Faculty Research

Ongoing faculty research benefits students, the College of Charleston, and society, as well as the individual scholar. When they are engaged in research, our faculty model for our students the excitement of continuous learning. Today's students need to understand not only the methodology of the learning approach to problem solving, but also the personal fulfillment and joy that comes with it. Students at the College work closely with our faculty, learning through their research the discovery process used to generate further understanding and knowledge. Information about research and support for research is provided below. Also, please reference the Institutional Definition for Research and Community/Public Service (memo) for additional information. Have a new faculty resource or grant opportunity you would like to share? Email the Office of the Provost


Faculty Research and Development Committee

The Faculty Research and Development Committee is a committee of the College faculty charged with the responsibility to support and encourage faculty research and development at the College. The committee supports a wide range of professional activities that will benefit the College and the professional development of the faculty member. However, the committee identifies as a priority the support of faculty in their initial years at the College. The committee recognizes that research and faculty development vary from discipline to discipline. Although this program is open to all faculty members, preference is given to faculty who are tenured or who hold tenure-track appointments. Individuals and groups are welcome to apply for projects including research, professional non-degree training, interdisciplinary learning, and work with professionals outside the College. Proposals leading to external funding and proposals with interdisciplinary dimensions are also encouraged. Visit the Faculty Research and Development Committee webpage to access the current guidelines on funding and the required forms for faculty research grants and faculty professional support grants, as well as examples and announcements of past recipients.

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Research and Grants Administration

The Office of Research and Grants Administration (ORGA) facilitates external funding for research, academic projects and scholarly activities, and compliance with applicable regulations and College policies and procedures relating to research activities. ORGA is a central source of information on major government agencies, foundations, and corporations which impact research and scholarship. Visit the ORGA webpage for current information about research and grants administration at the College of Charleston. 

  • Find research opportunities
  • Academic grant matching funds for external grants requiring a match
  • Monitoring for potential grant sources
  • Dissemination of grant announcements

The Research Protections and Compliance Office in the Office of Research and Grants Administration (ORGA) promotes the responsible conduct of research through education, College of Charleston policies, procedures and review committees, and compliance with applicable federal, state, and local regulations.  We provide support for the Human Research Protections Program, including the Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Research Participants (IRB); the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC); and the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC); as well as assistance with Responsible Conduct of Research education and training programs and Financial Conflict of Interest requirements.

ORGA’s Sponsored Programs staff promote the development of external funding strategies for research, academic projects, and institutional priorities; provide resources and assistance to faculty, staff, and administrators in searching for external funding opportunities; assist with preparation and submission of requests for external funding, including grants, sub-awards, and contracts; serve as liaison with funding agencies; assist grant awardees with administration issues in conjunction with the Grants Accountant in the Controller's office; provide education and training in all aspects of grantsmanship including grant searching, grant writing, and budget preparation; and provide advice and assistance regarding Intellectual property.

Academic Affairs support: Mark Del Mastro and Deanna Caveny, Associate Provosts

Contact: Susan Anderson, ORGA (andersons@cofc.edu)

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Liberal Arts and Sciences Small Grants Program

About: The Committee for Innovative Teaching and Learning in the Liberal Arts and Sciences is soliciting proposals for small grants aimed at supporting innovative teaching at the College of Charleston. All continuing roster and adjunct faculty are eligible for the program. No faculty member will receive more than one grant per academic year. The maximum grant amount for this program is typically $1,500 in a single academic year, per faculty member. The minimum grant will be $500. Faculty receiving grants are expected to provide a final report following the grant period. Faculty who have received grant funds in the past must include a final report for that project with any subsequent application. 

Application: Submit an Online Application for the 2020 Liberal Arts & Sciences Small Grants Program by April 10, 2020.

Program Details: Although proposals in support of innovative teaching and learning in any area of the liberal arts and sciences are eligible, proposals that promote areas of strategic emphasis such as diversity, internationalization, integrative learning, and high impact learning experiences are especially encouraged. A proportion of ILAS small grants are reserved for proposals that emphasize diversity, so please note that emphasis on the application form if applicable. Projects funded by this Small Grants Program should have the potential for long-term impact on teaching and learning and not be limited to one course or one semester. Grant recipients will be asked to demonstrate this potential in the application. If you are proposing a joint project, each team member should complete a separate application. Be sure, however, to indicate that the application is part of a proposed joint project.

