November 13, 2017

Immersive Learning: Student Engagement + Community Impact

Ball State’s Director of Immersive Learning, Kelli Huth, was the speaker at the SPA colloquium on Friday, November 4, 2017 in Bracken Library.

Huth’s overall message was to explain how immersive learning projects need to incorporate both student engagement and community impact.

Why Immersive Learning?

Huth presenting about immersive learning.
Ball State University has the goal of being the model of the most student-centered and community-engaged of the 21st century public research universities, transforming entrepreneurial learners into impactful leaders – committed to improving the quality of life for all.

Huth went on to explain how the relationship between communities and universities should be by quoting the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

“The collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.” 

Huth then summed up the importance of immersive learning and projects that have a community impact by asking the question, “If we aren’t doing work that helps and acknowledges the problems within our community than why do we exist?”

Types of Projects

Entrepreneurial Learning
Entrepreneurial learning is a pedagogical approach in which faculty mentors create high-impact, student-driven experiences that encourage exploration, problem solving, creativity, and risk-taking. 

Immersive Learning
These project-based opportunities pull together student teams that work with collaboratively with community partners to address local challenges. The result is a final product that enhances the community with a lasting impact. 
  • Projects are student-driven, but guided by a faculty mentor
  • Teams are interdisciplinary, when possible
  • Students earn credit for participation


Huth answering audience questions.

You can get involved in our community through in-class projects and interdisciplinary special projects. 
Our community can be anything from businesses, nonprofits, government agencies, grassroots community groups, and these different groups can be on a local, regional, national and even global scale. 

Partnership with the Office of Community Engagement

The Office of Community Engagement is Ball State's front door for community partnerships. They connect the university with challenges and priorities beyond campus.

If you are going to work with a community partner it is important to establish a mutually beneficial relationship.

How to build Mutually Beneficial Relationships
  • Listen to Community Needs
  • Make Appropriate Referrals
  • Look for Opportunities for Lasting Impact
  • Manage Expectations
    • What is the purpose of this project? 
    • What are the community partner goals/objectives?
    • What are the student learning objectives and how will the partner contribute to these?
    • Are there tangible outcomes expected from the project? 
    • What does success look like?
    • What is our timeline?
    • How will the partners/students/faculty communicate throughout the project?
    • How will we assess the outcomes?

Need help with your project? 

An architecture professor shares his
own immersive learning experiences.

Check out the Office of Immersive Leaning!

General Services
  • Project planning
  • Assistance identifying community partners and internal collaborators
  • Proposal development
  • Identifying sources of funding
  • Student recruitment and course enrollment options
  • Information on policies & procedures
  • Assessment tools
  • Assistance with research and presentation opportunities

The Office of Immersive Learning can also offers services that can help the students working on your project develop into professionals. 

Student Professional Development Training
  • Professionalism 
  • Communication Skills
  • Project Management
  • Defining Roles
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Teambuilding Activities
  • Market Your Experience
  • Showcase Opportunities

In some cases, Immersive Learning staff can offer intensive project management services such as: contract development with external partners, grant and budget management, support for travel and purchasing, technical assistance and equipment, publicity & showcase opportunities, and mini-documentaries.

Need funds for your project?

Internal Funding Opportunities
  • Provost Immersive Learning Grants
  • Mini-grants (College-level)
  • Building Better Neighborhoods Grants
  • Immersive Learning Travel Fund
  • Discovery Grants (Ball State Women’s Fund)

Contact the President’s Immersive Learning Fellows for internal funding:

Carla Earhart, Miller College of Business
Ruth Jefferson, Teachers College
John McKillip, College of Sciences and Humanities
Chin-Sook Pak, College of Sciences and Humanities
Paige Waters, College of Communication, Information, and Media
Pam Harwood, College of Architecture and Planning
Maura Jasper, College of Fine Arts
Denise Seabert, College of Health

External Funding Opportunities
  • Local Foundations
  • Government Organizations
  • Direct Contracts with Community Partners
  • Grants – State and Federal
  • Indiana Campus Compact

November 10, 2017

National Science Foundation (NSF) Fall 2017 Grants Conference

Sponsored Projects Administration (SPA) will be showing a live broadcast of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Fall 2017 Grants Conference being held Monday and Tuesday, November 13 and 14 in Phoenix, Arizona.

