December 28, 2012

While the university website is undergoing an upgrade some of our departmental documents are unavailable through our webpages. Here are links to documents for the ASPiRE program. For program information please visit the ASPiRE webpage, but be advised that you may need to come back to this post to access documents. Please email if you are unable to find the document you need.

Faculty programs focus on the support of Research and Creative Arts projects,
Junior Faculty Research Competition Guide (PDF)
Junior Faculty Creative Arts Competition Guide (PDF)

Additional Programs - External Travel Support and Reprint/Publication Support Programs.
Reprint/Publication Support Program Guidelines (PDF)
Travel Support Program Travel Support Program Guidelines (PDF) 

Hollis Fund - Psychology-based research Applicants are limited to Graduate students or Junior Faculty members (first 3 years of appointment).
Aspire Hollis Fund Guidelines (PDF)

International Travel - Facilitates international academic activity for tenure-track faculty
Aspire Faculty International Travel Guide (PDF)

New Faculty - Supplies, Expenses, Equipment, and Travel (SEET) funds for tenure-track faculty in their first year of employment
Application Cover Sheet (PDF)
Aspire New Faculty Start-Up Program Competition Guide (PDF)

December 26, 2012

Success in grantseeking is not just about the proposal

Although well-prepared and well-written proposals are critical to the success of individual grant requests, for long-term positive achievement, you need to build a strong support team for those requests within your organization. Nichole Albanese provides advice on how to do this in "Why Grant Writing is Not All About the Writing" (CharityChannel, November 15, 2012). Her suggestions:
  • Form a development committee to support grantseeking efforts, to develop realistic grantseeking goals and strategies, and to involve board members in developing and maintaining close relationships with funder decision-makers. This committee should include the executive director and members of the board of directors. 
  • Involve program staff in proposal development. Have them keep the proposal writer up to date on program changes. Work with them to make sure data used in proposals is correct and that documentation of program effectiveness is ongoing. 
  • Make sure everyone in the organization, including volunteers, is collecting stories from the individual clients you serve. You can use these in proposals and reports. 
  • Make sure everyone involved in expending grant funds follows the conditions laid out in the grant letter.

Source: {Centered} December 2012 - Volume 5, Issue 12
© 2012 The Grantsmanship Center.
All rights reserved.

From Great Lakes News: Grant Opportunity Webinar

Please join us for a webinar on January 15, 2013 to learn about the grant funding opportunity to be offered through Sustain Our Great Lakes.

On January 3, the 2013 Sustain Our Great Lakes Request for Proposals will be available at In 2013, grant funding for work in the Great Lakes basin will be awarded in three categories: 1) habitat restoration; 2) delisting of habitat-related beneficial use impairments; and 3) private landowner technical assistance. Pre-proposals will be due on February 14, 2013.

Webinar participants will learn about funding priorities and the application process, see examples of past projects, receive tips for submitting competitive proposals, and have the opportunity to ask questions. The webinar will begin at 11 AM Eastern Time/10 AM Central Time and last for approximately 1 hour.

Webinar participants can register here.

Please contact Todd Hogrefe, National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, at 612-564-7286 or for more information.

December 21, 2012

{Centered}: How to get good scores from federal grant review panels

Most applications for federal grants are reviewed and scored by a group of people from outside the government agency who have expertise in the subject area for which a grant is requested. These review panels are a key influence on the grant decisions made by the federal agency.A two-part article in Local/State Funding Report ("Part I: Understanding Federal Review Panels," November 12, 2012, and "Part II: Making the Most of a Federal Review," November 19, 2012) explains how the panels function and how to improve your chances of scoring well.

Despite their particular expertise, members of the panels are not permitted to review applications from groups with which they have connections, and they review only applications from outside their own geographic area. Each reviewer scores applications independently of the other reviewers. The average of their scores becomes the official score used to rank the application. If the scores of different reviewers on the panel vary greatly, the agency will convene the reviewers to discuss the discrepancies; then the reviewers rescore the application. The federal agency then uses the official scores for the applications as a critical factor in deciding which applicants will receive grants.

Some tips on how to improve your score:
  • Given that the reviewers will not be from your geographic area and are unlikely to be familiar with your organization, make sure your proposal is explicit about ways in which your location or the history of your group will enhance your ability to carry out your program.
  • Always follow the proposal guidelines for typeface, font, and page limits.
  • Make sure the section headers you use in the proposal narrative match the categories to be scored.
  • Include citations from relevant research that supports the strategies and methods you will use in your program.
  • Be careful with acronyms; the first use of any acronym should be immediately after the complete name from which it is derived.
  • Use language that indicates your readiness to proceed with the program for which you are requesting the grant. Avoid terms like "we hope" or "hopefully."
  • If the program for which you are requesting funds involves collaborating organizations, make sure to include letters of commitment verifying their participation.
  • Appendices may not be read, so they should never contain crucial information that doesn't appear elsewhere.
Source: {Centered} December 2012 - Volume 5, Issue 12
© 2012 The Grantsmanship Center.
All rights reserved.

