September 26, 2011

New Jr. Faculty Workshop Incentive Program

Grant Writing Essentials is a five-part workshop series led by Sponsored Programs Office (SPO) Program Manager Stanley Geidel. In order to increase the number of Junior Faculty Members educated in grant writing and to further increase the number of quality external grant submissions, SPO is pleased to offer an incentive to Junior Faculty Members who attend these workshops.

Junior Faculty members who attend Parts 1 - 4 of the Grant Writing Essentials workshops are eligible to receive $250 in their Researcher Incentive Account (RIA) for extramural expenses. Further, an additional $250 will be made available to Junior Faculty members who submit an external grant proposal within 18 months of attending the series.

  • Junior Faculty members in their first, second, or third year of receiving a new appointment (tenure‐track or full‐time contract).
  • Those faculty moving from contract to tenure‐track status are considered eligible as junior faculty, again, in their first three years of receiving a tenure‐track position.
Workshop Schedule
All workshops are held from 12:00-1:00 pm in BL 215 (Bracken Library)
  1. Developing a Fundable Idea - Focuses on how to transform ideas for grant proposals into fundable propositions.
    October 6, 2011 or January 12, 2012
  2. Writing the Proposal Narrative - Detailed guidance for developing proposal content as well as how to present the grant narrative for maximum effectiveness.
    October 20, 2011 or January 26, 2012
  3. Project Evaluation - SPO has teamed up with SSRC to offer attendees the information and resources they need to develop a strong evaluation plan for their grant project.
    November 3, 2011 or February 9, 2012
  4. Budget Development - This workshop outlines a straight-forward approach on how to construct a grant budget.
    November 17, 2011 or February 23, 2012
Application Process
There is no formal proposal required for this incentive. Instead, please do the following:
  • Register for Parts 1 - 4 of the Grant Writing Essentials workshop sessions online at the Learning and Development website
  • Sign the attendance sheet during each workshop session.
  • Upon completion of the 4 workshops, submit a Workshop Incentive Application detailing dates attended and targeted external grant submission to
Additional program information can be found at the Essentials Incentive Program page.

September 20, 2011

Teaching Students to Search with ‘Google Search Education Evangelism’

From The Chronicle of Higher Education - Prof. Hacker Blog:

On Wednesday I asked an open thread discussion question–How do we measure (and improve) students’ digital skills?–that resulted in a pretty good conversation about various approaches different people take.

I think it becomes clear in any such conversation that we’re really talking about at least two different sets of skills: information literacy (how to find, evaluate, and use information), and digital proficiency (how to use various software applications, how to problem solve, how to adapt to unfamiliar environments).

With regard to information literacy, it’s often a challenge (in my experience) not only to get students to search using something other than Google; it’s also difficult to teach them how to use Google effectively. And in this way my students seem similar to the students in the ERIAL study discussed by the Inside Higher Ed article I referenced in Wednesday’s post: “They were basically clueless about the logic underlying how the search engine organizes and displays its results. Consequently, the students did not know how to build a search that would return good sources.”

Well, thanks to a recent Tweet by Micah Vandergraft, I now know of a site designed to address search skills: Google’s “Search Education Evangelism” site. While the name may be a bit strange (or maybe that’s just me), the content of the site looks to be quite useful, including
  • Lesson plans, from basic to advanced,
  • Slide decks, available for use by instructors, and
  • Recorded webinars, available for download.
Original article and more from Prof. Hacker can be found by clicking here.

September 13, 2011

From GRC GrantWeek: New AREA Program Director Shares News, Advice

Erika Brown, the dynamic new director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) program, met with attendees at the GRC 2011 External Funding Conference on August 23, 2011.

Historically, the AREA program has been overseen by an NIH-designated coordinator, with leadership turning over every couple of years. With the establishment of the program director position, NIH has acknowledged the importance of AREA in the agency’s overall research portfolio. Backing NIH’s goal to broaden its applicant pool, AREA, or R15, awards support small-scale biomedical and behavioral research projects conducted by faculty and students at colleges and universities that have not been major recipients of NIH grant funds.

Brown intends to rewrite the AREA program announcement to include a game-changing new feature. Currently, all types of NIH grant proposals, including AREA requests, are reviewed together in regular study sections. With the new program announcement, NIH will begin clustering AREA grant proposals separately within study section reviews.

The success rate for AREA proposals is less than one in five under the existing review system. Brown provides this advice for developing more competitive, error-free proposals:
  • Describe the special institutional characteristics that make the request appropriate for the AREA program, and provide a profile of current and former students, focusing on the number who go on to advanced degrees (this should be submitted in the “Facilities and Other Resources” section of the application).
  • Describe how the project will expose students to research, and how the NIH support will strengthen the research environment on your campus.
  • Include the total budget in budget period one. Unlike most NIH grants, AREA funding for all years, the entire grant term, is awarded up-front at the project start date.
  • Use a modular budget if your total budget is $250,000 or less. If larger budget is proposed, use the R&R Detailed Budget form.
  • Find an NIH institute or center that could support your area of research, make contact in advance, and then include a cover letter with the application to suggest an appropriate institute and up to three appropriate study sections.
The next AREA deadline is set for October 25, 2011. Annual deadlines include February 25, June 25, and October 25. Full guidelines can be found:

September 01, 2011

Invitation to submit proposals: Provost Immersive Learning Initiative 2012-2013

The Provost Immersive Learning Grant can be used to fund an entire immersive learning project, equipment, some travel, as well as buyouts to ensure you have time to commit to the project.

Please click here for guidelines.

All copies are due to the Provost's Office by 5:00p.m., Monday, October 3, 2011.

The proposals are judged on your expertise, time commitment, budget requests, etc., as well as the seven criteria of immersive learning:
  • carry academic credit
  • engage participants in an active learning process that is student-driven but guided by a faculty mentor
  • produce a tangible outcome or product
  • involve at least one team of students, often working on a project that is interdisciplinary in nature
  • include community partners and create an impact on the larger community as well as on the student participants
  • focus on student learning outcomes
  • help students define a career path or make connections to a profession or industry
Open Information Sessions
Two open Forums have been scheduled:
  1. Tuesday, September 13, 4:00p.m. Student Center Rm. 305
  2. Wednesday, September 21, 4:00p.m. Student Center Rm. 305
See some of the projects that have been funded.

Invitation to Submit Proposals: Discovery 2012-2013

The Discovery group invites the submission of project proposals for funding in 2012. Discovery funds projects that further the mission of the university as expressed in the 2007 – 2012 Strategic Plan.  Group members are interested in projects that significantly impact Ball State students, offer immersive learning opportunities, and have potential for other external funding in the future.

Proposals must be turned into the Sponsored Programs Office by October 3, 2011.

Please click here for guidelines.

About Discovery
Discovery is a women’s collaborative philanthropic group established to support projects and programs at Ball State University. Discovery members are interested in projects that significantly impact Ball State students, offer immersive learning opportunities, and have potential for other external funding in the future.

For more information about the Discovery awards, visit the Discovery Awards 2011 page.