Distinguished Faculty Fellowship

Background

The University of Oklahoma Center for Applied Research and Development (CARD) was established to pursue new R&D opportunities that complement existing OU Norman campus strengths in basic research and outreach via the addition of an organization that focuses on applied research and development across all disciplines. The organizational structure of CARD is designed to support and enable industry partners and federal and state mission agencies to collaborate with the University on projects that fall within the applied research and development realm. CARD augments academic research capabilities across all disciplines with an intentionally small staff of non-faculty researchers who have program management expertise. Since 2011, CARD has worked with dozens of OU faculty researchers to expand their research opportunities and portfolios, with the result of several million dollars of new funding captured and new spaces of opportunity for faculty opened. 

Many research disciplines and domains on the Norman campus are positioned to benefit from opportunities in applied research and development and thus the engagement of CARD. In order to facilitate future growth in these areas, the existing Distinguished Faculty Fellow Program in the Office of the Vice President for Research will place new emphasis on: 1) expanding OU’s involvement in applied research in specific domains and disciplines; and 2) providing additional faculty with experience and professional development opportunities via administrative roles in CARD. 

OU has demonstrated a successful track record in recent years in focused research initiatives, such as the success of the Defense, Security and Intelligence (DSI) initiative. This was one of the successful outcomes of the Aspire 2020 decadal roadmap for the university. This demonstrated success has expanded OU’s overall research portfolio and opened up many new opportunities for faculty researchers. It has also provided OU with a conceptual roadmap for duplicating this type of opportunity expansion in other domains and disciplines. OU is now prepared to expand research initiatives in other domains and disciplines to realize the full potential of applied research opportunities. 

Value Proposition and Faculty Fellow Responsibilities

Distinguished Faculty Fellows may take advantage of a mentored environment for professional growth in areas such as leadership, program management of large efforts, and external applied research collaboration. This program is also an excellent opportunity for research faculty members to directly impact and influence important activities at the university to address university needs and to help direct future growth of the university applied research enterprise. Typical activities of the selected Distinguished Faculty Fellows may consist of: networking at external events and conferences to expand and build OU’s pool of external collaborative partners, monitoring trade journals and other publications to ensure OU is current on industry and technology trends, representing OU at external events related to the chosen thematic area, coalescing faculty interest in research opportunities, and serving as a research-focused liaison between external entities and potential university research collaborators.

Overview

Beginning in the summer of 2016, CARD will establish two concurrent Distinguished Faculty Fellow positions, with candidates selected via a University-wide open competition. These positions will run from July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017, with the possibility of renewal/extension. The role of the Fellows is to coordinate with the Director of CARD, and a variety of offices and organizations at OU, to both develop new opportunity and pursue existing opportunity in applied research and development.

Two thematic areas have been selected based on factors such as current national research initiatives and priorities, opportunity growth within private industry, and alignment with OU’s strategic vision for the future. The initial two thematic areas that have been identified are: 

  1. Biological/Life Sciences/Health, including related engineering and chemical sciences disciplines. 
  2. Renewable/Sustainable Energy, encompassing advanced materials, engineering and physical science, environmental and Earth science, systems research, and social/behavioral dimensions. 

A Distinguished Faculty Fellow will be selected to represent each of the two thematic areas (subject to an available pool of eligible candidates). Candidates for the Distinguished Faculty Fellow positions must have a working knowledge of at least some of the topics in either of the above two categories; however, deep expertise is not required, because the role of the Fellow is to facilitate relationships, and work with faculty who do have the deep expertise, to build relationships that can then be stewarded by the faculty to expand the overall applied research and development portfolio for the university. The CARD Director, and others in the Office of the Vice President for Research, will work closely with the Distinguished Faculty Fellows to develop their capabilities and execute the function of their position.

Eligibility

Those eligible to apply include tenured and tenure track faculty of all ranks, all ranked renewable term faculty, and research faculty. Instructors, lecturers, adjunct faculty, visiting faculty, research personnel funded from external grants and contracts, and students are not eligible. 

Application Process. In order to be considered for the Distinguished Faculty Fellow program, eligible candidates much submit a proposal no later than 5:00pm central time on June 11 (Friday), 2016. The proposal shall consist of the following: 

  1. Completed Application Form 
  2. Current curriculum vitae (no more than 5 pages) 
  3. Proposed plan/prospectus (1,000 words or less) that describes the candidate’s vision and/or ideas for expanding OU’s research opportunities in the chosen thematic area. This can include the candidate’s own views regarding applied research opportunity growth and for identifying strategic opportunities both in the chosen thematic area and beyond. 

All application materials must be submitted to CARD@ou.edu with the subject line: “CARD Distinguished Faculty Fellow Application”, and must be received before 5:00pm central time on June 11, 2016. Incomplete proposals will not be considered or evaluated. Candidates should discuss their applications with their department and college leadership prior to submitting. Distinguished Faculty Fellows will be chosen on (or about) June 20 (Monday), 2016. Target start date is July 1, 2016.

Selection Process

Applications will be screened and reviewed by senior VPR staff (including the CARD Director and CRPDE staff) along with senior leadership staff from other parts of the university. Selection criteria will include: a demonstrated strong research track record with evidence of collaboration across domains and disciplines, demonstrated leadership experience and/or potential, willingness to facilitate and foster strong internal and external research collaboration relationships, and evidence of strong interpersonal and communication skills.

Compensation

Compensation for Distinguished Faculty Fellows may consist of a nominal temporary salary supplement and a course release. Other types of compensation can be considered such as support for graduate students, or other types of support that can help enhance the career growth of the Distinguished Faculty Fellow. All compensation is subject to approval of the associated academic department, college and VPR.

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Full Announcement (PDF)513.8 KB
2016 Application.pdf136.59 KB
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