December 18, 2012

Matching Project Ideas to NEH Grant Programs

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has developed an online resource to help faculty members target the funding opportunities best suited to their project ideas. Users can identify the appropriate NEH program by selecting from options such as these:
  • I want to host a program for faculty, scholars, or practitioners to expand their knowledge of a topic
  • I am organizing a scholarly conference
  • I want to develop or refine a humanities course or curriculum
  • I want to create a scholarly edition or reference volume
  • I am seeking support for an archaeological project
  • I want to preserve a collection and/or make it easier for people to access
  • I want to develop or put on an exhibition or cultural program
  • I want to combine digital technology with the humanities
  • I want to create a website with humanities content
  • I want to develop or produce a reading and discussion program.
Because NEH program officers are so willing to speak with prospective applicants, discuss project ideas, and, in almost all cases, review draft proposals, faculty members can also make real use of the NEH office and division contact list. Attendees at the GRC 2013 Conference on Funding Competitiveness will receive insight into NEH proposal development during a mock panel review led by Wilsonia Cherry, deputy director of the Division of Education Programs, on February 22, 2013.

December 13, 2012

INTERNAL GRANT: 2012-2013 Creative Teaching Grant - Call for Applications

Applications for the 2012-2013 Creative Teaching Grant are now being accepted. Promoting instructional creativity and experimentation in undergraduate coursework, the Creative Teaching Grant supports intensive development of pedagogical resources for a course, a program, or a curriculum component. Faculty members holding tenure track or academic year contract appointments in any academic unit of the University may apply.

The 2012-2013 Creative Teaching Grant Application Manual is available online (please note that the application cover sheets are the last two pages of the manual). The deadline for submission of proposals is January 17, 2013.

Questions? Contact the Office of Educational Excellence.

December 12, 2012

Geological Sciences Awarded KINGDOM Software Grant

Rick Fluegeman, professor of Geological Sciences, was recently awarded a 3 year grant for Kingdom software from IHS valued at approximately $1.85 million dollars. “The amount was a surprise,” he said, as the original proposal had asked for only $596,000. “We had an earlier grant for the Kingdom software from Seismic Micro-Technology, Inc. and our monetary request was based on the package and its cost from 4 years ago,” Fluegeman explained. “This new proposal did request an upgraded version for a new project and that is the software we received. We didn’t know it was worth $1,848,000! This is a big deal for the department but the software is the big story.”

The software is used primarily for oil and gas exploration. The software allows geologists to manage a diverse spectrum of data in one work environment. The Geological Sciences department deals with geophysical well logs, rock descriptions from subsurface samples, paleontological reports of fossils in the wells, and seismic surveys. The Kingdom software will allow them to bring all of these diverse data sources together and use them to create a product – usually a map or cross-section. These products are the basis of exploration in an area.

Kingdom software is an industry standard and by using it in class, BSU students will have experience in this platform when they start looking for employment in the energy field. Kingdom software also aids thesis research in the department’s Southeast Asia-Pacific (SEAPAC) research program. This program currently has two externally funded thesis research projects – one in Sumatra and another dealing with a series of sedimentary basins in Indonesia and Malaysia – that utilize the Kingdom software. With so much data available on each study, Kingdom allows the geologists working on these projects to view and select the best data and to create multiple working hypotheses about the nature of the subsurface geology.

“The grant program run by IHS, and SMT before them, has been important to the emergence of the SEAPAC Program,” said Fluegeman. Sarah Stanley, a BSU Geology alumna, has been instrumental from the corporate side in acquiring program funding. She was suggested by Will Ade, another alumnus who has been the prime agent in getting the L. Bogue Hunt Petroleum Database for Southeast Asia and the South Pacific housed at Ball State and in acquiring grant support for the two externally funded SEAPAC research projects. In house, Mike Kutis in Geological Sciences has been instrumental in solving hardware issues as well as readying the software for departmental use.

Maggie Cude, Sponsored Programs Office GA

December 11, 2012

Grants Information Session (G.I.S.) Call for Poster Presentations – Deadline January 23

The 2nd Annual Grants Information Session (G.I.S.) will be held on Monday February 25, 2013 in the L.A. Pittenger Student Center from 1:30-3:00. New to the event is a Research Symposium that will recognize the achievements of faculty and professional personnel who have received funding for their research or creative projects.

