WRI Faculty Fellow Melanie Bowers and PhD student Shibin Yan are assessing services for the homeless in southern New Jersey.

Collaborative partnerships with faculty are key to WRI’s success—and its impact in the region. They are mutually beneficial: Faculty have content expertise and technical skills that are valuable to WRI’s work, and WRI has data sets, staff resources, and community partnerships that can be useful to faculty doing research. It’s a win-win for all.

Often, WRI’s contracted research, which is usually applied in nature and local in scope, has broad theoretical and academic significance that remains unexplored. Similarly, faculty focused on academic publication can lack the resources needed to explore the applied aspects of their work. But through partnership, WRI and Rutgers faculty can maximize the impact of campus and Institute research, and develop meaningful research and application that can drive significant change, whether in policy or practice, in critical issues.

 


Opportunities

There are two distinct structures for collaboration. Interested faculty should reach Faculty Director Sarah Allred for details, or submit an application here.

Faculty Scholars

WRI Faculty Scholars function as traditional principal investigators on grants or contracts that can be initiated either by WRI or by a faculty member.

Faculty-initiated grants. Where there are areas of overlapping interest, we encourage faculty to use WRI as the submitting unit on grants. In this case, faculty receive several benefits: access to WRI staff help in grant-writing, budget preparation, submission, and administration; student/staff help in data collection and analysis; access to WRI’s community partners. In these cases, the Chancellor’s office has waived a portion of its F&A so that both WRI and the department will receive F&A. This means there is no departmental cost for submitting a grant through WRI. As with other faculty-initiated grants, faculty compensation would be decided during the budgeting process by the faculty member.

WRI-initiated grants. At times, WRI applies for grants where it would be ideal for a faculty member to function as PI. In such cases, we reach out to faculty with the appropriate skill set to ask for their collaboration. Staffing of such projects varies, and can include WRI staff and students or students from the PIs department. Compensation to faculty depends on the size and scope of the project, but can include summer salary and/or course release. Faculty are expected to function in a traditional PI role, including scientific oversight, supervising IRB (although WRI staff write and complete the IRB forms), managing research team members, and supervising and in some cases completing data analysis. Contracts/grants with funders are written such that faculty are free to use data from such projects for their own academic purposes. In addition to the traditional PI responsibilities, most WRI-initiated projects will include the responsibility of interacting with the external stakeholder funding the project, including overseeing the writing of any concluding or interim reports and presenting results.

Process and Responsibilities: For WRI-initiated grants, faculty responsibilities and compensation will be agreed upon in a letter signed by the Faculty Director and the faculty member.

 

Faculty Consultants

Periodically, WRI receives grants or contacts that would benefit from additional content or skill expertise from a faculty member. For example, we might apply for funding with a nonprofit as an evaluator of a program, and we want to consult with a faculty member who has content expertise in that program area. Alternatively, in the process of analyzing data for a project, staff members might realize they need to learn a new statistical technique. At other times, we work with community stakeholders who would like to learn about something outside of our areas of expertise. In these cases, we could use faculty help.

Compensation: Faculty compensation will vary with time commitment. For very short conversations, we hope that building a relationship and furthering the campus mission of community engagement will be sufficient compensation. For more involved consultations or speaking, we have funds approved from the Chancellor’s office for additional compensation/honoraria. For ongoing projects with substantial and regular time commitments (e.g. semester or year-long projects), the Chancellor’s office has approved funds for summer salary and/or (with your department’s permission) course release.

Process and Responsibilities: Faculty responsibilities and compensation will be agreed upon in writing by the Faculty Director and the faculty member before the start of the consultation.

 

WRI’s Scholar-In-Residence

Faculty who have collaborated with WRI and are familiar with our work are eligible to apply for a year-long appointment as WRI’s Scholar-In-Residence. It is anticipated that 2019-2020 will be the inaugural year for the scholar-in-residence.

Scholars-in-residence receive two course releases for the academic year. The scholar-in-residence will be expected to spend the equivalent of one day per week in an office at WRI, and serve as a general-purpose consultant and support multiple WRI projects. Specific activities will depend on the faculty member’s skill and content expertise, but scholars-in-residence are expected to learn actively about multiple projects and support completion of those projects in creative ways.




Fellowships

Overview. In an effort to further its mission, the Institute’s Faculty Fellow program encourages faculty research on Southern New Jersey and issues of importance to the region. The Institute intends to award up to three $4000 Faculty Fellows in each academic year. Faculty Fellow research is intended to promote regional discussion, so ideal research projects will advance knowledge on topics of concern to South Jersey residents. The range of previously-funded research projects is broad and can be seen on WRI’s website; recently funded projects include a comparison of state funding to municipalities in Southern New Jersey, an analysis of diabetes incidence in Southern New Jersey, a study of how treatment for breast cancer in Southern New Jersey compares to treatments elsewhere, and an investigation into whether homeless services in South Jersey match the needs of the existing homeless populations.

For the purposes of this paper Southern New Jersey encompasses Salem, Atlantic, Cumberland, Gloucester, Cape May, Camden, Ocean and Burlington counties. It is anticipated that the treatment of each Fellow’s topic will compare and contrast municipalities or counties across the region, and compare the region within the state or country as a whole.

Some faculty may have skills relevant to community-focused research, but may be uncertain how to relate their academic concentration to the very applied concerns of WRI. Such faculty are encouraged to reach out to the WRI Faculty Director to discuss opportunities for collaboration.

Responsibilities: After receipt of their award, Faculty Fellows are expected to: (1) Complete their project in the agreed-upon time-frame; (2) Produce a scholarly paper for publication on the Institute’s website; (3) Work with WRI staff to prepare an executive summary appropriate for public consumption; (4) Present their research findings to relevant Southern New Jersey stakeholders as part of the WRI Forum on South Jersey.

Fellowship Details: Fellowships are $4000 each, and they are open to tenure-track, NTT, and part-time faculty members of Business, Law, Nursing, and Arts and Sciences. Fellowship funds may be used as additional compensation, summer salary, course buyouts, or legitimate research expenses. Faculty members wishing to use these funds for course relief must receive approval for that purpose from the appropriate Dean and where applicable, Department Chair. In addition to the funding, WRI Faculty Fellows will have access to the equivalent of 10 hours per week of a Graduate Assistant or WRI Project Assistant time to provide research assistance. Typically, this research assistance is provided by WRI, but Faculty Fellows may also petition for funds to be applied to a graduate student in their own department.

Application Process: Fellowships are awarded on a rolling basis. Applications should include the following:

          1. cover letter
          2. Project description and relevance to Southern New Jersey (1-2 pages)
          3. Project timeline for research completion and presentation (forums are generally presented within 2-3 months of the paper)
          4. Current curriculum vita

Informal inquiries and application materials should be sent to Sarah Allred at srallred@camden.rutgers.edu,
or mailed to: 411 Cooper Street, Camden, NJ 08102.


Current Fellows

Jeannann Coppola, DNP, RN, CNM, CNE, Renee Cantwell, DNP, RN, CNE, CPHQ, Debashis Kushary, PhD