Date of Award

Summer 8-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)


Professional Studies in Education

First Advisor

Kelli R. Paquette, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Susan Sibert, D.Ed.

Third Advisor

Holly Travis, D.Ed.


The purpose of this study was to analyze and develop an in-depth understanding

of the characteristics of an R3, predominantly undergraduate institution of higher

education with a high-performing externally-funded research portfolio. This study used a

qualitative single-bounded case study approach and utilized a focus group structure for

the interviews. The research questions sought to identify the perceived factors,

characteristics, and resources believed to motivate researchers to participate and succeed

in externally-funded research.

Faculty researchers, the research administration staff, and the research leadership

comprised the target audience and focus group participants for this study. The results

revealed a cohesive infrastructure with high levels of mutual gratitude and respect among

the diverse groups of individuals and the entities that constitute the research

infrastructure. The collective efforts to support research, funded and unfunded, is

immense and strategic at this institution. The leadership embodies the definition of

transformational leadership by utilizing their personal experiences and knowledge to

create positive change, motivate and encourage, and build confidence among their

researchers. In addition, the leadership recognizes the need for continuous change and

improvement of the research infrastructure and actively acknowledge, seek, and act on

the needs of the research community. The leaders at this institution have actively

facilitated a culture shift to focus on research at a predominantly undergraduate,

teaching-focused institution. Likely, the most significant resource provided by this

institution and implemented by the current leadership is the course release provided to

faculty to begin and remain research-active throughout their academic tenure.

This study identified and explored the myriad of resources provided to faculty

researchers in the area of research and scholarship. Upon an analysis of the outcomes, the

study identified the characteristics of a successful model. Specifically, it identified the

perceptions and attitudes regarding infrastructural resources in support of research

activities. The results of this study will help doctoral level PUIs strengthen their faculty

scholarship base, develop a more robust and efficient infrastructure, and increase their

externally-funded research portfolio.