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Star Route Farms Faculty Award 

(Fall applications are due September 21, 2020)

The Star Route Farms Faculty Award (SRFFA) aims to support the development of academic programming and research at Star Route Farms (SRF). SRFFA will provide grants up to $2500.00 for faculty at the University of San Francisco to develop research, teaching, and/or service projects in collaboration with Star Route Farms. Star Route Farms (SRF; Where We Are - Star Route Farms), is located in Marin County, California, approximately 20 miles north of the University of San Francisco (USF). It is the oldest continually operating certified organic farm in California, and has historic importance in the slow-food movement pioneered in the Bay Area. The property consists of approximately 40 acres of organically farmed land and 60 acres of unfarmed coastal scrub/forest habitat, riparian habitat, and a small creek that drains into Bolinas Bay (Pine Gulch Creek). Pine Gulch Creek is ecologically important for Steelhead Trout and historically was habitat for the endangered Coho Salmon spawning. SRF offers an unprecedented opportunity for faculty and students to engage with natural and agricultural landscapes to extend learning, research, and service experiences beyond our urban campus.

Star Route Farms Faculty Award Committee (SRFFAC)

The Star Route Farms Faculty Award Committee will consist of 3-5 faculty and administration member. Applications will be reviewed by each committee member and evaluated based on academic merit, contribution to research, teaching, and/or service, feasibility, and compliance with the guidelines for academic programming (link below). Details for submission are described below.

SRF Faculty Award Applications

Applications must include the following: project description, rationale, statement of objectives, research/teaching/service plan, and a description of how the project supports the faculty’s teaching, research and/or service at USF. Applications should also include a clear timeline and detailed budget with specific justification for expenses (use attached budget form and review guidelines below). Please highlight the specific collaboration with SRF. All activities must comply with the guidelines for academic programming at SRF, Office of the Provost - Guidelines for Academic Programming at Star Route Farms, and all onsite visits must be arranged in advance and cannot interfere with farm activities. Applicants can apply more than once for the SRFFA, but priorty will first be awarded to faculty with robust applications that have not yet had the opportunity to receive funding. The narrative for the application is limited to 2 typed pages, single-spaced and must also include the budget form and appropriate supporting materials (e.g., cost quotes for equipment and sample advertisement for research  assistants). Complete applications are due September 20th and February 20th or the following Monday if the 20th falls on a weekend. All full-time faculty are eligible to apply. Part-time faculty are also eligible to apply for funding in partnership with a full-time faculty member. All projects must conform to state and local mandates for health and safety with regard to COVID-19, and with University guidelines.

SRFFA Funds and Budget Guidelines

Funds may be used for the following: research and teaching equipment utilized in collaboration with SRF, facility fees, transport fees, stipends for USF research assistants (RA), and other related items that are required to carry out the research, teaching, and/or service at SRF. Applicants must complete the attached budget form and include it with their SRFFA narrative proposal. The purchase of equipment must be justified in the grant application, and funding for RAs must comply with details below. SRFFA funds cannot be used in lieu of departmental or program funds typically required to support a course. Priority will be given to novel research and course development.

  • Equipment. This can include scientific equipment, books, or other supplies.
    • Scientific equipment. Please include a description of the equipment and how it will be used at SRF. On the budget form include an itemized budget with justification for each budget expense.
    • Books. SRFFA will support purchases of books for research use that are not accessible through the USF library system. Please include a specific list with the title and author, a description of how these will support the research, teaching and/or service at SRF. To bring down costs, please consider purchasing used books whenever possible.
    • Teaching or service supplies. Equipment or materials needed to support teaching or service at or in collaboration with SRF. Please include the budget form to itemize and describe how the supplies will be used.
  • Funding for research assistants
    • The SRFFA budget form should include a brief description of the research assistant’s specific duties and the time frame for their completion; a description of RA qualifications; and attach an explanation of plans for posting and advertising the job and a sample job posting that includes the required Equal Opportunity Statement.
    • The 2020-2021 pay rate is $18 per hour for undergraduates and $19.12 per hour for graduates. Note, this amount includes the additional 12% needed to cover benefits. Please use these amounts in your budget. Faculty are encouraged to consider work-study students when possible.
    • Faculty supervisors are expected to closely monitor student hours and task completion to assure that research funds are being well used to complete the work for which they were awarded.
  • Honoraria
    • Compensation for non-USF faculty or students requires approval by the grant committee and USF Operations staff. Compensation will range between $25 and $50 per hour (depending on expertise), and should not exceed $250 total honorarium. Third parties (e.g., nonprofit agencies) are not eligible for SRFFA funds.
  • Guidelines for paying research participants. SRFFA funds can be used to pay research participants, as long as the research falls within the university policy for compensating participants. This policy is in response to increased regulation as a result of the ACA and changes in federal tax law. It is critical that we be able to provide evidence sufficient to satisfy an auditor that allocated funds were spent in service of faculty research.
    • All research involving human subjects, regardless of whether compensation is involved, must be reviewed and approved by USF’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) before the study begins. For proposals involving human subjects, faculty applicants should indicate approval of the IRB or intention to obtain IRB approval prior to the study. For each research participant, the PI should obtain a signed informed consent form. This should also indicate payment received. If this has been waived by the IRB, a log of payments including date and amount will suffice. The PI is responsible for retaining these forms for seven years and producing them in the case where Accounting and Business Services needs to show proof of proper payment in an audit.
    • Applications for participant compensation must include a description of the study. The amount of proposed compensation per participant (up to a maximum of $50 per participant) and the total amount requested should be included on the budget form.
    • Cash is the preferred mechanism for compensation of research subjects. We discourage the use of gift cards, gifts, raffle items, and so on. Payments may be a maximum of $50 per participant.
    • For online studies, researchers should use PayPal (or an equivalent service) to provide compensation to subjects and generate a log that indicates the dates and amount of payments. Award recipients must send a summary of their work that was supported by the SRFFA within 6 months of the award. Summaries can be sent to Linda Wong in the Provost Office (wongl@usfca.edu).

Click to download the Star Route Farms Faculty Award Application 

Award recipients must send a summary of their work that was supported by the SRFFA within 6 months of the award. Summaries can be sent to Linda Wong in the Provost Office (wongl@usfca.edu).