The Cottrell Scholar awards, instituted in 1994, are named in honor of Frederick Gardner Cottrell, scientist, inventor, and philanthropist. Dr. Cottrell founded Research Corporation for Science Advancement in 1912 and provided means for scientific research and experimentation at scholarly institutions. He not only contributed fundamentally and practically to scientific knowledge, but he dedicated his career to enlisting science in the service of society (see Biography of Frederick Gardner Cottrell).
The Cottrell Scholar Award (CSA) program owes its origins to the foundation's concern with the apparent separation of teaching and research in universities. Rather than being communities of university-scholars, universities are often perceived as collections of specialists. We seek to reinforce the growing awareness that these two functions are complementary rather than wholly or partially exclusive. We believe this convergence is essential for increasing the fraction of students who are attracted and retained in science.
Goals and Desired Outcomes
The main goal of the CSA program is to promote and support the university scholar model. University scholars are faculty members who have both excellent research programs and excellent approaches to student learning at the undergraduate level.
Desired outcomes of the CSA program include:
A culture shift in PhD granting institutions toward valuing the university scholar
Increased attraction and retention of undergraduates in science
Increased undergraduates from Ph.D. granting institutions pursuing graduate degrees
A key objective of the program is to build a community of outstanding scholar-educators who are dedicated to becoming leaders in both research and teaching and collectively, have the potential to change the way science is taught nationally. Scholars are required to attend at least two annual Cottrell Scholars conferences while the award is active. The annual Cottrell Scholars conference seeks to promote community amongt Cottrell Scholars and is held in early July in Tucson, AZ.
Eligible applicants are tenure-track faculty members whose primary appointment is in a Bachelor's and PhD-granting department of astronomy, biochemistry, biophysics, chemistry, or physics, but not in a school of medicine or engineering. For the 2011 proposal cycle, eligibility is limited to faculty members who started their first tenure-track position anytime in calendar year 2008.
Cottrell Scholar awards are in the amount of $75,000. An amount of $5,000 is set aside to cover travel expenses related to attendance to two Annual Cottrell Scholars Conferences. Budgets are not required; hence, there is no budget page in the proposal. Funds from Cottrell Scholar awards can be used at the discretion of the Scholar for most direct costs, with limitations only on the range of acceptable expenditures. There is no provision for indirect costs or overhead, faculty salaries, tuition, or for routine institutional services. Funds from an award may be used to support both the educational and research projects of the Cottrell Scholar.
CSA proposals reflect the philosophy of the university scholar, a scientist who conducts cutting edge research and fully embraces teaching excellence and student learning. To be successful, applicants must demonstrate a strong commitment to lower division undergraduate education and high prospects for becoming a national leader in their field of research. Proposals consist of both educational and research plans and they are only accepted on the provided forms. Submissions must conform to guidelines and directions, and need to be endorsed by the institution. Potential applicants begin the online submission process by completing the online eligibility quiz. If eligible, applicants gain access to a web page containing the Cottrell Scholar Award application packet and instructions for electronic submission. The 2011 deadline for proposal submission is August 1, 2011.