Faculty Research Support Programs


The College of Science (CoS) has identified supporting and stimulating research, especially involving students, as a strategic priority. Accordingly, we have implemented a number of programs to facilitate and encourage research activity. These programs have been funded through a combination of sources, including funds from the Provost's Office, the Division of Research and Innovation, the College of Science, and F&A reinvestment.

Seed Grants

RSCA (Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity) Seed Grant Program

The SJSU Office of Research offers the RSCA Seed Grant Program (formerly known as the CSU Central RSCA Grant Program) for Unit 3 faculty for their research, scholarship and creative activities. Funding is provided by the Division of Research and Innovation and, if available, by the CSU Chancellor’s Office. Applicants are invited to submit proposals for funding to assist them as they advance an on-going RSCA project or as they launch a new avenue of RSCA. Faculty who receive funding through this program are expected to submit a report on award results, share their accomplishments at a campus-wide event, and serve as a resource for prospective applicants. More information, please visit the Research and Innovation website.

Level-Up Grant

The SJSU Division of Research and Innovation offers Level-Up Grants to provide an opportunity for faculty to expand their established RSCA in new directions either as an independent investigator or through collaboration with SJSU or external partners to develop preliminary data for federal grant proposals. The SJSU Division of Research and Innovation emails faculty when a call for these proposals is made. Find more information about this grant on the Research and Innovation website

Just-in-Time Grant Program

Faculty who have submitted RSCA Metric Data to the College of Science may request funds from the Just-in-Time Grant program for any research-related need at any time during the year. The request need only be a brief description of what is needed and how the funds will advance the research agenda of the requester, and a brief budget. All such requests are reviewed by the CoS Research Committee, that evaluates the merit of the request, and the evaluations are forwarded to the Dean for a final funding decision. We endeavor to release Just-in-Time funds according to the following schedule: ½ in the first quarter, ¼ in the second quarter, 1/8th in the third quarter, and 1/8th in the final quarter. This method balances providing funds early to maximally stimulate research with retaining some funds to meet unforeseen needs.

Grant-writing Support Programs

University Grants Academy

The University Grants Academy (UGA) provides support to faculty members from across the campus over the spring semester in writing a federal grant proposal to fund their RSCA. Faculty in the College of Science typically apply in their first year at SJSU, however all tenure-track and tenured faculty who have not yet received major external grants are eligible to apply. Applications are typically due late in the fall semester of the academic year, and are announced by email each year.

Faculty selected for the UGA program receive 3 WTUs of assigned time for writing a grant in spring of the following year, and are placed in cohorts of five. Each cohort meets weekly with a facilitator, who is a faculty member or administrator with expertise in grant-writing in a related discipline or with the agency to which the UGA faculty are applying. Throughout the semester, UGA faculty learn about and write each section of their grant proposal, while receiving feedback from their facilitators as well as internal (SJSU) mentors in their disciplines who they select. UGA faculty also meet the SJSU Research Foundation staff members who will help them through the grant submission process. Toward the end of the semester, the Office of Research even pays the external reviewer of your choice to review your grant proposal and give you feedback on how to improve it! Find additional information about this program on the Research and Innovation website.

SJSU Research Development Group

The SJSU Research Development Group was formed to help faculty increase their external grant funding.  Headed by Dr. Julia Gaudinski, this group of four Research Development professionals help faculty with federal grant proposal writing and editing at any stage.  The Research Development Specialist who supports the College of Science is Dr. Panos Vagenas. Find more information at the SJSU Research Development page.  

Research Assigned Time Programs

Assigned Time for Mentoring Research Students

The College of Science provides regular (tenured or tenure-track) faculty with assigned time for mentoring research students as follows: 0.33 weighted teaching unit (WTU) for each undergraduate research student enrolled in 180 courses and 0.5 WTU for each graduate research student enrolled in 298 courses (or similar graduate research courses appropriate to the department), with a maximum of 3 WTUs assignable via this mechanism each semester. 

