety of programs and services that provide direction for transition and support for academic success at Michigan Tech. This includes Orientation and New Student Programs, success courses, Student Disability Services, the ExSEL and ExSEL Plus programs, peer-to-peer academic success coaching, and coordinated outreach to students at critical points in the semester (like midterm for first-year students) or who may be facing individual challenges at any time in the semester.
Academic success coaches work one-on-one with students on critical skills and habits that impact academic success, as well have discussions about balance and overall well-being. Coaches provide guidance on effective time management practices, help students develop or refine study habits, and generally are individual point people for helping students develop personal accountability.
The Center is a part of Student Affairs at Michigan Tech and has strong working relationships with areas on campus that are often critical for student success like Counseling Services, Student Financial Services, the Registrar and academic advisors. The physical Wahtera Center space is shared by the Dean of Students area so it is convenient for us to collaborate if a situation requires involvement from that area. You don’t need to have a full understanding of what a student is facing to encourage them to work with our office or for you to contact us to make a referral. Also, if you aren’t sure who to talk to about a student issue, we can assist. We are located on the first floor (130) of the Administration Building. Contact us at (906) 487-3558 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Century II Campaign Endowed Equipment Fund (C2E2)
The Office of the Vice President for Research requests Century II Campaign Endowed Equipment Fund (C2E2) proposals. The program provides funds to purchase equipment that will have a broad, campus-wide impact and improve the lives of faculty, staff and students.
The submission deadline is 4 p.m. Oct. 17 (Thursday). Late submissions will not be accepted. For more information and proposal submission requirements, visit C2E2.
If you have any questions, please let me know!
Research Excellence Fund Proposals (REF)
Proposals are being solicited for the Research Excellence Fund (REF) program, an internal award of the Office of the Vice President for Research.
Proposals are due no later than 4 p.m. October 3 (Thursday) and must be submitted electronically per the guidelines. Any proposals that do not follow the guidelines will not be accepted for consideration.
For additional information, see Research Excellence Fund.
If you are interested in serving on an REF proposal review committee, email Natasha Chopp.
The Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs will host a session, Preparing your Promotion Packet (Wednesday) August 28, from 1-4 p.m. in the MUB Alumni Lounge. The first half of the session (1:00-2:15) will focus on the mechanics of preparing a well-presented promotion and/or tenure packet and will include input from deans and insights from faculty members who have served on college-level P&T committees. The second half of the session (2:30-4:00) will focus on how to input data and narratives into Digital Measures to produce a complete Faculty Activity Report (FAR) for the P&T package.
All faculty are welcome; those who plan to submit a P&T package in the next couple of years are especially encouraged to attend as the Faculty Activity Report (Tenure and Promotion) is required as part of the promotion packet. Faculty may attend just one part of the session as their schedule allows.
Please complete this Google form by August 23 to register.
Shari Stockero, Assistant to the Provost for Faculty Development
BETR Grants: Bringing Efficiency To Research (BETR) Grants
The link below was shared by Jay Meldrum, Director of Sustainability at Michigan Tech, regarding the inclusion of sustainable lab information into individual grant proposals. View here.
New faculty receive a fair amount of information about teaching during orientation. However, once in the classroom, you learn first-hand about Michigan Tech students, teaching expectations, what works and (frustratingly) what doesn’t. You may also be pushed to expand your teaching repertoire with opportunities to teach a larger class, a technology or project-based class, or even to teach online.
The William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning (email@example.com, 487-3000), on the second floor of the Van Pelt and Opie Library, helps with all dimensions of your teaching endeavors. We provide resources and support as you implement specific teaching methods or use new teaching technology in new, exciting ways!
Walk-in consultations are available Monday through Friday from 10 AM to 4 PM, or you can schedule an appointment to discuss a topic of your choice. You can request a recorded or live observation of your classroom to get feedback and suggestions, or if you know of some new technique you’d like to try out, the CTL can provide resources, references, equipment, and ideas. From the very low-tech (effective whiteboard use, syllabus review, or paper response systems) to “flipping” classrooms, to effective teaching in an online course, instructors in all disciplines find the CTL to be a valuable partner.
Many newer faculty find it difficult to allocate the time needed for effective teaching, especially to effectively assess student progress without being overwhelmed by grading. The CTL can help you explore informal, time-efficient methods of in and out of class response and grading systems. Its close partner, the Michigan Tech Testing Center (firstname.lastname@example.org, 487-1001) helps provide computerized or bubble-sheet exams, as well as assisting with management of the increasing number of students who need accommodations or makeup exams.
At least twice each month during academic terms, the CTL also holds instructional developmental events (“Coffee Chats” and “Lunch and Learns”.) If you haven’t yet been to one, I strongly encourage you to sign up and attend. Even if the topics aren’t a perfect match, these events provide a great chance to network with a large number of excellent instructors from across the university to get ideas and support. And the free food certainly doesn’t hurt!)
Your relationship with the faculty you meet at these events and the CTL is unique in that it’s purely supportive. Many instructors use the CTL staff to help interpret end-of-term course evaluations to focus ideas for improvement, or even to discuss departmental challenges. You can document your observation, teaching innovation, or professional development events as part of your continuous teaching improvements. The CTL can help document your efforts as part of your T&P packet, or your work with the CTL can remain entirely confidential, at your discretion.
There’s no question that teaching today is challenging and demanding. Many students carry high expectations, and it’s often hard to meet them, especially given the other demands on your time. Rather than trying to shoulder this burden alone, I encourage you to collaborate with the CTL! Let us know how we can help you to continue to improve your teaching and effective interactions with students.
by Dave Reed, email@example.comThe American Statistical Association has worked with NIH and NSF to encourage statisticians to participate in the panel review process. The first link below is a Google Form for nominations to be on NIH panels. The second link is to an NSF page where people can volunteer for panels, and the third is a link to a general document that describes the process, how to get involved, and things to consider when reviewing a proposal. The first is specific to statisticians, but the second two are general and are suitable for all disciplines.
NSF – volunteer for panels
Serving effectively on funding review panels: advice for statisticians new to the process
by Amy L. Howard, Center for Diversity & Inclusion
What does diversity mean and why does it matter?
Join us at noon Monday, February 12, 2018 in MUB Ballroom B1 for our first Diverse Dialogues to engage in meaningful campus dialogue around topics of diversity and inclusion. Bring your own lunch, light refreshments and beverages will be provided.
This guided conversation will allow individuals to discuss the meaning of diversity and explore the multiple diversities that exist. Individuals will work to identify the relevance of their own cultural and social identities and leave with an enhanced understanding of how to embrace diversity in order to work more effectively across difference at Tech and within their respective communities.
The Diverse Dialogues series aims to provide opportunities for students, faculty and staff to have conversations about relevant issues of equity, diversity, inclusion, social justice and much more. They are designed to be an informal, yet guided gathering to allow participants to educate and learn from one another. While each dialogue in the series has a centralized theme, we want to encourage participants to determine where the conversations go. This series is meant to start the discussion on difficult topics and implore individuals to push their awareness, knowledge and action related to themes of diversity and inclusion.