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Research Development Academy: Eligibility & Application

Applications for the Research Development Academy are due April 23, 2021 and should be submitted as a single PDF to Jenn Edwards (


  • Tenure-track faculty at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; must be pre-tenured and must not have yet submitted a tenure dossier
  • At time of application to the Research Development Academy, at least one full year of tenure-track service at UTK or another institute of higher education
  • Self-identification as a racial or ethnic minority, a woman, as part of the LGBTQ+ community, as a member of an underrepresented group within your discipline, or as otherwise aligned with the goals of the program
  • Nominations are welcomed and self-nominations are allowed
  • Must be available to participate in at least 90% of the program (Please review dates on the RDA webpage to ensure that you can participate fully)
  • Must be willing to be tracked by the Division of Diversity and Engagement until promoted and tenured


  • Interest Statement
  • CV
  • Endorsement from Department Head and/or Dean

Interest Statement

  • Your name, department, and college
  • The year you expect to be considered for tenure at UTK
  • What you hope to gain from participating in the program
  • Research interests and aspirations
  • How your participation will allow you to achieve your professional goals
  • What you will bring to the RDA program cohort
  • A description of your current efforts to contribute to diversity, equity, or inclusion and how your participation in this program will allow you to enhance these efforts
  • Statements of your commitment to participate fully in the program and your willingness to be tracked until promoted and tenured


Applications should also consist of endorsements from your college dean and department head (for those in Colleges with departments). These endorsements should only express support for your participation in the program. They are not traditional recommendation letters.

Please ask your dean and/or department head to submit their endorsements at: You will automatically receive a notice via email when an endorsement form as been submitted on your behalf. Below is sample email text you can use to request your endorsement(s):

Dear [Dean and/or Department Head],

I am applying for the UTK Research Development Academy, which requires your endorsement. To submit your endorsement, visit this page: The endorsement only consists of your expressing support for my participation in the program. You are not required to write a recommendation letter. In case it is helpful, I have attached my CV.

You can read more about the UTK Research Development Academy at:

Your endorsement(s) is/are due by April 23, 2021.


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