Category Archives: Of Special Interest to Faculty

NEH Summer Stipends Competition Deadline (9/30)

During the past six years, the National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded Summer Stipends of $6,000 for faculty members and independent scholars to pursue their scholarship during the summer months.

NEH is again holding its Summer Stipends competition, and the deadline of Thursday, September 30, is quickly approaching. UMBC may submit up to two nominations.  Faculty members who wish to be nominated may obtain the necessary information from their department or program chair. Draft proposals are due in the Office of the Provost by Monday, Sept 20.

Questions about the program or the campus review process may be directed to Pat McDermott, Interim Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, ext. 5-3150 or

Undergraduate Research Assistantship Support (URAS) Application Deadline Approaching (9/24)

The Undergraduate Research Assistantship Support (URAS) program, administered by the Office of the Vice President for Research,
provides funding for faculty members to support an undergraduate
research assistant for up to two consecutive semesters at $750 per
semester.  The goal of the program is to both support faculty with their
research, scholarly or creative activities, and to provide
undergraduates with a rewarding research experience early in their
academic careers.

The URAS program is a logical first step for undergraduate students that
who to enrich their academic experience by working on a research,
scholarly, or creative project identified by a faculty member.

The deadline for applying for both semesters is September 24, 2010.

Information regarding this program can be found at

Understanding the New NIH Format for Proposal Submission (9/1)

This workshop is a one-and-one-half hour overview of the new NIH submission guidelines for 2010 and beyond. It will be Wednesday, September 1, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., in The Commons, Room 331. The topics include:

  • Restructured Application Forms
  • Shortened Page Limits
  • New Research Strategy Section
  • New Biosketch Guidelines
  • New Review Criteria
  • Proposal Evaluation.

This is an important workshop for faculty who are planning to submit proposals to the NIH in the future. A light lunch will be served.

If you would like to attend this workshop, register with Mary Lilly at Register soon as space is limited.

I encourage you to take advantage of these workshops to improve or polish your grant writing skills.

Drop Date for Classes (9/14)

We ask that all faculty and staff work to promote the drop date this year. In previous years the drop date has been four weeks after the beginning of the semester, but for this year it has been changed to only two weeks. It is vital that students make note of this change. Include the September 14 drop date on any fall syllabi and place as an announcement on BlackBoard where appropriate.

This change affects only the drop date. The date and process for withdrawing from a class with a W on the transcript has not changed. For more information and other academic deadlines, click here.

Show and Tell Hybrid Learning Presentations (7/21)

Faculty in the Fall 2010 Alternate Delivery Program will present the first of two required show and tell hybrid learning presentations that address the pedagogical problems (or implications) a hybrid or online course solves (or creates). If you’re interested in learning more about hybrid courses, this is a great way to see how faculty colleagues are preparing for their summer 2010 courses.  Feel free to bring your lunch.  Refreshments (drink/dessert) will be provided.

For more information and to register, please visit

DoIT News Update: A Case for Using The Blackboard Grade Book

In 2008, a national study of more than 30,000 seniors and freshmen at more than 100 colleges and universities (including UMBC) showed that students value the ability to check their grades far more than any other function in a course management system (CMS) like Blackboard. Yet, less than half of UMBC’s Bb courses used the grade book this past fall  and spring. We understand why: it takes time to master the Bb grade center, faculty may prefer to use Excel functions in an "offline" mode, and there may be a reluctance to put a grade on everything students do. But apart from keeping students from constantly pestering faculty, an active Bb grade book can be "leveraged" in some interesting ways.

Read more here.

Sponsored Research Appointments

Full-time faculty members with sufficient external research funding may be eligible for 12-month sponsored research appointments. Information about the program, including eligibility criteria and an application form, may be found on the Provost’s Web site.

The application deadline is Monday, April 26. For further information or questions concerning sponsored research appointments, contact Patrice McDermott, interim vice provost for Faculty Affairs at ext. 5-3150 or

Start Talking! How to Facilitate Difficult Dialogues in Class

Do you ever wish you could rewind a class discussion? Do you find yourself steering away from uncomfortable topics because you’re unsure how to handle the discussion? Do some topics in your class seem to silence students? Then bring your lunch and join us for "Start Talking! How to Facilitate Difficult Dialogues in Class," a hands-on learning session, Monday, April 26, noon-1 p.m., in The Commons, Room 329. Refreshments will be provided.

Register at: This event is sponsored by the Faculty Development Center. Contact Barry Casey (; ext. 5-1829) for more information.

What Can Your Students Learn at URCAD?

What can your students learn at Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day (URCAD)? Check out the schedule and information on URCAD-related assignments that other faculty members have found beneficial to their students. The event is Wednesday, April 28, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Click here for more info.

2010-11 Faculty Mentor Positions Available

Faculty mentor positions for 2010-2011 in the  residential community are available. These positions are open to full-time faculty who are interested in interacting with students in the residential community. These are paid positions ($3,000 per year) and provide an excellent opportunity to get to know and interact with students outside of the classroom. 
Contact David Clurman at or ext. 5-3766 if you are interested in learning more about this opportunity.