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Junior Faculty Fellowship Program

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Revised: July 30, 2018

Junior Faculty Fellowship (JFF) Program

The Junior Faculty Fellowship (JFF) Program is designed to help new tenure-track faculty members establish their research/creative activity and make progress to tenure by providing support in areas critical to the development of their programs. The awards can be used as summer (June and July) stipends to enable faculty members to carry out full time research and scholarly activity during that period. However, the awards are not limited to summer stipends, and faculty members are urged to utilize the awards to provide maximum benefit to their research programs. This might include supplies, equipment, personnel, and travel.

The program is restricted to tenure-track assistant professors who are in the first four years of their tenure-track position at the university. A faculty member receiving an award is expected to make at least a one-month commitment to research or creative activity. Faculty members who have not acquired a terminal degree by the deadline for application, are ABD, associate and full professors, ranked renewable term faculty, instructors, lecturers, adjunct faculty, and visiting faculty are not eligible for this program. Because of the limited number of available awards, faculty who have other sources of summer salary support will receive lower priority.

Each JFF award totals $7,000, and awards are announced in March or early April. Eligible individuals are limited to two (2) awards during the eligibility period. Eligible individuals may not receive an award from the JFF program and the Faculty Investment Program if the scope of the research is the same or similar. The award funds can be used for any legitimate purpose associated with the project if justified in the proposal.

This is a reimbursement program. If funded, the OVPRP will reimburse the principal investigator’s department for expenditures up to the award amount. The reimbursement will be made after the completion and approval of the Final Report.

Matching funds from colleges and departments are not required for the JFF.

All proposals submitted to JFF must include the following, clearly delineated in separate sections within the allocated page limits indicated below for each proposal component. Line spacing must not be smaller than 1.5 lines, font size must be at least 11 points, and 1” margins must be used.

  1. Application Cover Sheet (PDF)
    Complete the application cover sheet and utilize the checklist on the cover sheet to ensure that all items have been completed.
  2. Abstract (no more than 250 words)
  3. Project Description (maximum 5 pages)
    • The Project Description should describe the overall research plan for this project. Not all reviewers will be experts in your field; therefore, you should describe the relevance of this project, methodology, and anticipated research for a general audience. You may need to define concepts and give a bit more context to your work than you would when writing to an audience in your discipline.
    • It is recommended that you address the following in your project description. These items will be evaluated as part of the review criteria:
      • Describe the goals of the project.
      • Provide some background to the literature (but it should be in balance with the other items required here).
      • Define the methodology and/or activities within your proposed project and how they relate to your project goals.
      • Provide a timeline for the proposed activities and describe how this relates to your request for funding.
      • Describe the anticipated results/achievement of the research project to emphasize quality factors, e.g., publications, and to define the potential for external sponsorship of the research, e.g., planned proposals, sponsors, visibility.
  4. Career Impact Statement (maximum 1 page)
    A maximum of one page should be devoted to discussing how the research/creative activity that you complete during the fellowship will help you in your career and help you achieve tenure.
  5. References (no page limit)
    References can be included on a separate page(s) from the project description. References do not count against the 5-page limit for the project description.
  6. Use of Research Council Funds (maximum 1 page)
    This section is required if you have received a previous JFF or Faculty Investment Program (FIP) award. Include a brief description of the project and indicate the outcomes of the project. If the project is related to the current request, explain the relationship.
  7. Budget and Justification (maximum 2 pages)
    Include an itemized budget with a compelling narrative for how funds will be spent and why they are needed. Especially important is a direct linkage between budget items, e.g., funding for a student, and the project description, e.g., the collection and analysis of data by the student. If appropriate, provide supporting documentation such as quotes from vendors for purchases of equipment, etc. If the project seeks funding for specific individuals, e.g., a student having expertise, note why that student in particular is required. The support can be used for any legitimate purpose associated with the project if justified in the proposal. As a corollary, how start-up funds have been or will be used must be included. If no start-up funds were given or they have been expended, then state this within the budget justification. A sample budget and justification are available on the Junior Faculty Fellowship website.
  8. Supplementary Information (not counted as part of the page limits noted above) is required as follows:
    • A current copy of your CV that you have submitted or will submit to your department as part of your annual evaluation. Within the CV, include a section that addresses your complete funding (both internal and external funding) history for the past five years, including successful and unsuccessful efforts to obtain external funding. If you have received support from the Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships and/or Research Council within the past three years, especially any prior JFF awards received, include a short paragraph on each award, including the funding amount and the benefits of the funds to your research/creative activity program. In addition, if any of the funding you have received (internal or external) overlaps in scope with the proposed JFF application, provide detail regarding this overlap. This is particularly important if you have received a large externally funded grant; help reviewers understand the funding in relation to your request for additional funding through the JFF program.
    • A letter of endorsement from the department chair. This letter must include what additional support services, i.e., clerical assistance, research assistant, laboratory equipment, supplies, etc. the department will provide in support of this project. The endorsement letter is an important part of the application and a thoughtful letter carries weight in the review. Samples of strong letters can be obtained from the Center for Research Program Development and Enrichment.
    • If the project will involve human subjects, laboratory animals, rDNA and/or radioactive materials or biohazards, you must describe your plans to obtain necessary approval letters or other relevant documents by the time a Research Council award is expected to be made. The appropriate committees are: Human Subjects-Institutional Review Board, Laboratory Animals-Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, and Radioactive Materials-Radiation Safety Committee and the Biosafety Committee.