Restrictions: Please note the Small Grants Program is meant to support innovative teaching and learning only. Other research and faculty development activities typically supported through other funding opportunities (e.g. study abroad, conference participation, exhibits, and undergraduate research) are not eligible for this grant. Equipment purchases are not typically supported by these funds unless the ways in which the technology enhances student learning is very clear. Expenses associated with creating/migrating an online course are not eligible for this grant, nor are expenses associated with the publication of textbooks. Funds for travel may be included in the budget but only if directly tied to pedagogical activities. We do not fund faculty stipends. 

Previous Awards: Some projects funded in the past include a class trip to McLeod Plantation to explore the ways in which enslavement shaped the religious experiences of African Americans; a theatrical devising project set in black-owned businesses in Charleston; several publications of student writing to be used in future classes as educational materials; a trip to the Dittrick Museum of Medical History in Cleveland to develop new courses in History, Health and Human Performance, and Women and Gender Studies and to enhance interdisciplinary collaborations in those courses; a program designed to encourage faculty to use open education resources as an alternative to more expensive textbooks; and the development of online Spanish grammar lessons with mini lectures and grammar exercises.

Timeline: 

  • Spring 2020 Applications Due: April 10, 2020
  • Spring 2020 Final Reports Due: June 15, 2020
  • Summer 2020 Applications Due: TBD
  • Summer 2020 Final Reports Due: September 15, 2020

Committee for Innovative Teaching and Learning in the Liberal Arts and Sciences

  • Jason Vance (committee chair), School of Sciences and Mathematics
  • Lancie Affonso, School of Business
  • Keonya Booker, School of Education
  • Claire Curtis, School of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Janine McCabe, School of the Arts
  • Judy Millesen, School of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • David Slucki, School of Languages, Cultures, and World Affairs

Academic Affairs support: Mark Del Mastro and Deanna Caveny, Associate Provosts

Contact: Jason Vance, ILAS Committee Chair (vancejt@cofc.edu)

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Open Education Resources (OER) Incentive Grants Program 

About: Open educational resources (OER) are classroom materials without copyright restrictions, are available in the public domain, licensed through the Creative Commons (or similar intellectual property licenses) or library-licensed, and accessible to student at little or no cost. With the rising prices of textbooks and the resulting financial burden for students, OER can help mitigate such expenses for students and provide instructors with pedagogical advantages. To encourage faculty to integrate OER materials in their courses, the OER Faculty Incentive Program will award grants of $1000 to instructors selected by the campus OER Committee. Faculty who are awarded OER incentive grants will integrate OER into the upcoming academic year's course(s). Ineligible are previous awardees who wish to use OER for courses that already were supported with an OER grant. Priority will be given to first-time applicants. Faculty who are teaching in the 2020-2021 academic year (fall and spring semesters) are invited to apply for the 2nd annual Open Educational Resources (OER) Incentive Grant Program to support College of Charleston faculty in creating high-quality instructional resources at little or no expense to our students.  This program was previously described to the Faculty Senate and to other key College of Charleston constituencies. 

Application: Submit an Online Application for the Open Education Resources (OER) Incentive Grants Program by November 1, 2019The deadline for this program has passed. Please check back later for updates.

Background: OER are classroom resources with no copyright restrictions. They are in the public domain, licensed through the Creative Commons (or similar intellectual property licenses) or library-licensed, so students can access them at little or no cost. Textbook prices are rising rapidly, putting enormous financial strain on students. OER can help mitigate textbook expenses for students and also provide instructors with pedagogical advantages, since they are more adaptable than traditional textbooks. In recent years, several states and universities have invested heavily in the creation of OER, and those resources are readily available to us. The College of Charleston Libraries provide many resources for faculty with interest in utilizing OER.  See Affordable Learning (https://libguides.library.cofc.edu/affordablelearning). The OER Incentive Program is intended to expand the use of these resources on campus, with the intent of improving the quality of instructional materials and providing financial relief for students.  The College of Charleston does recognize that traditional print and/or online textbooks remain excellent choices for many courses, but the OER Incentive Program encourages faculty to use OER in those cases where they offer both pedagogical and financial advantages. Programs that encourage OER use are in place at several other universities.  The College of Charleston Student Government Association has previously requested that the College take steps to expand OER use.

Grant Purpose, Deadlines and Awards: To encourage faculty to integrate OER materials in their courses, the OER Faculty Incentive Program will award grants of up to $1000 to instructors selected by the campus OER Committee. Faculty who are awarded OER incentive grants will integrate OER into at least one course offered two separate semesters. Awards are subject to a set of stipulations, including the following:

(1) Successful completion of the Open Educational Resources Training and Development OAKS course administered by the College of Charleston Libraries and TLT.

(2) Submission of the final course syllabus, including a full list of required course materials and an OER syllabus statement (provided), to the OER committee.

(3) Subsequent to teaching the OER Incentive Grant-supported course the first time, submission of a report to the OER Incentive Grant Committee assessing their experience using OER in the classroom and reporting the cost savings to students in their grant-supported classes.  Furthermore, grant recipients are expected to teach the OER Incentive Grant-supported class again in a subsequent semester.

The deadline for submission of OER Applications (click here for the online application) was November 1, 2019. Proposals will be reviewed by the campus OER Committee, comprised of faculty, librarians and instructional technologists. Preference will be given to proposals for course sections offered on a recurring basis intended for first-, second-, and third-year students (i.e., not special topics courses, or senior seminars). In addition, courses that currently utilize OER or have little or no materials costs to students will not be considered unless they are substantially revised during the award period. Awards were announced December 1, 2019. Selected instructors will receive their financial award after completion of the first OER Incentive Grant-supported course and the submission of their final report.

Timeline: 

October 15, 2019: Call for applications and OER Application form made available online (date may vary)
November 1, 2019: Deadline for applications
December 1, 2019: Awards announced (date may vary)
December 15, 2019: Opening of faculty training course for awardees.

Post-Award: Each awardee will be required to submit a final report within one month following the grant-supported implementation of the OER materials. Each report will include:

  • Estimated cost savings
  • Summary of experience with implementing OER materials
  • Implementation’s impact on course and students
  • Means of evaluating the impact of OER adoption on course delivery
  • Future plans for implementation of OER materials

Academic Affairs support: Mark Del Mastro, Associate Provost

Contact: Please direct all program-related questions to Dr. Jason Coy (coyj@cofc.edu), Professor of History and Faculty Administrative Fellow in the Office of the Provost, who facilitated the initiation of this program and currently chairs the OER Committee. 

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International Research Opportunities

By collaborating with our colleagues across countries and continents, across nationalities and religions, across time zones and climates, we can support the CofC faculty who ask important questions and create knowledge for the good of our neighbors and for the good of the world. Whether you want to attend a conference, collaborate with international faculty, or plan a trip with students, we can help you get started.

The Center for International Education (CIE)

The Center for International Education at the College of Charleston is the coordinating office for all international activities, including related faculty research opportunities. CIE also assists the College's departments in bringing in international scholars to campus for a variety of purposes. Visit the Center for International Education webpage to access current information. 

Contact: Andrew Sobiesuo, Associate Provost (sobiesuoa@cofc.edu)

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The Fulbright Scholar Program 

The Fulbright Scholar Program is coordinated by the United States Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The College of Charleston has been named a top producer of Fulbright Scholars and Fulbright Students among master’s-level colleges and universities in the United States. The College is the only master’s-level school in the United States to be included as a top producer in both categories. View the College of Charleston U.S. Scholars

Interested faculty should visit the Fulbright Scholar Program external webpage for information on how to apply. 

Contact: Steve Litvin (LitvinS@cofc.edu) regarding faculty scholars and Anton Vander Zee (vanderzeea@cofc.edu) regarding student fulbrights.

