Leadership in Clemson’s College of Education has recognized two faculty members as grant fellows for the 2020-2021 academic year. The College of Education Grant Fellows Program buys out awardees’ teaching responsibilities for a portion of the year so that they can pursue major grant funding opportunities.
Fellows for the 2020-2021 academic year are Daniella Hall Sutherland and Brooke Whitworth. According to Jeff Marshall, associate dean for research and graduate studies in the Clemson’s College of Education, Sutherland and Whitworth were selected as fellows because of their proven track record of research success and the promising work each of them have on the horizon.
“Each of these faculty members has represented our college well through their research, so we want to give them each the opportunity to cement their reputations as experts in their respective research areas,” Marshall says. “This fellowship provides a great opportunity for faculty to launch their career forward in the area of external funding while also supporting the development of major collaborative projects.”
Applicants for the program were required to furnish a list of past grant submissions as well as a description of grant opportunities they would pursue if they were named fellows. Marshall said Sutherland and Whitworth provided an impressive list of past achievements, but they also made a compelling case for their research portfolios going forward and how they intend to pursue future grant awards. Collectively, the two researchers will pursue over $10 million in grant funding opportunities over the next 15 months.
Although the level of competition in research funding in the field of education can be intimidating, Sutherland said the research opportunities, supports and resources available through the College and the University are exceptional. She directly links her selection as a fellow to the development she has received through the college over the past few years.
“It can feel daunting for new scholars to apply for available grant opportunities available due to the steep competition, but the college has consistently supported my research development,” Sutherland said. “The grant writing workshops and SEED grants they have provided have been instrumental in my development as a researcher.”
Sutherland’s research examines how rural school leaders navigate communities to improve educational equity, and she seeks to develop tools and supports that can be scaled up for rural districts around the country. As a fellow, Sutherland will benefit from additional time and resources to pursue research grants in this area of research.
Whitworth said her time as a fellow will allow her to focus her efforts on three separate grant proposals. One implements a science teacher leader academy to examine how teacher leadership may impact a school and/or district to improve science education, while another develops and implements a science methods curriculum for preservice teachers along with professional learning for methods instructors who choose to implement the curriculum. The third is a scale up of an existing grant that supports training in higher education faculty.
In addition to her personal research agenda, Whitworth plans to use her time as a fellow to support the College in writing and submitting a grant to research the College’s teacher residency program.
“I am grateful and excited for the opportunity to be a grant fellow,” Whitworth said. “It is rare to have the opportunity to focus on that aspect of my work for an entire year, so I look forward to seeing just how much I can accomplish for the College and in my own research during that time.”
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