PROPOSALS SUBMITTED WITHOUT ALL OF THE REQUIRED MATERIALS OR THAT DO NOT FOLLOW THE REQUIRED FORMATTING WILL BE RETURNED WITHOUT REVIEW.

JFF Web Form

Criteria

The Research Council review of JFF proposals will consider the following aspects of the proposal:

  • Intellectual merit of overall project
  • Quality and appropriateness of the goals of the project
  • Credibility and clarity of the methods described in the proposal
  • Preparedness of the investigator to do the proposed work
  • Potential for impact on the investigator(s) scholarly program, e.g., publications, planned proposals, programs, other scholarship
  • Appropriateness of budget (does it support the project) and justification of resources requested
  • Quality of the proposal writing (spelling, clarity, level of jargon, organization, inclusion of required materials).

Review Process

Approximately 45-60 proposals are submitted each year. Depending on the number of proposals, the Research Council chair will designate up to 4 subcommittees with each subcommittee evaluating approximately 10-15 proposals according to the review criteria. This evaluation takes place in January and February with final recommendations made during the February Research Council meeting. After reviewing each subcommittee's evaluations, the Research Council will forward its recommendations for funding to the Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships. Notification of funding will occur prior to March 31 of the application year.

At the end of the project or by the date outlined in the award letter, the principal investigator is required to submit a final report with required documentation to the OVPRP using the online submission form at this page. This report should describe the outcomes and impacts of the project on the field of study, on the scholarly program of the investigator, and on the university as a whole. It also should describe any deviations from the work from that originally proposed, include activities in progress, e.g., proposals, performances, manuscripts, that relate directly to the project, and provide a detailed accounting with documentation. Once the final report has been received and approved, the funds will be reimbursed* to the applicant/principal investigator’s department up to the award amount.

An extension may be requested by emailing RC_VPRfunding@ou.edu. The extension must be requested prior to the deadline and should include a justification as to need.

*Any JFF awarded prior to FY17 received funds at the beginning of the award, and the applicant/principal investigator’s department will be expected to return any unspent funds to the OVPRP.

All written publications, whether in hard copy or electronic form, that have benefitted from Research Council funding must contain the following statement of acknowledgment: "This research was supported (in part, if appropriate) by a grant from the Research Council of the University of Oklahoma Norman Campus."

Previous Awardees

Resources