My department is focused on teaching. We teach 6 classes/year with heavy undergraduate mentoring. It actually feels like teaching 8 classes per year. I know that there are grants "designed" for teaching institutions (RUI at NSF, for example), but to be eligible my institution has to be officially a PUI (primarily undergraduate institution). By all measures my department would qualify (no masters/phd degree), but other departments in the university are research active, so we are an R2 institution.
Furthermore, the university has been heavily pushing to be considered an R1 institution. They are giving a lot of resources (time/money) to these research-active departments. People at the teaching-intensive departments are at a significantly disadvantage since our research is less intensive, so we never get the internal grants.
When I talk to the administration the conversation goes like this (not literally):
They: ..., we support your efforts to get grants.
Me: It is difficult to get grants due to the heavy teaching load.
They: People at (teaching department at another university) get grants.
Me: They qualify as a PUI.
They: That may help them, but if your proposal is good, it will get funded.
Me: To do good research I need the time to do it.
They: You can apply for internal grants to get seed funding/time.
Me: Most of my department applies, but we are not funded. It is difficult to get internal funding when competing with people in other areas that have more time for research.
They: Then you can apply for external funding, we support your efforts to get grants....
In summary, I work at an undergraduate department, but due to funding agencies rules, I am considered to be at a research intensive institution. Also, I have applied for grants, and colleagues at panels told me (in confidence) that other weaker proposals were funded because they got the PUI classification. My research was not considered strong enough (for a research intensive institution).
Has anyone had this experience?
How can I maximize my chances to get INTERNAL funding when competing with people that have much more time for research?
How can I maximize my chances to get EXTERNAL funding when competing with people that have much more time for research?