At this quarter’s Lightning Talks, hosted Nov. 1 by UW Tacoma’s Office of Research, five UWT faculty members shared reports on their current research endeavors. The faculty members — Dr. Barb Toews, Dr. Marc Nahmani, Dr. Michelle Montgomery, Assistant Professor Michael Kula and Dr. Sarah Hampson — are all spring 2018 recipients of either UW’s Royalty Research Fund or UWTs own pilot program, Alternative Royalty Research Fund.
Since 1992, the UW Royalty Research Fund has aimed to provide resources to faculty who typically have a harder time securing money for research due to minimal funding opportunities in their discipline or being of lower seniority level. Funds from the RRF are highly competitive, with an average acceptance rate of only 25 percent.
Hampson, an assistant professor in politics, philosophy and public affairs, is one of three applicants from UWT to be awarded the UW RRF this year, out of more than 20 who have applied. The other two recipients, Dr. Jarek Sierschynski and Dr. Larry Knopp, received their awards in January. Hampson’s research, titled “Mobilizing Title IX: Assessing Activist Goals and Institutional Responses,” is a joint collaboration with Dr. Jamie Huff of Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts. This project looks to understand the strategies and goals of activists who mobilize around Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972.
“Legal mobilization is the theoretical framework for this project,” Hampson said during her Lightning Talk. “Legal mobilization scholarship basically asks, ‘How do activists and others use law to achieve social change?’ And that’s kind of the framework for our big question in this research which is: How do activists’ demands and institutional responses converge and diverge around Title IX’s provisions regarding campus sexual harassment and assault?”
Toews, Nahmani, Montgomery and Kula all received UWT’s Alternative RRF. As an internal pilot program that began spring quarter 2018, the Alternate RRF seeks to partially support high ranking RRF proposals that benefit and advance UWT’s goals as defined in the campus five-year plan, Charting Our Course, but did not receive RRF funding. Dr. Laura Feuerborn and Dr. Kathy Beaudoin also received funding through the Alternative RRF for their research proposal, but were not present at the Lightning Talks.
“This was all supported by Academic Affairs,” Dr. Kara Luckey, a research development consultant for the Office of Research, said at the Lightning Talks. “We are not sure if this is a program that will continue, but we are really happy to fund five highly scored RRF proposals that were not funded [by the UW RRF].”
The UWT Alternative RRF is funded through the vice-chancellor of Academic Affairs. Each unfunded proposal had the opportunity to earn up to $10,000 to help aid their research. If the pilot program is found to be successful and is given more money for grants, UWT faculty who submit an unfunded RRF this academic year by March 2019 will have the chance to earn an Alternative RRF in July 2019.