ORSP Faculty Research Development Fellows Program, Call for Applications

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Research Development Fellows Program

The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) seeks applicants for Research Development Fellow positions (“Fellows”) to support the ORSP Division of Research Development as temporary (9 or 12 months, potentially renewable), part-time research developers.  Fellows will help to facilitate new proposals and interdisciplinary collaborations leading to funding awards that would not otherwise likely be pursued or won. In particular, Fellows will:

  1. facilitate collaboration building across departments, schools, and campuses
  2. support collaborative grant applications leading to new external awards
  3. nurture institutional understanding of public and private funding sources
  4. identify strategic opportunities for multidisciplinary research funding
  5. conduct enhanced reviews to improve proposals prior to submission
  6. assemble up-to-date research expertise and interest listings
  7. facilitate awareness and efficient utilization of major research instrumentation
  8. interface between ORSP and other campus units

It is anticipated that each appointed Fellow will be assigned a multidisciplinary area of responsibility, or Portfolio. While actual Portfolio definitions and assignments will depend on the expertise of the selected Fellows, this list illustrates one possible set of five portfolios—one per Fellow: 1) arts and humanities; 2) engineering, computer, and information sciences; 3) life, health, and applied sciences; 4) math and physical sciences; 5) social and behavioral sciences and education. Each Fellow may also be assigned a special project of interest—for instance, an interdisciplinary funding opportunity of strategic UM interest for which to shepherd a competitive institutional proposal.

Benefits to Fellows:

·      Fellows will expand their knowledge of UM research activities and capabilities, through interaction with faculty members from diverse disciplines;

·      Fellows will increase their awareness of grant opportunities and sponsor interest areas, by searching funding databases, participating in webinars, and interacting with program officers;

·      Fellows will enhance their understanding of how the campus research climate is influenced through  development of policies, guidelines, best practices, and processes.

·      Fellows who make critical contributions to proposals leading to grant awards may qualify for extra, merit-based compensation.

Benefits to Academic Administrators
Chairs, Directors, and Deans may co-sponsor a Fellowship to provide a professional development opportunity and/or retention incentive to an accomplished researcher who is ready for a new challenge or additional responsibility set.  Each Fellow will also provide the co-sponsoring academic unit representation in a myriad of conversations that establish administrative best practices aimed at strengthening the research environment. Perhaps most importantly, a successful Fellow will help catalyze collaborative research, and boost sponsored funding (and associated F&A recovery) for those academic units within the Fellow’s portfolio—including the Fellow’s home academic unit.


All UM (Oxford campus) faculty at the Associate level or above, with or without tenure, and research scientists, are eligible to apply.  Applicants should demonstrate a winning track record of extramural funding.

Compensation and Appointment

Target Participation Level. Fellows will have part-time (20%) appointments in ORSP. A Fellow participating at this target level will spend 8 hours/week (generally, one dedicated day/week) embedded in ORSP, and/or engaging with other Fellows and researchers, in research development pursuits. ORSP will co-sponsor each Fellow by “buying out” 10% of the Fellow’s time (salary and fringes) for a 9-month or 12-month appointment year. The other half of the Fellow’s participation (10% of the faculty members salaries and fringes) will be co-sponsored by the Dean, and the Fellow will be released from 20% of their departmental responsibilities.

Ramp Up Level. While ORSP’s preference is for a 20% time commitment, we will consider applications from applicants whose departmental obligations are not currently amenable to a 20% time release.  Such applicants may propose an alternative, or ramp-up, model of initial participation (e.g., a lesser % effort). At whatever initial participation level, ORSP and the Dean will share equally the associated cost (salary and fringes) of the Fellow’s release time.

Fellows will not receive additional pay for participating in the program. However, Fellows may qualify for additional compensation in the form of merit pay for full F&A generating grant awards that the Fellow was instrumental in achieving as a Fellow. For any qualifying interdisciplinary or otherwise strategic externally funded proposal for which the Fellow played a critical research development role, and with the advanced approval of key stakeholder/units on the proposal, the Fellow will receive an additional meritorious pay supplement, according to the following schedule:

Award Total                Merit Pay
$   500,000                  $10,000
$1,000,000                  $15,000
$2,000,000                  $20,000
$3,000,000                  $25,000

Anticipated Timeline
November 18                                     Original Application Deadline
December 2                                       Extended Deadline for Applications

November 28 – December 8             Interviews
December 5 – 15                                Deliberations and Negotiations
December 22                                      Fellow Selections Announced
January, 2017                                    Fellowships Begin

Application Instructions

Qualified applicants should submit a cover letter, CV, letter of endorsement, and a departmental letter to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Sponsored Programs. All application documents, including letters, must be received by the due date, and directed to the attention of Jason Hale, Director of Research Development, either electronically to jghale@olemiss.edu, or as hard copies, to 313 Lyceum. 

Cover Letter (maximum 2 pages)
Each applicant should prepare and submit an application letter, addressed to the Vice Chancellor for Research and Sponsored Programs, highlighting their qualifications for, and detailing their interest in, the fellowship. This letter should both state how they propose to participate within the stated parameters of the program, and convey any particular vision or interest they would bring for advancing funded research, scholarship, and/or creative achievement within the University of Mississippi.  Thus, the application letter should convey how the applicant proposes use their own unique strengths and vision, within the framework proposed, in the service of advancing the extramural funding and interdisciplinary collaboration of other researchers within the institution.

The application letter should include any details pertinent to the application, including the applicant’s current appointment, a proposed start and end date for the initial 9-month or 12 month fellowship, the initial participation level (up to the target 20%), and details of what current obligations they propose to be released from to participate at that level. For those proposing an alternative, or ramp-up, participation level of less than 20%, the letter should provided those details, and anticipate whether, how ,and when the Fellow would be able to reach that 20% target.

Departmental Letter (maximum 2 pages)
A letter of support signed by the Chair (or Director) and Dean must be received for each applicant. This letter should address the applicant’s track record in garnering external funding, the applicant’s record of, or potential for, supporting other faculty, and the commitment of the Chair/Director/Dean to fully support the Fellow’s participation in the program at the proposed level, to include a commitment to contribute to the merit-based pay aspect of the program.

The letter should also state which responsibilities the applicant will be released from in order to devote the proposed level of effort to the fellowship. The chair/director/dean should send letter directly to Jason Hale in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Sponsored Programs.

Letter of Endorsement (maximum 2 pages)
In addition to the Departmental Letter, each applicant should arrange for the submission of one confidential letter of endorsement from a University of Mississippi colleague (any campus). This letter should specifically address the potential of the applicant to advance program goals.

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