Faculty members, please review our guidelines by selecting from the tabs below.

Research & Scholarship Expectations & Guidelines for AAES Faculty

Faculty members whose research appointments are supported by Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station funds will be expected to meet certain general research expectations and guidelines and consistently demonstrate evidence of scholarship:


  • Maintain an active Hatch project (and/or actively participate in a Hatch multistate project as Official Station Representative) and submit annual progress (or final) report in REEport by the annual due date.
    * Non-compliance with this requirement may result in ineligibility for AAES competitive grants and other faculty support programs and/or reconsideration of AAES appointment. 
  • Maintain an active research program and a level of research productivity that is in accordance with their research appointment and is commensurate with promotion and tenure standards in their academic units. 
  • Acknowledge AAES and NIFA Hatch support in research materials (publications, presentations, patents, etc.). 
  • Encouraged to engage in interdisciplinary research by working with collaborative teams to address complex issues relevant to the AAES. Active participation in at least one interdisciplinary research team is encouraged. 
  • Encouraged to participate in AAES research support programs including grantsmanship workshops and research-related trainings.


1. Publish high quality peer-reviewed journal publications and scholarly books 

  • The average number of publications per year should be consistent with what is expected within the faculty member’s discipline and home department for all faculty with a similar research appointment. In general, one peer-reviewed publication per year is the minimum level expected for a 25% research appointment. Thus, faculty members with a 50% research appointment should be expected to publish at least 2 publications per year.
  • Annual Minimum Expectation**: Two (2) publications in peer-reviewed journals per year for 50% research appointment (i.e., 1 publication per 25% research appointment).
    * Note that one high quality publication (in a peer-reviewed journal with an Impact Factor of 7.5 or higher) can substitute for two standard publications. 

2. Demonstrate grantsmanship effort and actively seek funding from appropriate sources including internal funding, commodity funding and extramural funding (e.g., federal/state agencies, foundations, industry/corporations, international funding, etc.).

The type and amount of funding should be consistent with what is available and valued within the faculty member’s discipline or interdisciplinary team.

  • Annual Minimum Expectation**: Actively participate (as PI or Co-PI) in two (2) single-discipline or interdisciplinary extramural grant proposals per year for 50% research appointment (i.e., 1 proposal per 25% research appointment). This does not apply to faculty members who have active extramural grant(s) or contract(s).
    * Note that internal and commodity funds are encouraged but not considered extramural funding for this purpose.

3. Present research findings at professional, scientific or stakeholder meetings

  • Annual Minimum Expectation**: Two (2) presentations (oral or poster) from the faculty’s research program (as first or senior author) per year for 50% research appointment (i.e., 1 presentation per 25% research appointment).

4. Participate in the training and mentoring of next generation of scientists including graduate students and undergraduate researchers

  • Annual Minimum Expectation**: For 50% research appointment, serve as major advisor to two (2) graduate students (i.e., 1 graduate student per 25% research appointment). In addition, AAES faculty members are encouraged to serve on the thesis/dissertation committee of other graduate students and mentor undergraduate researchers.


  • Patents, inventions and other creative endeavors of a significant scientific merit 
  • Professional awards and honors in recognition of expertise/service 

** Note that this annual minimum expectation list may not satisfy Auburn University Promotion and Tenure (P&T) expectations and does not indicate a strong annual performance. Faculty members are encouraged to maintain a higher level of scholarship productivity and to review and meet the P&T guidelines in their department/college.

Examples of Scholarship Guidelines

Guidelines On & Examples of Scholarship

The College of Agriculture is committed to scholarship. Discovery of new knowledge and the transfer of this knowledge are the primary functions of a research university. Aside from the improvements new discoveries offer to society, faculty members become better researchers, teachers and extension/outreach educators through their scholarly activities. Their scholarly activities allow them to stay abreast of developments in their fields and to become recognized experts in their disciplines. The College of Agriculture believes that scholarship is important in all of the mission areas of the university – research, teaching and extension/outreach. As such, these guidelines provide examples of scholarship in each mission area that may be used in guiding and evaluating the scholarly activities of faculty members.


Scholarship is “knowledge creation, synthesis and application” (Culp, 2009) that is “public, susceptible to critical review and evaluation, and accessible for exchange and use by other members of one’s scholarly community” (Schuman, 1998).



Excellence in research may include, but is not limited to:

  • Establishment of an extramurally funded research program yielding high-quality, scholarly, new and creative contributions to the faculty member’s professional discipline.
  • Independent, nationally and internationally recognized (as appropriate) research in a well-planned and developed program, that may include playing a key role in establishing institutional, regional, nationally and internationally recognized multi-disciplinary research.
  • Contribution to the advancement of knowledge or research results that produce tangible benefit to society.

