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Butler Institute for Research & Scholarship

Holcomb Awards Committee

The HAC promotes faculty research in all disciplines within the natural sciences (“hard” sciences) and quantitative social sciences and encourages faculty members to engage students in the research process. The committee supports a broad range of scholarly activities, from discovery to interpretation. Such activities may promote research, scholarship, creativity, or innovation; promote the discovery, integration, or application of knowledge; develop community partnerships or have a significant professional or community service component; or promote effective teaching or innovative curricular development. They also may be of an interdisciplinary nature or involve multiple faculty; have a significant impact on the professional development of the faculty members involved, particularly junior faculty; involve students in research; and have as their major purpose the development of subsequent proposals for external funding.

The primary purpose of HAC research support is to aid in building the faculty's capacity for research, instruction, and service through the enlargement of the university's resource base. 

Types of HAC Grants

Mini-Grants

Program

Provide support of up to $1,000 to projects with unique requirements that are not part of a larger project or supported by other funding sources.  Faculty are eligible to receive the award once per academic fiscal year.

Examples of purchases that would be acceptable through this funding opportunity include the following

  • Field work travel and operational costs
  • Purchase of minor equipment not supported by the departmental equipment budget
  • Purchase of academic books
  • Costs of materials
  • Supplies
  • The cost of transporting students
  • Translation of written materials into other languages
  • One-time purchases of materials or non-technology equipment (specialized clothing or protective equipment, art supplies, school supplies, etc.).

Due Date

Applications are due by the first of each month. Applications should be signed, scanned, and emailed to BIRS@butler.edu.

Application Process

Each applicant must download the form and attach a program statement that describes the following information.

  • The nature of the research and need for the support.
  • The goals, objectives, and significance of the research project. 
  • It should outline how the work will be conducted and the time schedule for completion.
  • A detailed budget

Mini-Grant Application

The application format must include the following specifications:

  • No more than two pages typed and spaced at 1.5 line spacing
  • Times New Roman font, size 11 or 12 with one inch margins
  • Should be signed by the applicant (full-time faculty), department chair and dean.

Reporting Requirements

The final report should include a brief summary of the project and the outcome of the research or significant findings as a result of the funding. The final report should be submitted to the BIRS Office at BIRS@butler.edu no more than 60 days following the end of the grant period. Failure to submit this report may jeopardize future HAC funding.

 

Short Course/Workshop Attendance

Programs

Supports scholarly or artistic activities for full-time faculty in one of the following areas: pursuing advanced coursework, retraining to develop a new specialty, learning a new research skill, or developing new pedagogical skills. Grants are funded up to $1000, and faculty are eligible to receive the award once per academic fiscal year.

A short course/workshop is typically defined as having a more “hands on” learning focus with one or a few instructors.  A conference, on the other hand, is seen as a formal meeting with several presenters to freely exchange views.  A workshop might be offered immediately preceding a conference, and if awarded the funds are for the purpose of the workshop portion only.  If registration for a separate conference portion is required, the requester would need to find another avenue of funding for that part.

Due Date

Proposals are due on the first of each month and must be one month prior to the date of the short course. Applications should be signed, scanned, and emailed to BIRS@butler.edu.

Application Process

Each applicant must download the form and attach a program statement that includes the following information:

  • A description of the short course/workshop that the applicant will attend and how it will contribute to his/her professional development
  • A copy of the workshop/course announcement, and a copy of the program if part of a full academic curriculum or professional development program
  • An outline of how completion of the course/workshop will advance the applicant’s scholarly work or teaching activities
  • A detailed budget that includes all anticipated expenditures

Short Course/Workshop Attendance application 

The application format must include the following specifications:

  • No more than two pages typed and 1.5 line spacing
  • Times New Roman font, size 11 or 12 with one inch margins
  • Should be signed by the applicant, department chair and dean

Reporting Requirements

The final report should include a brief summary of the workshop or course and the skills gained as a result of attendance. The final report should be submitted to the BIRS Office at BIRS@butler.edu no more than 60 days following the end of the grant period. Failure to submit this report may jeopardize future HAC funding.