The Sponsored Programs Office invites all faculty and professional personnel who have received funding (internal or external) for their research or creative projects to present their findings. This is an opportunity to share your work with the campus community, learn about others’ scholarship, and explore potential collaborations.

Eligible Participants: Faculty and professional personnel who have received funding for their research or creative projects (due to space constraints, posters will be limited to the first 150 registrants.)

Poster Guidelines: Abstract and poster guidelines can be found here

Application Deadline: To register, submit completed application form by January 23, 2013

For additional information, please contact the Sponsored Programs Office at 285-1600 or email us.

December 07, 2012

On Wednesday, December 5, the Sponsored Programs Office hosted their annual Benefacta Day reception. Benefacta Day is the celebration of all of the “good works” that Ball State has to offer.

SPO staff welcomed President Jo Ann Gora, Provost Terry King, and Associate Provost Robert Morris as they celebrated the funded projects of faculty and staff from across the Ball State University campus. The reception was catered by University Catering and attended by faculty from across campus.

The reception also celebrated the publication of our annual online “magazine,” Ball State Research. The publication features scholarly and creative activity of representative faculty members who have been funded by external sponsors, as well as feature pieces on the 2012 Researcher of the Year and Creative Endeavor Awardee.

December 06, 2012

NIH: Improving Public Access to Research Results

Most researchers are familiar with our public access policy which is central to the NIH mission. It ensures NIH-funded research is accessible to everyone so that, collectively, we can advance science and improve human health. You’ve provided access at an impressive rate which has allowed many people to see the publications that result from NIH-funded research. For example, on a typical weekday over 700,000 users retrieve more than 1.5 million papers on PubMed Central, the host archive for the public access policy.

When we put the policy into place in 2008 it was an adjustment for all of us. Since that time, NIH has focused much of our attention on outreach. We’ve helped you understand your obligations and provided reminders when we found papers that were out of compliance. This strategy, along with the research community’s shared commitment to making the results of NIH-supported research public, has resulted in a high level of compliance with the policy. But our work is not done as there are still publications — and as a consequence, NIH awards — that are not in compliance. Thus, as of spring 2013 at the earliest, we will begin to hold processing of non-competing continuation awards if publications arising from grant awards are not in compliance with the public access policy. Once publications are in compliance, awards will go forward. For more details, see NIH Guide notice NOT-OD-12-160.

November 30, 2012

From {Centered}: How to demonstrate sustainability in grant proposals

When considering whether or not to make a grant, both foundation and government decision-makers want to know what will happen with the program they are being asked to support after the grant funds have been expended. In other words, is the work sustainable? The article "Applicants Should Write with Sustainability in Mind" (Local/State Funding Report, October 15, 2012) suggests ways you can demonstrate sustainability in your proposal.

Before writing the proposal, have a thorough discussion within your organization about the capacity of the existing infrastructure to operate the project. Get assurances that there will be support for the project from within the group. If partner organizations are to be involved in the project, determine whether or not these organizations have made plans or commitments to continue working with you after the grant expires. Find out whether the physical resources needed for the project will remain available after the grant has been expended. Will the deliverables of the project, such as training programs created, remain available and useful to the target populations past the grant period?

Once these questions have been answered, you can include in the proposal language about:
  • ongoing relationships with partners;
  • networks that will be created and maintained with businesses and community groups;
  • project infrastructure that will be retained for future use in the organization,including staff learning from the project;
  • the ability of project participants to make future use of what they have gained from the project.

Source: {Centered} November 2012 - Volume 5, Issue 11
© 2012 The Grantsmanship Center. All rights reserved.

November 28, 2012

From The Indiana Arts Commission: New "Big Read" Grant Applications Now Available

The "Big Read" is now accepting applications from non-profit organizations to develop community-wide reading programs taking place between September 2013 and June 2014.

The "Big Read" is a national program designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and to encourage reading for pleasure and enlightenment.

Organizations selected to participate in "The Big Read" receive a grant, educational and promotional materials, and access to online training resources and opportunities. Approximately 75 organizations from across the country will be selected.

The new titles for the 2013 "Big Read" include: The Namesake, by Jhump Lahiri; True Grit, by Charles Portis; and Into the Beautiful North, by Luis Alberto Urrea.

The deadline for application is 4:00 p.m. (CST) February 5, 2013.