Examples of evidence of scholarship in research include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Publications in quality peer-reviewed refereed journals and scholarly books.
  • Published peer-reviewed review articles.
  • Receipt of awards for excellence in research.
  • Significant research funding from external sources.
  • Invited and volunteered presentations at professional and scientific meetings.
  • Collaborative efforts with extension, research, teaching and/or industry.
  • Recognition of professional expertise among peers as evidenced by appointment to editorial boards of high quality journals and/or election to leadership roles in professional societies.
  • Patents, inventions and other creative endeavors of a significant scientific or technical nature.


Excellence in teaching and instructional activities may include, but is not limited to:

  • Production of educated and academically well-rounded students and placement of those students into relevant positions in the job market.
  • Contributions to curricula or program development that may include evidence of incorporating new knowledge and developments in the field.
  • Creativity in course or program development.
  • Incorporation of new and/or innovative materials, ideas, concepts and techniques.
  • Development of improved laboratory exercises or classroom demonstration.
  • Experiential learning opportunities.
  • Improvements in student learning.
  • Obtaining new equipment or resources that allow for improvement of course materials.

Examples of evidence of scholarship of teaching include, but are not limited, to the following:

  • Excellent peer review (internal or external) of teaching.
  • External funding to support instruction programs.
  • Publication in refereed education and/or scientific journals.
  • Receipt of awards for teaching from university and professional organizations.
  • Development of instructional products adopted by peers.
  • Pedagogical innovation adopted by peers.
  • Excellent student performance in scholastic collegiate competitions.
  • Curriculum that is accepted by peers.
  • Students who exit courses or other educational experiences with a high level of competence, validated by student awards, competitive internships and jobs, professional experience (ex. presentations at research conferences), or proficiency in subsequent courses.
  • Contributions to professional conferences/meetings in areas related to teaching through presentations, symposia, working groups and workshops.


Excellence in extension/outreach may include, but is not limited to:

  • Development and delivery of outreach educational programs with clear sets of goals. Programs are determined through needs assessments and active participation with target audience.
  • Changed practices, policies or behavior from outreach education.
  • Capacity building for individuals, communities and institutions.
  • Contributions to team and interdisciplinary efforts.

Examples of evidence of scholarship of extension-outreach include, but are not limited, to the following:

  • Publication of peer-reviewed extension bulletins and reports targeted to clientele.
  • Publication of outcomes of extension activities in scholarly and professional journals, especially those involving collaborative efforts.
  • Evidence of extension programs with demonstrated impact or outcome for clientele.
  • Receipt of local/national awards for excellence in extension.
  • External funding to support extension programs.
  • Presentations at professional and scientific meetings.
  • Presentations at user meetings.
  • Maintenance of effective relationships with clientele.
  • Conduct of extension programs with demonstrated impact or outcome for clientele.
  • Local and/or national awards for teaching and extension education materials.
  • Invitations to collaborate on regional, multi-state, or national extension educational events.


Faculty members are expected to generate scholarship consistent with their appointment and be productive every year.

Industry Funding Guidelines


  • The College of Agriculture, in collaboration with the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP), has established a streamlined process for research award negotiations with industry stakeholders. OSP has four approved agreement types that can accommodate a large proportion of the research conducted in the college: i) Fixed Price Technical Assistance Agreement, ii) Fixed Price Research Services Agreement, iii) Fixed Price Research Agreement, and iv) Cost Reimbursable Research Agreement.
  • This guideline does not involve research directed through and supported by commodity organizations, and will not apply to companies that can provide evidence of an approved and published policy for a maximum indirect cost rate.
  • Gifts (processed through the AU Foundation and Office of Development) are allowed only in special circumstances when there are no tangible benefits to the sponsor or expected research deliverables.


Channeling industry research funding through OSP will:

  • Increase extramural research funding
  • Enhance faculty scholarly productivity
  • Provide research credit and recognition for industry funding to faculty
  • Protect intellectual property rights

It should be noted that under the college’s F&A allocation guidelines, a major portion of the indirect cost recovered will be returned to the PI(s) and their departments. PIs can use part of the indirect cost dollars returned to them and their department to supplement project costs. Thus, indirect cost recovery is expected to have only a minimal effect on the project budget.