Recent College of Charleston Fulbright Scholars
Scholar Fulbright Scholar Type Program Group Program Country Discipline Specialization Host Institution Academic Year
Bodek, Richard U.S. Scholar   Germany History History, Miscellaneous The German-American Fulbright Commission 2013-2014
Carson, Joseph U.S. Scholar Core Colombia Astronomy Astronomy and Astrophysics, Other National University of Colombia 2016-2017
Covert, Lisa U.S. Scholar Core Peru History Latin America & Caribbean History Universidad de San Mart­n de Porres 2018-2019
Crotts, John U.S. Scholar   India     Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University 2012-2013
de Buron-Connors, Isaure U.S. Scholar Core Morocco Biology Parasitology Mohammed V University 2018-2019
Delay, Cara U.S. Scholar Core Ireland History History, Miscellaneous University College Dublin 2012-2013
DiTullio, Giacomo U.S. Scholar Core Italy Oceanography Oceanography Parthenope University of Naples 2014-2015
Finnan, Christine U.S. Scholar Core India Education Social Sciences Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology 2014-2015
Harris, Michael U.S. Scholar Core Greece Geology Geology National and Kapodistrian University of Athens 2015-2016
Johnson, Steven U.S. Scholar Core India Arts Arts Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath College of Fine Arts Bangalore 2015-2016
Koprowski, William U.S. Scholar Core Poland Business Business AGH University of Science and Technology 2012-2013
Lanahan, Brian U.S. Scholar Core Georgia Education Curriculum/Social Studies Tbilisi State University 2018-2019
Mueller, Rene U.S. Scholar Core Austria Business Marketing Management Center Innsbruck 2017-2018
Ndunda, Mutindi U.S. Scholar Core Tanzania Education Education Muslim University of Morogoro 2012-2013
Owens, David U.S. Scholar Core Burma (Myanmar) Zoology Vertebrate Zoology Mawlamyine University 2015-2016
Sarvate, Dinesh U.S. Scholar Core Uganda Mathematics Mathematics Mbarara University of Science and Technology 2014-2015
Schwartz, Bill U.S. Scholar   Hungary Business Accounting and Business/Management Corvinus University of Budapest 2014-2015
Shedlock, Andrew U.S. Scholar Core Japan Biology Evolutionary Biology The Institute of Statistical Mathematics 2016-2017
Smith, Kay U.S. Scholar Core Hong Kong Literature Languages & Literature Hong Kong Polytechnic 2010-2011
Sobiesuo, Andrew U.S. Scholar   Germany Literature Romance Languages & Literature The German-American Fulbright Commission 2017-2018
Sobiesuo, Andrew U.S. Scholar Seminar United Kingdom Literature Languages & Literature United States-United Kingdom Educational Commission 2013-2014
Sotka, Erik U.S. Scholar Core Australia Biology Biological & Biomedial Sciences University of New South Wales 2010-2011
Sundstrom, Beth U.S. Scholar Core Ireland Communications Health Communication University College Cork 2018-2019
Witte, Mark U.S. Scholar Core Croatia Economics Economics University of Rijeka 2013-2014

Additional information about becoming a College of Charleston Fulbright Scholar or to read about past CofC Fulbright Scholars, go to the CofC Fulbright Scholars page.

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Harry and Reba Huge Foundation Faculty Development Grant

The Harry and Reba Huge Foundation has awarded a grant to the College of Charleston to encourage and support faculty members in developing teaching and research projects that are related to the country of Estonia. The overall goal of this initiative is to establish an ongoing relationship with the country of Estonia and to encourage student involvement. Please contact the Office of the Provost for information about this opportunity. Students may visit the Study Abroad Scholarship page for information about applying for the Huge Foundation Study Abroad Scholarship. 

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Harry M. Lightsey Visiting Scholar Fellowship

About: We are pleased to announce the call for Harry M. Lightsey Jr. Visiting Scholar Fellowship applications to interested faculty. Fellowships will include grants up to $5,000 per award recipient. Proposals must be submitted to the Belle W. Baruch Foundation by April 3, 2020. Please contact your dean's office for the application and additional information. Online procedures are available at http://hobcawbarony.org/research/grants/.

The Belle W. Baruch Foundation is seeking proposals for the 2020 Harry M. Lightsey, Jr. Visiting Scholar Fellowships. Selected scholars will spend one or more weeks in residence prior to June 30, 2021 at Hobcaw Barony, a 16,000-acre research reserve and historic site in Georgetown County, South Carolina. Visiting Scholar Fellowships will be awarded to faculty from publicly supported or private nonprofit institutions located in South Carolina and recognized by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education.

Visiting Fellows will research and study any subject relevant to Hobcaw Barony. Proposals to study the unique ecology of the property through the core fields of applied forestry or marine biology are especially encouraged for 2020, although all appropriate historic and ecological subjects will be considered.
Fellowships will not exceed $5,000 for 2020. Fellowships require the submission to the Foundation Board of a report or paper discussing the Scholar's results by June 30, 2021. The Foundation reserves the right to publish, quote or otherwise use such reports or papers in its publications. Fellows under this program will not be employees of the Belle W. Baruch Foundation. The Foundation may require proof that the Fellow is adequately insured against potential personal liability by their institution or in some other manner. The Foundation is not responsible for any injury that might occur while in residence at Hobcaw.