Visit the "Big Read" website for more information. Have additional questions? Call Arts Midwest at 612-238-8010 or email

November 27, 2012

From GrantWeek: HHS Merges Aging and Disability Agencies

Based on the philosophy that “all Americans – including people with disabilities and seniors – should be able to live at home […] rather than in nursing homes or other institutions,” the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has established a new agency, the Administration for Community Living (ACL). ACL unites and coordinates the efforts of the Administration on Aging, the Office on Disability, and the Administration on Developmental Disabilities into a single agency that supports both cross-cutting initiatives and efforts focused on the unique needs of individual groups, such as children with developmental disabilities or seniors with dementia.

Funding will focus on increasing access to community support; achieving full community participation for people with disabilities and seniors; and moving beyond healthcare alone to focus on issues related to housing, employment, education, meaningful relationships, and social participation. Monitor the ALC blog and GRC publications for funding opportunity updates.

From GrantWeek: NIH Announces New Public Access Policy Tools

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has warned that, beginning in spring 2013, researchers who are not in compliance with the NIH public access policy will face delayed processing of their non-competing continuation grant awards. Since 2008, compliance with the NIH public access policy has been a statutory requirement and a term and condition of all grant awards and cooperative agreements. Awardees are required to submit final peer-reviewed journal manuscripts, as soon as they are accepted for publication, to the digital archive PubMed Central. The goal is that all research results arising from NIH-funded projects will be accessible to the public within 12 months of publication.

NIH has conducted a great deal of outreach to assist applicants with understanding the policy. In light of ongoing non-compliance issues, the agency has made changes to My NCBI. One update improves the workflow and communication between project directors/principal investigators (PDs/PIs) and other authors to answer the challenge of tracking all papers arising from NIH awards, even if the PD/PI is not the author.

Additional information on using My NCBI is available online:

Institutions are encouraged to continue providing training and other support to NIH awardees. Direct specific questions to

November 20, 2012

From GRC GrantWeek: NEH Seeks Comments on New Public Program

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Division of Public Programs has announced plans for the FY 14 launch of Digital Projects for the Public, a new program to fund “projects using digital formats such as websites, mobile applications, games, social media, and virtual environments to reach the public and foster lifelong learning.” The agency invites comments on the draft guidelines through December 10, 2012.

There is a tentative proposal deadline of June 12, 2013 for discovery awards of up to $25,000 and prototyping awards of up to $100,000 for projects that will “significantly contribute to the public’s engagement with humanities concepts and spark a deeper understanding of disciplines such as history, literature, religion, anthropology, jurisprudence, and art history.”

All projects are expected to have these features:
  • Deepen public understanding of significant humanities stories and ideas;
  • Build on sound humanities scholarship;
  • Involve humanities scholars in all phases of development and production;
  • Involve appropriate media professionals, especially a producer, director, writer, and interactive designer;
  • Reach a broad public through a realistic plan for development and distribution;
  • Create appealing digital formats that will engage the general public;
  • Use widely available hardware and operating platforms;
  • Deepen public understanding of significant humanities ideas and questions; and
  • Demonstrate the capacity to sustain themselves for three years.
 Submit comments to Final guidelines will be published by April 15, 2013.

November 16, 2012

From the Non Profit Times: 6 Steps For Grant Application Planning

The adage “Don’t chase dollars, chase results” is more than high-minded philosophy. It’s practical. The surest way to win grants is with proposals that offer thoughtful, logical plans for achieving measurable change.
  • According to Barbara A. Floersch, director of The Grantsmanship Center in Los Angeles, to develop winning proposals, planning is non-negotiable. Here are six primary planning tasks.
  • Identify how the grant-will contribute to your organization’s mission and strategic plan. Will it propel you in the right direction or lure you off track?
  • Update your understanding of the issue the proposal will address. Review local data, talk to staff in your organization, and reach out to experts.
  • Make sure you know what’s already happening. Meet with staff in relevant organizations, update your knowledge of their work, solicit their ideas, and explore collaborations that will increase impact.
  • Involve those affected by the issue. Explore their perceptions. Engage them in identifying methods that will work.
  • Explore best practices for addressing the issue. What’s been proven to work?
  • Develop a concept paper providing an overview of how your organization will approach the issue, why you think the approach will work, and the results you expect the project to achieve. Use the concept paper with administrators, experts, and constituents to garner support, refine the plan, and secure letters of commitment.
Writing up a quick response to application guidelines won’t get you where you need to be. Until you’ve done the planning, you’re unprepared to develop a winning grant proposal.

November 13, 2012

From GRC Grantweek: NSF Will Launch E2 in Late-FY 13

During a November 8, 2012 public meeting, the National Science Foundation (NSF) Education and Human Resources Directorate (EHR) discussed the pending release of a solicitation for Expeditions in Education (E2) pilot projects. E2 was proposed in NSF’s FY 13 budget request as part of the $807 million OneNSF initiative to coordinate high-priority programs seamlessly across all NSF disciplines and administrative units. (See the February 13, 2012 edition of GrantWeek for previous coverage.)

