Study in a Second Discipline

Revised Program Description for Academic Year 2018-2019

The Study in a Second Discipline Fellows Program, sponsored by the Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, promotes interdisciplinary teaching and research among UGA academic units by providing tenured faculty an opportunity to extend the range of their knowledge through the study of disciplines outside their primary discipline.

Study in a Second Discipline Fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis to tenured faculty members who have established a record of scholarly activity within their base discipline and have received an overall annual evaluation of meets or exceeds expectations for the prior two calendar years. Faculty applicants must demonstrate a strategic relationship between the sponsoring academic unit and the host academic unit and define expected outcomes of studying in a second discipline.

The sponsoring academic unit agrees to, 1) release the faculty applicant from instructional responsibilities for the duration of the fellowship, and 2) cover the faculty recipient’s teaching obligations without a reduction in course offerings. To support high-quality instruction, the sponsoring academic unit may request matching funds from the Provost’s Office to offset the loss of the faculty recipient’s teaching obligations for up to two semesters.

Fellows must continue to meet non-instructional responsibilities during their study in a second discipline, including continuing to pursue their scholarship or laboratory research and reasonable service commitments to their department/college. However, the faculty member is relieved of service commitments to the University during the fellowship.

Study in a Second Discipline offers two distinct tracks for participation, a Teaching-Intensive Track and Research-Intensive Track. For a given application and review cycle, faculty applicants may apply for only one of the tracks. 

The Teaching-Intensive Track gives tenured faculty release time to develop a new, innovative and interdisciplinary course combining the knowledge learned through Study in a Second Discipline with the faculty member’s primary discipline. The following conditions apply:

  • The proposed program of study may not exceed one academic Fall or Spring semester as defined by the UGA academic calendar.
  • Release time funding is determined by the sponsoring academic unit’s cost for covering the applicant’s instructional load for the duration of the program of study. The cost of instructional release time must by justified by the sponsoring academic unit, and funds cannot be used to pay for auditing courses, course materials, travel to professional conferences, research costs, etc.
  • The Provost’s Office will provide the sponsoring unit a 50% match of the cost of instructional release time. For the Teaching-Intensive Track, the proposed 50% match usually should not exceed $18,000, but may if the proposal is sufficiently justified.
  • Within two months of the fellowship’s conclusion, the faculty recipient is required to submit a one-page report to the sponsoring unit and the Provost’s Office summarizing the preliminary outcomes of the Study in a Second Discipline and plans for creating a new interdisciplinary course. 
  • Within one year of the fellowship’s conclusion, the faculty recipient must have received all necessary approvals to teach the new course as the Instructor of Record and provide a one-page report to the sponsoring unit and the Provost’s Office summarizing the status of the new course offering.
  • Failure to schedule the new course within one year of the fellowship’s conclusion will result in the sponsoring academic unit returning the matching funds to the Provost’s Office.

The Research-Intensive Track gives tenured faculty release time to develop new research combining the knowledge learned through Study in a Second Discipline with the faculty member’s primary discipline. The following conditions apply:

  • The proposed program of study may not exceed two academic semesters as defined by the UGA academic calendar.
  • Release time funding is determined by the sponsoring academic unit’s cost for covering the applicant’s instructional load for the duration of the program of study. The cost of instructional release time must by justified by the sponsoring academic unit, and funds cannot be used to pay for auditing courses, course materials, travel to professional conferences, research costs, etc.
  • The Provost’s Office will provide the sponsoring unit a 50% match of the cost of instructional release time. For the Research-Intensive Track, the proposed 50% match usually should not exceed $30,000, but may if the proposal is sufficiently justified.
  • Within two months of the fellowship’s conclusion, the faculty recipient is required to submit a one-page report to the sponsoring unit and the Provost’s Office summarizing the preliminary outcomes of the Study in a Second Discipline and plans for submitting a new grant application. Ideally, the new grant application will be in collaboration with the host academic unit, but this is not a requirement.
  • Within six months of the fellowship’s conclusion, the faculty recipient must submit a new grant application. Ideally, the new grant application is for a multi-year project funded by a non-profit, state or federal agency. The recipient also must provide a one-page report to the sponsoring unit and the Provost’s Office summarizing the status of the grant submission. After submission of the grant application, the faculty recipient should update the sponsoring unit and the Provost’s Office on its status throughout the review process.
  • Failure to submit a new grant application within one year of the fellowship’s conclusion will result in the sponsoring academic unit returning the matching funds to the Provost’s Office.

