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Academic Affairs Research Fellows Program


The Research Fellows Program was created and is funded collaboratively by the Office of the Provost, the Colleges and the Library.

Tenured and probationary faculty are invited to submit proposals to become a Research Fellow. Nine research fellowships, from each college and the Library, will be awarded to our faculty.

To be selected as a California State University, Northridge Research Fellow is an appointment of distinction.  The process of seeking the appointment is competitive. The appointment itself will provide to the research fellows outstanding recognition and an excellent opportunity to pursue compelling research or a creative activity.

Definition: A Research Fellow in this context is an incumbent in a position temporarily for the purpose of pursuing research or a creative activity. It is an appointment of distinction and honor. 

The benefits of the program to scholarship overall: These benefits include facilitating a network of people to catalyze initiatives; launching new collaborations; expanding and strengthening the talent base of researchers; linking researchers with other disciplines and industry; and applying knowledge to relevant area problems.

The benefits to CSUN: These benefits include initiating a more vibrant research focus for the campus; spotlighting the diversity of research; catalyzing new research; and mentoring new scholars.

A Brief History: In August 2007, Provost Harry Hellenbrand requested a formal proposal for a Research Fellows Program at CSUN.  The policies and processes following are based on the results of campus consultation with over 100 faculty in Spring, 2007 and in subsequent cycles of the appointments of Research Fellows.

Process and Procedures

Selection process:  Proposals will be reviewed by a committee comprised of four elected members of the faculty from each college and the Associate Dean or designee. The committee will recommend to the Dean who will have the final authority for awarding the research fellowship.

A rigorous standard for selection is used. 

Applicants should address the following:

Provide a brief summary of your research agenda and the progress and achievements you have made.  Include relevant citations in the required two-page resume.
Provide a brief description of the research and creative project(s) that you will work on during the semester for which reassigned time is provided.  What are the intended products or outcomes of this work?
What is the anticipated contribution or impact of your work to the field of study or to related fields or areas of inquiry?

Committee Considerations: Committees will consider to what extent the proposed activity explores creative or original concepts; the likelihood of the achievement of its stated outcomes in the time frame; the benefits of the research or creative activity to society; the organization of the proposal; the ability to disseminate the results widely to advance understanding; and the contribution to the field of study or across other fields. 

The sequence

October 1: Research Fellows opportunity announced to College by the Dean.

November 16: Deadline for the proposal to be submitted to the Dean’s Office.

February 28: Award notification for the 20YY-20YY academic year.

June 30: Deadline for the Research Fellow to submit a written report to the Dean and Provost summarizing their research activities and accomplishments.

The proposal requirements: Faculty will submit proposals using the form provided, including a proposed budget. Proposals should not exceed five pages including the budget. A resume must also be attached—two pages maximum—with a focus on the scholarly record.

Accountability: Research Fellows are obligated to report back to the Dean, with a copy to the Provost, the results of their research or creative activity by the start of the next academic semester.  Additionally, a colloquium will be held in the Library for Research Fellows to share their research or creative activity. The Provost may also select one or more fellows for the Provost’s Colloquium. 

The criteria for selection: The proposal should be judged on its own merits. The proposal should be driven by the faculty member’s particular research or creative activity needs. These could include conducting laboratory or field research, finishing an article, a book or play, mounting a significant design or art exhibit, completing a symphony or dance performance and so forth.

Relationship to sabbaticals:  No faculty member may be selected as a research fellow if they have already been awarded a sabbatical in that same academic year.

Relationship to other campus awards: No faculty member may be selected as a research fellow if they have already been awarded a campus research opportunity for that same semester as the research fellowship.  Awardees of federal, state and local grants may apply for a research fellowship.

Award re-application: If a faculty member is awarded a research fellowship, he or she will be eligible for a subsequent research fellowship only after serving full time for three years after the last research fellowship.

Service responsibilities: Research Fellows must continue their service responsibilities such as personnel committees.  A research fellowship only reassigns faculty away from their teaching responsibilities.

Budget support: The Office of the Provost will split the costs 50/50 with the Colleges. This cost is estimated at $116,757 for the Provost and $12,973 per college, or $116,757 for all the colleges for the 2023-2024 Academic Year. This is for 12 units of reassigned time per academic year. The reassigned time is normally taken in one semester. Budget support over and above reassigned time is at the discretion of the dean.

Local Policies and Procedures: The Colleges and the Library may develop an addendum to clarify policies or procedures appropriate to their area or adjust the calendar. Local policies will supersede this document.