Travel to Present

Program

Supports travel costs for a national or international conference to present the results of a research, professional or scholarly project. Grants are funded up to $1,000 per full-time faculty member per fiscal year (May 1–May 31) for domestic travel and up to an additional $500 supplement per faculty member per fiscal year for international conferences.

Additional Program Requirements

Domestic travel includes travel within the continental U.S. and travel to Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico and Canada. All other travel is international travel. (Guidelines below effective January 1, 2016)

  • Faculty presenting at more than one conference per year must submit a request for funding for each conference.
  • Faculty must submit a request for funding prior to conference travel and a detailed expense report form must accompany interdepartmental invoices once the travel is completed. 
  • The grant from HAC is intended to supplement college travel funding. The amount granted by HAC must be matched at least 50% by college travel funds (i.e. if $1000 is provided by HAC, the college must contribute a minimum of $500).
  • If the applicant's college cannot fully match the requested HAC grant amount, the dean of the applicant's college should indicate this on the HAC application form. Requests for such travel will be granted at the discretion of the HAC.
  • Travel-to-present funds are meant to help faculty advance research and scholarship; examples include those presenting papers/posters, organizing or leading panel discussions requiring preparation, or speaking from expertise by request of a professional organization or association.
  • Applications for session chairs, conveners and presiders will not be funded.

Due Date

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and faculty should submit at least 4-6 weeks in advance of conference travel. Applications must be signed, scanned, and emailed to BIRS@butler.edu

Instructional Development

Program

Provides up to $1,500 ($1000 maximum faculty stipend) in support for the development of new courses or the revision of existing courses, including Core courses and "topics" courses. The applicant is expected to teach the course supported by the grant during the following academic year.

Due Date

Instructional development applications have a deadline of the first Friday of February, by 5:00 PM. Signed, scanned applications should be sent to  BIRS@butler.edu.

Application Process

Your application must consist of a program statement:

  • A description of the nature of the course, the need for development and how work will be accomplished. It should also describe how the proposed course meets the guidelines for HAC grant applications.
  • A budget narrative that lists and justifies all requested expenditures. Requests for materials readily available from the library or through interlibrary loan must be explicitly justified. It is the responsibility of the applicant to check on the availability of requested books and materials with the university library.

Instructional Development application 

The application format includes the following specifications:

  • No more than two pages typed and spaced at 1.5 line spacing
  • Times New Roman font, size 11 or 12 with one inch margins
  • Should be signed by the applicant, department chair and dean

Grant Period

The grant period is from May 1 to May 31 of the following year. In exceptional circumstances, an extension of the grant period (for annual grants) is permitted. If an awardee requires additional time to complete his/her project, a request for an extension should be submitted for committee consideration no later than one month prior to the end of the grant period. No new grant money will be released until the first project, including the final report, is completed.

Reporting

A report describing the final design of the new course or how the existing course has been improved is due in the Butler Institute for Research and Scholarship office no later than 60 days after the end of the grant period. Failure to submit this report will jeopardize chances for future BAC funding.

Publication Reimbursement

Program

Provides up to $1,000 per faculty member per fiscal year (June 1–May 31) in support for the cost of publishing journal articles in professional science journals.

Program Restrictions

The program does not fund the cost of journal subscriptions or the costs of membership in professional organizations and societies. The grant is intended to support publications in professional print journals and is not intended to support the publication costs of textbooks or other books not intended for scholars.

Due Date

Reimbursement requests must be submitted by May 1 of the fiscal year in which the publication costs were paid.

Publication Reimbursement application

Application Process

The applicant must download the applicant and submit with the following information:

  • The applicant must include a copy of the acceptance letter from the journal.
  • The applicant must include a receipt for payment of the publication costs.
  • If publication of the article is contingent on membership or subscription fees to the journal, those costs must be subtracted from the reimbursement request.
  • In cases of multiple authors, only one faculty author per publication will be supported.

Faculty Research

Program

Provides up to $15,000 in support of original, creative, and scholarly projects for quantitative or mixed methods research.

Additional program requirements: The research may be theoretic or empirical. It may also be basic or applied. The proposal should clearly demonstrate how the project is related to principles in the applicant’s field, what hypothesis is being tested, and how data will be analyzed.

Eligibility

Faculty must be in a tenured or tenure track position at the time of the grant award.