Application Guidelines
When making an application, it is important to focus on the program’s goal of increasing interdisciplinary teaching or scholarly work through understanding and cooperation among faculty in separate, yet complementary, fields of study. Evidence of scholarly or creative accomplishment in an applicant’s discipline will serve as an indicator of the applicant’s likelihood of contributing toward this goal.

  • There is no required format for the application. However, applicants should address all requirements very carefully and concisely address each in the proposal. A typical application is usually 3-5 pages not including the letters of support.
  • Applications are due in mid-January (see below for specific academic year deadline) for programs proposed to start in the next academic year. Decisions will be made by March 1.
  • Applicants must choose either the Teaching-Intensive Track or the Research-Intensive Track.
  • Proposals must have a title that reflects the nature of the study.
  • For the Teaching-Intensive Track, applications should include a new course description that will be developed as a result of the fellowship. It is preferred, but not required, that the new course integrate some type of experiential learning component.
  • For the Research-Intensive Track, applications should include specific information about a new, multi-year grant proposal that will be submitted as a result of the fellowship. 
  • Applicants must propose a well-defined program of study that will contribute to their acquiring competency in the new discipline by auditing courses, undertaking independent study, conducting research or other scholarly activity with one or more advisers from the host department.
  • There must be a demonstrable relationship between the individual’s primary field of specialization and the second discipline. Application for study in a field in which the applicant already is employed is not acceptable. Interdisciplinary proposals that involve two different colleges/schools or programs are most encouraged.
  • Study in a Second Discipline provides funding for instructional release time to the sponsoring academic unit only and does not directly or indirectly provide funds to the faculty recipient for auditing courses, course materials, travel to professional conferences, research costs, etc.
  • The department head and dean (or associate dean) of the sponsoring academic unit must submit a signed letter of support for the faculty applicant that contains:
    • A statement that the applicant qualifies for the program (Tenured with overall annual evaluations of meets or exceeds expectations for the prior two calendar years).
    • A brief assessment of how the applicant’s proposed course of study will enhance the recipient’s teaching or research effectiveness and the strategic goals of the academic unit.
    • A brief description of how the applicant’s teaching load will be covered during the period of study. This should include a justification of the cost of compensating the instructor(s) who will assume the applicant’s teaching responsibilities during the Study in a Second Discipline.
    • A statement on the total monetary cost of the proposal and the exact amount of funding being requested from the Provost’s Office.
    • An acknowledgement that the sponsoring academic unit will cover 50% of the awarded cost of instructional release time and will return the matching funds to the Provost’s Office if the faculty recipient fails to either develop a new course or submit a new grant application within one year of the fellowship’s conclusion.
  • In addition, the head of the host academic unit must provide a signed letter of support on behalf of the faculty applicant, providing sufficient detail on how the host academic unit will support the faculty member consistent with the proposal.

Selection Process and Criteria
Applications for Study in a Second Discipline will be reviewed by a committee appointed by the Provost. Five broad criteria will guide the selection process:

  1. The need for formal study in another discipline to undertake the proposed new inquiries and the case for the second discipline being sufficiently different that the applicant could not accomplish the objective independently.
  2. The potential impact of the proposed outcomes to teaching or research.
  3. The rationale for the selection of the host academic unit and how the applicant will interact with the host unit during the program of study.
  4. The goals of the proposal support the goals of the department and school/college.
  5. The proposal adds significantly to the knowledge in the discipline and the University community in general.

Applications for Study in a Second Discipline for Academic Year 2018-2019 are due by Friday, January 12, 2018. Please direct questions and applications to the attention of Russell Mumper (Vice Provost for Academic Affairs) at mumper@uga.edu.