The College of Continuing Studies is proud to offer the competitive Bama By Distance Faculty Research Fellows Program, which provides funding support for up to five University of Alabama faculty who are interested in pursuing systematic, rigorous investigation into the enhancement of online teaching and learning. Research projects will be followed by dissemination of scholarly work in print and through conference presentations and other public outlets.

Program Objectives

  • Recognize, support, and promote evidence-based and theory-framed efforts to investigate and enhance the practice of online teaching and learning.
  • Increase reflection on teaching and learning by making faculty more aware of their own teaching practices.
  • Establish the value, credibility, and significance of scholarly teaching.
  • Improve student outcomes and test scores.
  • Provide data for assessment, program review, and accreditation.
  • Communicate outcomes and make contributions to the broader scholarly community.
  • Promote faculty networking and community-building.
  • Position Bama By Distance as a leader in the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Program Description


Up to five Research Fellows will be selected per program year. Each award will include the following:


Up to $15,000 to be used by the recipient’s department to cover course release time or as direct summer research support.

Travel Funding

Funding may be available for the fellow to present their project results at a conference that focuses on online teaching and learning.


Equipment purchases will not be funded. Other materials may be considered on a case by case basis.

Eligibility and Selection


All University of Alabama tenured and tenure-track faculty and full-time instructors are eligible to apply. Collaborative proposals are encouraged.

Selection Criteria

Awards will be competitive and applications will be evaluated based on the following selection criteria:

  • Research potential — specific, focused, and realistic objectives; clear description of proposed methodology; expected outcomes of research; potential for publication and presentation; potential for external grant funding
  • Feasibility of the project design and timeline
  • Recommendation of department chair and college dean
  • Teaching status at the time of application

Responsibilities of Research Fellows

Research Fellows will begin project research during the 2020 annual year. Recipients are expected to pursue publication of their work in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, apply to present at conferences that are focused on online teaching and learning, and share reflections of their work with colleagues and the broader university community. Fellows are encouraged to work with CCS to pursue external grant funding. Responsibilities may also include presentation at CCS-sponsored events.

Research Fellows are expected to attend an initial cohort meeting, award and wrap-up events, periodic cohort lunches or workshops, and occasional meetings with the Research Fellows Selection and Advisory Committee.

Research Fellows will provide progress reports to the Committee as requested.

Application Materials

To apply for a 2021 Bama By Distance Faculty Research Fellowship, please read the following on how to complete and submit your proposalOur deadline is TBD.  The proposal should be a Word document(s) or PDF and must include:

  1. A current CV
  2. Why you are interested in being a Bama By Distance Faculty Research Fellow.
  3. A description of the proposed project, including:
    1. Project title
    2. Sponsoring department and college
    3. Project abstract
    4. Statement of the teaching and learning problem or question
    5. Planned intervention or qualitative approach
    6. Intended outcomes
    7. Evaluation and measurement plan
    8. Project deliverables (intended journal or conference outlets)
  4. Project timeline
  5. Collaborators (must be integral to the success of your project)
  6. Responses to the following questions:
    1. Would you be willing to work with the College of Continuing Studies to explore grant opportunities?
    2. Have you already identified potential funding sources that support the scholarship of online teaching and learning? If so, what are they?
  7. Any additional information you wish to provide
  8. A letter of support from your department chair (or dean if you are department chair)

Email your completed proposal to Cheryl Bosarge. Letters of support can also be emailed.


All project funding is subject to IRB approval.

Selection and Advisory Committee

Cheryl Bosarge, Program Manager for Faculty Development
Instructional Technology and Academic Services, College of Continuing Studies

Boyd Drewelow, Assistant Director of Instructional Design
Instructional Technology and Academic Services, College of Continuing Studies

Jim Bailey, Director of Strategic Initiatives
College of Communication and Information Sciences

Jacqueline Hodges, Program Manager
Academic Outreach, College of Continuing Studies

Cathy Pagani, Associate Dean
Graduate School

Kevin Besnoy, Director
ACCESS Virtual Learning, and Associate Director, K-12 Programs, College of Continuing Studies