Faculty Research Grants: What Goes into a Successful Application?

| September 27, 2013

Webster University designed its Faculty Research Grant program to encourage and promote faculty research and professional development, welcoming applications for scholarly research, academic projects, artistic performances, exhibitions and studies in any discipline. It’s a program that allows full-time faculty to pursue disciplinary-centered research that results in a work product.

Dan Hellinger, professor in the Department of History, Politics and International Relations

Dan Hellinger, professor in the Department of History, Politics and International Relations

What goes into a successful application?

College of Arts & Sciences professor Dan Hellinger, who has served on the Faculty Research Grant reviewing committee, has some advice for applicants.

“First of all, read the Call for Applications [PDF] carefully,” Hellinger says. One should make sure that all the elements asked for in the Call are addressed. He also emphasizes having a clear research question and research methodology, as well as a clear link to disciplinary credentials. “The grant is meant to use the expertise you already have,” he says.

Hellinger speaks from experience. He has conducted in-depth research on political issues in Latin America with the help of Webster University Faculty Research Grants. Hellinger became interested in Latin America in the early 1970s during the turbulent years of Chilean politics that saw the election and eventual overthrow of Salvador Allende, the first Marxist to become president of a Latin American country.

Hellinger now teaches several classes—at the graduate and undergraduate levels—on political issues in Latin American, and his expertise is regularly sought by journalists reporting on breaking news there. Such media appearances, of course, also help build awareness of Webster University’s academic strengths and international orientation.

Faculty Research Grants allow full-time faculty to pursue disciplinary-centered research that results in a work product. For instance, Hellinger’s last grant provided funds for him to do survey research in Venezuela on attitudes of supporters of Hugo Chavez and their thoughts on the nature of democracy. That research allowed Hellinger to contribute two chapters to the book “Venezuela’s Bolivarian Democracy: Participation, Politics, and Culture Under Chávez,” edited by Hellinger and David Smilde.

Apply for 2014-15 by Nov. 11, 2013

For 2013-14, 22 proposals were awarded Faculty Research Grants. For 2014, applications for Faculty Research Grants are being accepted through Monday, Nov. 11. For full details, please review the 2014-2015 Faculty Research Grants: Call for Applications [PDF].

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