Science and Technology Acquisition and Retention Program
Pending legislative approval, Stephen F. Austin State University will become a member of the University of Texas System, effective Fall 2023.
Full details about the Science and Technology Acquisition and Retention Program are may be found on the website of the University of Texas System Office of Academic Affairs. In summary, STARs is designed to help UTS institutions attract and retain faculty talent in the areas of science and technology. STARs funding, which will be provided through reimbursement for expenditures related equipment or renovations, is available to eligible incoming new and current faculty members.
Stephen F. Austin State University is allotted up to $800,000 per year of STARs’ funding. Recipients of a STAR award will have up to 36 months to spend their STAR funding. STARs funds are limited to expenditures for equipment and renovations with a useful life of more than one year. It cannot be used for travel, salaries, consumable supplies, moving expenses, or other operating expenses. 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 (assistant, associate or full professor).
In consultation with the provost, the dean of research and graduate studies shall administer the STARs program at SFA, including satisfying the requirements for reporting and tracking. Academic deans may apply for STARs funding during their faculty recruitment processes, in anticipation of a successful search; the application structure below provides for this. STARs funding will be earmarked for prospective incoming faculty members.
Within the context of the STARs program, at SFA, the term “research” shall mean, in alignment with Boyer’s Model for Scholarship, any field associated with a) discovering knowledge, b) integrating knowledge, c) applying knowledge and/or d) scholarship of teaching.
Upon reflection of the following considerations, the dean of research and graduate studies will recommend to the provost the faculty member names of those to be awarded STARs funding:
- SFA: The extent to which the STARs award will grow SFA’s national stature.
- State of Texas: The extent to which the STARs award will grow the state of Texas national stature.
- Cross-Institutional: The extent to which the STARs award will grow cross-institutional collaboration.
- Cross-Disciplinary: The extent to which the STARs award will grow cross-disciplinary collaboration.
- Past Accomplishments: The extent to which the faculty applicant has demonstrated research success.
Proposal Submission and Deadlines
For each prospective or current faculty member seeking a STARs award, academic deans shall, in consultation with their unit heads, submit to the dean of research and graduate studies:
- A one-page cover letter of support.
- The faculty candidate’s curriculum vitae.
- Application form
The application packet is due July 1 and Dec. 1 of each year. All application materials must be submitted to the dean of research and graduate studies in a single PDF file or Word format.
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.
The program provides funding to help purchase state-of-the-art research equipment and make necessary laboratory renovations. 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.