Research Scholars Program Guidelines
The Towsley Research Scholars Program is made possible
by a grant from the Towsley Foundation of Midland, Michigan.
Income from this endowment allows us to appoint a Towsley Research Scholar
each year. Each Towsley Research Scholar holds the fellowship for four
years. The first Towsley Research Scholar was named in 1997. Current Towsley
Scholars are: Deborah VanDuinen, Beth Anderson and Ernest Cole.
Towsley Award History
Each year, specific faculty are invited to apply
according to the following criteria:
A. Criteria and Conditions
- Open to tenure-track faculty (Assistant Professor rank only) who are in the
third year of their probationary period (including those with 0 or 1
year prior credit; anyone with 2 years of prior credit is ineligible
for this award).
- A competitive grant proposal is required along
with a current curriculum vitae and chairperson's letter of
support (see below). All application materials should be submitted electronically (word or pdf, not scanned) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Multiple files acceptable.
Application Deadline: October 1, 2014
- Conditions include releasing the faculty member
for a one-semester sabbatical during her/his fourth year and a limitation
of $12,000 for the hiring of a sabbatical replacement. Your
department chairperson must write a letter of endorsement agreeing to
the conditions of the grant and addressing your teaching effectiveness.
- The person named as a Towsley Research Scholar
will receive $4,000 each summer following years three, four, five, and
six in her/his probationary period.
- The Towsley Research Scholar will receive a one-semester
sabbatical during her/his fourth year.
- The Towsley Research Scholar's department will
receive up to $12,000 for the hiring of a sabbatical-leave replacement.
C. Criteria for Evaluating Proposals
- Demonstrated competence in the faculty member's
field of study.
- Demonstrated teaching excellence at an appropriate
level for a new faculty member.
- Presentation of a promising plan for the development
of a long-term research program.
- The degree to which the proposed plan is likely
to bring benefit to Hope students.
D. Proposal Guidelines
The following outline of a grant proposal should
be used as a guide. It is important to address all the issues contained
in these guidelines. It is most important that you present a coherent
proposal in which you lay out a vision for your scholarly development
over the next four years and that you help us as educated readers to understand
the significance of what you propose to do, its relation to your previous
work (if any), and its relevance to Hope College students.
- Background: Describe the work that you have
done on this topic and show how it is related to or different from that
of other scholars.
- Description of the project: Describe what you
intend to do, your research methodology, the resources that will be
required, the location of the research, and anything else that is relevant
to our understanding of it. Note: Do not simply use a project
description from a recent grant proposal. Write a description that is
both detailed and understandable by a reader who is not an expert in
- Timetable: Indicate what you will do during each
of the four summers, during the intervening academic years, and during
the two sabbaticals (i.e., not only the sabbatical during the fourth
year, but also during the first regular sabbatical following the awarding
- Long-term professional goals: Briefly describe
your scholarly goals for the next decade or so and explain how the activities
described in the previous sections fit into those long-term goals. In
this section it will be important to demonstrate the long-term sustainability
of the proposed project and how you intend to sustain your professional
vitality during your career.
- Outcome or product: Indicate what your intended
outcome(s) is(are). Your goal may be to produce a number of essays which
will be combined into a publishable book-length manuscript or you may
intend to present a number of papers or poster sessions at professional
meetings and to publish one or more papers. Specifically address how
your work will bring benefit to Hope students.
- Assessment: If there are assessable outcomes
beyond those listed in the previous section, please describe them.
E. Review Process
The proposals will be read by members of the Deans'
Council. Proposals will be evaluated according to the criteria and ranked by each evaluator. The final selection will be based on the ranking and by consensus of the Deans' Council.
It is not necessary for you to write your proposal
in isolation. You are encouraged to seek advice from colleagues, including
your chairperson and your dean. Our goal is to have you write the strongest
possible proposal, and that means addressing each of the six guidelines.
Even though only one person can receive appointment as the Towsley Research
Scholar, everyone can benefit from writing a strong proposal, for it will
not only help you to clarify your scholarly goals, but it will also provide
a solid foundation for submitting grant proposals for both internal and
external funding. Examples of successful Towsley proposals are
available in the Provost's Office for your reference.
Please contact your dean or the provost with any