E2 is an effort to “consolidate, leverage, and focus” NSF’s educational and research missions to achieve national goals in STEM research and discovery, teaching and learning, and workforce development. There are three initial priorities: Transforming Undergraduate STEM Learning through Science and Engineering; Learning and Understanding Sustainability and Cyberlearning; and Data and Observations of STEM Education.

The February budget request described NSF’s plans for EHR, as the coordinating unit, and participating research offices, divisions, and directorates to issue a dear colleague letter that will solicit proposals and provide the following information:
  • A list of programs across NSF that are part of the E2 portfolio;
  • E2-specific expectations and language for each participating program;
  • Information on what will constitute an E2 activity;
  • Proposal evaluation and funding details (EHR and the participating directorates, divisions, and offices will split financial, staffing, and award decision responsibilities during FY 13); and
  • A description of E2 guiding principles, metrics, data collection and reporting standards, and project evaluation requirements.
E2is part of a broader effort to staunch the flow of students out of STEM disciplines. EHR representatives at the November 8 meeting cited data showing that over 40 percent of U.S. undergraduate students who begin in a STEM major leave the program by the second semester of their first year. E2 will probe the replication potential of successful interventions for pervasive problems like these (EHR has highlighted Tuft University’s thriving engineering department as an example of a program that embeds real-world experience into undergraduate education, resulting not just in student retention but also in attracting students from other disciplines.) A second expected outcome of E2 is widespread execution of strategies for aligning experts on the science of learning with researchers from disciplines all along the STEM spectrum.

The pilot projects selected for FY 13 funding will become NSF’s “baseline” E2 portfolio. By FY 17, the agency expects the initiative to have transformed NSF’s entire education portfolio “into a coordinated and strategic set of investments spanning basic research and theory about STEM learning; design, implementation, and assessment of models for STEM learning and workforce development; evidence-based models for building institutional and human capacity; and innovative approaches to adaptation and scale-up.” This STEM education revolution will run concurrently with NSF’s “re-envisioning of EHR” to “to provide a full set of core investments in STEM education” research and development.

Check back with the Research Blog for updates!

November 12, 2012

From the NIGMS Feedback Loop Blog: Discussing Your Application’s Review with Your Program Director

Study sections review applications three times a year, about halfway between the submission date and the second level of review by an advisory council. We are currently in the midst of the review cycle for the January 2013 Council meeting, which means that applicants will be getting their summary statements soon.

A recent post described a new NIH resource to explain the next steps after the review of your application. One of them is to contact your program director to discuss the critique, and I highly encourage this. Program directors read hundreds of summary statements each year, so we have a good idea about the comments that might have influenced your score, the likelihood that your application will be funded, and the types of revisions that might make your application more competitive.

November 06, 2012

From GrantWeek: Fewer Multi-Year Grants Suggest Need to Diversify

The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) has issued a new report on the “State of Multi-Year Funding” by private sector grantmakers. Although generally accepted as “essential for nonprofits’ effectiveness, impact, and growth,” multi-year grants are on the decline. The report finds a drop of more than 20 percent from 2008 to 2009, and an additional dip in 2010. But the percentage of grantmakers awarding multi-year grants has remained fairly consistent, about one-tenth of those surveyed, since 2004.

Colleges and universities seeking multi-year grants must provide evidence of alignment between the institution’s mid- and long-term goals and the funder’s. As NCRP states, longer-term funding can offer these significant win-win benefits:
  • The ability to respond to crises and opportunities;
  • Capacity building and leadership development potential;
  • The ability to maintain staff continuity and organizational leadership; and
  • The organizational capacity to overcome unforeseeable challenges and improve planning.
A diverse portfolio of support is the best way to hedge the chance that a central funding source pulls its support and leaves a center, program, or initiative with no way to continue, let alone grow. Contact the GRC staff for assistance in identifying potential federal and private sponsors, and see the Chronicle of Philanthropy for additional coverage of the NCRP report.

November 05, 2012

Delays in Grant Application Submission due to Hurricane Sandy

From OER Grants: The NIH realizes that the path of Hurricane Sandy may cause problems in grant application submission for organizations located over a wide portion of the east coast. The usual NIH practice for such circumstances will apply. Electronic and paper applications submitted late because of weather problems must include a cover letter noting the reasons for the delay. It is not necessary to get permission in advance for weather-related delays in grant application submissions. The delay should not exceed the time period that an applicant organization/institution is closed.

