Tenure-track assistant professors in Texas have a window of opportunity through 1 p.m. January 12 to apply for mental health research grants from the Hogg Foundation. This initiative enables the foundation to support the research of as many as 10 junior faculty at Texas universities each year by awarding them grants of up to $17,500 each. The grants may be used to fund faculty summer salary, research assistants, research expenses and travel to present research findings at conferences.

This initiative accomplishes two important goals of the foundation:

  1. First, it supports quality research in mental health.
  2. Second, it encourages and supports the sharing of research findings with mental health researchers, policy makers and service providers in Texas and nationally.

An added benefit of the initiative is its support of junior faculty in their efforts to qualify for and obtain tenure. In the current climate of budget cuts and discussions of faculty productivity, tenure-track assistant professors at research-oriented institutions are under immense pressure to publish and, now more than ever, to secure grants.

Having been on the tenure track at one point, I can say from experience that it can be challenging to conduct research and publish while also striving to be an excellent instructor. For those not familiar with the publication process for academic research, the lag between conducting research and having the work published can be discouraging. My own dissertation was published in a competitive journal in my field five years and five revisions after I successfully defended it.

Pursuing grants in addition to these tasks can be daunting. The Hogg Foundation’s mental health research grants can serve as seed grants for some faculty, helping them to be more competitive when going after large federal grants. Submitting proposals for large government grants can be overwhelming, especially for those with highly technical rules and requirements.

This also is a time in many faculty members’ careers when they decide to start a family, which can be especially hard on women faculty. Even with family-friendly policies in place at many institutions, the tenure process and young children are a tough mix.

The Hogg Foundation is proud to advance quality academic research in mental health while also supporting the careers of promising junior faculty in Texas. Read more about the request for proposals and view proposals that have been funded in previous years.