  • Faculty are strongly encouraged to recover up to the full indirect cost rate when possible.
  • Effective January 1, 2018, the indirect cost rate applied on industry projects with tangible benefits to AU will reflect a minimum rate of 26% of the total direct cost. A full indirect cost rate will apply if the agreement does not provide tangible benefits to AU. Some examples of tangible benefits include undergraduate research opportunities, graduate student training, and the sharing of results publicly through scientific conferences, industry meetings and peer-reviewed publications.
  • Department heads are charged with initial determination of the applicable indirect cost rate. The Dean’s Office will make the final determination and approval of the indirect cost rate.
  • For full indirect cost rates for research, instruction and outreach visit Managing Your Award.

Types of Industry Relationships & Agreements


Sponsored projects are externally‐funded activities in which a formal written agreement is entered into by the university and a sponsor. A sponsored project may be thought of as a transaction in which there is a specified statement of work and budget with a related, reciprocal transfer of something of value. The OSP provides four sample agreement templates on the OSP website for university and sponsor personnel to use when contemplating a project. Each agreement type has specific terms appropriate to the type of work being done. The idea is to provide a starting point and hopefully avoid prolonged negotiations by providing those terms shown through experience to be generally acceptable to most parties. If the agreement is deemed acceptable, a potential sponsor can sign it as the same time as approving AU proposal and AU will accept it. The agreements have some alternatives for certain clauses which the sponsor can choose. Additionally, AU will make minor changes upon discussion with the sponsor’s contracting point of contact and concurrence by the Investigators.

  • Fixed Price Technical Assistance Agreement: When a sponsor has a testing protocol for us to follow for a product or material that requires testing and AU provides the laboratory assistance and facility to address the concern, the Firm Fixed Price Technical Assistance Agreement is a useful starting point. It generally involves no intellectual input from AU as it is often work to support testing of a sponsor’s intellectual property or product. As a result the agreement has no intellectual property clauses, limited publication language and simple payment terms.
  • Fixed Price Research Services Agreement: In some cases the scope of work is developed by the sponsor with very limited, if any, input from AU researchers or graduate students. The conduct of the work may be related to a sponsor’s product, material, or process but requires research expertise from AU that would otherwise not be available within the sponsor’s personnel or facilities. Like the Technical Assistance Agreement, the terms of the Firm Fixed Price Research Services Agreement are limited and simplified with a slight expansion in publications, confidentiality, or intellectual property.
  • Fixed Price Research Agreement: A fixed price research agreement is a good starting point for standard research projects where both parties are contributing expertise, funding, or facilities; the cost associated with reaching a useable conclusion or outcome are fairly certain; and the methodologies used are fairly standard. The terms are simple but the intellectual property language and publication or confidentiality terms are more robust.
  • Cost Reimbursable Research Agreement: Similar to the fixed price research agreement, a cost reimbursable agreement is appropriate for a standard research agreement but where the cost and expectation of a specific outcome is not as certain. Cost security may be a factor and the terms may need to be more specific for the work to be conducted and the reimbursement of costs associated with uncertainty of completion. Generally the intellectual property, publication, and confidentiality provisions need to be more complex to ensure both parties have their expectations met.


  • Fixed Price Agreement: A fixed price project is one in which the sponsor and university agree upon the total cost of the project prior to the work beginning. The sponsor agrees to pay the full amount in advance, based upon milestones completed, or in agreed upon installments. The full amount is paid regardless of what it costs AU to actually perform. The risk is on AU to perform the agreed upon scope of work regardless of the cost. The sponsor may ask questions up front as to how the budget was determined but generally has no rights to review expenses incurred as long as the work is completed. If funds remain after the work is completed and all the expenses are accounted for the remainder is returned to the college in accordance with the University’s Fixed Price Residual Balances policy:
  • Cost-Reimbursable Agreement: The researcher incurs costs and charges those cost to a banner fund. Monthly or quarterly, the Office of Contracts and Grants Accounting sends an invoice to the sponsor requesting reimbursement for the expenses incurred. Whether or fixed price or cost reimbursement, the work can begin once agreements are signed and the starting date is reached. It is not needed to wait until cash is received from a sponsor for the project work can begin.


A gift from a private entity to support research efforts at the university is processed through the AU Foundation and Office of Development. A gift relationship should require no substantive effort on the part of AU or provide any tangible benefit to the donor in exchange for the funding. Gifts may have some general conditions associated with the use of the funds and some expectation of the pursuit of specific tasks or even return of unused funds but may not provide an exclusive benefit to the donor in exchange for receiving the gift.

More information is available in the university policy to identify and administer gifts and sponsored agreements.

It contains guidance as well as a checklist for helping to make the determination of whether or not an exchange transaction between the parties is present.


Who should I contact when preparing a proposal or price quote to a sponsor?

