Faculty Research Support Programs


SJSU and the College of Science (CoS) have identified supporting and stimulating research, especially involving students, as a strategic priority. Accordingly, we have implemented a number of programs to facilitate and encourage research activity. These programs have been funded through a combination of sources, including funds from the Provost's Office, the Division of Research and Innovation, the College of Science, and F&A reinvestment.

Seed Grants

Rapid Response Initiative 

The SJSU Division of Research and Innovation has a request for applications (RFA) for the Rapid Response Initiative. The purpose of this RFA is to provide a mechanism of internal support for Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity (RSCA) that requires a rapid turnaround due to special circumstances. For more details about this opportunity, please visit the website here.

RSCA (Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity) Seed Grant Program

The SJSU Office of Research offers the RSCA Seed Grant Program (formerly known as the CSU Central RSCA Grant Program) for Unit 3 faculty for their research, scholarship and creative activities. Funding is provided by the Division of Research and Innovation and, if available, by the CSU Chancellor’s Office. Applicants are invited to submit proposals for funding to assist them as they advance an on-going RSCA project or as they launch a new avenue of RSCA. Faculty who receive funding through this program are expected to submit a report on award results, share their accomplishments at a campus-wide event, and serve as a resource for prospective applicants. Find more information about this grant here.

RSCA Equipment Grant

This is a new program that supports RSCA equipment that cannot be funded through external sources such as the NSF Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI) or entirely through other internal SJSU funding sources. Find more information about this grant here

VPRI Teaming Award

This is a funding program for intended to build the capacity of SJSU faculty to design and conduct RSCA collaboratively with faculty both at SJSU and/or external institutions.  Find more information about this grant here.

Just-in-Time Grant Program

Faculty who have submitted RSCA Metric Data to the College of Science may request funds from the Just-in-Time Grant program for any research-related need at any time during the year. The request need only be a brief description of what is needed and how the funds will advance the research agenda of the requester, and a brief budget. Please submit requests to science-research@sjsu.edu with the title "JIT Request". All such requests are reviewed by the CoS Research Committee, which evaluates the merit of the request. Evaluations are forwarded to the Dean for a final funding decision. We endeavor to release Just-in-Time funds according to the following schedule: half in the first quarter, one quarter in the second quarter, one eighth in the third quarter, and one eighth in the final quarter. This method balances providing funds early to maximally stimulate research with retaining some funds to meet unforeseen needs.

Grant-writing Support Programs

University Grants Academy

The University Grants Academy (UGA) provides support to faculty members from across the campus over the spring semester in writing a federal grant proposal to fund their RSCA. Faculty in the College of Science typically apply in their first year at SJSU, however all tenure-track and tenured faculty who have not yet received major external grants are eligible to apply. Applications are typically due late in the fall semester of the academic year, and are announced by email each year.

Faculty selected for the UGA program receive 3 WTUs of assigned time for writing a grant in spring of the following year, and are placed in cohorts of five. Each cohort meets weekly with a facilitator, who is a faculty member or administrator with expertise in grant-writing in a related discipline or with the agency to which the UGA faculty are applying. Throughout the semester, UGA faculty learn about and write each section of their grant proposal, while receiving feedback from their facilitators as well as internal (SJSU) mentors in their disciplines who they select. UGA faculty also meet the SJSU Research Foundation staff members who will help them through the grant submission process. Toward the end of the semester, the Office of Research even pays the external reviewer of your choice to review your grant proposal and give you feedback on how to improve it! Find additional information about this program here.

SJSU Research Development Group

The SJSU Research Development Group was formed to help faculty increase their external grant funding.  Headed by Dr. Jessica Trask, this group of four Research Development professionals help faculty with federal grant proposal writing and editing at any stage.  The Research Development Specialist who supports the College of Science is Anna Dizack <anna.dizack@sjsu.edu>. Find more information here.

Research Assigned Time Programs

Assigned Time for Mentoring Research Students

The College of Science provides regular (tenured or tenure-track) faculty with assigned time for mentoring research students as follows: 0.33 weighted teaching unit (WTU) for each undergraduate research student enrolled in 180 courses and 0.5 WTU for each graduate research student enrolled in 297 or 298 courses (or similar graduate research courses appropriate to the department), with a maximum of 3 WTUs assignable via this mechanism each semester. 

Assigned Time for Research-Active Faculty

The University Faculty RSCA Assigned Time Program is a University program intended to fund untenured faculty from the time their contractual assigned time for research (described in their offer letter) ends. Awardees receive 3 WTUs/semester for up to five years based on their application and five-year RSCA Metric Score. To register/apply for this program, faculty must submit registration/application materials when the call is issued, and submit their RSCA Metric Data to the College of Science with the application, and each year that they remain in the program. The CoS Metric, version 2.0 is here [pdf]. The deadline for full applications this year will be announced soon by the Vice President of Research and Innovation and should be submitted to science-research@sjsu.edu.

