Funding For Faculty
Creative Activities and Research Experiences for Teams (CARET) Program
The Creative Activities and Research Experiences for Teams (CARET) program is designed to enhance undergraduate involvement and experiences in research and creative activities. This funding program is designed to encourage and support faculty engagement in research or creative activities with undergraduate student collaborators using a team approach. The research or creative activity can be one project for all team members or multiple projects across students. The CARET Awards are designed to support research teams of a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 8 undergraduate students. Although it is not required, faculty members in departments with graduate programs are strongly encouraged to include Graduate Research Assistants as mentors.
The undergraduates will be required to present their research at the annual Symposium of Student Scholars. Students are encouraged to also present their findings in an off-campus professional venue (e.g., exhibition, professional or undergraduate research conference). Students who have completed a presentation or exhibition at an off-campus venue as a result of this program will be designated as an Undergraduate Research Scholar and presented with an Undergraduate Research Honor Cord prior to graduation.
Upon the completion of the project(s), recipients are required to send a final report to the Office of Undergraduate Research that includes abstract(s) of the project results and a list of the presentations/ publications/ exhibitions from the work completed.
The faculty member will construct a budget for the CARET award that does not exceed $8000.00. The funding period begins July 1, 2019 and concludes June 30, 2020.
Possible budget items could include, but are not limited to, the following:
- A course release for the faculty member
- A summer salary for the faculty member
- Travel funding for undergraduate student team members to either collect data or present the work at a conference
- Supplies or other project needs
Before beginning your application, read the application carefully at https://digitalcommons.kennesaw.edu/cgi/ir_submit.cgi?context=caret
You might also consider watching a 30-minute video by the Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research on preparing CARET applications.
Up to $8,000
- Quality and significance of the research or creative activity proposed.
- The degree to which students are involved in the creative activity or research. Projects that emphasize a significant contribution and involvement of students rather than simply using students as “data gatherers” will be given preference.
- Impact on student learning with respect to involvement in professional research and creative activities.
- Feasibility of obtaining results suitable for presentation or exhibition in the time frame available.
- Preference is given to applicants who have not received a CARET award previously. Because CARET awards have become increasingly competitive, it is highly unlikely that previous recipients would be awarded another CARET award.
- The evaluation committee consists of one faculty representative per college; remember to write your proposal in a way that can be understood by faculty from divergent disciplines.
Funds will be awarded only to full-time faculty who are under contract with Kennesaw State during the time period of the funding award. Temporary and part-time faculty members are not eligible.
Selection and Application Process for Office of Undergraduate Research CARET Awards
The panel review committee will not consider late or incomplete applications for any reason.
Selection is competitive. You will be notified within two weeks of the deadline if your grant has been funded.
All KSU-supported research projects are administered in accordance with established University fiscal procedures and research policies. These include all travel regulations, policies relating to the protection of human subjects, and policies related to intellectual property rights. Equipment and computer software purchased through faculty development money become the property of the University, earmarked for the individual's use while at the institution during the time the project continues. All publications and presentations must acknowledge the assistance of Kennesaw State University.
The faculty member and students are expected to obtain Institutional Review Board approval prior to collecting any data if the project includes research involving human or animal participants.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Office of Undergraduate Research CARET Awards
Can a person receive CARET funding multiple times?Because CARETs are very competitive and the committee would like to see new faculty work with undergraduate researchers, it is unlikely (but not impossible) that a faculty member would receive more than one CARET award at this time.
Can I change my budget/timeline/list of students/etc. after receiving the funding?
That is possible; however, any changes need to be discussed with the Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research first. Some changes, especially those that change a project to be less student-centered, might not be approved.
Can I work with more/fewer students than the required number?No.
Can I submit my application late or revise my application once submitted?No. In order to be fair to all other applicants, we need to adhere strictly to deadlines, as all grants do.
What are some common problems in CARET applications?
- Too few details are provided (much fewer words than allowed in sections with word limits).
- The budget is not itemized as specifically as reviewers like (e.g., “Supplies: $500”).
- The timeline is vague.
- There are numerous writing errors (grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc.). Consider visiting the Writing Center for help.
- The budget is not student-centered enough (i.e., all of the funding going toward faculty stipends or course releases).
- The writing is too technical, especially in the Project Description; it is not comprehensible to a general audience.
- The budget and/or timeline has obvious flaws (e.g., student travel amounts wouldn’t be enough given the number of students traveling; timeline starts/ends at incorrect times).
- Not following directions (e.g., no learning outcomes listed in the learning outcomes section).
- There are feasibility concerns (e.g., the project can’t be completed unless another external grant also comes through; the students won’t be able to present until after the funding period).
What is the acceptance rate for CARETs?The CARETs are increasingly competitive. In 2012, 3 out of the 8 applications were funded (37.50% acceptance rate). Five years later, in 2017, 3 out of 23 applications were funded (13%). There was an increase in funding for undergraduate research starting in 2017-2018 academic year, so we expect to be able to fund at least 4 CARETs each year moving forward.
Who evaluates the CARET applications and how do they make decisions?CARET applications are reviewed by a panel review committee. Each member individually evaluates each application according to the rubric. The scores for each application are averaged across each reviewer, providing a starting place for an in-person meeting. The committee meets, discusses the applications, and makes decisions.
What do funded applications have in common?
Funded applications typically have:
- Clear, engaging descriptions of the proposed research project(s), including how the research will make a unique contribution to the literature in this area.
- A student-focused budget.
- A plan for obtaining more funds if necessary (e.g., URCA, SALT, external funding).
- A list of measurable student learning outcomes (e.g., “at the end of this project, undergraduate researchers will be able to conduct appropriate data analysis techniques in SAS”). You can find a list of possible learning outcomes here.
- Learning outcomes that focus on both products as well as process.
- A detailed timeline (usually by month).