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Humanities and Social Sciences Research Committee

Organization, Duties, and Responsibilities of the Research Committee


The mission of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Research Committee is to encourage and actively support research and scholarship in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.



Each department will recommend, to the Associate Dean for Research and Engagement, two tenured or tenure-track faculty members for appointment to the committee. One member from each department will be designated as the lead member. The other member will be designated as the alternate. The alternate member will be invited to join all committee meetings. The main reason for appointing an alternate is to ensure that at least one faculty member from each department will be present at research committee meetings. Each department will have one vote in any meeting.

Interdisciplinary studies (IDS) and each of the three college centers and institutes (CFACE, Nonprofits, and Khayrallah) may, at their discretion, appoint a tenured or tenure-track faculty member to the committee.

Because the committee is required to make substantive judgments about academic quality, familiarity with research is the single most important criterion for service on the committee. Therefore, membership shall be restricted to faculty involved in research and scholarly activity. Research activity is defined as conducting, publishing, or presenting research or scholarship in the last three years, as indicated in a faculty member’s CV. Departments should recommend for appointment to the committee faculty who have a demonstrated record of leadership in research and scholarships. Appointments to the committee will be for no less than one academic year. 


Members serve two-year terms. A faculty member may request a second consecutive term; no faculty member may serve on the committee for more than six years consecutively.  When a member steps down from the committee, the department head will recommend a new member of the committee.


The committee must meet at least twice during the academic year, once in the fall and once in the spring.

Duties and Responsibilities of the Research Committee

The duties and responsibilities of this committee shall be as follows:

  1. To promote research and scholarly excellence in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences
    1. Sponsor seminars, workshops, or other open events to showcase exemplary research and scholarship in the college
    2. Recommend programs and speakers of interest to the college, the university, and the community.
  2. To serve as a forum for the discussion of improvement and expansion of research activity.
  3. To receive and disseminate information from the Associate Dean’s Office to department faculty and leadership on issues that influence research and scholarship.
    1. Members are expected to receive email from the Associate Dean and from others, to subscribe to the College research blog, and to share information appropriate to their departments with their department heads and faculty members.
    2. As needed, the committee or a subcommittee will lead seminars for faculty members to answer questions on how to write proposals, how to use university research administration systems, and on how to find funding opportunities and submit applications.
  4. To communicate needs or problems related to research and the research environment to the Associate Dean.
  5. To, when requested, make recommendations to the Associate Dean regarding internal and external faculty awards, such as the Research Leadership Academy.
  6. To serve on proposal review and awards panels for internal funding programs, external funding programs, and to make recommendations regarding limited submission grant opportunities.
  7. To promote collaborative and interdisciplinary research across the college’s departments, across the university, and with other institutions.


Deliberations of the committee and discussions of research proposals are confidential. The minutes of the committee will be public, but confidential information about research projects, proposal review, and the like will not be part of the public minutes.

This document draws upon the Charter of the Research Committee at The Citadel, and Duties and Responsibilities of the Research Committee from the School of Medicine at Mercer University. We are grateful to these institutions for their permission to adopt some of the language of their documents.

2023-24 Members

The college’s representatives to the University Research Committee (URC) are indicated with an asterisk (*).

CommunicationDavid BerubeAlice Cheng
EnglishHuiling Ding*Christopher Crosbie
HistoryDavid ZondermanNoah Strote
Philosophy and Religious StudiesSanem SoyarslanGary Comstock
Political ScienceRobert ReardonJim Zink
PsychologyLaura Widman*Shevaun Neupert
Public AdministrationMandi StewartJeff Diebold
Social WorkMaura NsonwuAlan Ellis
Sociology and AnthropologySteve McDonaldKathryn Grossman
World Languages and CulturesRebecca RonquestJordi Mari