PERS (President’s Excellence in Research Scholars) 2023

The President’s Excellence in Research Scholars initiative seeks to provide internal seed-grant funding for faculty-led student research which will provide innovative learning experiences through research, technology, and other resources.


  • Engage students in research to enhance their experiential learning experience under guidance of Tarleton Faculty/Research Staff.
  • Support meritorious research
  • Strengthen the research environment of Tarleton
  • Generate data for external funding.

Project Eligibility: Current full-time enrolled students (undergraduate and graduate) and Faculty/Research Staff from all disciplines are eligible to apply. 

Project Duration: May 1 – August 20, 2023

Please note:

  • Faculty PERS hire dates will be 6/1 – 8/31
  • May 1st early start is approved specifically to begin ordering needed supplies to start research projects timely
  • If students are hired during this early start date in May, please follow guidelines listed below in Student Employment

Project Budgeting and Hiring

Student Employment

Undergraduate: $16 hr. / 20 hrs. week max / 10 wk. summer appointment limit.

Graduate: $21 per hr. / 20 hrs. week max / 10 wk. summer appointment limit.

May 1st – August 20th (code: U7762 “Student Worker Special”).

Please note: Students may work less hours, but not more than 20 hours per week in accordance the Student Employment Guidelines.

  • Students hired for PERS projects, with no current Tarleton student employment status, are required to attend New Student Orientation. Two orientations are scheduled every Friday. The student must complete necessary onboarding tasks, such as a background check, federal I9, and Workday processes, to be cleared for orientation and subsequently start in their position. The hire process for student workers is outlined in the People and Culture, Student Employees website. Departments must indicate the student’s classification (i.e., undergraduate or graduate) in order to receive the correct hourly rate.
  • If a student is currently employed in a student position, it is imperative they speak with their current supervisor to advise of the transfer to the PERS role and arrange future employment status as available and approved once their PERS role concludes. Although they will be transferring student employment positions, the process to hire them for a PERS position is the same as outlined in the People and Culture, Student Employees website.
  • People and Culture will create PERS student worker positions using the Student Worker Special U7762 job profile in Workday; departments will not need to create the positions.
  • Once the hire is complete in Workday, the position and new student worker will be moved to the respective supervisor for employment monitoring and approval of hours worked.
  • PERS positions employment may begin on or after May 1, 2023 and will end on August 20, 2023. Students may work a max of a 10 week summer appointment. People and Culture will process the terminations. All work hours will need to be submitted by August 20, 2023.

Faculty/Research Staff

Maximum 3 hr. release time for the 3-month summer session- One faculty is eligible to mentor up to 3 students, however two faculty are not eligible to mentor one (the same) student. *Please note: PERS funding may not be combined with summer salary and/or other Tarleton stipends to exceed 100% of a faculty member’s eligible summer salary amount.  If you need clarification of your eligibility, please contact your departments Budget Specialist. 

Supplies and Travel: A reasonable supplies and travel (if applicable) budget may be requested. If ordering/purchasing supplies on budget, please do quick research of the source where supplies will be purchased to verify the delivery of supplies will be on time for project.

No Equipment purchase will be allowed

No additional funds will be made available once initial awards are distributed.  Funds cannot be expended past the August 20, 2023 deadline.

Project Focus: projects must be future-oriented; using modern tools and techniques to research a particular topic in the applicant’s discipline or multi-collaborative around a particular research topic. Funds will not be awarded for research/scholarship projects already completed or for MS thesis.

Example of Project Categories:

Transdisciplinary research interest groups (TRIG):  Forming transdisciplinary teams to conceive and catalyze innovative ideas to address scientific and societal challenges. Overall goal is to submit research projects and establish new cross disciplinary collaborations (Group of at least 3 faculty from different colleges/centers and at least 3 students from different colleges/centers)

New Investigator Research Development (NeRD): Summer seed funding for new faculty/Assistant Professor to develop their research project

Sample of broad topics for consideration

Advancing the Data Revolution: cybersecurity, big data, and use of artificial intelligence in different disciplines

Safe, Connected, and Resilient Communities: rural broadband access, strengthening infrastructure, crime prevention and safety.

Politics, History and Culture: migration, immigration, Texas history, art and literature

Health Disparities: health literacy, access to health care, emotional and physical well-being, food deserts and food security, food safety, childhood obesity

STEM Education and Workforce Development:  retention, graduation, diversity, inclusion and student success.

Bioeconomy: Smart farms, water safety, microbiomes, biotechnology, drug development and drug delivery, supply chain and logistics

Biomedical research related topics

Innovating for a Resilient and Sustainable Future: environmental sustainability, science-based inquiry into a broad range of environmental issues

Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development: market research, workforce development, rural urban interdependence, rural entrepreneurship, business incubators.

Expected Deliverables include:

  • Identification of student(s) working on the project.  Student(s) must be approved by RIED and faculty must notify RIED immediately for requesting student changes.
  • Submit a mid-summer Progress Report by June 30th addressing project progress and any issues encountered, and budget update
  • Faculty to submit, as a Principal Investigator, a proposal to an external funding source by February 1, 2024.  
  • Acknowledge Tarleton State University’s PERS program on any publications/presentations as a result of this funding.
  • Faculty and Student(s) must present a poster at the Research Symposium to be held at Tarleton- Stephenville in February 2024.  If the student graduates, the Faculty member is still required to present a poster.

Application Process

Application should include clear goals and objectives, research plan, and methodology. Applications must include:

  1. A descriptive project title and a list of 5 Keywords that describe the research 
  2. Abstract (summary): In 300 words or less describe the project and the potential impact for a general audience.
  3. Project description: limit to 3 pages description of the proposed project including:
    1. Rationale: explain goal(s), current state in the field of study, and a description of the novel contribution to the discipline/community that your work will attempt to produce.
    2. Research plan/methodology: a description of the activities and what you will accomplish. Faculty will also provide a brief description of their expertise in the proposed research
    3. Justification: how funds will foster collaborations, secure external funding, and enhance the student learning experience.
  4. Budget (use form attached)
  5. Budget justification: 1 page description of each category requested in the budget template
  6. Are you a previous PERS recipient, if yes:
    1. Did you submit reports timely?
    2. Did you expend funds appropriately and timely?
    3. Did you apply to an external agency? If so, name agency, program, date, amount of award, PI and if you were funded.
    4. Did you submit final report?
    5. Did you participate in the PERS symposium as expected?
  7. Dean and Budget Specialist Review: Before submitting application, the appropriate department Dean and Budget Specialist will need to review and sign off on budget form.
  8. Future research plans: list federal and other solicitations to which faculty plans to submit an application by February 1, 2024

The Tarleton Research Council appointed by the Vice President of Research will review applications and make recommendations to the VPR. Priority will be given to applications that:

  1. Enhance the quality of students’ educational experience through research using modern tools and technology
  2. Generate new data for sponsored research

Application Deadline: Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until March 20, 2023, 5PM.

No late applications will be accepted.

Applications should be submitted to [email protected]