Associate Professor Deby Cassill conducts field research with students.

Bill Hogarth on helping our distinguished faculty

I often talk about how important our students are. They are why we are here. But they are here because of our outstanding faculty — dedicated experts in their fields who get to know their students personally.

Many of our distinguished professors balance classroom work with research. It’s important they do both. Their research sheds new light on important subjects and helps improve the community. USF St. Petersburg students benefit, too, by participating in research even as undergraduates.

But research funding is harder to come by these days.

That’s why I have created the Internal Awards Program to provide seed money for USFSP faculty research.

Norine Noonan, the regional vice chancellor for academic affairs, will oversee the program. It will be a competitive process but the field is wide open. We are seeking the best ideas in need of funding. Grants will be capped at $8,000.

All full-time faculty in all three colleges and the Nelson Poynter Memorial Library are eligible. The deadline to apply is Nov. 16. The Faculty Research Council will conduct peer reviews Nov. 17 through Dec. 6. Awards will be announced in mid-December.

I am confident the competition will lead to new and creative scholarly research proposals.

We already have a lot of impressive scholarship at USF St. Petersburg, from psychology to biology, history to finance, anthropology to education. I want to do whatever I can to ensure that continues.

I hope this provides new opportunities for research and demonstrates USF St. Petersburg’s high regard for our faculty.

I can’t wait to announce the winning proposals. It will be a great way to close out the fall semester.