Due Date

Faculty research applications have a deadline of the first Friday of February, by 5:00 PM. Signed, scanned applications should be sent to  BIRS@butler.edu.

Application Process

The applicant must download the form and submit a signed copy with the following information.

  • Program statement—A description of the proposed project following the outline listed below. Proposals will be evaluated by readers who are not necessarily experts in the specific field of the proposal. The application should be written for a general audience to understand and contain the following information:
    • Background—The background for the project including the problem or need, related work and the underlying rationale.
    • Objectives—The objective(s) of the project.
    • Significance—The importance or significance of the research and the relation of the research to the applicant's previous and future work.
    • Methods—The methods applicant will use to achieve his/her objectives including any of the following that apply: the creative procedures or experimental methods, equipment required, data gathering and analysis, time schedule, evaluation and reporting of results. Indicate if the project involves human subjects, animals or recombinant DNA.
    • Analysis—Describe information to be collected and how it will be used or analyzed.
    • Timeline—An anticipated timeline for the proposed project should detail how the work will be completed over the one-year granting period.
    • References and Bibliography—In this section, applicants must include all relevant references cited in the application and may include a complete bibliography.  This section is not part of the Program Statement and is not included in the five page limit.
  • Budget—The budget is an important part of the application and care should be taken to ensure the budget is clearly defined and the proposed expenditures are justified. A budget justification narrative must be included with the application that carefully details all expenditures and how they are related to the proposed work. Expenditures not fully justified will not be funded.
    • Stipends—A faculty summer stipend up to $3,000 is permitted. Faculty should indicate any other grant that funds this work during the summer months.
      • Stipends for other personnel, including students are also permitted up to $3,000 per person. It is expected that all personnel would be paid by the hour. Summer payments to undergraduate students not enrolled in at least six hours must include funds to pay FICA. Students' work need not be limited to the summer. Butler students can not receive Butler funding from more than one source.
      • Multiple faculty stipends on the same grant proposal must be justified.
      • Total stipends to all faculty and other personnel, including students, may not exceed $6000.00.
    • Travel/conferences—Allowable travel costs include food and incidentals, actual lodging costs, actual travel fares and mileage. The HAC committee will not fund food per diem for more than 14 days. Faculty members are encouraged to use the college or department funds for other travel expenses or to apply for a HAC Travel-to-Present award. Travel within 50 miles of Indianapolis will not be supported.
    • Books/research materials—Requests for materials readily available from the library or through interlibrary loan must be explicitly justified.  It is the responsibility of the applicant to check on the availability of requested books and materials with the university library.
    • Computer hardware and software—Computer hardware and software will be supported only if they are essential to the unique requirements of the research project.
    • Exclusions—The program does not support funding for degree completion, writing previously completed projects, writing textbooks or chapters for textbooks, curriculum development or planning classes.
  • Curriculum vitae—Include a curriculum vitae that includes education, skills and experience.  In addition to the basics, the CV should include research and teaching experience, publications relevant to the project, grants and fellowships, professional associations and licenses, awards and other information relevant to the funding for which you are applying.  Make sure dates on all publications  are included.  The CV should highlight the applicant's publications that are relevant to the proposed work.
  • Appendix A (Report on previous HAC-funded research)—Applicants who have previously received a faculty research grant (or summer faculty fellowship or instructional development grant) must include a report on the results of work funded by the most recent HAC grant, and (if applicable) how the new work relates to the previous project. If not already previously submitted to the BIRS office, reports should  also   be sent to BIRS@butler.edu .
  • Appendix B (Report on extramural grant applications)—Applicants who have received three or more faculty research grants must provide either evidence that they have sought outside funding to support their work, or show significant output from past grants, including published articles and peer-reviewed presentations at major professional conferences.

The proposal should be signed by the applicant, the head of department, or program director, and the dean of the college.

HAC Faculty Research Application

Proposals that do not conform to these guidelines will be returned without evaluation. Use the form that is currently on the website. Proposals submitted on outdated forms will be deemed non-compliant and will not be forwarded to the HAC committee.

