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The definition of success and the right strategies to take to get there are different for every individual. The articles included here are meant to provide resources and examples to help early career investigators from an array of disciplines at a variety of stages in their pre-tenure. Most of them are related to research development and more specifically to developing proposals for early career awards. Search for keywords to narrow your search to the articles most applicable to your needs.

New Faculty Guide to Competing for Research Funding
What all new faculty need to know about finding funding and writing research proposals

This manuscript cover the central questions most often raised by new faculty starting a university research career. While federal agencies, foundations, and other funders of research differ significantly in their research mission and objectives, in agency culture and protocols, and in guidelines for submitting unsolicited proposals, the core knowledge base and writing expertise you need to acquire comprise a suite of broadly applicable strategies that lead to success in grant writing, regardless of academic discipline or research agency.

*Note - UNM ID and password are required to access this downloadable pdf.*

Deconstructing the NSF CAREER Proposal

I recently submitted a NSF CAREER proposal — my first attempt [1]. In the process of putting my materials together, I was fortunate to be able to learn from successful proposals written by friends and colleagues [2]. I was also fortunate to get feedback from mentors [3]. Trends emerged, and I thought I’d distill and share here on the off-chance that someone might find it helpful [4].

I submitted to the Security and Trustworthy Cyberspace program, and requested examples from others who I knew submitted to that program. I expect much of what I learned applies to other programs within the CISE directorate’s purview, but your mileage may vary. Also, as of right now, I haven’t been awarded the CAREER grant. While I did fashion my own submission based on these insights, I have no my idea if my specific proposal was any good. When I hear back, I’ll update this post to reflect the results and reviewer comments.

Anyway, this is what a successful SaTC proposal seems to look like...

Getting Started on the Tenure Track: Challenges and Strategies for Success

Tenure-track positions at institutions of higher education are often highly coveted because they offer job stability, academic freedom, and higher pay. Despite this allure, the academic career path is fraught with challenges, particularly during the first few years of a tenure-track position where one must balance new demands and escalating expectations. Challenges identified included concerns about transitioning identities, divergent responsibilities, insecurities, and uncertain expectations regarding tenure and promotion. Many of these issues were more pronounced for faculty of color. However, participants also highlighted some key strategies that could be employed to address challenges: (a) Know expectations and document progress, (b) Collaborate regularly, (c) Seek professional mentors, (d) Develop an academic identity, (e) Be proactive and strategic in all areas of scholarship, and (f) Be realistic. Emerging scholars who heed this advice will be better equipped to navigate the early stages of academic life and successfully achieve tenure.

On the Art of Writing Proposals: Some Candid Suggestions for Applications to Social Science Research Council Competitions

Writing proposals for research funding is a peculiar facet of North American academic culture, and as with all things cultural, its attributes rise only partly into public consciousness. A proposal's overt function is to persuade a committee of scholars that the project shines with the three kinds of merit all disciplines value, namely, conceptual innovation, methodological rigor, and rich, substantive content. But to make these points stick, a proposal writer needs a feel for the unspoken customs, norms, and needs that govern the selection process itself. ese are not really as arcane or ritualistic as one might suspect. For the most part, these customs arise from the committee's eorts to deal in good faith with its own problems: incomprehension among disciplines, work overload, and the problem of equitably judging proposals that reect unlike social and academic circumstances.

7 Strategies for Tenure-Track Success​

Securing a tenure track position in this academic market is difficult. Of course, once you have such a position, the trials are not over, as you now have to work to achieve tenure. And the very thought of working toward tenure can be overwhelming.

However, I encourage tenure track faculty members not only to think about achieving tenure but to be strategic and focused to ensure you are on the right path. Even if tenure is a few years off, new tenure track faculty can take a few important steps now (other than, of course, work on publishing their dissertations, improving their courses and developing new research projects). Here are a few examples.