This is for all who have an interest in:

  • Funding research, including sessions for NSF policy updates and junior faculty opportunities.
  • Learning more about the process of proposing and managing NSF grants from actual program officers.
  • Hearing from experts with honest and up to date information that could help your research efforts.

Representatives of SPA will be on-hand for more questions and information concerning how we can support your efforts.

Below is the schedule. Feel free to come and go as you please to the sessions that interest you. Detailed agenda and speaker descriptions can be found in the links.

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2017 - Schwartz Viewing Room in Bracken Library
10:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m., Welcoming Remarks
10:15 a.m. - 10:45 a.m., Introduction & NSF Overview
10:45 a.m. - 11:15 a.m., Types of NSF Funding Opportunities
11:35 a.m. - 1:45 p.m., Proposal Preparation
3:00 p.m. - 4:40 p.m., Merit Review Process

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2017 - Schwartz Viewing Room in Bracken Library
10:00 a.m. - 11: 00 a.m., NSF Policy Update
12:40 p.m. - 1:20 p.m., Office of Inspector General
1:20 p.m. - 2:00 p.m., Office of International Science and Engineering

Arts and Journalism Building (AJ), Room 289:
4:30 p.m. - 6: 00 p.m., Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program

If you have any questions about this event, please contact Augusta Isley (, 5-5033).

November 02, 2017

SPA’s annual Ball State Research magazine is hot off the press!

This year's cover by Chris Flook.
Every year our magazine profiles members of the Ball State University family who have excelled in their fields. That includes those who’ve been nominated by their peers and have been chosen for special awards.

Check out what your peers are doing by exploring our magazine!

What’s inside?

  • This year’s Outstanding Researcher of the year and the Creative Endeavor of the year Award Winners.

  • Profiles of junior faculty dealing with gender equity and gender identity issues.

  • New faculty who’ve brought a half million dollars with them to do research at Ball State.

  • A professor helping professionals in Career and Technical Education expand their options.
  • A professor showing the benefits of paternity leave.
  • A biology professor who studies yeast – the deadly kind.

  • From death to life… Ball State’s integral role in growing new businesses.

  • Learn how a new internal grant in the Digital Scholarship Lab hopes to help Ball State faculty secure external grants to pursue their research.

  • Meet some of the folks who’ve been featured in past magazines and read what they’re doing now.

  • Finally don’t forget about the eclipse, our cover this year. Read a short story about it inside the back page.

You can read the full Ball State Research magazine on Issuu here!

For any questions or concerns about the magazine contact:

October 30, 2017

Devil on Your Shoulder: Overcoming 4 Bad Habits that Can Sink Your Grant

Ball State’s Donna Browne led SPA’s latest colloquium on Wednesday, October 18, 2017 in the Arts and Journalism Building.

Browne is a grant writer here on campus. She works with the Center for Energy Research Education and Service.

Her lecture focused on four bad habits that can sink your grant and how to avoid them.

Not to worry, as Browne said “Most of these things are under our control, so they are totally solvable.”

The Habits
Browne uses the shoulder devil versus the shoulder angel
to explain these four bad grant writing habits.

“We’re going to be looking at four trends that I’ve noticed in faculty work that have adversely impacted their ability to put together a really solid, competitive proposal,” said Browne.


When you are tempted to improvise you may be feeling excited, eager and you just want to take action on your awesome project idea already. All of those feelings are good, until improvisation negatively affects your proposal.

  • Make sure the grant you are applying for fits your grant perfectly
  • Make sure you meet all of the requirements and are eligible to apply
  • Make sure your project goals and objectives are relevant and match with the organization’s goals
  • Make sure your timeline and the sponsor's timeline are compatible 
  • Develop a concept paper in advance 
  • Follow the directions in the guidelines to the letter
  • Make your budget specific 
  • Pay attention to the details

  • Apply for the first grant you hear of, because you’re excited and think it might fit
  • Just go for it and say you can figure out the details later
  • Apply without developing all aspects of your idea into a solid project
  • Try to move too quickly and spend little time on it
  • Make any mistakes

Rugged Individualism

When you are tempted to express rugged individualism you may be feeling frustration because things aren’t going well, independent, and excited to leap in already.

