New Faculty Startup

The New Faculty Startup Program is administered by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs and provides supplemental funding for faculty startup costs. This program’s objectives are to make UNO competitive in hiring the highest quality faculty who have the greatest research potential and to support research targets in the campus strategic plan.

Startup funding is committed on a case-by-case basis by each unit providing startup. Requests for startup should be limited to full time tenure track faculty hires. The following principles will be considered in evaluating the request for startup:

  • Higher priority is given to areas that support research targets in the campus strategic plan
  • Higher priority is given to hires demonstrating outstanding research, scholarly, or creative potential
  • Higher priority is given to hires where the level of startup is a critical factor that will influence the success of hiring faculty
  • Higher priority is given to units that are providing a significant portion of the startup and may be in the form of reduced teaching loads, graduate assistants, summer salary, etc.

Commitments for startup will typically be for one to two years but can be for up to three years. Only the first year will be guaranteed, and funding for future years will require that the new faculty member submit a proposal to an outside sponsor.

Startup Request Process

Requests for startup funding must be approved by the Department Chair, College Dean, Vice President for Research and Economic Development, and the Provost. After the new position is approved for a search, the department chair should assess the expected startup need for the new position and contact the dean and ORSP to formulate an estimated startup package. At least six weeks prior to interviewing candidates, utilize this spreadsheet to create the preliminary startup package and discuss with ORSP. Typical startup packages will include at minimum ORSP funds to cover one month of summer salary, in the first year only, and $2,000-$4,000 per year for undergraduate students for two years. Departments should include 25% release time in years one and two using the department research budget (these funds are already budgeted for the position and do not represent an additional cost to the department). Travel, computer equipment, graduate student support, and supplies are other common expenses that can be included in requested college or ORSP funds.

Once the final candidate is identified, the formal request should be submitted and should include the following:

  • New Faculty Startup Request Form signed by the Chair and Dean (with attached negotiated spreadsheet as discussed above)
  • Accurate cost estimates and justification of the candidate's startup needs
    •Include discipline specific standards for start-up when available.
  • Copy of the candidates resume

Hiring Request with Startup

Once the Startup Request Form has been completed, the department can begin the current hiring process as required by Academic Affairs and the human resource department, with the following additions.

A Completed Startup Request Form will be attached to the UNO Standard Offer Letter with Startup Request and sent to the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. Include a line on the cover letter for the Vice President for Research & Economic Development to approve the hiring packet. The standard UNO offer letter should be used, but the following language must be added:

The university is committed to providing a supportive academic environment to its faculty that enables them to develop research, scholarly, or creative activities. Therefore, in addition to the offer of a faculty position, you will be afforded a startup package of $xx, using funds from the department, college, and research office. Your first year of startup will be funded upon your employment with the requirement that you will 1) submit at least one external grant proposal in your first year and second year of employment (if your proposal in Year 1 is awarded you can request a waiver to not submit a proposal in your second year) and 2) will attend an expanded new faculty orientation program co-hosted by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) and Academic Affairs. If you do not submit an external grant and attend the new faculty orientation in your first year at the university, then your startup funds will be cancelled at the end of your first year. Startup funds must be spent in accordance with all rules and regulations of UNO and the University of Louisiana System. Your startup package consists of $xx provided by the department, $xx provided by the college, and $xx provided by ORSP.

The cover letter for the hiring packet must include the Vice President for Research & Economic Development. Once the VPR has approved the hiring packet, it will be forwarded to Academic Affairs for approval.

Candidate Accepted Offer

Once a candidate has accepted a position, a copy of the signed offer letter will be attached to the Startup Request Form by the department that requested startup and emailed to each party that is committed to providing start-up.

Candidate Hired/Speedkey

Once the faculty member has been hired, and the department is notified by HR that the faculty is in the system they need to contact ORSP. The speedkey will be set up once the candidate is an employee in the system. 

Managing Startup

New faculty hires with startup provided by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs will meet in our office to receive their speedkey. Startup will be treated as an internal grant so the faculty member will have a dedicated speedkey and be will be able to track their funds. The faculty will learn how to monitor and manage their funds in the university accounting system.

New faculty receiving startup from the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs will participate in an expanded orientation that is co-hosted with Academic Affairs, Center for Teaching Innovation and ORSP. In most years there will be three meetings in the fall and three meetings in the spring semester.