Proposal Details: The Belle W. Baruch Foundation has existmg research agreements with Clemson University, the University of South Carolina, Coastal Carolina University and Francis Marion University under which these institutions study the unique ecology and history of this and adjoining properties. All proposals must be consistent with the ongoing research. Resident faculty may review proposals prior to selection. All proposals should follow the procedure found at hobcawbarony.org/research/grants. Finalist for selection may be asked to submit additional information for review prior to conducting research on Hobcaw Barony.

Selection Details: The Belle W. Baruch Foundation Board of Trustees will make the final selection for the 2020 Fellows. The decision of the Board as to the choice of Fellows will be final and may not be appealed or reviewed.

Applications: All proposals should follow the procedure found at hobcawbarony.org/research/grants. Proposals must be sent to George Chastain, Executive Director, george@hobcawbarony.org, prior to the close of business April 3, 2020. 

Deadline: April 3, 2020 (5:00 PM)

Contact: George K. Chastain, Executive Director The Belle W. Baruch Foundation (27 Hobcaw Road, Georgetown, SC 29440) | George@hobcawbarony.org

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Sabbatical Program

Sabbatical leave is paid time exempt from normal duties granted to faculty members for the accomplishment of professional development programs. The Office of the Provost and Academic Affairs is the coordinating office for all sabbatical activities. 

View Sabbatical Program Information on our website for additional information. 

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Faculty/Student Research Opportunities

Faculty/Student research is a valuable component to any university. At the College of Charleston, both undergraduate and graduate students conducts research. 

Undergraduate Level Faculty/Student Research

At the College of Charleston, faculty/student research involving undergraudate students may be supported by fellowships or grants. Nationally Competitive Fellowships for Undergraduate Research may be available to students. Also, the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (URCA) offers several competitive grants to support undergraduate research and creative activities, and to support travel to conferences to disseminate the work. As part of this program the work must be done under the direction of a College of Charleston faculty member, and it is expected that the results of the project will be disseminated in appropriate academic or professional forums. Each application requires at least two participants: an undergraduate student and a College of Charleston faculty member. The student applicant must be a full time, degree-seeking College of Charleston undergraduate student with a minimum cumulative GPA of least 2.5. A faculty member at the College of Charleston must serve as the Principal Investigator on the project. Visit URCA.cofc.edu for more information. 

The types of grants available are:

  • Major Academic Year Support (MAYS) - provides funding to cover student research expenses for projects carried out during the academic year. Maximum award amount $5000.00. To review the application guidelines and download the application forms, visit the Grant Forms page.
  • Research Presentation Grants (RPG) - provides funding to support students who are traveling to present the results of student-faculty research. Maximum award amount $750.00 for international or national conferences, $200 for regional conferences, and $50 for in-state conferences. To review the application guidelines and download the application forms, visit the Grant Forms page.
  • Summer Research with Faculty (SURF) - provides funding to cover student research expenses for projects carried out during the summer. Maximum award amount $6500.00. To review the application guidelines and download the application forms, visit the Grant Forms page. To see successful grants in specific areas, please visit the following links: BiologyClassicsPublic HealthPsychology, and Theatre and Dance.
Graduate Level Faculty/Student Research

Please visit the Graduate School webpage for information on graduate research assistantships and graduate research grants. Also, Nationally Competitive Fellowships for Graduate Research may be available for graduate students.

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Research Centers & Institutes

Please visit our Centers & Institutes page for a listing. 

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Additional Support for Faculty

  • New Faculty: Additional support made be provided to faculty on an individual basis. Support for new faculty provided by the Department, Dean, and/or Provost may include start-up funds, moving expense assistance, and special programs.
  • Departmental Support: Departmental resource information should be obtained from your Department Chair about departmental research budgets, departmental travel budgets, and departmental start-up funding for new faculty
  • School Support: Information about Deans' discretionary budgets should be obtained from your Department Chair and School Dean for indirect cost sharing accounts and regular budgets. 

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Research Policies, Compliance Documents, and Related Links

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