$300K Faculty Summer Fellowship Program Launched by College of Arts & Letters

The College of Arts & Letters (CAL) at Michigan State University has announced the creation of its Faculty Summer Fellowship Program with a commitment of $300,000 over summer 2016 to pilot the research incentive program. Individual tenure-system faculty can apply for up to $10,000.

As stated by Dean Christopher P. Long in the College’s 2015 Fall Planning Letter, the new program is designed to increase the research productivity and creative activity of tenure stream faculty during the summer by providing financial compensation comparable to what faculty would receive if they taught summer courses. Faculty will be expected to deliver a completed book manuscript, chapter, article, or grant proposal by the end of the summer.

“This program is one important part of a comprehensive strategy to advance the reputation of the College as a leader in arts and humanities research and creative activity,” says Dean Long.

College of Arts & Letters faculty are also weighing in on the program’s merits.

This fellowship provides necessary financial support for graduate assistantships, travel to foreign archives, or preliminary research that can lead to future external funding. It bridges a recognized financial gap.

Sonja Fritzsche

"Summer is a key time for faculty to collect data, here or abroad, while they have the uninterrupted time to process and analyze it,” says Sonja Fritzsche, Chair of the Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian and African Languages. “This fellowship provides necessary financial support for graduate assistantships, travel to foreign archives, or preliminary research that can lead to future external funding. It bridges a recognized financial gap."

Adds Jon Frey, Associate Professor of Classical Studies, Art History, and Visual Culture in the Department of Art, Art History, & Design, “The value of an initiative such as the Summer Fellowship Program is clear. Having college support for nascent projects is critical, from practical, financial and even personal standpoints. Knowing that the college believes in you and your work is important.”

Dean Long notes that the initiative focuses on two important measures of success: increasing the number of book and peer-reviewed journal publications in the College and, as a result, the number of citations the work receives; and increasing the College's portfolio of sponsored research.

“These two metrics are important indicators of the quality of the scholarship that we produce,” Dean Long says. “Supporting faculty research and grant seeking activities will significantly raise the reputation of our individual faculty members, our departments, and the College as a whole.”

This is the first year of what is planned as an ongoing summer initiative to invest in the best work of College of Arts & Letters faculty.