Research Reboot Program

Background

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the lives and careers of the UT community in a variety of ways. For many faculty, the consequences of the pandemic created barriers to the advancement of their professional careers. In an effort to help address this and help faculty accelerate the resumption of their research and scholarship trajectories, the university created the Research Reboot program.

The Research Reboot program will offer a semester of release from organized teaching to support the revitalization of the research, scholarship and creative activity trajectories of tenured and tenure‑track assistant and associate professors. At the discretion of some colleges and schools (CSUs), faculty may receive summer discretionary funding instead of the course release.

This Research Reboot release time is designed to support tenured and tenure-track assistant and associate professors whose record of research, scholarly and creative progress were most negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and who propose feasible research plans for resuming the upward trajectory of their scholarly and creative works.

This program is sponsored and funded jointly by the deans from each college and school in collaboration with the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost.

Note: Research and scholarship take many forms in different disciplines. For the sake of brevity, the term “research” is used, here, to refer to research, scholarship, and creative activity.


Important Dates

  • January 22, 2021, 5pm CST: Application closed
  • March 1, 2021: Decision notifications
  • Tenured and tenure-track assistant or associate professors when receiving the course release time. Since this program is intended to support early stage faculty, tenured full professors are not eligible.
    • Tenured associate professors who are up for promotion in the current and next academic year (i.e., up for review in fall, 2020 and 2021 with promotions effective in fall, 2021 and fall, 2022, respectively) are not eligible for a Research Reboot course release.
  • Operating at a high level and on a clear upward trajectory in their research prior to COVID-19.
  • At a minimum, successful candidates must meet expectations in each merit review category (e.g., for each of research, teaching, service, advising, etc.) for the most recent three full-time academic years of annual review prior to AY2019-20.
    • For faculty who have been at UT Austin for less than three years, they must have at least met expectations in all annual reviews conducted since they joined UT Austin.

 The course release time or summer funding must occur at least one academic year (fall of the prior academic year or earlier) before the fall semester during which the candidate’s case is considered for tenure/promotion. For example, if a candidate’s case is considered for promotion in fall, 2023 (for promotion effective fall, 2024), then the candidate must receive the course release or summer funding no later than fall, 2022. 

Allowable Course Release Timing by Tenure Review Year for Tenure-Track Assistant Professors

Tenure Review Tenure Effective Reboot Release No later than
Fall, 2022 Fall, 2023 Fall, 2021
Fall, 2023 Fall, 2024 Fall, 2022
Fall, 2024 Fall, 2025 Spring, 2023
Fall, 2025 Fall, 2026 Spring, 2023

Tenure-track assistant professors who are up for review in the current academic year (in fall, 2020 with tenure effective in fall, 2021) are eligible for a Research Reboot course release if they are successfully tenured.

Tenure-track assistant professors who are up for review in the next academic year (in fall, 2021 with tenure effective in fall, 2022) are eligible for a Research Reboot course release if they are successfully tenured in the 2022-23 academic year. However, the course release must take place in the 2022-23 academic year.

Allowable Course Release Timing by Promotion Review Year for Tenured Associate Professors 

Promotion Review Promotion Effective Reboot Release No later than
Fall, 2022 Fall, 2023 Fall, 2021
Fall, 2023 Fall, 2024 Fall, 2022
Fall, 2024 Fall, 2025 Spring, 2023
Fall, 2025 Fall, 2026 Spring, 2023

Tenured associate professors who are up for promotion in the current and next academic year (i.e., up for review in fall, 2020 and 2021 with promotions effective in fall, 2021 and fall, 2022, respectively) are not eligible for a Research Reboot course release.

Applications should include the following and submitted in the following order as a single PDF document.

PDF document should include:

  • Need Narrative
    • Maximum of one page highlighting the following:
      • Record of research accomplishments and trajectory prior to COVID-19
      • Evidence of negative professional impact* of COVID-19 on research accomplishments and trajectory
      • Course Release Time information
        • Identify timing of desired release: fall, spring, or summer funding (for applicants in CSUs offering that option) and in which academic year (AY21-22 or AY22-23),
        • Justification supporting that the release time or summer funding will help re-start research trajectory.
      • Project Plan
        • Maximum of four pages.
        • All project plans should clearly explain the merits of the research project relative to advancement of the discipline or field of work. The plan should address how its success would put the applicant back on their previous upward trajectory. Last, include the need for compliance approval, such as IRB, IACUC, and IBC.
      • References and/or graphics
        • Maximum of one page; optional.
      • Curriculum Vitae
        • Maximum of two pages.
        • In outline form including a list of publications, creative products and grants and a list of in-press and submitted works (clearly labeled as such).

Submit an application

*A successful candidate is eligible for this award if COVID has had a negative impact on their research, irrespective of whether the proximate cause was personal or professional circumstances. The need criterion examines how this cause has affected their work, not the cause itself.  The description of the negative impact of COVID therefore should only include the negative professional outcome (e.g., reduced time available for research, delayed manuscript submission, delayed grant submission, canceled performance, etc.) that demonstrates the impact. This description should not include COVID-related (personal or professional) circumstances that led to the negative outcome. The evaluation of the proposals will be based on the impact and the recovery plan, not on the cause of the impact. Thus, both professional and personal circumstances are eligible sources of need. 

The following universal criteria will be used to select recipients of the Research Reboot.

  • Evidence of a strong record of research, scholarly and creative accomplishments prior to COVID-19.
  • Sound, feasible research plan for use with the course release to restart the faculty member’s research, scholarly and creative trajectory.
  • The magnitude of the professional disruption resulting from COVID-19’s impact. This opportunity will be prioritized for those faculty members experiencing larger disruptions to their research, scholarship and creative accomplishments and trajectories.

Important note: These universal criteria, eligibility requirements and core principles apply for all CSUs. Note also that each CSU will coordinate their own review and selection process and might have additional selection priorities, restrictions and criteria in addition to the three criteria listed here.

  • Applications will be provided to leadership in each college and school. CSUs will review applications and select recipients of Research Reboot release time and summer funding. 

  • Faculty receiving this award will receive a semester’s release from organized teaching
    • In academic year (AY) 2021-22 or AY22-23.
    • An award may be taken full-time for one semester in the fall or spring semester (in either AY21-22 or AY22-23).
  • Certain CSUs are offering summer funding ($10,000) for summer research instead of a semester’s release from organized teaching to a small proportion of their faculty.
    • Faculty should check with their CSU’s dean’s office to find out whether their CSU is offering summer funding as an option instead of course release and what that summer funding is allowed to cover.
  • The release from teaching and the summer funding awards must be used between fall 2021 and the end of the summer 2023.
  • Since this program is intended to support early stage faculty, tenured full professors are not eligible.
  • Faculty receiving course release or the summer funding cannot be recipients of other research leaves (e.g., FRA, Dean’s Fellowship, College Research Fellowship, etc.) during the same academic year or during the preceding or following semester of the previous/future year.

Important note: Each CSU might have additional restrictions.

reboot

Deadline

Applications closed on Friday, January 22.