The following groups should submit applications: 

  • All probationary faculty in the last year of their contractual assigned time should register.
  • All research-active tenured faculty who are not already receiving assigned time through the University program should apply.
  • Faculty who had tenure when they started their RSCA AT program in AY 2021/2022 (Cycle 4) must submit a formal three-year report this year.
  • Faculty who had tenure when they started their RSCA AT program in AY 2019/2020 (Cycle 2) must submit a formal five-year/final report this year. 
  • Probationary faculty who attain tenure in Fall 2024 will need to apply to the program, which will be competitive. 
    In addition, all faculty who are in the University Faculty RSCA Assigned Time Program must submit their CoS RSCA Metric data by the same deadline (usually in mid-March) using this form: https://forms.gle/azh6sAg7hvF7Hxaa6.
    The RSCA metric data submitted for the University program will also be used for the College of Science Assigned Time and Just-in-Time Funding programs if funding is available, as submission of RSCA metric data is also required for eligibility for College programs. 
    Any faculty member (including Chairs and Directors) wishing to register or apply for the University program should submit the following items via e-mail to science-research@sjsu.edu and to your chair by the deadline:
    University Faculty RSCA Assigned Time Registration/Application materials must include:
  1. Cover Sheet, including name, rank, department, college, date of your initial appointment to SJSU, and ORCID iD (see #3 below).
  2. Scholarly Agenda, describing your RSCA goals, activities, and expected outcomes/products for the coming 5-year period. The scholarly agenda should be concise (no more than two pages) and must include a brief summary aimed at an educated lay audience describing the importance of the proposed line of inquiry. Note that this agenda is forward-looking and complements our current CoS metric, which only looks at past activity.
  3. ORCID iD (with permission granted for institutional access). Please include your ORCID iD in your Cover Sheet. For information on how to obtain an ORCID iD and set permissions, see orcid.org and/or https://libguides.sjsu.edu/ResearchImpact/ORCID.  If you need assistance, please contact your librarian: Anne Marie Engelsen at annemarie.engelsen@sjsu.edu for Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Mathematics and Statistics, Meteorology and Climate Science or Physics and Astronomy faculty, Anamika Megwalu at anamika.megwalu@sjsu.edu for Computer Science faculty, or Kathryn Lage at kathryn.lage@sjsu.edu for Moss Landing Marine Labs faculty.
  4. Current Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  5. RSCA Metric Data must be submitted using this link: https://forms.gle/azh6sAg7hvF7Hxaa6.  Inclusive dates for this year’s submission of RSCA metric data are March 17, 2023 to the March 28, 2024 due date.  If a faculty member has not previously submitted data, they will need to submit data for the past five years, or for as many years as they have been at SJSU, whichever is less.

Information from the Division of Research and Innovation about this program can be found at this link: https://www.sjsu.edu/research/about/assigned-time-program/index.php
Please email me at miri.vanhoven@sjsu.edu if you have questions.

How Much Assigned Time Will I Receive? 

  • Probationary faculty first receiving the award in AY 2024-25 because of the expiration of their contractually awarded RSCA Assigned Time in Spring 2024 will have a maximum teaching load of 18 WTUs (6 WTUs of assigned time) in AY 2024-25 and in each subsequent year until they are awarded tenure.  
  • Probationary faculty receiving the award in AY 2024-25 after receiving a positive tenure decision and being selected in the competitive process in May 2024, will have a maximum teaching load of 18 WTUs (6 WTU of assigned time) in AY 2024-25 and in subsequent years, for a total period of five years, pending satisfactory progress on their RSCA agenda. 
  • Tenured faculty first receiving the award in AY 2024-25 will have a maximum teaching load of 18 WTUs (6 WTUs of assigned time) in AY 2024-25 and in subsequent years, for a total period of three years, pending satisfactory progress on their RSCA agenda. 

Please note that all awards are dependent on annual submission of CoS RSCA Metric data each year. 

What is the Selection Process? 

Probationary faculty finishing their second year at SJSU will be successfully registered in the program if they submit all of their registration materials by the deadline. Faculty who are awarded tenure in May 2024 and tenured faculty will need to apply to the RSCA AT program.  The Dean of the CoS will make award recommendations to the Office of Research based on an evaluation of the CoS RSCA Metric, which measures past productivity, and the Scholarly Agenda, which is a forward-looking document. These recommendations will be based 80% on the 5-year average RSCA metric score and 20% on the Scholarly Agenda. Final notice of award will be announced before the end of the 2023-24 academic year.   

What is the Duration of the Award, when are Reviews, and what are the Reporting Requirements? 

Each award will be for a 3-year period or until the tenure decision, whichever is less. There will be an annual mini-review of awards and a formal review after year 3 of the award. For example, the first formal review of Cycle 1 awards (awards made in AY 2018-19), was in Spring 2021. Faculty receiving awards must submit information about their scholarly productivity by completing the Faculty Research Activity Report (used for submitting RSCA metric data) each year in spring (due date will be emailed out annually). Faculty who do not submit their data are not eligible to continue the award. If, in the Dean’s opinion, there has not been adequate progress on the RSCA agenda or adequate productivity according to the CoS RSCA Metric, the Dean may recommend that the remaining years of the Faculty RSCA Assigned Time award be rescinded.