NIH has established a Web page on the NIH Extramural Response to Natural Disasters that provides information on a variety of topics.

November 01, 2012

Building Better Communities Fellows Program is Now Recruiting

Looking for an immersive learning opportunity? The Building Better Communities Fellows program is now recruiting undergraduate and graduate students from all academic disciplines for the Spring 2013 Semester.

Some of the projects offered next Spring are:

IGA Paperless Project Usability Study, Improvements and Training
For more information about this project, please contact Jonathan Huer, Department of Emerging Technologies and Media Development. Apply Now!

GRI Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Sustainability Reporting for the City of Bloomington, Indiana
For more information, please contact Gwen White, Department of Accounting. Apply now!

Voices of Growth
For more information about this project, contact Josh Gruver, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management. Apply Now!

Modeling Urban Form: Expressions of the Operational State of Design-For-Sustainability
For more information about this project, contact Robert Koester, director of Center for Energy Research, Education and Service and professor of Architecture. Apply Now!

October 31, 2012

Follow agency priorities to improve federal grant prospects

All federal grant guidelines indicate, directly or indirectly, the issuing agency's priorities for the grant program. A recent article ("Understanding Priorities Improves Proposals," Local State Funding Report, September 24, 2012) defines three categories of priorities - absolute, competitive, and invitational - and offers tips on how to recognize these and address them in your application.

The absolute priority for each federal grant program is the purpose Congress intended in enacting the statute authorizing the program. Any proposal that does not adequately address the absolute priority will almost certainly fail.

Competitive priorities are elements which can earn a proposal extra points. These points, which can be the deciding factor in close competitions, may go to organizations that have received prior awards or whose programs target specific groups, such as veterans or at-risk populations.

Some, but not all, grant guidelines may include invitational priorities, which encourage applicants to address additional issues of concern to the grantmaking agency. This won't earn you extra points but, in very close competitions, it could still tip the grant decision in your favor.

Source: {Centered} October 2012 - Volume 5, Issue 10 © 2012
The Grantsmanship Center. All rights reserved.

Evaluation: You won't get far without it

Over the past 20 years, nonprofits, foundations, and government agencies have been steadily ramping up their commitment to objective and specific outcome measures and to quality program evaluation. But push has now come to shove. The recession-induced drop in foundation giving and the volatile uncertainties of government funding are producing an increasing demand for accountability. To get funding to start new initiatives and to sustain existing services, you've got to be able to prove that what your organization does makes a difference.

How can nonprofit administrators make the tough decisions about where to put limited and often decreasing resources? How can they know which of their efforts are producing the most impact? The question is not, "Did we do the work?" The question is, "Did it make a difference?"

And grantmakers face similar dilemmas. How can they know which of their social investments are paying off? How can they decide which organizations to support with their shrinking bank accounts?

October 29, 2012

Emerging Media Digital Feed - The Applications of Digital History Research and Topic Modeling

On Friday, October 19th, Dr. Douglas Seefeldt (Assistant Professor of History, and Emerging Media Fellow) and Dr. James Connolly (Director, Center for Middletown Studies, and Professor of History) showcased their digital history research projects which utilize multiple techniques, the most interesting is topic modeling. Topic modeling is a statistical model method, utilizing computer programs, for discovering and extracting 'topics' and vocabulary patterns within one or many electronic documents. This serves the purposes of analysis and application of analyzed data. Through this analysis, one could more easily verify the validity of a text, narrow down a large list of possible research sources based on key words and phrases, or check for plagiarism and duplicate entries.
Dr. Seefeldt's projects focus primarily on historical texts, like newspaper articles and the analysis and comparison of those documents to find correlative truth. Many times the same incident is reported differently by various sources, the analysis and comparison of the sources leads to evidence of the ways that rhetoric was shaped and how it was conveyed in discourse. Some of these projects include:

October 26, 2012

Kennedy Center Seeks Nominations for Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards

The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is seeking nominations for the 2013 Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards, a series of annual grants that recognize inspiring teachers in the United States.

Now in their third year, the awards were created in honor of American composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim, who frequently attributes his success to the teachers in his life. The awards are presented each year on Sondheim's birthday — March 22 — to a handful of teachers, kindergarten through college, who are nominated via the Kennedy Center Web site.

To be eligible, nominees must be legal residents of the U.S. Nominations must be based on experience as a full-time classroom teacher in a K-12 school in the U.S. or as a college or university instructor in the U.S. Nominators must be at least 18 years of age and have been a student of the nominee. Nominations for teachers by peers, parents, relatives, or other individuals based on non-teacher-student interactions will not be reviewed.