Assigned Time for Research-Active Faculty

The University Faculty RSCA Assigned Time Program is a University program intended to fund untenured faculty from the time their contractual assigned time for research (described in their offer letter) ends until the tenure decision, as well as research active tenured faculty. Awardees receive 3 WTUs/semester for up to five years based on their application and five-year RSCA Metric Score. To apply for this program, faculty must submit an application when the call is issued, and submit their RSCA Metric Data to the College of Science with the application, and each year for the next four years. The CoS Metric, version 2.0 is here [pdf]. The deadline for full applications this year was March 26th, 2021 to the Dean's Office.

Faculty should submit a full application if:

  • You are a probationary faculty member in the last year of your contractual assigned time
  • You are a probationary faculty member who applied for tenure in fall of this academic year
  • You are a research-active tenured faculty member who is not already receiving assigned time through the University RSCA Assigned Time Program 

Faculty who do not need to submit a full application this year (i.e. faculty who do not fall into the three bulleted categories above), are also required to submit RSCA metric data and their ORCID iD to maintain eligibility for the University and CoS RSCA Faculty Assigned Time Programs and the CoS Just In Time Funds program each year. 

Who Should Apply?

Probationary faculty in the last year of their contractually awarded RSCA assigned time who have not already received the award, faculty who submitted an application for tenure in fall of this year, and tenured faculty who are research-active who have not already received the award and are not in the Faculty Early Retirement Program (FERP) should apply to the program. 

How Much Assigned Time Will I Receive? 

  • Probationary faculty first receiving the award in AY 2021-22 because of the expiration of their contractually awarded RSCA Assigned Time in Spring 2021 will have a maximum teaching load of 18 WTUs (6 WTUs of assigned time) in AY 2021-22 and in each subsequent year until they are awarded tenure.  
  • Probationary faculty first receiving the award in AY 2021-22 after receiving a positive tenure decision in May 2021, will have a maximum teaching load of 18 WTUs (6 WTU of assigned time) in AY 2021-22 and in subsequent years, for a total period of five years, pending satisfactory progress on their RSCA agenda. 
  • Tenured faculty first receiving the award in AY 2021-22 will have a maximum teaching load of 21 WTUs (3 WTUs of assigned time) in AY 2021-22, and a maximum of 18 WTU (6 WTUs of assigned time) in subsequent years, for a total period of five years, pending satisfactory progress on their RSCA agenda. 

Please note that all awards are dependent on annual submission of CoS RSCA Metric data each year. 

What is the Selection Process? 

In the CoS, the Dean will make award recommendations to the Office of Research based on an evaluation of the CoS RSCA Metric, which measures past productivity, and the Scholarly Agenda, which is a forward-looking document. The weighting of these two factors will differ for probationary and tenured faculty: for probationary faculty, the recommendation will be based 80% on the Scholarly Agenda and 20% on the average RSCA metric score (up to 5-year), whereas for tenured faculty the recommendations will be based 80% on the 5-year average RSCA metric score and 20% on the Scholarly Agenda. Final notice of award will be announced no later than May 21, 2021.   

What is the Duration of the Award, when are Reviews, and what are the Reporting Requirements? 

Each award will be for a 5-year period or until the tenure decision, whichever is less. There will be an annual mini-review of awards and a formal review after year 3 of the award. For example, the first formal review of Cycle 1 awards (awards made in AY 2018-19), is in Spring 2021. Faculty receiving awards must submit information about their scholarly productivity by completing the Faculty Research Activity Report (used for submitting RSCA metric data) each year in spring (due date will be emailed out annually). Faculty who do not submit their data are not eligible to continue the award. In most cases the outcome of the formal review will be that there is no change in the award. If, however, in the Dean’s opinion, there has not been adequate progress on the RSCA agenda or adequate productivity according to the CoS RSCA Metric, the Dean may recommend that the remaining years of the Faculty RSCA Assigned Time award be rescinded.  

The College of Science also supplements the University assigned time with  additional assigned time awards to the most research active faculty as funding allows, based on the 5-year average RSCA Metric Score.