Research Support

The Coulter Faculty Commons, in collaboration with the Office of Research Administration, recognizes that the faculty of Western Carolina University engage in multiple forms of scholarship. The CFC research division can assist faculty, staff, and graduate teaching assistants with research design and research methods for publications, grant proposals, dissertations, theses, and other projects. This support is provided through consultations and scholarship tools and resources.

Contact Kong Chen (CK) with questions about research and scholarship support.


Consultations

The CFC's research development specialist works with faculty, staff, and graduate teaching assistants to support, facilitate, and enhance internal and external research. The research development specialist is available to assist faculty, staff, and graduate teaching assistants on a range of research-related issues including, but not limited to:

  • Consulting with individual faculty or groups regarding appropriate research design, methods, and evaluation for faculty scholarship and proposal development;

  • Providing training and assistance for qualitative and quantitative research projects;

  • Assisting faculty in the use of research software such as SPSS, SAS, R, Atlas.ti, NVivo, ArcGIS and others;

  • Facilitating opportunities for collaborative and peer-to-peer research support;

  • Working with other campus stakeholders to develop policies, applications, and professional development opportunities to support research.


To schedule an appointment to discuss your scholarship activities, contact Kong Chen (CK).


Scholarship Tools and Resources

Research Software

The ORA manages the licenses of six research software programs, which are available to WCU faculty and staff:

ArcGIS 10.4.1 – Geographic Software

ATLAS.ti 7 – Qualitative Analysis

Nvivo 11 – Qualitative Analysis

SPSS 21 – Quantitative Analysis

STATA 14 – Quantitative Analysis

SAS 9.3 – Quantitative Analysis

Requirements/Limitations

The software programs identified above run on Windows 7 or higher and sufficient hard drive space is required, especially for the ArcGIS and SAS software. If you have a Mac computer, you can run the software as long as the machine has a dual operating system (Bootcamp). In these cases, it is recommended the Windows partition on your computer be at least 120GB.

The use and availability of the research software is dependent on the current license agreement. ArcGIS, ATLAS.ti, and SAS are local installations in which the software is installed directly onto the computer. SPSS is a network installation and requires that users access the software via a network connection. A commuter license is available for SPSS, allowing for off campus use of the software for up to seven days at a time. Additionally, SPSS can be accessed via the Virtual Private Network (VPN). The VPN can be accessed through the menu system in myWCU (mywcu.wcu.edu).

Faculty and Staff Access

The chart below summarizes the availability of each program and how to request the software.

Software Off-Campus
Use?
License Type Installed on
Personal
Computer?
Request
Through
ArcGIS Yes Individual Yes IT
Help Desk
ATLAS.ti No
5 concurrent for
faculty and staff
No CFC
NVivo Yes 10 individual licenses for
faculty and staff
No CFC
SPSS
Yes via
VPN
or
commuter license
Unlimited
concurrent
No IT
Help Desk
STATA Yes
15 concurrent for
faculty and staff
No IT
Help Desk
SAS Yes Individual Yes IT
Help Desk

Of the six software packages, the availability of ATLAS.ti is the most limited. The research division has one license that supports five users at one time. The software is installed locally. It is requested that faculty members check out a license only when needed and return the license when their current project is completed. There is a trial version available through the ATLAS.ti website that might be appropriate for smaller projects.

NOTE: Faculty and staff within the CEAP can access ATLAS.ti via the college's virtual desktop. Contact Lee Nickles for access information.

Student Access

Most of WCU research software agreements limit our ability to install research software on students' personal computers. Students can access SPSS and SAS in the Open Access Student Labs. A student version of ArcGIS is available through the CFC. Students can also access educational licenses of SPSS and ATLAS-ti for approximately $100. These licenses can be found online on the SPSS and ATLAS.ti websites.


Support

Faculty, staff, and graduate teaching assistants who are interested in receiving support for these research tools can contact Kong Chen (CK) to set up an appointment. Support documents and additional information about several of the programs can be found on the following websites:

 

ArcGIS

ATLAS.ti

Nvivo

STATA

SAS


 

Other Resources

Below are additional resources for WCU faculty research.

Sponsored Research

The Office of Research Administration provides comprehensive support to faculty seeking grant and contract support for their research projects.

Institutional Review Board

The Institutional Review Board (IRB) oversees research involving human subjects at WCU. For information about the IRB, including links to its forms and procedures, click here .

Faculty Communities of Practice

The Coulter Faculty Commons supports and facilitates communities of practice for faculty and instructional staff members at Western Carolina as professional learning communities designed to provide peer mentorship and collaboration opportunities for faculty, staff, and graduate students. Click here for more information.

University Policies

University Policy 50: Research involving recombinant DNA molecules

University Policy 51: Conducting surveys

University Policy 55: Solicitation of external funds

University Policy 56: Ethics in research and research misconduct

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