Last year, ten teachers were recognized for their outstanding influence on students. The recipients each received a $10,000 prize and their stories, as told by the nominating student, were featured on a Web site dedicated to inspirational teachers.

Complete program information and the online nomination form are available at the Kennedy Center Web site.

Contact: Link to Complete RFP

October 25, 2012

Your Resubmission—Application Act Two

Nobody likes bad news, but unsuccessful applications are a fact of life every investigator eventually faces.

But unlike the director of a Broadway play, you don't have to worry about your audience walking out on your second act. Your reviewers will play their part, keen on seeing how you addressed their critiques.

Before we discuss the ins and outs of resubmitting, let’s back up to earlier events where you judge whether resubmitting is your most effective tack.

After you learn your application is not fundable, you’ll first need to spend time to effectively deal with your anger and frustration.

When you've done that, you'll be ready to take a cold hard look at your options and do a thorough analysis of your situation so you can determine what to do next.

Reminder: Cohen Peace Fellow Grants

This is a reminder that the Benjamin V. Cohen Peace Fellowship proposals are due on November 1, 2012. The Fellowship provides support to conduct basic or applied research on topics related to peace.

For the 2012-13 academic year, Ball State faculty members and graduate students are eligible to apply.
  • Faculty members: funds may be used for salary, supplies, expenses, and/or travel. Preference will be given to tenure track faculty members at Ball State University.
  • Graduate students: funds may be used for assistantship stipend, supplies, expenses, and/or travel and may also include tuition remission during the academic time period of the fellowship.
Completed applications and all required materials are due to the Sponsored Programs Office (SPO) by 5:00 PM on November 1, 2012.

For more information on how to apply for the fellowship, visit the Cohen Peace Fellowship page, or contact the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies, 285-1622,

October 24, 2012

NIH Transparency Helps Offset Austerity

As the National Institutes of Health (NIH) confirms plans to reduce non-competing research grant awards by at least 10 percent as long as the FY 13 continuing resolution is in effect, the agency is pumping out a wide range of resources to build researchers’ capacity to be strong applicants and responsible stewards of federal funding.

The Center for Scientific Review’s Peer Review Notes, published primarily for NIH staff and reviewers, is a rich source of information on review policies and procedures. The September 2012 issue includes fresh perspective on innovation and peer review from Sally Rockey, director of the NIH Office of Extramural Research; advice for new reviewers by former NIH study section chairs; discussion of how reviewers can use the “Additional Comments for Applicants” box to provide thoughtful recommendations to applicants; and insight into who exactly takes part in review meetings.

GRC recommends that researchers and administrators at all experience levels subscribe to Peer Review Notes and to two institute-specific resources that routinely deliver NIH- and even government-wide insight.

From GrantWeek: ED Board Offers IES Planning and Competition Insight

During an October 5, 2012 meeting of the National Board for Education Sciences, GRC staff joined a discussion on the future of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), the primary research arm of the U.S. Department of Education (ED). Background information and meeting materials will provide important insight to researchers who are preparing to compete for FY 13 and 14 federal education research funding.

Although IES remains one of ED’s most selective grantmaking units, it has steadily increased the number competitions—beginning with just three in its inaugural year—and awards. In FY 12, for example, the institute supported 49 new projects through the National Center for Special Education Research and 33 new projects through the National Center for Education Research. IES leaders are currently working their way toward FY 13 funding decisions, with reviewers wrapping up evaluation of proposals submitted in June before turning to last month’s round of submissions.

Meanwhile, the institute is seeking comments on a new FY 14 research topic, tentatively titled Continuous Improvement Research in Education. With a February competition planned, the program will offer $1.5 million over five years for research on the ways education system components work together to generate desired outcomes. The broad objectives are to create a safe, orderly, and supportive learning climate for students from preschool through high school; improve students’ transition to high school; and increase access to college and postsecondary training.

The continuous improvement research topic will join the existing Evaluation of State and Local Education Programs and Policies (84.305E) and Researcher-Practitioner Partnerships in Education Research (84.305H) topics under a new program umbrella, Partnerships and Collaborations Focused on Problems of Practice or Policy. These will complement, not replace, IES’s established Education Research Programs (84.305A).

October 19, 2012

NIH: Next Steps?

NIH recently created an online resource, Application Guidance: Next Steps, to address  frequently asked questions that investigators have about the application review process as well as what the "next steps" are. The questions are grouped into three categories: Scores, Funding Decisions, and Resubmitting.  Questions include:
Further information on the Review Process itself is linked on the Next Steps page and can be found at the Peer Review Process website.

