2016/2017 WKU Students Partnering with Faculty (SpF) Research Program


As an academic institution, Wenzhou-Kean University (WKU) is committed to encourage and support research and other serious intellectual or creative endeavors by our faculty and students.  Once they are accomplished, we will also attempt to assist in the appropriate dissemination of the fruits of this research or creative productivity.  By doing so, Wenzhou-Kean University claims its role as a hub of intellectual and creative discourse, as well as its potential for contributions to the development of an innovative and adaptive labor-force that is in tune with the constantly evolving know-how and professional demands of the 21st century.  By emphasizing and developing the research potential of its students and faculty, it also aims to make a critically tangible contribution to the socio-economic development and internationalization of Wenzhou and Zhejiang province.

       The Harlem Renaissance writer Zora Neale Hurston once offered the following definition of research: “Research is formalized curiosity.  It is poking and prying with a purpose.”  Of course there frequently is much more to the successful pursuit of  research and scholarship, and depending on one’s academic discipline and field it can involve rather sophisticated methods and equipment, always requires specific habits of the mind, an ability to think independently and (self-)critically, as well as a clearly understood ethic of research and academic integrity.  But, by characterizing research as “poking and prying with a purpose” Hurston breaks through the mystery of research and rightfully declares it to be accessible to anybody who is prepared to systematically put their fundamental curiosity about life and the world to the test – any test, anybody’s test.

       To support and foster – both ideally and materially – this attitude, which is critical to any modern society’s scientific, economic, and social successes, Wenzhou-Kean University seeks to enable and foster research mentorship relations between its faculty and students, to give shape to the necessary habits of the mind, ethics, and familiarity with disciplinary (and inter-disciplinary) methods and formalized processes of research.  Thus, I am very pleased to announce this second iteration of WKU’s Students Partnering with Faculty (SpF) Research Program as a part of our evolving research support structure, and I look forward to the accomplishment and dissemination of many successful projects and products.

Holger Henke, Ph.D.

Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs


Office for Research and Sponsored Programs

Students Partnering with Faculty (SpF) Research Program Application

The mission of the Wenzhou-Kean University Office for Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) is to grow the research enterprise throughout the University with an emphasis on faculty-student research and a focus on securing external funding.

      The ORSP is now calling for Students Partnering with Faculty (SpF) research proposals for academic year 2016/2017.  The research topic could be proposed by either students or faculty, but must be supervised by at least a full-time WKU faculty member who serves as the Principal Adviser and is responsible for managing the project.  In order to promote research collaboration among faculty, a co-adviser may be nominated by the Principal Adviser.  Since one of the primary goals of SpF program is to train students on research-related skills, priority will be given to upper-level students pursuing a graduate study.

Maximum available funding: CNY 30,000/project (some limitations may apply, see budget form)

Project duration: October 15, 2016 to August 31, 2017

Number of students: 2 (two) to 6 (six) students per project


Principal Advisers must:

  • Be full-time faculty at Wenzhou-Kean University (Lecturer I & II are also eligible).
  • Be employed until June 2017 (as per date of expiration date of new contract).

Co-Advisers (if any) must:

  • Be full-time faculty at Wenzhou-Kean University (Lecturer I & II are also eligible).
  • Be employed until June 2017 (as per date of expiration of new contract), or have intention to work until that time (proof of submitted re-appointment application).

Students must:

  • Be upper-level students at Wenzhou-Kean University with GPA > 3.0.


be sophomores with GPA > 3.3, and joined by one upper-level students in the same project.

P.S.  Those who received SpF fund in 2015/16 must meet at least a “satisfactory” outcome (e.g. published work, tangible products, academic conference attending reports, etc.); otherwise can’t participate in SpF this year. 

Number of supported projects:  At least 10 (ten) projects may be supported in 2016/2017.

P.S. The allocation is based on merit, not quota per discipline.

Application Deadline: September 15th, 2016

Acceptance Notifications will be sent on or before October 15th, 2016.

Restrictions on the Number of Applications:

  • Each eligible tenure-track faculty with the rank of Assistant Professor or above may serve as a Principal Adviser for up to 2 (two) SpF projects.
  • Each eligible full-time Lecturer may serve as a Principal Adviser in one SpF project only.
  • Each eligible full-time faculty member may serve as a Principal and/or Co-Adviser for a total of up to 3 (three) SpF projects.

Peer-Evaluation Process/Criteria:

Each principal advisor will rotate to evaluate others’ proposals in the same discipline.  For example, A, B and C hand in proposals A’, B’ and C’, then A will review and evaluate B’ and C’, B will review and evaluate A’ and C’, whereas C will review and evaluate A’ and B’.  That is, A’, B’ and C’ are all evaluated by two reviewers respectively.  Supposing there is only one or two proposals in the same discipline, one or two reviewers from Kean University (or another institution) will be nominated by the Research Committee or Academic Affairs, and invited by ORSP to evaluate the proposals. The maximum score from this evaluation is 80 points.  All proposals scoring 50 points or above will be further evaluated by the designated Research Sub-Committee on SpF program (CPS Dr. Tiffany Tang, BIO Dr. Meng, ENG Dr. Purnell, Business Dr. Cao).  If the total amount of the proposed budget exceeds the available funds, the sub-committee may consider partial support for proposals and/or reject some proposals on the basis of their evaluation score.  All candidates’ proposals after two rounds of reviewing will be finally evaluated and approved by Dr. Holger Henke, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

Project Evaluation:

The Principal Adviser is responsible for evaluating student performance biweekly or monthly.  A student who fails to show satisfactory progress may be terminated from the project by ORSP upon recommendation from his/her Principal Adviser.  Terminated students will not be allowed to participate in any SpF project in the following academic year.

The Principal Adviser is also responsible to submit a progress report to the ORSP on January 31, 2017 and a final report on August 31, 2017. A project that does not show satisfactory progress by January 31, 2017, may be terminated by ORSP upon recommendation from the Research Sub-Committee or the Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Faculty adviser(s) and students of terminated projects will not be allowed to participate in any SpF project in the following academic year.

Required Forms Check List

SpF Cover Letter II

SpF Application II

SpF Proposal Budget II

Appendix A