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Scholarship Residency (formerly Writing Renewal Retreat) is a three-day retreat with a community of faculty scholars seeking renewal with their scholarship. Scholarship Residency programs are generally held in the fall and early summer with an open application period proceeding each.

Faculty development research suggests that faculty retreats, away from campus, increase productivity and collaboration. Research also suggests the positive physiological and psychological  benefits that natural environments have on people of all ages, including faculty. Finally, research suggests that the use of contemplative practices, a core feature of this unique retreat, has positive influences on brain elasticity, resilience, focus, attention, and overall productivity. In addition to gratitude and feelings of connection, JMU faculty who attended past off-campus Scholarship Residency programs have reported significant productivity in terms of pages produced, grants written, and projects completed. 

Scholarship related to the program
Participant reflections on Scholarship Residency

Here's how faculty members from different academic units have reflected on productivity and their retreat time:

  • "It was so energizing to be in a context in which I was only focusing on my scholarly identity. I was able to get excited about my project again.”
  • “Making progress on a scholarship progress. I was avoiding the paper that I ended up working on while I was at the retreat. I have been putting off working on it for months, so it was nice to finally have organized time set aside (in a beautiful location!) to work on it.”
  • “I think the mindfulness along with the scholarship helped me to be productive. It was also helpful just being around others who wanted to be productive in their work.”
  • “Everything about the retreat exceeded my expectations. I did get some writing/editing done, but I also gained so much more: a renewed sense of purpose and enthusiasm, helpful writing and productivity strategies, new friendships with wonderful colleagues, and a strong sense of community.”
Scholarship Residency Program outcomes

Faculty participants will make progress toward:

  • Renewing oneself as a scholar,
  • Making progress on a scholarship project,
  • Developing metacognitive awareness of writing process and habits,
  • Appreciating contemplative practices for increasing focus, awareness, and well-being, and
  • Enhancing scholarly productivity.

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