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Faculty Incentive Grant Program

Maguire Ethics Center Faculty Incentive Grants

SMU President R. Gerald Turner declared in his 1995 Inaugural Address that the University is charged with providing “the foundation for what must be an enhanced commitment to provide our students with the bases for identifying and addressing social and ethical issues.” Graduates of SMU should have the technical knowledge to succeed in a globalized economy.

PillarHowever, SMU graduates should also “be qualified and comfortable in addressing the difficult but crucial ethical issues at the foundation of interpersonal, business, and group behavior.” The faculty concur with this and in the recently enacted curriculum determined that one of the pillars upon which a student’s general education should be based is “Philosophical and Religious Inquiry and Ethics.”

To help fulfill SMU’s commitment to ethics education, the Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility created the Maguire Ethics Center Faculty Incentive Grant Program. The goals of this program are to

  1. enhance existing ethics courses
  2. develop new ethics courses
  3. develop a research ethics seminar for graduate students
  4. increase faculty publications and research related to the field of ethics.

It is our hope that this program will position SMU as a national leader in interdisciplinary teaching and research of ethics. Further, we hope the new courses and publications will enhance the discussion, reflection, and application of ethical standards and public responsibility among all students.

Phases of the Program

The program is divided into three phases. The focus of Phase I (2013-2014) was the enhancement of existing ethics courses. Nine members of the SMU faculty received funding support for ethics course innovations.

The focus of Phase II (2014-2017) will be the development of 24 new ethics courses across all schools of the University for which the Center will award $10,000 per course. A portion of that grant was used to attend a weekend retreat on our Taos, New Mexico, campus on March 19-22, 2015. The course grants include a requirement that the course be taught initially within one academic year following funding, and must be offered in two of the next three academic years.

Phase III (2014-2015) will focus on increasing faculty publications and research related to ethics in order to deepen and expand their work in the field. Twenty-four grants of $4,000 will sponsor SMU faculty research and publication in ethics. In addition to individual faculty publications, this program will produce three to five “white papers” on ethics for publication. The Center has been fortunate to receive generous contributions to make the faculty grant program possible.

The Maguire Ethics Center Faculty Incentive Grant Program will create a learning environment where ethics is researched, actively discussed and taught at numerous times throughout a student’s academic career by the people who perhaps influence them the most, their professors. You will note that each applicant is required to have a letter of support from the chair of his or her department. We do this because our purpose is to support your efforts, not become an impediment. As we continue to read about the strengthening ethics standards required by many disciplines and professional accreditation groups, we hope aid in those efforts. Again, our goal this year is to award up to eight $10,000 grants for new ethics courses and up to eight $4,000 grants for scholarly publications in ethics.

Click here to view the Maguire Incentive Grant recipients.


As a university-wide center drawing on – and bringing together – expertise in the field of ethics from across the campus, the Maguire Ethics Center wants to support three of the central purposes of the University as stated in the Centennial Strategic Plan:

  • Enhance academic quality and reputation of the University;
  • Improve teaching and learning; and 
  • Strengthen scholarly research and creative achievement.

Our goal is to fund eight course development grants of $10,000 this fall. The resulting courses can be offered as earlier as Fall 2017, but no later than the 2017-2018 academic year. They also must be offered in two of the following three years. The course may be submitted as part of the “Philosophical and Religious Inquiry and Ethics” pillar, though that is not required. All proposals must include Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs). It is the responsibility of the faculty member to ensure that courses comply with university policies and procedures.

Also, we will fund up to eight $4,000 grants for ethics research leading to scholarly publication or a white paper on a timely topics of general interest to a broader audience. For publication awards, an initial grant of $2,000 will be made to support the research. Upon proof of acceptance to a recognized academic journal, an additional award of $2,000 will be issued. For white papers, we encourage interdisciplinary collaboration where faculty expertise is leveraged to illuminate ethical issues embedded in current issues. Upon presentation of a publishable white paper, the $4,000 award will be divided among the authors.


Grant requests must be submitted to the Maguire Ethics Center Box 316 by September 9, 2016. Proposals must include the course title, the faculty member’s name and Department, and the phrase “Maguire Ethics Center Faculty Course Development Grants” or “Maguire Ethics Center Faculty Research Grants.” A committee will review and rank the proposals. Grants will be announced in early February.

Proposals for new courses should include:

  • current course number, title, catalog description and anticipated format;
  • course objectives and student learning outcomes;
  • statement explaining the significance of the revisions and enhancements and how the grant will impact the curriculum and/or accreditation standards;
  • the faculty member’s current c.v.;
  • time frames for developing the syllabus and teaching the course; and
  • a letter of support from the department chair that states that this course, once developed and approved through the usual processes established by your department and/or the university, will be offered in two of the following three academic years.

Proposals for new publications or white papers should include:

  • article title, short biography of the author/s, and anticipated format;
  • detailed abstract;
  • for publications, the name of the journal(s) or where the paper would be submitted. Rank of the journal, if available, would be useful to the committee. For white papers, a statement explaining the significance of the issue and the public(s) who would find the white paper compelling.

The fine print!

University Course Approval

After this initial proposal is granted and the course is developed, the course must also be approved through the normative process for course approvals, which typically gets the approval of a department, chair, and appropriate committee or council from the faculty member’s college. Course proposals should follow the form required by that faculty member’s college, and must include a statement of goals and student learning objectives (SLOs). It is the responsibility of the faculty member to ensure that courses comply with university policies and procedures.

Dispersal of Grants

Payments may be made to a faculty member’s research account or added to their regular paycheck as extra compensation, as the faculty member chooses.


Applications should be submitted to the Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility, either by interoffice mail (Campus Mail Box 316) or email ( Applicants are welcome to contact the Center and discuss ideas for proposals to learn how their interests may contribute to our goal as stated by President Turner in his inaugural address: SMU graduates should “be qualified and comfortable in addressing the difficult but crucial ethical issues at the foundation of interpersonal, business, and group behavior.”

Final Submission

Awardees will submit the complete syllabus in accordance with time frames contained in the proposal. In the process of developing their syllabi, faculty members should determine, in consultation with their respective dean and chair, the scheduling of the first class.

Further inquiries can be directed to Candy Crespo, Assistant Director, at 214.768.3436 or