  • Obtain committed, well-defined partnerships (research partner, community partner, or even your funder)
  • Develop interpersonal relationships
  • Talk through and agree on project commitments with your partner, and put them in writing 
  • Find on-campus support staff to help you develop your best project (SPA or other grant writers) 
  • Be receptive to criticism and feedback 
  • Make sure your proposal expresses your voice and your passion, while still being incredibly detailed 
  • Write in clear English for an “educated layperson” and keep it short 

  • Be a lonely scholar and try to do everything on your own
  • Submit anything without having fresh eyes look at it for proofing (text and budgets), as there is no room for error


When you are tempted to assume you may be feeling confused and frustrated. While underneath that confusion you may be feeling fear or not wanting to put aside your ego in order to ask questions, but never assume you know the answer.

  • Ask questions 
  • Talk to the program officer, they are there to help you. They are your partner and they want to see your best proposal submitted 
  • Make sure your partners' commitments are clear and mutually understood 

  • Assume you know the answer to ANYTHING 
  • Don’t assume your partners’ automatically know and understand their commitments


When you know you are procrastinating you are probably feeling stressed and confused. You may also be experiencing an underlying fear, because you feel you cannot deal with it right now.

  • Know that EVEVRY part of a grant proposal TAKES TIME (ideation, writing, editing, meetings, etc.) 
  • Submit a proposal before the due date, as it may take time to go through 
  • Make a weekly work plan and stick to it 

  • Forget to give yourself deadlines before the actual deadline of the grant submission 
  • Forget to give yourself a time cushion 

Faculty take notes as Browne explains
the bad habits often seen with faculty.
Reality Check

The reality check is that grants take a lot of time and there is just no way around it.

Browne summed it up best by saying, “If you’re going to do the grant, you’ve got to do the grant, because competition is fierce and there will always be more applicants than there is grant funding.”

October 18, 2017

Applying for a Discovery Grant

SPA’s Jackie Davis led the third colloquium in the SPA series on Friday, October 6, 2017 in Bracken Library. Alongside her was Tammy Hall, vice president of the Discovery Group and grant committee chair and Cathy Whaley, director of the Northeast Indiana Area Health Education Center (NEI-AHEC) as well as a current and former grant recipient.

What is the Discovery Group?
Jackie Davis leads the discussion
Davis describes the group as “a collaborative philanthropic group established at the Ball State Foundation. They do work through the foundation and support projects and programs at Ball State.”

Discovery funding is only for Ball State faculty and staff. The funds come from a pool of annual contributions and are considered external funding.

The overall purpose of the Discovery Group is to connect its members to Ball State University, inspire women to become leaders in philanthropy and to provide financial support for innovative Ball State projects and programs.

Application Details
Important information to include in your proposal:
  • Purpose/implementation plan
  • Measurable goals/objectives
  • Evaluation Plan
  • BSU student impact/involvement
  • Clear connection to Ball State’s Centennial Commitment  (undergrad focused)
  • Sustainability plan
  • Detailed budget and budget justification

Tammy Hall and Cathy Whaley answer audience questions
Advice for Applying
“Your proposal needs to be telling your story. It needs to be clear and concise, while stating what you are going to do, how you will accomplish your goals, how the results will be measured and how much it is going to cost” said Davis.

Whaley, as a current and former grant recipient, said that it is important that you find out “who are the Discovery Grant people, who is on the board and what are their philanthropic reasons?” This will help you better understand the audience that will be reading and considering your proposal. It is important to know who you are writing for.

Whaley went on to state that when applying for a grant she always makes sure to hit on keywords from the organization’s mission in her proposal. Be sure to address and incorporate as many as possible into your own project. For example, with the Discovery Grant, Whaley made sure that her project was student centered and followed the Centennial Commitment.