HAC research grant scoring rubric (used by the Holcomb Awards Committee during review process)

Rules and Exceptions

  • Multiple collaborators—The $3,000 maximum faculty stipend may be divided among several colleagues. Two or more faculty members may submit multiple proposals for the same project, but limited resources make it unlikely that more than one grant would be funded in any one given year.
  • Books—Generally speaking, applicants should not request more than $250 for the purchase of books and other texts. Applicants may request more, but must clearly justify the additional need.
  • Exclusions—These awards are not to be used to support the completion of a graduate degree program. In addition, proposals will not be accepted for projects for which the faculty member is already being compensated, such as writing a book for which there is anything more than a nominal honorarium already being paid by the publisher to the author.

Duration

The award period is May 1 to May 31 of the following year. In exceptional circumstances, an extension of the grant period is permitted. If an awardee requires additional time to complete his/her project, a request for an extension should be submitted no later than one month prior to the end of the grant period. No new grant money will be released until the first project, including the final report, is completed.

Report

A brief report describing the outcome of the research conducted using these funds is due in the Institute for Research and Scholarship office via BIRS@butler.edu no more than 60 days following the end of the grant period. The report should detail how the money was spent in relation to the proposed budget. Failure to submit this report could jeopardize future HAC funding.

NOTE:  Mixed methods research is a research design with philosophical assumptions as well as methods of inquiry. As a methodology, it involves philosophical assumptions that guide the direction of the collection and analysis of data and the mixture of qualitative and quantitative approaches in many phases in the research process. As a method, it focuses on collecting, analyzing, and mixing both quantitative and qualitative data in a single study or series of studies. Its central premise is that the use of quantitative and qualitative approaches in combination provides a better understanding of research problems than either approach alone. (Source)

Submission and Approval

Each BAC/HAC grant mechanism has its own submission requirements and deadlines. All applications require signatures by the applicant, department head/program chair, and dean of the college. Complete submission criteria and forms are available online for each mechanism. Procedural questions may be directed to BIRS@butler.edu.

Upon submission, applications are reviewed by BIRS and sent to the appropriate committee for review and approval. BIRS staff and committees may engage in dialogue with the applicant if questions arise. (Failure to complete follow-up requests may result in an application's denial.) Notification of approval or denial is sent by BIRS to the applicant along with the appropriate correspondence from the committee.

For annual grant opportunities like Instructional Development and Faculty Research, the grant application will be submitted to the respective committee. Applications are then reviewed for completion and remitted to the committee. The committee will review and score the applications during a closed review session where funding recommendations will be approved. Application notifications (either approval or denial) will be submitted by the BIRS office to the applicant.

For all grant applications, the applicant will have 30 days from receipt of the notification to appeal a decision of denied funding. All appeals will be sent to the BIRS director. The BIRS director and the applicant will discuss any issues with the application or decision. After 30 days, the application will be closed to further review or discussion. 

Post-Award Administration and Reporting

Each approved application will receive two award notifications—one from BIRS and one from OBGA. The letters will outline the award amount and expenditure information. Each grant mechanism has an expenditure or project period, ranging from one month to a fiscal year, which governs the allowable time for funds expenditure and project completion. If the applicant is unable to complete the project and/or spend the funds by the end of the period, an extension may be requested. Each grant also requires post-award reporting, where applicable. The report outlines project results as well as how funds were spent. Most reports are due no more than 60 days after the grant period has ended. Details on project periods and post-award reporting requirements are provided online under each grant mechanism—one from BIRS and one from the Office of Budgets and Grants Administration (OBGA-Kathy Hankins).

Committee Members

The Holcomb Awards Committee (HAC) considers proposals for the sciences and social sciences (quantitative research methods). Committee members serve for a three-year term, and cannot serve for more than two consecutive terms.  The expiration date of each member's term is noted in parentheses. Committee chairs are elected by committee members. Chairs serve a one-year term and are eligible to be re-elected.

  • Betsy Schmidt (August 2020)
  • Nat Hauck (August 2018)
  • Todd Hopkins, Chair (August 2020)
  • Dan Kosik (August 2019)
  • Jessica Moore (August 2019)
  • Jennifer Berry (August 2019)
  • Zhihong Chen (August 2019)
  • Mauricio Melgarejo (August 2020)
  • Katie Brooks (August 2018)