Research Policy

Trinity College, primarily an undergraduate teaching institution, recognizes that scholarly activities enhance the teaching enterprise. Not only do these activities increase faculty sense of competence, they serve to benefit the institution’s aim of intellectual excellence and ongoing professional development. Trinity supports a wide variety of research and scholarship by faculty members; it also encourages and supports research efforts by students both independently and in collaboration with faculty.

 The College provides leaves for faculty at specific intervals so that they may concentrate on particular scholarly projects. Additionally, the Faculty Research Committee provides modest grants for summer research activities and for faculty research leaves. The Faculty Grants Office assists faculty with preparation of grant proposals for federal, state, and other appropriate agencies. The College encourages research on all subjects and refrains from any kind of institutional judgment or censorship. The quality of the research is judged solely by professional standards.

 Faculty members who wish to submit grant proposals are expected to discuss applications with department chairs and the director of faculty grants. Before the deadline, the internal cover sheet must go through administrative review. Proposals that require matching funds or special allocation of space must be negotiated with the proper internal administrative officials before approval for submission will be granted. Faculty members are encouraged to begin the process early in order to facilitate approval. Fellowship applications should be discussed with department chairs and reported to the grants director, but do not need institutional approval unless a leave of absence is involved.

 Occasionally, grant opportunities arise that pose unique problems regarding dissemination of knowledge or free inquiry. In these situations, i.e., restricted research, each case will be examined by the director of faculty grants, the dean of the faculty, and, if necessary, legal counsel before internal approval is granted.

 Budgets for external grants must be reviewed by the director of faculty grants and the College budget director. Approval is routinely given for grant requests for summer salary at the rate of 2/9 of the academic year salary, plus a small percentage for benefits. Salary supplements or substitutions for teaching during the academic year must be negotiated on an individual basis.

 The College complies with all federal regulations and has the following assurances filed with DHHS: civil rights, misconduct in science, handicapped individuals, sex discrimination, age discrimination, drug-free workplace. In addition, the college has two committees which handle all internal approval for research with animals and human subjects. The Institutional Review Board (IRB) reviews and evaluates faculty and student campus research projects that involve the collection of information from human participants, including those originating as class projects or independent research. The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) oversees the institution’s animal program, facilities, and procedures. Both committees include external professionals not affiliated with the College.

 Faculty members who are awarded grants from the federal government are required to file all interim and final reports in a timely manner. In addition, they are urged to work closely with the Business Office to adhere to the approved expenditure of budget funds. While some flexibility is often allowed between budget categories, it is imperative that all activities related to the grant be carried out in a manner that will enhance the reputation of the individual and the College.

All major equipment awarded to the College through a federal grant remains the possession of the institution, unless otherwise negotiated with the dean of the faculty. Decisions concerning individual cases will be handled as they arise.

 The College encourages faculty members to avail themselves of all opportunities for scholarship. The administration welcomes formal and informal discussion of projects and research ideas and is committed to a policy of support for such endeavors.