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The Science and Technology Acquisition and Retention program provides funding for faculty to purchase state-of-the-art research equipment and to make necessary laboratory renovations to perform their research at a University of Texas System institution. Full details about the STARs program may be found on the UT System Office of Academic Affairs website. In summary, STARs is designed to help UT System institutions both attract and retain faculty talent in the areas of science and technology. 


SFA is allotted up to $800,000 per year of STARs' funding. The minimum award amount is $50,000. The total number of awards made will vary based on the number and quality of merited applications that are received by colleges. 

Eligibility & Award Limits

STARs funding is available to all incoming (new) and currently employed faculty in a full-time tenured or tenure-track position. Funding requests should be connected to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. There is not a single unified definition of STEM across federal agencies. Applicants are encouraged to consider the STEM Designated Degree Program List published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for guidance about program areas that may be appropriate for funding support. 

There are two categories of award: Faculty STARs and Rising STARs.

  • Faculty STARs – Awards up to $500,000 may be made for recruitment and/or retention if individuals with national reputations and promise of election to national honorific societies, such as the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering, among others. 
  • Rising STARs – Awards of up to $300,000 may be made for recruitment of promising faculty members who are recruited in a tenure-track position at any academic level (i.e. assistant, associate, or full professor).

Allowable Expenses

STARs funds are limited to expenditures for equipment and renovations with a useful life of more than one year (Permanent University Fund eligible). Funds cannot be used for travel, salaries, consumable supplies, moving expenses, or other operating expenses. The federal definition of equipment is a tangible personal property (including information technology systems) having a useful life of more than one year and a per-unit acquisition cost which equals or exceeds the lesser of the capitalization level established by the non-federal entity for financial statement purposes, or $5,000.


For each prospective or current faculty member seeking STARs funding, academic deans shall, in consultation with their unit heads, submit to the dean of research and graduate studies:

  • One-page cover letter from the college regarding the applicant’s capacity for research leadership
  • Curriculum Vitae for the applicant
  • Completed application form

Applications will be reviewed twice annually and must be received by January 1 or July 1 in the year prior to which funding will be made available. All application materials must be submitted to the dean of research and graduate studies.

Review Criteria

Funds are intended to support faculty with high potential to enhance research capacity in science and technology. Applications will be evaluated based on the following:

  • The extent to which recruitment and/or retention will provide scientific leadership in an area of significant strength to the individual institution, the addition of a high-quality research program in an underdeveloped area within the institution, or a substantial enhancement of an existing program.
  • The extent to which recruitment and/or retention provides important research leadership in a priority area for the UT System and/or the State of Texas.
  • The extent to which the STARs award will grow the national reputation of SFA. 
  • The extent to which the STARs award will grow cross-institutional and cross-disciplinary collaboration.

Administration and Award Management

Award recipients are expected to spend at least 50% of awarded funds within the first 12 months with remaining funds to be fully spent within the allowable three-year period. Awards must conform to all applicable SFA policies and guidelines, and local, state and federal regulations. Research including the use of human subjects, laboratory animals or hazardous materials must be approved by the appropriate university committee prior to the initiation of the project. 

As a condition of an award, award recipients will be expected produce the following:

  • One or more quality grant submissions within the award period. Proposals should target state or federal agencies that allow for full indirect cost recovery.
  • Documentation annually detailing expenditures and research outcomes associated with awarded funding. This documentation is due no later than the end of each fiscal year (August 31). 



Office of Research and Graduate Studies
Fax: 936.468.7369

Graduate Studies:
Grants and Sponsored Programs:
Research Advisory Council:

Physical Address:
404 Aikman Drive
Dugas Liberal Arts North, Room 419
Nacogdoches, Texas

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 13024, SFA Station
Nacogdoches, Texas 75962