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Faculty Fellow Awards (FFA)

Program Description

The Faculty Fellow Awards (FFA) provide faculty members one semester of full release time (from teaching and administrative tasks) at full salary for scholarly and creative projects. The VPR Office defines scholarly activity as a work of scholarship that is peer reviewed and publicly disseminated. Examples of scholarly activity should demonstrate the discovery and/or integration of new knowledge, technologies, methods, or materials. The VPR defines creative activity as original contributions to an investigator’s field of study that are produced through writing, creating, composing, designing, recording, performing, curating, etc.* Departments of awarded faculty will receive up to $15,000 to defer the cost of the awardee’s release time.

The semester of leave must take place in the next academic year. Individuals applying to the 2023-2024 cycle would apply for Fall 2024 or Spring 2025 as their requested semester of leave.

*Listed definitions of scholarly and creative research work are not meant to be comprehensive. Questions about whether your research/creative work would qualify for the FFA Program should be directed to

Eligibility Criteria

Career and tenure-line faculty members who hold at least a .50 FTE appointment are eligible to apply. Adjunct faculty are not eligible for the FFA program. Applicants must not have any outstanding final reports on past VPR funded projects and must be prepared to dedicate enough time to complete the proposed project during the requested semester of leave.

Program Deadlines

The FFA program accepts applications once per year. The FFA application process is two steps:

Step One: Faculty submit their applications via InfoReady in early-October.
Step One Deadline:  11:59pm (MST) on Thursday, October 5th, 2023

Step Two: Colleges submit their top 10 applications (with a ranking letter) by mid-November.
Step Two Deadline: 11:59pm (MST) on Wednesday, November 8th, 2023

Required Application Materials

  • Executive Abstract (one page maximum, PDF Format Only)
    The Executive Abstract should include project goals or research questions, plan of action or research methods, planned outcomes, and plan for dissemination. Abstract should also include up to 10 keywords that help identify the key objectives, disciplines, research/creative work types, and associated departments of the FFA proposal. Example: global, air quality, interview research, and junior faculty.
  • Project Narrative (three page maximum, PDF Format Only)
    The Project Narrative must include:

    • Precise description of scholarly/creative work intended to be completed during release time.
    • Full action plan and/or research/creative approach
    • Plan for project dissemination
    • Estimated project timeline
    • Impact of release time on the applicant
  • Abbreviated CV or Biographical sketch (five page maximum)
    Applicant must provide an updated and abbreviated CV or biographical sketch.

Application Procedure

1 - Application Submission: Applicants will submit their full application via InfoReady.
Note: Faculty from the College of Humanities interested in applying for the FFA program should contact Kristina Bailey for information specific to the COH application process prior to applying to the InfoReady competition. FFA applications in the College of Humanities are processed differently due to a high volume of applications.

2 - College Review: The VPR Office will provide college deans and/or associate deans for research with all applications from their college. College leadership is expected to review and approve up to 10 applications (no more than 5 from a single department) to receive URC review. The top 10 applications should be ranked in priority order by college leadership in the form of a letter. The process for reviewing the applications will differ by college. Some colleges have all applications reviewed and ranked by an internal committee whereas others seek evaluations from department/unit heads. Colleges are free to select the process that is appropriate to their decision making. The result of this internal process informs the College Leadership ranking and can be used as a rationale in the accompanying letter. Note: only the applications and the college leadership ranking/letter are forwarded to the URC.

3 - URC Review: The University Research Committee (URC) will review all applications approved by colleges and make funding recommendations to the VPR. Members of the URC will not vote on applications from their own departments.

4 - Awardee Notification: Awardees and their department chairs will be notified of award status. Both will be asked to finalize the award.

Review Process and Evaluation Criteria

FFA applications are reviewed by the University Research Committee (URC). The URC is a campus-wide faculty committee tasked with reviewing creative and scholarly research proposals and making funding recommendations to the VPR.

FFA Proposals are evaluated on:

  • The significance and soundness of the proposed research/creative work
  • The impact of the proposed research/creative work on advancing the applicant's career
  • The impact of the release-time on advancing the applicant's career and/or personal research/creative mission
  • The impact of the proposed research/creative work on the Department's, College's, and University's research/creative missions
  • The likelihood that the project will bolster the University’s profile of research/creative excellence.
  • Commitment to social impact and sense of community within the project.

Final Report Information

The recipient of any VPR Internal Grant mechanism is required to submit a Final Report identifying a summary of the project, outcomes, next steps, etc. Final Report information will be shared in the award letter to selected applicant. The VPR Office will not consider new applications from an investigator until any delinquent final reports are received for any previous VPR grants awarded to that investigator.

Acknowledgment Information

The recipient of any URC award is required to acknowledge the URC grant in any published results, catalogs, videos, or other products using the following URC Acknowledgment Statement: “This project was supported by the University Research Committee (URC) at the University of Utah. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors, and do not necessarily represent the official views of the URC, the Vice President for Research Office, or the University of Utah.”

Submit an Application

Applications must be submitted via InfoReady.

Apply Here

Past Awardees

Information on 2012-2024 Faculty Fellow Award (FFA) awardees is available HERE.

Contact Information

Questions about the above program guidelines, eligibility criteria, application materials, etc. should be directed to Whitney MacKay in the VPR Office.

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