  • The College Level Designee for your college is authorized to submit proposals on behalf of the university and is trained in Institutional policies and procedures for proposal development and budgeting.
  • Contract administrators in the OSP are available as well to provide support and guidance for proposal development questions. For large complex projects, the Office of Proposal Services and Faculty Support (PSFS) provide assistance in proposal development.

What costs must be included in the budget?

  • Generally the full cost of completing a project should be included but in some cases where public benefit results, it may be appropriate for the university to share the cost through reduced overhead or salaries.
  • If a sponsor is unclear about overhead type costs, it is possible to burden each budget line item with overhead (as opposed to listing overhead as a separate line item) so as not to impede a sponsor’s understanding of the total project cost.

I just need to perform a few tests for a company related to their product. Why do I need a formal agreement and what should I use?

  • The Technical Assistance Agreement on the OSP website is a simple one page document containing minimal required information to help each party understand basic obligations of performance and payment. It also provides the minimum information needed by the Banner system to establish an account from which to spend funds during the conduct of the project.
  • If the sponsor requires more technical input from AU, the research services agreement may be abetter choice.
  • If the sponsor wishes to use their own OSP will negotiate as quickly and flexibly as possible and may ask the investigator for assistance in understanding the project requirements and potential risk.
  • Questions for the proper type of agreement to use can be addresses to OSP.

If I need to reduce or waive indirect costs (overhead) who has to approve it?

Your department head and dean are the first approvals for forfeiture of overhead. OSP will evaluate the appropriateness of the waiver based upon characteristics of the project and the restrictive nature of the agreement to determine if recovering less than full cost could be problematic. Reductions in overhead like limited recovery of other types of costs are generally approved by the college as the dean will be responsible for locating the funds for sharing in the cost.

What should I do if I have a relationship with a company or its principles outside of the work being conducted through Auburn?

Any outside financial interest should be disclosed through the Office Research Compliance (ORC) and if a conflict is deemed to exist, a management plan can be drafted to assist in management of the situation. A conflict of interest is not necessarily a bad thing. It just should be disclosed and managed.

Instructional & Scholarship Expectations

Faculty members with instruction appointments are expected to meet certain general teaching expectations and consistently demonstrate evidence of scholarship. Faculty may document these activities in their annual Faculty Activity Report (FAR) and on their CV.


Faculty will consistently deliver high quality classroom, laboratory, abroad or online instruction as demonstrated by:

  • Regularly incorporating new, improved and/or innovative materials, activities and techniques into courses taught. Examples include field trips, lab exercises, group projects, writing assignments, ePortfolios, research and other high-impact learning opportunities.
  • Consistently incorporating new knowledge, discovery and developments from the relevant field(s) into classroom/lab/online instruction. Examples include scientific discoveries, technological innovations and policy developments.
  • Occasionally creating and developing new course offerings or significantly revising existing courses, as needs change to ensure students are prepared to enter graduate school or a professional career.
  • Regularly conducting a comprehensive peer review of teaching – every year for three years prior to promotion1 and once every three to five years following promotion to full professor. Peer review may be coordinated by the department head, a departmental committee, a faculty mentor, the Biggio Center for Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, the Office of University Writing, or others as appropriate for the unit. At least one peer reviewer should be from outside the department.
  • Participating in and/or attending instruction‐related workshops, seminars and trainings offered on campus (e.g. Biggio Center for Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, Office of University Writing, Provost’s Office).
  • Contributing to their departmental efforts in academic program assessment as appropriate.


Faculty may demonstrate scholarship in teaching and learning by:

  • Receiving internal or external awards recognizing excellence in instruction or mentoring.
  • Having awards or other recognition (e.g. fellowships) received by undergraduate or graduate students mentored or advised. Examples include student research competitions, scholastic collegiate competitions and society student competitions.
  • Contributing to instruction‐related conferences (e.g. North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture) or the education section of a discipline’s society by presenting papers, publishing abstracts, or serving as chair of a related section (education, poster, etc.).
  • Advising undergraduate research fellows or supervising undergraduate research.
  • Having pedagogical innovations or curricula adopted by peers.
  • Receiving funding, equipment, supplies, or other resources to support instructional activities.
  • Publishing instruction‐related results or outcomes in refereed education‐related or discipline specific journals.
  • Developing assessment tools and demonstrating improvement in student learning.
  • Developing and delivering high impact learning opportunities such as experiential learning, service learning, multidisciplinary teams, club activities and study abroad.
  • Authoring textbooks.
  • Student‐authored publications that result from courses taught.

