Career Pathway Initiative

The College of Sciences is launching a new faculty development opportunity with the aim to increase the number of COS faculty receiving a CAREER grant. We are looking for applications for the 2019 COS CAREER pathway program. The program is available to all Tenure Track faculty of the college who work in an area fundable by the Federal Agencies (such as NSF, NIH and DOD) and satisfy the CAREER grant eligibility criteria, as described below. Awardees must commit to participate in the program as follows:
  1. Fall 2019: Faculty participate in “Keys to Research” TT faculty research and Professional
    development program including grant writing/CAREER training organized by the Associate Vice President for Research Enhancement.
  2. By February 15, 2020: Faculty participant submits the first draft of his/her CAREER proposal to the COS Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs.
  3. The proposal draft will be subject to ad hoc (internal and/or external) reviewers who will comment on the research and educational components of the proposal.
  4. March 15, 2020: Reviews are shared with the PIs. PIs are encouraged to address the reviewers’ comments/criticism in the final version of the proposal.
  5. Summer 2020: Each participant in the CAREER pathway program will submit a final proposal by the established deadline to the CAREER program.

The COS expects to fund 5 COS CAREER pathway awardees each year. Each will receive $1000 to be used to support their research as they see fit, including travel during the 2019 academic year. If the faculty participant has no reduced teaching load in the Spring 2020, the COS will work with the corresponding Chair to find ways to reduce the load in one course to allow more time to work on a competitive CAREER proposal. Exceptions to this will be in cases where nobody else is available to cover the course already assigned for the Spring semester.

In addition to the CAREER eligibility criteria, the applicants should have a recent record of refereed journal publications, a citation index proper for a junior faculty in that discipline, a record of awarded grants or at least attempts to get external research grants, and a record of involving students in their research.

Faculty who receives the COS CAREER pathway award but were not successful with the CAREER application, are not eligible to receive the COS award again. However, they can benefit again from the internal review process if they are still eligible to apply to CAREER program as per the Federal Agency criteria.

How to Apply?
Application for the COS CAREER pathway should be emailed to Dr. Volker Quetschke by noon, October 18, 2019. The application package consists of a CV and a one-page statement describing your preliminary research and educational plan. We will announce the awards by October 22. Training starts on October 24 in Brownsville and October 25 in Edinburg. Questions about the training room and time should be directed to Dr. Volker Quetschke and Dr. Karen Martirosyan.

NSF CAREER grant Eligibility:
A Principal Investigator (PI) may submit only one CAREER proposal per annual competition. In addition, a Principal Investigator may not participate in more than three CAREER competitions. Proposals that are not reviewed (i.e., are withdrawn before review or are returned without review) do not count toward the three-competition limit.  Proposers must meet all of the following eligibility requirements:

  • Hold a doctoral degree in a field supported by NSF by the cognizant Directorate's deadline for submission of CAREER proposals;
  • Be engaged in research in an area of science, engineering, or education supported by NSF;
  • Be employed in a tenure-track (or tenure-track-equivalent) position as an assistant professor (or equivalent title) as of October 1 after the proposal submission;
  • Be untenured as of October 1 following the proposal submission; and
  • Have not previously received a CAREER award. (Prior or concurrent Federal support for other types of awards for non-duplicative research does not preclude eligibility.)

Tenure-Track Equivalency - For a position to be considered a tenure-track-equivalent position, it must meet all of the following requirements: (1) the employee has a continuing appointment that is expected to last the five years of a CAREER grant; (2) the appointment has substantial research and educational responsibilities; and (3) the proposed project relates to the employee's career goals and job responsibilities as well as to the mission of the department or organization. As stated in the Proposal Preparation Instructions, for non-tenure-track faculty, the Departmental Letter must affirm that the investigator's appointment is at an early-career level equivalent to pre-tenure status, and the Departmental Letter must clearly and convincingly demonstrate how the faculty member's appointment satisfies all the above requirements of tenure-track equivalency. Faculty members who are Associate Professors or in equivalent appointments, with or without tenure, are not eligible for the CAREER program. Faculty members who hold Adjunct Faculty or equivalent appointments are not eligible for the CAREER program.  NO EXEMPTIONS FROM THESE ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA WILL BE GRANTED.

CAREER eligibility is not limited by time from degree or years in a tenure track appointment.

and Frequently Asked Questions: