Fellows Program

CLA Fellows Program in Support of Research and Creative Activity

The CLA Fellows Program is an effort to support productive faculty at critical moments during the scholarly and creative process in order to enable production, publication, and/or exhibition of excellent, innovative work through a timely one-course release from the regular teaching load during a given semester.

The initiative supports substantial progress on or completion of a project that would significantly advance research or creative activity toward obtaining tenure and/or promotion.

Eligibility and Guidelines:

  • Open to CLA Assistant Professors hired before 2017 and Associate Professors, the program is an expression of the CLA’s commitment to faculty research/creative activity and investment in their promise. For the Spring 2022 competition, Full Professors and Non-Tenure Track Faculty in continuing positions will also be eligible. See application for details.
  • Proposals indicating that a course release will support significant progress on or completion of a project that will contribute to a case for tenure and/or promotion will be privileged. Projects in which the applicant’s own scholarly or creative works are secondary, such as edited volumes, are less likely to be supported.
  • Demonstrable records of exceptional teaching and service are privileged and should be addressed in the chair’s letter of support.
  • Faculty may not be a CLA Fellow for at least two years following a sabbatical, a USAC assignment that takes them away from teaching in the department, a fellowship that gives them time to focus on their research, or a previous CLA fellowship.
  • Department Chairs and Program Directors are ineligible for a CLAF during their term, but chairs or directors who have served well and are finishing their terms at the time of application will be prioritized.
  • Upon completion of the semester supported by the grant, recipients must submit a 1-2 page report summarizing what was accomplished and any developments. Faculty must submit the report to be eligible for any future CLAF support.
  • If selected to be a CLA fellow, faculty should note that any course release for a future semester is conditional upon available funding, continued excellent performance, and departmental needs.


Please prepare your application in this order:

  1. Application Cover Sheet
  2. Condensed Curriculum-Vitae (2-page maximum)
  3. Proposal Narrative (2-page maximum to include the following items:)
    1. Project Objective: The proposal narrative should highlight the significance of the project both for scholars within your own discipline as well as for a broad audience of CLA colleagues. The narrative should clearly explain why your questions/hypotheses or the aims of your project are important, original, or innovative and make explicit the impact that your work will have within your discipline.
    2. Methods and Timeline: Detail concrete activities to be undertaken (e.g. fieldwork, archival research, data collection and analysis, documentary interview or filming, artistic endeavors, creative activities, etc., or, for non-tenure-track faculty, professional development opportunities) in service of an achievable goal (submission of a manuscript, exhibit, performance, or recording by specific date, etc.) Be specific in explaining how you will carry out your research or creative activity, or for non-tenure-track faculty, your professional development plan.
    3. Expected Results and Impact on Long-Term Research Program: Describe the expected outcomes and deliverables from the proposed research/creative activity. Explain how the project is part of, or will help lead to, a sustained research program that will generate scholarship beyond the period of the award. Note how the project will affect promotion readiness or (for full professors) your research/creative profile. Non-tenure-track faculty should explain how the targeted professional development opportunity will position them for promotion and/or greater success as a teacher.
    4. Opportunities for External Funding (half-page maximum): Tenured faculty should describe how the project/course release may help to secure subsequent external funding via sources relevant to your field or discipline. Include references to specific funding agencies, fellowships, foundations, or programs. If relevant, non-tenure-track faculty may address this topic as well.
  4. Chair’s Letter of Endorsement: A letter of endorsement from your department chair that justifies the release in terms of the objective of the proposed research or project. The letter must also address the total number of faculty leaves and course releases in the relevant semester and how changes to the schedule of regularly offered or required classes will be handled. The chair’s letter should report on the applicant’s teaching and service record within the department.
  5. Signatures: By submitting a signed proposal, applicants and chairs indicate their agreement to comply with the terms and conditions of the CLAF program as well as all other applicable UNR policies.