Additional Advice:
  • Have someone outside of Ball State and even outside of academia read your proposal, because the board is not made up of Ball State faculty. 
  • Synthesize goals/objectives down to the most important things you want the board to know.
  • Funding is for a one year project, so be clear with your timeline. Avoid listing long term objectives that go past the one year mark. 
  • The maximum award you can receive is $25,000 and you may only hold one award at a time, so plan accordingly.

Scoring Rubric
In addition to Davis’ and Whaley’s advice, it is crucial that you look at the Discovery Group’s scoring rubric, because this is the document the board uses to decide which proposals to consider. It helps everyone who submits a proposal be on the same page, and the reviewers can better compare apples to apples. Be sure to see how your proposal stacks up against their criteria and make changes where necessary.

Examples of projects that score high:
  • Student centered
  • Impact a high number of students 
    • Something small, such as students reading a pamphlet you create is not considered as impact.
  • Involve community interaction
  • Entrepreneurial type projects
  • Immersive learning
  • Interdisciplinary projects (2 colleges working together)
The Discovery Grant board uses this rubric to score each proposal. After scoring, they take the highest scoring proposals and invite them to give a live presentation at their annual meeting. This presentation will be what essentially convinces the members of the Discovery Group to vote for your proposal. After the presentations all members vote, and the proposals with the most votes are the ones that get funded. The number of funded proposals will also vary from year to year based on the amount of contributions received that year.

If you decide to pursue a Discovery Grant be sure to keep an eye on their timeline!

Timeline for Grant Proposals

The grant period Discovery Awards will be from May 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019.
  • October 1, 2017 – Cycle to submit proposals begins. Please work with your Sponsored Programs Proposal Manager for proposal development, review and budget preparation.
  • December 1, 2017, 5:00 PM – All Final proposals due as a single pdf file emailed to You will receive confirmation of proposal receipt. 
  • January, 2018 – The grants committee will select the top proposals for presentation at the Discovery Annual Meeting; all applicants will be notified of decision at this time. 
  • March, 2018 – The selected proposals are presented at the Discovery Annual Meeting. Following a vote by the Discovery Members attending the meeting the grant awards will be announced that day.

October 13, 2017

External Funding Alert: NEA Big Read

NEA Big Read is accepting applications from non-profit organizations around the nation to develop community-wide reading programs between September 2018 and June 2019.

A Big Read is a month-long series of programs centered around one NEA Big Read book. Programs include a kickoff, a keynote, book discussions, and other artistic events to foster engagement with the selected title and encourage reading. Want to know more? Read about recent NEA Big Read programming in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Organizations selected to participate in the program receive a grant ($5,000-$15,000), access to educational and promotional materials, and online training resources. Approximately 75 organizations from across the country will be selected.

To review the Guidelines and Application Instructions, visit the Arts Midwest website.

Application deadline: January 24, 2018 by 4:00pm CST

Follow @NEABigRead on Twitter for all the latest info and news.

We are proud to announce the addition of four new books to the NEA Big Read list this year:
  • Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast
  • The Big Smoke by Adrian Matejka
  • A Small Story About the Sky by Alberto Ríos
  • Burning Bright by Ron Rash
For a full list of available titles, check out our list of books.
Credit block
NEA Big Read is a program of the National
Endowment for the Arts in partnership with
Arts Midwest.
Copyright © 2017 Arts Midwest, All rights reserved.

October 11, 2017

Research Week is only a week and a half away!

Research Week – October 23-27
Mark your calendars for Research Week, Ball State’s annual celebration of externally funded research, scholarship, creative work, and community engagement.  Special events include the following:

