Faculty Manuscript Workshops
We are excited to announce a new funding rubric now provided by the HRC!
Funding to support manuscript workshops is available to both assistant professors and associate professors as part of the process of preparing their scholarly dossiers for promotion. The workshop should focus on the scholarly work (regardless of genre) that the candidate is preparing for the eventual promotion case: a completed book manuscript, key chapters of a book-in-progress, or a body of articles that comprises the core scholarship in the promotion dossier. The idea of a manuscript workshop is to invite an established scholar (or two if funding suffices) in the field to read, engage, and comment upon the manuscript in a workshop format. The HRC welcomes proposals from faculty in the visual and performing arts for studio visits, pre-exhibition reviews, or other consultations with external experts in your field to support scholarship or creative works that transcend these text-based workshop formats.
Hosting a manuscript workshop:
The manuscript workshop should be hosted or co-hosted by the department and/or center where the faculty member is appointed. Invitations for external manuscript reviewers would normally be extended (or co-extended) by the department chair/center director on behalf of the unit. Manuscript workshops require advance planning (ca. 6 months) and can be scheduled around the author's availability, the unit, and the first-choice external readers. Not only does the hosting role of the department/center attest to its investment in supporting the advancement of the faculty member, but such workshops should ideally become part of the unit’s and the School’s intellectual life. Once the date has been determined, the department chair/center director should work with the author and their mentor (if relevant) to extend a limited number of invitations to colleagues to participate in the workshop.
Expectations of Unit, Reviewers and Participants:
- Workshops should generally not be public events or involve departmental or school publicity. It is critical that the author, in consultation with the host chair/director, is able to shape the group of participants so that it is possible to receive meaningful input in an intellectual constellation that includes those colleagues whose input they most value. Chairs/directors, as hosts of a manuscript workshop, should ensure a productive and collegial atmosphere in the workshop and a discussion format that is comfortable for the author in terms of creating a format that allows them to respond to comments one by one as they are raised, or to collect input and respond to several comments at once. Chair/director hosts should attend to the demands on the author to think on their feet in the face of rigorous questions and comments and to work out with the author the best rhythm for the discussion.
- External readers:
- The faculty member requesting the workshop should identify two to four external readers and rank them by order of preference (in the event that the top choices are not available), with the goal of enlisting at least one and possibly two readers whose insights will be useful to the author as they prepare their materials for submission/promotion. The chair/director extends the invitation, including the CV and a brief description of the scholarly work presented to the workshop. The charge to the external reviewers is to carefully read the manuscript materials and provide oral comments/questions/discussion points, leading off and setting the tone of the discussion. The external readers should provide written comments to the author, ideally following the conclusion of the workshop. It is important that the department chair/center director outline the expectations of the invited reviewer(s) in the formal invitation.
- Workshop planning should involve adjacent time, ideally after the workshop, for the author to meet privately with the external readers, possibly over dinner, to procure additional input or discuss the work in greater depth.
- Local participants/Rice colleagues:
- The list of Rice participants should also be assembled by the chair/director with the faculty member whose work is being read/reviewed and may include faculty with related interests from other disciplines/schools, including colleagues from nearby universities if relevant. Hosts must make clear that attendance presumes the willingness to pre-read substantial sections of the circulated material and to offer input and insights to the author, i.e. participants should not presume they will just listen to the discussion.
- Workshops should be scheduled during the semester, during reading days, or just after the semester’s end in order to garner the desired participation. For that same reason, workshops should be scheduled for a reasonable time frame (3-4 hours maximum). A well-run workshop can be highly productive in this time frame.
Up to $3,500 is provided by the HRC per workshop proposal and covers honoraria and travel/hosting costs for external experts' invitations. The award is to the unit for the individual faculty member’s workshop and not to the individual faculty member. Should the budget for the workshops exceed this sum, departments/centers/programs should ascertain if they can contribute the remaining funding. We estimate that the HRC will be able to allocate funding for no more than 4 manuscript workshops per year, although we will do our best to fund workshops as the need arises and will consider the timing of the planned submission, publication, or promotion process.
The workshops should be staffed by the department/center administrator(s); the HRC staff will work on the budget transfer process, but the unit administrator will work with the chair/director to issue invitations to external readers and Rice participants and will arrange the advance dissemination of the materials to both. The department administrator(s) will also be responsible for hotel, flight, and airport transportation booking as well as restaurant reservations and workshop catering, if needed.
Submissions will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Awarded funds must be used within six months of their disbursement.
For more information, please contact Gabriela Garcia at firstname.lastname@example.org.