For every 20 – 25% faculty instruction appointment, a faculty member should demonstrate Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in at least one way every other year. For example, a faculty member with a 40% ‐ 50% instruction appointment should demonstrate one aspect of instruction‐related scholarship each year.

1 As required in the Faculty Handbook 3.6.5.C.(3)A.1. Information to Be Supplied by the Department Head/Chair for Teaching.

2 Examples include National Association of Landscape Professional National Collegiate Landscape Competition, and Golf Course Superintendent’s Association of America Turf Bowl.

3 Examples include American Society of Agronomy National Collegiate Soil Contest, American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Quarter Scale Tractor Competition, Southern Agricultural Economics Association Quiz Bowl, and Southern Region American Society for Horticultural Science Horticulture Judging Contest.

Instructional Workload Guidelines

To download the Teaching Overload Request Form please see the College Forms & Tools on our Faculty & Staff Resources page.


The course load calculation is: 1 credit hour = 0.042 FTE. For example, one 3‐credit course per calendar year (FA, SP, SU) or academic year (FA, SP) equates to a 12.5% instructional workload for 12‐mo. or 9‐mo. faculty, respectively.


University minimum enrollment is 15 for lower division undergraduate classes (1000‐2000); 12 for upper division undergraduate classes (3000‐5000); 10 for 5000/6000 piggybacked courses; 8 for graduate level classes (6000‐7000); and 5 for doctoral level classes (8000). Courses not meeting minimum enrollment may still be counted towards instructional workload as part of the faculty member’s annual evaluation (department head discretion). For enrollments above 4x minimum, one additional credit may be added to course load.


In cases where not all students in a lecture section can be accommodated in one lab section, multiple lab sections may be necessary. One credit hour for each additional lab section taught by the faculty member may be included in the course load calculation.


An online section of a course that meets minimum enrollment will be counted towards course load the same as a seated section. Each additional online section that meets minimum enrollment may be counted for 1 credit (similar to multiple lab sections). Online sections taught by different instructors will be considered separately.


Undergraduate student advising is not included in instructional workload.


Study abroad courses offered for credit may be counted towards instructional workload. Study abroad offered not‐for‐credit may also be considered as appropriate based on contact hours.


Graduate student advising load calculation is: 1 graduate student (major advisor) = 1 credit = 0.042 FTE; co‐major advisor = 0.5 credit = 0.021 FTE. This calculated on a yearly (not semester) basis. The maximum that may be counted towards workload is 3 credits per year.


Service in support of instruction (ex. curriculum committee, undergraduate program coordinator, graduate program officer) may be considered as part of a faculty member’s instructional workload.


Effective August, 2018.

A faculty member who has exceeded their teaching appointment through eligible courses with minimum enrollments may be eligible to receive supplemental pay for credits taught that exceed the instruction appointment. Compensation must be requested prior to the semester when it would be received. Prior approval from the business office and the dean’s office is required. The final decision for using college funds to support instruction will be made by the dean. The department head/chair may decide to allocate departmental funds to support additional instructional activities. Faculty are not eligible for supplemental pay for Camp War Eagle advising.

Regular, named undergraduate and graduate courses that are part of a curriculum and that meet minimum enrollment are eligible. Salary is not available for research and thesis/dissertation courses or special problems (directed studies) courses. Online courses may be eligible as described in the workload guidelines.

Course overload during the academic year (FA, SP) is expected to be temporary. Faculty members must be able to demonstrate that expectations in all of their appointment area(s) (teaching, research, extension) are being met. Untenured faculty members are not encouraged to engage in academic year instruction overload.

Before compensation is provided for academic year overload or summer salary, other options for course delivery must be given priority. If none of these options are feasible, the department head/chair will provide the appropriate justification.

  • Utilization of under‐deployed faculty in department
  • Use of a graduate student
  • Hiring an outside instructor

Graduate student advising may be counted towards instruction workload (up to the maximum as described in the workload guidelines).


Compensation for course overload during the academic year (FA, SP) for a faculty member with a PhD in the discipline is typically $5,000/3 credit course.


Summer salary will be calculated at a rate of 3.7% of the faculty member’s salary per course credit hour (provided they have already met their instruction appointment). Payment will be limited to the listed credit hours in the schedule of courses. Faculty compensation cannot exceed the amount of revenue generated by the course. For large classes where extra lab sections are needed, compensation for those extra sections may be available using the workload guidelines. If the extra lab section is taught independently by a graduate assistant, a faculty member will not receive supplemental salary for the lab section. The graduate assistant may, however, qualify for compensation. The maximum summer salary that can be received is 9 course credit hours times 3.7% of salary per course credit hour, or 33.3% of the faculty member’s base salary.


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