Research Refresh (R2) Program


Resources to support this activity are being put into the “ COVID-19 Research Disruption Fund,” managed by the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships.

Program Description

The Research Refresh (R 2) program is a competitive, campus-wide program sponsored by the Office of the Provost.  R 2 is designed to provide protected time for tenured Associate Professors and Full Professors who would benefit from intense focus to advance their scholarship and reinvigorate their careers. The program will also consider applications from faculty members who are changing the focus of their scholarship. Scholarship of discovery, learning, and engagement are all allowable as foci for this program. Preference will be given to faculty members who have had an unusually high teaching or service role, or those who have had a challenging family or other situation that has required substantial efforts. In order to assure the needed protected time for participation in this program, faculty will receive course release time for the duration of the award. 

R 2 recipients will be selected based upon the potential impact of the proposed work on their careers and their research field and upon the need for protected time to achieve the stated goals.  In addition to the course release to provide protected time, examples of supported activities include travel to meet program officers, travel to workshops and conferences, and travel to meet with experts and collaborators.

While activities are expected to continue after the support period from the Office of the Provost, the supported project duration will be up to one year (including summer) to allow sufficient time to reinvigorate scholarship or establish a new research direction.  At the end of the award period, recipients will be asked to provide an account of their activity including a description of the benefits of the focused time on the faculty member’s research area (a template will be provided).  It is expected that each faculty member receiving an award will submit at least one external grant proposal, submit a scholarly work for publication, organize creative activities, or produce another deliverable appropriate to the unit within the first six months following completion of the R 2 project.


The R 2 program is open to Associate Professors who have been in rank (i.e. have tenure) for at least six years as of the proposed release semester(s) and to Full Professors who have been at rank for at least four years.  Preference will be given to faculty members who have had no teaching release for the purpose of scholarship, including sabbaticals, in the two academic years prior to their proposed release semester(s), but exceptional cases with more recent release time will be considered.  In unique cases, a sabbatical leave may follow the R 2 project period where it is clearly justified that the sabbatical leave will provide an opportunity to build significantly on the work accomplished in the R 2 project through developed collaborations, new research, ideas and/or acquired expertise. The R 2 program may not be combined with any internal or external fellowship or research leave.


Proposals may include up to one month of faculty summer salary if the project extends through the summer, and up to $10,000 in discretionary funding to support project needs including travel to meet with program directors or to visit colleagues at other institutions to learn new techniques or gain exposure to the selected area of scholarship. In addition, up to $30,000 over two semesters for the actual costs of replacement teaching will be provided to the department.  All unused money will be returned to the Office of the Provost at the end of the R 2 project.


  1. The R 2 program is established for tenured faculty to have focused time and resources to allow them to advance, reinvigorate or reinvent their scholarship.
  2. Applicants must propose a program that includes activities that will expose them to experts in the proposed field.
  3. Applicants should create, jointly with the department/school Head, a three-year development plan that includes the R 2 project period. The plan should include clear benchmarks and expectations for the faculty member’s development during the project, and detail any assistance from the Department.
  4. To apply, the faculty member must receive approval and support from the Head of the home department/school and the Dean of the College. Approval should address support for course release and time to focus on the R 2
  5. Applications must be submitted to the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, Office of the Provost to Crystal O'Neal  on or before 5:00 pm on the due date.  The email Subject line should read “Research Refresh Program.”
  6. It is expected that each faculty member receiving an award will submit at least one external grant proposal, submit a scholarly work for publication, organize creative activities, or produce another deliverable appropriate to the unit within the first six months following completion of the R 2

The Application (See Appendix A)

The narrative section of the proposal is limited to five pages (12 point font), and should include as much detail as possible about the planned work and how R 2 will reinvigorate the candidate’s scholarship.  Up to one page of the narrative should be dedicated to the faculty development plan developed in collaboration with the department/school Head.  A Letter of Support and acknowledgement of the development plan from the department/school Head and the Dean of the College that explicitly states that the department/school is willing to exempt the candidate from two semesters of teaching, should be included.  The department/school will be compensated for the actual cost of up to two semesters of replacement teaching up to a maximum of $30,000.  Applications should also include a short CV (up to 5 pages).  

A detailed budget and budget justification using the Budget Request template ( Appendix B) should be included. The budget should be processed through the SPS Pre-Awards Office.

Awards will be announced by March 31.  Projects will be expected to start by August 15, but can begin with the summer session.  Projects can extend for up to one year.  The Provost’s Office anticipates funding 6-8 new R 2 awards per year. 

Appendix A

R 2 Proposal Template

    1. Cover Sheet
      1. Project Title
      2. Project Abstract (50 words or less)
      3. Project Duration (proposed start and ending dates)
      4. Total amount of funding requested
      5. PI Information
        1. Name
        2. Campus address
        3. Email
        4. Campus phone
      6. Signatures of PI
      7. Endorsement of department or school Head and Dean
    2. Eligibility Statement
      The Eligibility statement should include details as to how the applicant meets the eligibility criteria for this award.
    3. Project Description (no more than 5 pages + 1 reference page, 12-point font, one inch margins)The Project Description should provide a clear statement of the work to be undertaken and must include:

      The outline of the general plan of work, including the broad design of activities to be undertaken, and, where appropriate, provide a clear description of the methods and procedures.  Proposers should address what they want to do, why they want to do it, how they plan to do it, how they will know if they succeed, and what benefits could accrue if the project is successful.

    4. Three-year Development Plan (item #3 in Guidelines)
    5. Budget (see Appendix B for Budget Template)
      Budgets should be prepared by working with the SPS Pre-Awards Office. Budgets must be submitted on the Budget Template provided as Appendix B.
    6. CV (up to 5 pages)
    7. Letters of Support (from the department/school Head and from the Dean required)

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