  • Monday, Oct 23: BeneFacta Day (by invitation only). 
    A special event celebrating those who received or applied for external funding to support their work.
  • Research Week Honoree Presentations (open to all).  All events at 3:00 pm, Bracken Library 104.
    Come hear your colleagues discuss their externally funded work and offer their insights into developing successful proposals.
  • Tuesday, Oct 24: Janay Sander, Department of Educational Psychology.
    Come hear about the process of applying for and then implementing an externally funded project that includes real-world research questions, community-university partnerships, immersive learning, and high quality research methods all in one project. RSVP Here.
  • Wednesday, Oct 25: Cathy Whaley, Director, Northeast Indiana Area Health Education Center (NEI-AHEC).
    Come hear Cathy Whaley discuss the programs and funding strategies for AHEC. The purpose of the Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) Program is to develop and enhance education and training networks within communities, academic institutions, and community-based organizations. The Northeast Indiana AHEC is one of more than 250 Centers across the United States and is financially supported by federal, state, and local funds. RSVP Here.
  • Thursday, Oct 26: Eric (VJ) Rubenstein, Department of Biology.
    Like humans, all cells must take out the trash. When cells switch from taking out the trash to hoarding it, mayhem — in the form of disease —ensues. In his presentation, VJ Rubenstein will discuss his federally funded investigation of cellular waste management. RSVP Here.
  •  Friday, Oct 27: Creative Endeavor of the Year Lecture (open to all).  Christopher Flook (Department of Telecommunications) will discuss the work that has earned him this prestigious university award. RSVP Here.Scott Trappe's Researcher of the Year lecture has been postponed until Spring Semester 2018. More information to follow.

    For more information about these events contact

September 20, 2017

Academic Year 2017-18 Events Calendar

Faculty Events Calendar 2017-18
Sponsored Projects Administration
For more information: Stan Geidel (sgeidel@bsu – 285-2022)
or Jessie Roark ( – 285-5003)

SPA Colloquia: Faculty learning opportunities in a variety of formats on topics of interest pertaining to sponsored projects. Features faculty peers, Sponsored Projects Administration personnel, and other special guest panelists.
Focus on the Search: Workshops covering the funding search databases and techniques used at Ball State. Workshops are open to faculty, staff, and students. Registration through the minicourse system required. 
Special Events: Research Week; Researcher of the Year and Creative Endeavor of the Year Lectures; Student Symposium.
Updates: Be sure to check our blog at for the latest schedule changes and updates.


7             SPA Colloquia: The Cohen Grants – Writing Effective Applications.
   Presenters: Larry Gerstein & Jackie Buckrop (3:00 pm, Bracken Library 104)
8             Focus on the Search: Part 1 (1:00pm, SPA Conference Room) Registration Required
13           SPA Colloquia: Finding the Best Sponsor Fit for your Project. Presenter: Jackie Davis
   (Noon, Art & Journalism Bldg, Atrium Dining Room)
14           Focus on the Search: Part 2 (2:00pm, SPA Conference Room) Registration Required


6             SPA Colloquia: Applying for a Discovery Grant.  Presenter: Jackie Davis
               (3:00 pm, Bracken Library 104)
12           Focus on the Search: Part 1 (11:00am, SPA Conference Room) Registration Required
18           SPA Colloquia: Devil on Your Shoulder: Overcoming 4 Bad habits that Can Sink Your
   Grant. Presenter: Donna Browne (Noon, Art & Journalism Bldg, Atrium Dining Room)
19           Focus on the Search: Part 2 (1:00pm, SPA Conference Room) Registration Required
24           Research Week: Janay Sander, Research Week Honoree.
   Presentation: Janay Sander with SPA staff.  (3:00-5:00pm, Bracken Library 104)
25           Research Week: Cathy Whaley, Research Week Honoree.
   Presentation: Cathy Whaley with SPA staff. (3:00-5:00pm, Bracken Library 104)
26           Research Week: VJ Rubenstein, Research Week Honoree.
   Presentation: VJ Rubenstein with SPA staff.  (3:00-5:00pm, Bracken Library 104)
27           Researcher of the Year/Creative Endeavor of the Year Lectures.
   Presenters: Scott Trappe and Chris Flook (3:00-5:00pm, Bracken Library 104)


3             SPA Colloquia: Immersive Learning: Student Engagement + Community Impact.
   Presenter: Kelli Huth (3:00 pm, Bracken Library 104)
7             Focus on the Search: Part 1 (5:00pm, SPA Conference Room) Registration Required
8             Focus on the Search: Part 2 (5:00pm, SPA Conference Room) Registration Required
15           SPA Colloquia: Finding Matching Funds for your Grant Application.
   Presenters: Augusta Isley & Jackie Davis (Noon, Art & Journalism Bldg,
   Atrium Dining Room)


