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Governing Principles of Research

Relationship to the Objectives of the College

The research activities of Franklin & Marshall College should be compatible with the objectives of the College. Freedom of inquiry and publication should not be obstructed, provided the appropriate relationship between the purposes of the College and the purposes of the research is maintained. Student research is intended to serve the educational goals of the student directly and to be conducted under the direction of a faculty member.

There are several kinds of research activities wherein compatibility may be difficult to interpret. For example:

    1. Applied Research: Although applied research, or research of a technological nature, may have as one of its objectives the advancement of knowledge, the knowledge may be merely procedural and limited to a technological process. The extent to which such research would profit the investigator by amplifying the investigator's knowledge and thereby improving him or her for the instruction of students is a question which the grant applicant should ponder seriously. There are no fixed guidelines available to the applicant; if there were any reservation, it would be appropriate to seek the guidance of the Committee on Grants. The Committee on Grants reserves the right to raise the question in applications that come to it for review and to seek the policy guidance of the Faculty Council when it is deemed necessary.

    2. Conflict of Research Interests and Teaching Responsibilities: Involvement in research may become so considerable as to jeopardize responsible conduct of the teaching function. The Committee on Grants reserves the right to inquire into circumstances that might diminish teaching effectiveness.

The Use of Space and Facilities
    1. On campus: The College has a responsibility to review the adequacy of its space and facilities for the conduct of research. Endorsement of a research program by the Provost or the Provost's designee shall imply that the space and facilities are available and that the use of such space and facilities will not be prejudicial to the instructional program of the College.

    2. Off campus: Since a tangential but tangible premium of faculty research is the influence that it exerts on the curiosity and motivation of students, any arrangement that would limit this beneficial effect should be examined critically. Field research is a logical exception to the reservation as is the use of research literature in libraries and archives of other institutions. There seems to be no valid reason, however, to conduct research beyond the campus if the process involves a duplication of space and facilities available on the campus.

Classified Research

Research so "classified" that publication would be restricted because of military or industrial security ordinarily will not be acceptable. Appeals may be made to the Committee on Grants.

Policy Maintained by: The Office of the Provost, Associate Dean of the Faculty
Approved by Senior Staff: November 2014
Last Reviewed: October 19, 2022