Texas Tech University

Scholarship Catalyst Program

The Offices of the President, Provost and Vice President for Research sponsor the Scholarship Catalyst Program (SCP). These offices have made available funds to promote research, scholarship and creative output, which includes written publications, non-print presentations, curatorships, exhibits and artistic performances, in areas traditionally not funded by federal agencies. The goals of this program are to incite greatness in research, scholarship and creative endeavors, to propel researchers into the next stage in their careers and to increase external funding.

To facilitate review and selection, the SCP is divided into 3 areas:

  • Arts
  • Humanities
  • Social Sciences (including law)

The Humanities Center reviews and selects awardees in the arts and humanities areas. The Associate Vice President for Research-Faculty Affairs oversees the social sciences area.

Applications are now open. Deadline is Nov. 10. Applications will be submitted through Competition Space and may have different criteria and requirements depending on the area and funding amounts requested.

Funds awarded under the SCP are to be used for research, scholarly-related and arts practice-related expenses, which may include graduate or undergraduate student salaries (but not faculty salaries), specialized equipment, supplies or other activities that will promote external scholarly engagement or competitive external funding proposals. Funds are not intended for travel to conferences that are not directly associated with gathering data or performing research. The amounts, expectations, and requirements differ slightly within each area. The amount funded may be less than the amount requested. SCP funds are not intended to supplement start-up funding or serve as bridge funding, and may not be used for faculty salaries or food and entertainment expenditures. The SCP funds are intended to serve as a catalyst, providing seed money for faculty who do not currently have start-up funding and may have not sought external funding recently, or who can use funds to address issues in a recently declined external proposal so that it can be resubmitted with a greater chance of being funded.

Winners of SCP grants will be expected to provide a summary of their work, and report of outcomes, and use of the funds, no later than one month after the end of the grant period (typically February 1st of the following year). This report should also include any subsequent outcomes and proposal submissions related to the project. In addition, publications based on the SCP-funded work must acknowledge the program, as appropriate. Contact proposals.vpr@ttu.edu for details on reporting requirements and processes.

Eligibility:

Faculty whose primary appointment is at Texas Tech University who propose research, scholarship or creative endeavors in the arts, humanities or social sciences. Each faculty member may be PI (lead applicant) on only one SCP submission but may also be co-PI (assisting applicant) on one additional SCP submission, regardless of arts, humanities, or social sciences area. Faculty with current start-up funds are ineligible to participate as a funded investigator, but may participate as unfunded co-investigators for the SCP.

Arts (up to $3,500)

SCP grants in Arts are intended to defray bona fide costs of creating original work in the fine arts, broadly construed. Such costs may include, but are not limited to, materials; travel to archives or other locales for interviews or to gather visual or aural material that is location-specific; photocopying; hiring an assistant to gather or transcribe or digitize specific items. Funds may be requested for ongoing projects or for new endeavors. Selection criteria will include specificity of the undertaking; likelihood of definable outcomes; preparedness to undertake the project ("track record"); realistic timeframe for the project; likely impact of the project (both disciplinarily and geographically); and credible, justified budget. Information about past or possible future funding for your specific project, if applicable, will be a plus. The application narrative requires a description and timeline of the proposed project, specific anticipated outcomes, and a description of how the proposed line of research will be sustained in the future.

Humanities (up to $3,500)

SCP grants in humanities are intended to defray bona fide costs of conducting
research in the humanities. Such costs may include, but are not limited to, travel to archives or for interviews; photocopying; and hiring an assistant to gather or transcribe specific items. For example, funds might be requested for a trip to an archive to research material to be used in a book project. Funds may be requested for ongoing projects or for new endeavors. Selection criteria will include specificity of the undertaking; likelihood of definable outcomes; preparedness to undertake the project ("track record"); realistic timeframe for the project; likely impact of the project (both disciplinarily and geographically); credible, justified budget. Information about past or possible future funding for your specific project, if applicable, will be a plus. The application narrative requires a description and timeline of the proposed project, specific anticipated outcomes, and a description of how the proposed line of research will be sustained in the future.

Social Sciences (3 categories)

There are three categories of funding in the social sciences (including law):

Category A awards (up to $3,500) are intended to stimulate research and scholarship in the social sciences, particularly to provide seed support to those individuals who have not in the past 24 months sought external funds or engagement opportunities (for example, research grants or workshops) to further their scholarship or research. These funds provide some seed money for faculty who do not currently have start-up funding and have not sought external funding recently. The application narrative requires a description and timeline of the project and collaborations, specific anticipated outcomes, and a description of how the proposed line of research will be sustained in the future.

Category B awards (up to $3,500) are intended to provide seed support and assistance to develop interdisciplinary collaborations, and partnerships with industry. These awards should facilitate new lines of research, external funding or other engagement opportunities. It is the intent of the program to increase collaboration, both internally and externally, and to increase competitive grant proposal submissions to federal agencies, foundations, and other entities. Interdisciplinary team formation may lead to a competitive Transdisciplinary Research Academy Internal Award submission. Anticipated expenditures for a Category B award may include travel to establish collaborations (may require additional reporting), travel or equipment for data collection, facilities rentals such as in the TTU Research Park Building, and other research-related activities. The application narrative requires a description and timeline of the project and collaborations, specific anticipated outcomes, and a description of how the proposed line of research will be sustained in the future.

Category C awards (up to $5,000) are intended to enhance the quality of previously declined grant proposals made to extramural entities during the past 36 months (proposals to federal agencies or foundations submitted in 2013- 2016). Funds will be provided to support research and scholarly activities that address specific criticisms of the original proposal application to generate a more competitive subsequent application. Category C applications require specific proposal feedback from the funding agency, including the unedited critique from the granting agency and a document (two-page maximum) providing details on how SCP funding will be used to address the critiques and how this research line will be sustained in the future.

Review:

Proposals will be reviewed by TTU faculty, and possibly other reviewers, not
participating in the SCP program. The Humanities Center board may serve as the review committee for the Arts and Humanities, with additional/alternate reviewers as needed.

Selection criteria include (but may vary slightly with area):

  1. quality of proposal
  2. potential of proposed activities to significantly advance the applicant's research, scholarship or creative output and national or international recognition and to significantly enhance arts, humanities and social sciences at Texas Tech University
  3. potential of proposed activities to significantly improve the competitiveness of subsequent external grant proposals submitted by the applicant
  4. likelihood that the proposed research will be sustained without additional internal funding
  5. preparedness to undertake the project ("track record")
  6. realistic timeframe for the project
  7. likely impact of the project (both disciplinarily and geographically)
  8. likelihood of the project leading to something else, (e.g., a work of art or series that might lead to a major museum exhibition or concert engagement or invitation to choreograph or perform with a major company; a piece of creative writing that may yield a publication contract; a creative endeavor that will increase the chances of promotion from Associate to Full Professor, etc.) specific outcomes; or publication in a prestigious journal; or external funding.

If awarded, applicants may not spend more than the total awarded amount. Any over-expenditures must be repaid through the awardee department's accounts.

Guidelines, requirements, and eligibility are subject to change from year to year, and will be officially posted on the competition description for each round of applications. Please monitor TechAnnounce, Competition Space, Scholarly Messenger, etc. for the formal call for proposals for the next round of the Scholarship Catalyst Program. Previous winners can be found here.