17           SPA Colloquia: Invest in Your Idea!: Concept Papers Save Time and Grief When Deadlines
   Loom. Presenter:  Donna Browne (Noon, Art & Journalism Bldg, Atrium Dining Room)
18           Focus on the Search: Part 1 (2:00pm, SPA Conference Room) Registration Required
24           Focus on the Search: Part 2 (2:00pm, SPA Conference Room) Registration Required
26           SPA Colloquia: Shining a Light on the Mysterious World of Contracts and Grants.
   Presenter: Ted Kolodka (3:00 pm, Bracken Library 104)


7             Focus on the Search: Part 1 (11:00am, SPA Conference Room) Registration Required
9             SPA Colloquia: Proposal Resubmissions: Addressing Reviewer Comments.
   Presenter: Justin Miller (3:00 pm, Bracken Library 104)
15           Focus on the Search: Part 2 (11:00am, SPA Conference Room) Registration Required
21           SPA Colloquia: Research and Scholarship in the Fisher Institute of Wellness.
   Presenter: Youfa Wang (Noon, Art & Journalism Bldg, Atrium Dining Room)


14           SPA Colloquia: Voyage into the Real World: Working with Community Partners and Local
   Funders. Presenter: Donna Browne (Noon, Art & Journalism Bldg, Atrium Dining Room)
21           Focus on the Search: Part 1 (5:00pm, SPA Conference Room) Registration Required
27           Focus on the Search: Part 2 (5:00pm, SPA Conference Room) Registration Required
30           SPA Colloquia: Preparing an Effective NIH AREA Grant Application.
   Presenters: Jackie Davis & Maria Bumbalough (3:00 pm, Bracken Library 104)


6             SPA Colloquia: The Fulbright Experience. Presenter: Justin Miller
               (3:00 pm, Bracken Library 104)
11           SPA Colloquia: NEH Summer Stipends – Preparing an Effective Application.
               Presenter: Augusta Isley (Noon, Art & Journalism Bldg, Atrium Dining Room)
17           Student Symposium
·         Look for registration information in early January
19           Focus on the Search: Part 1 (2:00pm, SPA Conference Room) Registration Required
23           Focus on the Search: Part 2 (2:00pm, SPA Conference Room) Registration Required

September 18, 2017

Finding the Best Sponsor FIT for your Project

Jackie Davis led SPA’s second colloquium of the year Wednesday, September 13, 2017 in the Atrium. This session was packed full of important tips and advice to remember when searching for your project’s sponsor.


Davis began the session with the acronym FIT, which must be considered when looking for a sponsor.


Jackie Davis smiles as her audience interacts
with her during her presentation.
When thinking about funds, be sure to consider the amount of restrictions and the use of the funds.

Intention refers to the intentions of the funds and the intentions of the sponsor. Do their intentions fit with the purpose of your project, your goals and your project objectives?

Timing does not just refer to the application deadline, but also when the money will be distributed. Some sponsors pay on a schedule based on deliverables, some wait until the end or they will withhold the last payment to make sure you submit your project reports.

“A lot of the funds Ball State receives are cost reimbursements,” said Davis, “We pay the money and then we invoice the sponsor and then they reimburse us.”

Timing of funds is a consideration that Sponsored Projects can help you with.

Like a Glove

In addition to making your sponsor FIT, it is important to make sure your sponsor fits your project like a glove.

Davis handed out gloves to everyone who attended the colloquium. The gloves varied in sizes, colors and types. She made many valuable points by asking the audience if their gloves fit and what they could be used for.

An audience member shows off her
glove, which is a perfect fit.
“What is my purpose? If the purpose is to keep your hand warm, then lots of these gloves will serve your purpose. If your purpose is to go play a softball game then only one of these gloves will be helpful,” said Davis. 

Think of your sponsor as a glove, and remember to ask yourself these important questions. Does my project fit within in the sponsor’s mission, does it fit within the timeline or are you forcing your hand into the glove?

