In May, Janet Weiss, dean of the Rackham Graduate School and vice provost for academic affairs at U-M, announced the end of Rackham faculty research grants. A few years before, the Rackham Graduate School announced the elimination of Faculty Summer Fellowships.
In her message to the University, Weiss said:
For many years, Rackham has used some of its endowment funds for a faculty grants program to give junior faculty modest support for their early research efforts. Changes in support for junior faculty from schools and colleges, coupled with pressures on the Rackham endowment and the need for more student support, has led to the decision to terminate the faculty grants program for next year so that we may redirect funds to support graduate students. Of course we will continue to fund all awards made in this year’s funding cycle.
Janet A. Weiss
Vice Provost and Dean
Rackham Graduate School
Although the Rackham faculty grants of up to $15,000 and fellowships of $7,000 were important sources of support for Dearborn faculty, the Dearborn campus has taken steps to replace these lost funds with research grant support from indirect cost revenue. The average amount of grants and fellowships UM-Dearborn received from Rackham over the past 5 years was about $51,100 a year which represents about eight and a half campus grants at $6,000. In FY2006, the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs added six additional grants and in FY2010, twelve: these are added to the 12 grants that have a base budget from the general fund.
In this academic year, the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs will again add 12 grants of $6,000 using the Research Match share of indirect cost revenue recovered from Dearborn grants last fiscal year. The distribution of these funds between Research Initiation and Seed Grants and Research Support and Maintenance Grants is based on proposal pressure, that is, the number of applications received between the two.
Although it is impossible to know if this same level of funds will be available in the future, the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs is committed to maintaining a level of institutional support for research to Dearborn faculty that is no less than any previous year.