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: Information forthcoming.

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: Contact Jason Vance
  • 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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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

Contact: Associate Provost Mark Del Mastro (delmastromp@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. Visit the Fulbright Scholars Site at the College of Charleston

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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) - Deadline has passed.

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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