Early Start Program to encourage new-faculty research at SUNY Oswego

OSWEGO — A new SUNY Oswego program will support new faculty on the path to grant writing and research in the summer before their employment traditionally begins.

New tenured or tenure-track hires who can arrive at SUNY Oswego in early summer before their first fall semester will have the opportunity to receive up to $3,000, with the provision their work results in an external grant application through the college’s Office of Research and Sponsored Programs by summer’s end.

“Alok Kumar (professor of physics) put forward this idea. This is modeled on a program at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse,” said Kestas Bendinskas, an associate professor of chemistry who helped draft the program’s guidelines. “They invested $100,000 on 33 participants since the program started in 2003, resulting in $1.7 million in grants.”

Bendinskas said the program anticipates a limited number of applicants who can apply by mid-May each year for the Early Start Program and arrive by late June or early July, instead of the traditional late August arrival.

“When I started at SUNY Oswego in 2003, Jack Narayan was ORSP director, and he promoted a similar idea and applied it to me,” Bendinskas said. “I came early and started with a student assistant. During that time, we managed to set up the lab and I started my research. If I had come in August, I would certainly not have had time to accomplish it all. I wrote a grant that year, and many since then.”

Under Early Start, faculty hires must arrive on campus no later than the first week of July, Bendinskas said.

“If you start early in scholarly and creative activities, then you tend to continue that,” he said. “Those who qualify can start productive work here early.”