Frequently Asked Questions

When will the Fellowships begin?

The Interdisciplinary Faculty Fellows will be announced in the spring of 2016.  Appointments will begin in the fall semester of 2016.

May I apply jointly with other faculty members?

Yes, faculty members may apply together to collaborate on a project. Joint applications may propose particular arrangements of effort, provided that no more than two members of the collaboration receive 50% release time simultaneously. Here are some examples:

  • Professors Smith and Jones apply jointly. Both Smith and Jones are Fellows in the first year and receive 50% release time, Smith is a Fellow in year 2 (Jones is not), Jones is a Fellow in year 3 (Smith is not)
  • Professors Smith, Jones, and Anderson apply jointly. Smith and Jones are Fellows in year 1, Jones and Anderson in year 2, Anderson and Smith in year 3.

Note that faculty may be part of a group who collaborate together on a project, but not all members of this working group need be Fellows.

For all appointments, specific details of the Fellows' responsibilities to the ILA and to their home department will be worked out between the Fellows, the Fellows' Chairs or Directors, the Director of the ILA, and the Dean.

science labCan I collaborate with someone who is not a faculty member of Emory College of Arts and Sciences?

Yes, but only ECAS faculty can hold fellowships at this time. We encourage projects that propose ways to engage faculty and students from other schools at Emory, or from other universities.

For example, a project might draw on the expertise of a number of individuals to write a multi-authored work. The ILA will facilitate this work by providing space where the research group can meet and modest funds to support activities like workshops or seminars.

My duties do not permit me to take a 50% release for three years. Can I apply?

Yes. You may propose different arrangements in different years. Specific details of the Fellow's responsibilities to the ILA and to their home department will be worked out between the Fellow, the Fellow's Chair or Director, the Director of the ILA, and the Dean.

For example, if your department needs you to teach specific courses, you might propose a 50% release in the first year, a 25% release in the second, and 50% again in the third year. Or you might propose a two-year Fellowship.

What does "50% release" mean?

This means that the faculty member's duties in their home department are reduced to a half-time level. For faculty teaching four courses per year, this typically means continuing to have responsibility for two courses per year in their home department. In cases where a teaching reduction is not possible, other forms of support may be available. Again, specific details of the Fellow's responsibilities to their home department will be worked out between the Fellow, the Fellow's Chair or Director, the Director of the ILA, and the Dean.

How will an Interdisciplinary Faculty Fellowship affect my College and University service commitments?

Fellows are expected to continue the service commitments typical of faculty members, including PACE advising, committee work in their home department, or College and University committees. Those who have significant service obligations, such as Chairs or program directors, are eligible for an Interdisciplinary Faculty Fellowship, but will be expected to complete their terms. The flexibility of the program with respect to length of commitment and percentage of effort can be used to accommodate fellows with substantial service commitments. Specific details of the Fellow's responsibilities to their home department will be worked out between the Fellow, the Fellow's Chair or Director, the Director of the ILA, and the Dean.

I am due for a sabbatical within the next three years. Does this conflict with a Faculty Fellowship?

No. Faculty may use sabbatical course releases or other forms of internal support to supplement or extend a faculty fellowship. For example, a sabbatical that releases a faculty member from two courses may be combined with the Fellowship so that the Fellow teaches no courses during one year.

Can external grants be combined with a Faculty Fellowship?

We encourage Fellows to seek direct support for research activities from external sources. 

External grant funding may be used to extend a fellowship for additional semesters or to buy out additional effort (including teaching obligations) from the home department.

What sort of research projects is the Interdisciplinary Faculty Fellowship program seeking?

envs classProjects must be interdisciplinary in the sense that they address questions that are sufficiently complex to require contributions from multiple disciplinary perspectives. We encourage projects that blend widely disparate disciplines in creative ways.

We seek ambitious research that has the potential for a broad impact.

We support projects that are inherently risky in the sense that the conceptualization or approach is sufficiently novel to lack a guarantee of success.

We support projects that are at the early stages of development.

We support projects where a faculty member is trying to gain depth or expertise in a new field.

What kinds of collaboration do you envision?

Collaboration may take many forms. While the character of the project should drive the intended collaborations, the goal of collaborations should be to enable participants to learn from each other and to enhance interaction. We strongly encourage the inclusion of students in ways that are appropriate to their abilities and educational needs. Some examples are:

  • An individual Fellow who is seeking to gain depth or expertise in a new field might organize a journal club of faculty and graduate students who are interested in similar research questions. Alternatively, such a Fellow might organize a day-long workshop, featuring presentations from local or national experts.
  • A Fellow might organize a research group that would gather and analyze evidence together, aiming toward a joint publication. Students might participate, receiving one or two credits for their engagement.
  • A Fellow might coordinate the efforts of several faculty and graduate students who are working on independent, but conceptually related, publications. The group might meet once every few weeks to share their results or discuss common issues.
  • A Fellow whose project engages issues relevant to the community might organize an event open to the public, such as a speech by well-known public figure, a debate, or an informational lecture.

What forms of support will be available to facilitate research collaboration?

Modest funds will be available to support research and teaching activities related to the Fellow's project. Amounts will vary with the demands of the project, but may include support for visiting scholars for workshops or seminars, journal clubs or reading groups, research and presentation opportunities for students, exhibitions or performances, logistics for public events, co-teacher "buy out," and so on.

Will space be made available for projects?

Subject to availability, we hope to provide space for Fellows, including offices or space to work collaboratively with members of a research team.

What are the teaching responsibilities of an Interdisciplinary Faculty Fellow?

Part of the fellowship is to teach two courses over the course of a three year appointment. These courses provide the opportunity to teach material directly related to the Fellow's research interest. The timing and content of the courses are left to the Fellow's discretion.

It is not assumed that the Fellow's teaching commitment will be entirely in traditional classroom settings. Fellows are encouraged to devise creative ways of integrating classroom, research, and practical activities. Some examples might be:

  • A Fellow might create a problem-based pedagogy around his or her research question. Students work in groups addressing specific issues, finding relevant materials and teaching them to the rest of the class.
  • A Fellow might create a year-long program, where a group of students is given an initial orientation to the problem. They then work independently, meeting occasionally to discuss issues that have arisen. At the end of the year, the students come together to give presentations of their results.
  • A Fellow might run a dissertation-writing seminar, where graduate students who are working on a related group of issues come together to share their work.

collaborationIs co-teaching appropriate?

Yes. We encourage courses co-taught by faculty from different disciplines and with course activities that encourage interaction among the faculty members. Funds may be available to "buy-out" the effort of a co-teacher.

In what department or program will the teaching take place?

Courses may originate in, or be cross-listed by, any department or program that is appropriate. Where there is no natural home, courses will be taught under the auspices of the Interdisciplinary Studies Program (IDS).

What is the application process?

Applications will be reviewed by an interdisciplinary faculty committee. Applications are due February 29, 2016, and decisions should be made by mid-March.

Click on Application for details about the application materials.

Who do I contact if I have more questions?

Email mark.risjord@emory.edu, or attend one of the following informational sessions

  • Wednesday, November 18, 4:00-5:00, Callaway S423
  • Thursday,  December 10, 4:00-5:00, Callaway S423
  • Wednesday, January 20, 4:00-5:00, Callaway S423