This work evaluates factors that influence junior faculty in the pursuit of grants across disciplines at a research university. Results suggest that junior faculty, who acquire some grant training as a part of their doctoral or postdoctoral program, still require some faculty development in the grant process. Moreover, for the junior faculty who participated in this study, barriers include teaching loads and inadequate support while motivators include creating new knowledge and tenure decisions. Administrators can assist junior faculty by having a clear understanding of the factors that motivate or hinder their particular faculty in the grant seeking process.
Competing for shrinking private and public research dollars requires faculty to be knowledgeable and aggressive. Additionally, tenure and promotion decisions of junior faculty are partially based on 'successful' research. In order to attract these research dollars and encourage faculty to pursue them, universities have related dollars to research performance (Print & Hattie, 1997) and research performance to tenure and promotion.
In order to attain tenure, junior faculty often juggle the responsibilities of teaching, service and research -- including grant writing. In most cases, junior faculty may not have been properly trained to handle these new responsibilities. There is ample research to indicate that junior faculty are inadequately trained for faculty responsibilities. Olsen & Crawford (1998) suggest that inadequate training is evident in the first year of an academic appointment. Junior faculty find submitting grant proposals intimidating without a mentor (Boyer, 1997) especially when there is no prior experience in the grant writing process (Lischwe, O'Neal, &Willimann, 1987).
Several indicators are utilized in the decision-making process when departments and institutions evaluate junior faculty for promotion and tenure. Print & Hattie (1997) developed a table entitled, Performance Indicators in Ranked Order for Education and Other Disciplines, which ranks the usual indicators used in tenure and promotion decisions for both education and other disciplines. According to these authors, peer reviewed grants are ranked seventh out of nine 'across all disciplines' and fourth out of eight for 'education.' These findings suggest that education faculty place more emphasis on grants than other disciplines.
Boyer & Cockriel (1998) examined the motivators and barriers of junior faculty in their pursuit of grants. This research found disparities exist among junior and senior faculty in colleges of education at Association of American Universities (AAU). Some of the findings suggest that junior faculty, as well as female faculty, desire support in every aspect of grant writing and most of them lack adequate training to pursue grants (Boyer & Cockriel, 1998). These are only a few of the many factors that motivate and hinder faculty in the grant seeking process.
Given the importance of these issues to the academic success of junior faculty, the overall purpose of the current research is to examine motivating and hindering factors of junior...
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