Results of the CHSS Faculty Research and Scholarship Needs Survey

CHSS Research

On October 5, 2020, CHSS Research distributed a survey to tenured, tenure-track, term, and administrative faculty with the purpose of determining which services and resources would be the most helpful to CHSS faculty as they pursue external funding for their research and scholarship.

When asked what outreach and events faculty would like to see CHSS Research provide, the top responses included:

  1. Introduction to funding search tools (e.g., SPIN,, etc.)
  2. Proposal development, e.g., an overview of proposal writing and strategies for success          
  3. Budget development                                                            
  4. External fellowships

When asked which sponsors faculty would be interested in hearing from as part of our Sponsor Talks series, they suggested: ACLS, NEA, SSRC, DOD, IES, RWJF, Wenner Gren, Fulbright, IARPA, and DARPA, in addition to NIH, NSF, and NEH.

CHSS Research will be reaching out to these organizations about the possibility of giving a Sponsor Talk. If there is an organization you would like added to the list, please email

Respondents identified ways in which CHSS Research could assist with the development of their funding proposals, including:

  1. Checking that the project aligns well with sponsor's mission and the call for proposals
  2. Proofreading sections and/or identifying proposal reviewers          
  3. Conceptualizing the budget and budget development tools          
  4. Understanding the proposal submission process and working with the Office of Sponsored Programs                                                            

The responses to the survey question regarding whether faculty would be interested in attending monthly gatherings (via Zoom) to discuss project ideas, funding opportunities, proposal development, etc., were overwhelmingly positive. In response, CHSS Research has started hosting Research Virtual Coffees on the third Wednesday of the month at 10:00AM. The next Research Virtual Coffee is scheduled for December 16, 2020.

Finally, respondents identified additional ways CHSS Research can help them in applying for and increasing their success in obtaining external funding, including:

  • Providing information regarding Mason's facilities and equipment, and other college descriptions
  • More information/support about working with private foundations
  • Finding collaborators and funding opportunities
  • Coordination with other units/teams/individuals applying for the same funding
  • Roles and responsibilities, e.g. OSP, Department, PI, College

For those who indicated that they would like the Dean's Office to contact them to talk about their research and scholarship funding interests, Brooke Gowl will be reaching out in the next couple of weeks to schedule a time to meet in the new year.

CHSS Research thanks all faculty who participated in the survey! This information is invaluable to developing new services and resources to enhance faculty funding success. Rest assured that CHSS Research is taking all of this information to heart and will be using it to enhance and develop services and resources for the new year.