Education Research Faculty

Education Research Faculty

SIF39 The School of Education and Human Development Research Faculty

Project Manager: Catherine Bradshaw, School of Education

The purpose of this award is to support the strategic hiring of research faculty members to increase sponsored research portfolios and awards.

BoV Approved: September 2016

Project Dates: 10/20/2016 – 10/19/2021

Total Funding: $2,406,400

Executive Summary

The Summer Advancement Program aids the University of Virginia’s (UVA) continued commitment to fostering a welcoming and inclusive academic environment that enhances the achievements of minority, first-generation and low-income transfer students from Piedmont Virginia Community College (PVCC). This proposal is in direct response to President Ryan’s 2030 Strategic Plan to cultivate the most vibrant community in higher education by being a strong partner with and good neighbor to the Charlottesville region (SPLAN 2019), with recognition that the University must support transfer student pathways if it wishes to recruit and retain exceptional under-represented students in our programs. We will not be able to close achievement gaps, especially in the sciences, among low-income, first-generation, and minority students without addressing attrition rates among transfer students. Expanding early opportunities for community college transfer students to form relationships with peers and faculty in the classroom will nurture a more welcoming environment and address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

Three basic goals of this program are to:

•     Support the transfer pathway from PVCC to UVA as an affordable and excellent education for under-represented Virginians by accelerating student transitions into upper-division coursework.

•     Expedite major prerequisite completion among under-represented students who enter as transfer students from PVCC through high-impact instructional practices.

•     Expand early opportunities for entering transfer students to form advising and mentoring relationships with peers, and faculty.

Current Status: Completed


The School of Education and Human Development sought support from the University of Virginia SIF to make strategic research hires and investments aimed at increasing the amount of externally sponsored research grants and contracts received by our faculty. Through this project, we successfully recruited 8 research faculty to help support interdisciplinary research teams in areas related to early childhood education, education policy, neuroscience/autism, research design/methods, motivation, and global/rural research. Candidates with an established track record of federal grants and strong potential for funding were aggressively pursued. We recruited largely junior candidates for these positions to augment a set of established research teams within the School. Additional details on the 8 faculty hires are provided through this link:

To ensure the success of these faculty hires and the broader project, we made four additional staff hires to provide administrative and project support, with the goal of reducing the burden on faculty associated with proposal submission, project management, and award administration. 

As anticipated, these faculty were incredibly successful in their research efforts, as documented through over 72 peer-reviewed publications, with more than a dozen currently under review, and over 102 presentations and workshops. In addition, they collectively contributed to the submission of 133 grant proposals, of which 72 (54.14%) to date have been funded, for a total of $59,466,297; 11 more proposals totaling an additional $22,953,281 are still pending. Moreover, the school experienced a nearly 30% increase in the number of proposals submitted, while maintaining a hit/success rate exceeding 50%. The average award amount also increased by 25.6% over the SIF-funded period. The school also experienced an improvement in USNWR rankings over the course of this SIF-funded period, which was likely due at least in part to the increase in sponsored research.

We anticipate that these faculty members and the affiliated program management staff will be fully self-sustained through the success of their scholarly efforts, along with the increase in external research funding received within the award period and currently pending. As expected, the benefits of this investment in research faculty and the related research program managers have accrued not only to the School, but also to other schools at the University. Our track record of success with sponsored research, and research faculty more specifically, indicates the high likelihood that this investment will continue to be self-sustaining and generate additional benefits well beyond the end of the project period.