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Mercy College Faculty Development Course Release Award

Mercy College full-time core faculty are eligible for a competitively-awarded course release for faculty development, with a particular focus on pursuit of scholarship and with the aim of advancing scholarly work towards external support.

To provide opportunities to advance faculty research and scholarship—including scholarship of teaching and learning (though not course development per se)—with strong potential for external support, the Faculty Development Grants framework includes the possibility of applying for a single course release over an academic year.

Applications will be judged on the basis of scholarly merit of the proposed project, the potential for substantial progress on the project, and possibilities for further opportunities (such as external funding or research collaboration).  To this end, applicants are asked to provide a 300-word summary of their project, specify the current stage of their research (middle or early-middle stages are preferred), and provide details about probable sources of external support.

Course releases will be awarded in the current competition to be taken up this coming 2019-2020 academic year, with a limit of one per faculty member.

Those faculty members requesting course release for the 2019-2020 academic year may not request a Faculty Development award with a financial grant for the same period.

A faculty member may apply for a Faculty Development Grant award for a research project to be taken up in the semester after a Faculty Development Course Release award is taken up (though not during the same academic year), in case the proposed project is an original development or continuation of the work previously supported by a Faculty Development Course Release award.

All proposals will be reviewed and ranked by the Faculty Development Committee.  The Provost, in consultation with the appropriate Dean and Academic Unit Head (Department Chair or Program Head), will make the awards.

Faculty members receiving this award are required to consult with the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) by close of the grant period. OSP will share resources and RFPs with faculty members to build on the Faculty Development Course Release award and facilitate pursuit of external grant opportunities.  The expectation is that awardees will complete (or make substantial progress toward completion of) an external grant proposal by close of the course release award period (end of semester during which the course release is taken up).

Applications in the current academic year will be considered for course releases for the 2019-2020 academic year. The application deadline is April 15, 2019.  All course release awards must be taken up in the 2019-2020 academic year. 

In addition, once the online application form has been completed, the applicant must acquire written approval from his or her Academic Unit Head (AUH) and School Dean:

  • The applicant should print out the completed application.
  • The applicant should send a copy of the completed application form to the Academic Unit Head for handwritten signature on the printed copy.
  • The Academic Unit Head should review for approval and, as appropriate, send the signed copy to the School Dean for signature (also on the printed copy).
  • The School Dean should then review for approval and, as appropriate, scan and send the signed copy to the Research and Grants Coordinator at

* The faculty member is required to consult with the Academic Unit Head and Dean regarding the application prior to submitting for approval.

NB Faculty Development Course Releases are awards not accompanied by any stipend or other funding for personnel, supplies, fees, or travel.

Note on IRB Approval

Course Release Awards may be granted contingent on IRB application, though human subjects research cannot commence with IRB approval.

If you require IRB approval for your research project and have already made the request, please forward the email to the Research and Grants Coordinator at The information will be passed along to the Faculty Development Committee.

  1. You will need IRB approval for any research that involves human or animal subjects.
  2. You may need IRB approval for secondary analysis of a data set. Projects that use an existing data set, which includes identifiable data, may require an IRB protocol for review. Though such projects do not involve interactions or interventions with humans, they may still require IRB review, as the definition of "human subject" at 45 CFR 46. 102(f) includes living individuals about whom an investigator obtains identifiable private information for research purposes
  3. All applicants should discuss their proposal with the IRB Chair to determine if IRB approval is required. Please submit the IRB response (email or letter) in conjunction with the Faculty Development Course Release application.