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Program Helps Faculty Win Research Funding

Oct. 10, 2013

For two and a half days this summer, 24 faculty members attended a summer academy geared to giving them the background, techniques and support to help them seek and succeed in getting external funding.

Since then, they have been attending cohort meetings, meeting with faculty mentors and taking part in workshops, all toward getting grants.

"They learn about developing partnerships, how to budget and how to give that valuable elevator speech," said Sunnie Foy, interim director of the Office of Research Development. "We've seen some wonderful things happen in the program. Not just in helping junior faculty gain confidence to seek funding but in developing collaborative projects with senior faculty."

Now in its third year, 63 faculty members have taken advantage of the "Funding My Research: A Grant Writing Series" offered by the offices of Research Development and the Associate Vice President for Research, Creative Activities and technology Transfer. All participating faculty receive a $1,500 stipend; half following attendance in the summer academy and the balance upon submission of a grant proposal to an external funding agency.

"I had a wonderful, very positive experience," said Gail D. Love, associate professor of communications. While her grant effort during the program wasn't successful, she is looking to future efforts.

"I would pay them to be able to take this program," said Sean P. Yee, assistant professor of mathematics and a member of the 2012 cohort. "I believe it helped me get an intramural grant (he is collecting data comparing what metaphors teachers vs. students use for mathematical problem solving as a means to improve communication between the two) and I'm now in the second round for a small external grant. I would strongly recommend it.

"It's a way to learn how to write and how to prepare to write a grant proposal, which is something that is lacking in general in doctoral programs," he said. "This program walks you through the ins and outs, so you're not intimidated by the application process."

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