Kapfer Research Award

Click here to examine important information on the project proposal format.
Click here to go to the online application submission form.

The Philip and Miriam Kapfer Endowed Faculty Research Award (referred to hereinafter as the Kapfer Research Award) is designed to provide leave and a monetary award for the development and pursuit of research interests among faculty members with preference given to those faculty members in the College of Arts and Sciences. Recipients of the Kapfer Research Award are selected by the Committee on Creative Work and Research under the auspices of the Office of the Provost.  Selection is based on the originality and significance of the proposal and the applicant’s perceived capacity to complete the work.

The Kapfer Research Award is funded from an endowment established by the Kapfer family.  The fund award will be awarded biennially. The award provides one semester of full-time leave with pay or two semesters in the same academic year with half-time load, plus a stipend of $4,000. The stipend will not be subject to retirement benefits. Colleges to which the faculty recipient belongs will receive $15,000 from the Office of the Provost in compensation for the leave, but the expenditure of the funds is controlled by the dean of the college.

The award will be used during the academic year for which it is granted for research in the faculty member’s area of expertise.  It may not be used for a project that in any way contributes toward the attainment of a degree.  The award recipient will provide the Office of the Provost a comprehensive, written report on the completed research together with plans for additional ways to disseminate the research results by October 1 following the award year.

In the event that no eligible request for the Kapfer Research Award is received in a given year, no award may be granted, and that year’s earnings on the fund will be added to the principal of the fund.

The goals of the Kapfer Research Award include the following:

  1. To highlight the value of current research in higher education, specifically in the Arts and Sciences.
  2. To use various appropriate research methodologies including applied research, classroom research, and field research.
  3. To develop new insights and strategies for teaching and learning in higher education that will be of value to other researchers, teachers, and students.
  4. To communicate the faculty member’s research results to the University community and to appropriate academic outlets outside the University via reports, publications, conferences, seminars, etc.

All faculty, with a preference for those in the College of Arts and Sciences, with the rank of lecturer or above and who have served the university for at least three (3) academic years prior to the effective date of the appointment are eligible to apply for the Kapfer Research Award. A faculty member who has received a Kapfer Research Award may be considered again for the award only if three (3) or more years have elapsed since the original award year.

Application Guidelines:
Generally, all supporting documents are to be submitted to the Office of the Provost by the last week of September. Specific dates can be found on the deadlines web page. The application must include several basic elements:

  1. Formulate the research question clearly.  Include reasons why the answer to this question is important.
  2. List the practical steps that will be taken to collect, interpret, apply, and communicate the research results and conclusions.
  3. Speculate on ways in which the proposed research will benefit the faculty member in his or her primary role as a teacher at Valparaiso University.  Also, suggest ways in which VU students will benefit from the proposed research.
  4. Provide a proposed budget if the faculty applicant expects to divide the award between research-related expenses and a stipend.

Important Dates:
(biennially) - the focus of the Kapfer Research Award is publicized through appropriate channels on campus and in the Valparaiso University community.

Last week of September (academic year prior to the year of the award) - Faculty applications and all supporting documents are due at the Office of the Provost.

November 15 (academic year prior to the year of the award) - The award recipient and all other applicants for the award are notified.  The announcement of the person selected for the award is publicized as appropriate.

October 1 (following the award year) - The award recipient provides to the Office of the Provost a comprehensive, written report on the completed research together with plans for additional ways to disseminate the research results.