Additional Advice to Consider

  • Talk to the program officer that’s why they’re there, and sometimes you need a collaborator to help find the right fit. 
  • Every sponsor, opportunity and deadline has different priorities, instructions and requirements.
  • When it comes to deadlines, don’t assume you know because you have submitted to them before, many sponsors make changes every year. 
  • Read the guidelines carefully and follow them exactly, because there’s nothing more frustrating than getting thrown out for not following directions. 
  • What the program officer says goes, because it’s all about relationship building. You must respect their decisions. 
  • Relate your organization, your project and your program to the sponsor’s mission. What is the significance and why should your sponsor care? 
  • Grant writing is telling a story, it is persuasive writing. 
  • Include a contingency plan. Your proposal is a straight line, but that isn’t real life, so have a back-up plan from the beginning.

Remember to make sure you sponsor FITs like a glove, and that one size does not fit all. Sometimes you will have to make a change to your project in order to fit. If they advise you to change, make sure it is something you can live with. You do not have to change if you don’t want to, but make sure you are a perfect piece to their puzzle.

Upcoming Events

Check out these additional events that can help you with finding a sponsor!

Focus on the Search Sessions
  • Focus on the Search: Part 1 – Oct. 12 (11:00am, SPA Conference Room) Registration Required.
  • Focus on the Search: Part 2 – Oct. 20 (2:00pm, SPA Conference Room) Registration Required. 
  • Click here to register.

SPA Colloquia: Applying for a Discovery Grant – Oct. 6 (3:00pm, Bracken Library 104)

September 13, 2017

Fast-approaching Deadline for Peace Research Projects

Ball State professors with research interests in achieving peace in the world don’t have much time to put together a fund-worthy project. Cohen Peace Fellowship committee members who are also Ball State faculty kicked off the 2017-2018 Colloquia season with their information session about the fellowship on Thursday, September 7th at Bracken Library. 

Benjamin Cohen, a Muncie, Indiana native, was an architect in President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal legislation as well as the United Nations. The fund is a lasting memorial to Cohen by fostering new ideas to peacemaking problems.

Research projects will be considered in one of two areas – basic research and applied research. Basic research involves expanding knowledge about issues affecting world peace employing statistical, analytical, or qualitative tools. Applied research is designed to solve practical problems associated with world peace that will improve the human condition.

Successfully funded projects lay out a blueprint of tasks on how to accomplish research goals and a realistic timeline. That’s according to Dr. Lawrence Gerstein, the George and Frances Ball Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Director of Ball States Center for Peace and Conflict. Both Gerstein and Dr. Jacquelyn Buckrop, Assistant to the Provost, emphasized the importance of defining peace within the research application and the ability to be salient and succinct about the project in the limited application space.

“Proposals fall short due to lack of definitions and linkage to research. Poorly written applications with typos, grammar mistakes, lack of proof reading will be sent to the bottom of the pile,” said Buckrop.

Committee reviewers are from multiple disciplines. Gerstein and Buckrop stressed the need to translate projects for committee members. They suggested asking someone outside your discipline proof proposals. 

“We’re looking for a cogent argument that you understand the fund’s mission,” said Gerstein.
Other advice included:

Dr. Lawrence Gerstein and Dr. Jacquelyn Buckrop
spoke to faculty and students at Bracken Library.
They stressed proposals should contribute
towards the goal of peace.
§  Well-written

§  Follow guidelines

§  Include definition of peace

§  Connect peace to your research

§  Look at the projects impact

§  Decide if it’s worthwhile


The Cohen Fellowship is considered external funding. Faculty will have to meet with their college’s proposal managers within Sponsored Projects Administration by October 2nd in order to be considered for the fellowship. Final proposals are due by October 31st, 2017 at 5:00 P.M. Graduate students are eligible but must have a faculty sponsor and are also required to meet with SPA proposal managers in order to be eligible.

Gerstein said he is open to receiving ideas before the October 2nd deadline but will not help researchers flesh out ideas.

World peace isn’t expected overnight from proposed research projects but there is an expectation that the research will have an impact. An award of up to $50,000 is available to support a one-year or a multiple year project. Funding starts July 1st, 2018.

Be sure to take a look at SPA’s Colloquia Series which continues through the Spring here.