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Scholarly pursuit continues to gain momentum across all colleges and schools at Texas Christian University. Seven months into the fiscal year, TCU researchers received more than $10.5 million in external awards —$2 million shy of the 12-month total for fiscal year 2021.

“The rise is a direct reflection of the hard work of our faculty and staff,” said Floyd Wormley, associate provost for research and dean of graduate studies. “I believe that fiscal year 2022 will be a record year for external funding, and I am hopeful that the rise in external support of our research and creative activity continues.”

Much of the growth is due to the receipt of large awards, such as an $11 million Federal Board of Prisons contract to assess the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ Recidivism Reduction Program. It was awarded to Kevin Knight, director of the Institute of Behavioral Research in the College of Science & Engineering. Faculty and staff also have successfully competed for funding in unexpected places, such as a six-figure grant from the National Security Agency’s STARTALK program to Muriel Cormican, chair of the Department of Modern Languages and professor of German, and Guangyan Chen, associate professor of Chinese.

“This goes to show that perseverance and hard work will continue to be rewarded,” Wormley said.

The TCU School of Medicine presents yet another opportunity for TCU to grow and establish itself in biomedical research and health-related academic programming.

“Our intellectual capacity is enhanced with the addition of new talent in faculty, staff and our passionate students,” Wormley said. “The curriculum itself – which includes Empathetic Scholars® – lends itself to new thinking in the medical humanities, clinical research and medical practice.”

Concrete funding numbers are merely part of the story.

“Our faculty continues to produce excellent research and creative works, much of which is not always captured in the numbers. Significant external support of research is just not available in many disciplines,” Wormley said. “We will continue to highlight the scholarship of all of our students, faculty and staff while also celebrating in the success of our scholars who obtain external support for their research and creative efforts.”

In addition, TCU faculty and students have opportunities for internal funding to jump-start their projects. The Office of Research provides approximately $300,000 in internal grant support to a broad range of research and creative activity, while the Office of Graduate Studies and the Office of Scholarships & Student Financial Aid also provide significant financial support to graduate students conducting research on campus.

Internal funding can be used to attain preliminary results needed to submit larger external grant applications, support a book project proposal or help develop research portfolios and creative projects that advance faculty careers while strengthening TCU’s academic profile and reputation. Internal resources also support undergraduate and graduate student research.

“Because of our teacher-scholar model, a unique hallmark of TCU’s research activity is that students have increased access to participate in active research, working alongside faculty and staff,” Wormley said. “Hundreds of undergraduate as well as graduate students participate in the creation and dissemination of new knowledge and creative activity within their disciplines, laboratories and in our classrooms.”

Wormley explained that faculty-led review panels rank highest those projects that are most likely to advance the field of research or scholarship proposed, enhance the academic reputation and profile of the institution or have a strong likelihood for receipt of external support.

To assist faculty and staff with identifying support of their scholarly efforts resources include the Sponsored Programs Information Network (SPIN) and a monthly multi-discipline listing of funding opportunities (GrantSearch). The TCU Office of Research also hosts grant writing and grant search webinars, some of which can be accessed via the TCU Box account found on the events website. Additionally, the office sponsors proposal development programs such as the new STEPS Program for faculty.

Examples of available internal grants include the Research and Creative Activities Fund (RCAF) and the Junior Faculty Summer Research Program (JFSRP).

For more information, visit the Sponsored Programs webpage and click on “Internal Grants” or contact the Office of Sponsored Programs.

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