October 17, 2012

BSU Faculty Member Named "Hero in Health Education"

From the Ball State University Communications Center: The Department of Physiology and Health Science is very proud to inform that Dr. Jagdish Khubchandani, Assistant Professor of Community Health Education and Faculty Fellow of the Global Health Institute, has been named a "Hero in Health Education" by the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE). The SOPHE's National Health Education Week (NHEW) for 2012 is from October 15-19. During NHEW 2012, SOPHE is celebrating the 2012 Heroes in Health Education Honorees who have made exemplary contributions to the field of health education and adolescent health and wellness. The honor letter read, "We are so pleased to recognize you as one of our 2012 Heroes in Health Education! It is well-deserved and SOPHE proudly salutes your efforts in educating individuals and communities about important actions they can take to maintain or improve adolescent health. Our most heartfelt congratulations to you!"

Dr. Khubchandani is also the recipient of the 2012 Governor's Award for Service Learning. The annual service awards, Indiana's most prestigious honor for volunteer work, recognize individuals and organizations for contributions of time and talent to the betterment of their communities. Dr. Khubchandani was honored at the Governor's Residence on October 1st 2012. He has also been invited to serve on a panel for mentoring public health education students nationwide. The panel has been organized by the Society for Public Health Education and will be held at San Francisco, CA in October 2012.

Join us in congratulating Dr. Jagdish Khubchandani!

October 04, 2012

ASPiRE Deadlines Approaching: October & November

As a reminder, here are the ASPiRE deadlines for the months of October and November: 
Also, the Ad-Hoc Program, Reprint Support, and External Travel Support deadlines are the 15th (every month)
For more information, visit the ASPiRE Internal Grants page or call (765) 285-1600

Sabbatical Presentation: Dr. Kristin Perrone McGovern, Department of Counseling Psychology and Guidance Services

Kristin Perrone McGovern
Kristin Perrone McGovern spent her sabbatical year in 2011-2012 doing postdoctoral training in neuropsychology in order to acquire competence in this specialization. She worked closely with Dr. Andrew Davis, who supervised her training in neuropsychological assessment. This training included diagnostic interviewing, neurobehavioral examination, neuropsychological testing, assessment scoring and interpretation, hypothesis generation, report preparation, report writing, family and individual feedback sessions, and consultation with referral sources. Guided didactic experience was accomplished through independent readings and discussion with Dr. Davis, in addition to attending two of his graduate classes in neuropsychology.

In addition to her clinical and didactic training with Dr. Davis, Dr. McGovern worked with collaborators from the University of Minho in Portugal and the University of Chicago on neuropsychophysiological research. In May 2011, prior to the beginning of her sabbatical academic year, Dr. McGovern was invited to speak at a a university in Portugal and then to stay and spend the week meeting with researchers at the Neuropsychophysiology Lab (NPL) in the Center for Research in Psychology (CIPsi) at the School of Psychology, University of Minho inf Braga, Portugal.  The main objective of the NPL is the development of research in the area of human clinical neurosciences, specifically the research of neuropsychological, neuroanatomical and psychophysiological correlates of several cognitive-emotional processes in a variety of neurological and psychiatry conditions.  While there, Dr. McGovern learned about different types of research methodology and met with research teams and developed a plan for collaboration on a research project. In May and June, 2012 a researcher from the University of Minho came to Ball State to work with our research team here, collecting and analyzing data for the empirical study.

October 02, 2012

From OER Nexus: What’s Next?—Reviewing Your Summary Statement and Thinking About Resubmitting

So you’re wearing your lucky shoes and are ready to take a first look at the results of your grant review. Whether you are anticipating doing a victory dance or getting ready to head out to the nearest kickboxing class, it’s a good time to think about what comes next.

Some of you have noticed that the summary statements now include a link to a new online resource to address just this question. Especially if you are new to NIH funding, I encourage you to check out this “Next Steps” page, which was put together to help NIH grant applicants with the “What’s next?” questions following receipt of the summary statement.

If you aren't in the position to be preparing Just-in-Time information for an award, but instead are considering resubmission, you may want to consider some of the data that have appeared in my previous blog posts, in addition to the resources available on For example, in the post “Correlation Between Overall Impact Scores and Criterion Scores”, I show how approach, innovation, and significance factor heavily into the overall impact scores. As you look at your summary statement, talk to your NIH program official, and discuss your ideas with colleagues, it might be useful to keep this in mind.

Additionally our podcast series, All About Grants, includes conversations with NIH staff to help you understand how your grant is reviewed, such as these two episodes on summary statement basics and resubmission advice.

Whether you’re new to the grant application process or an experienced applicant, we hope you find these resources useful.

September 25, 2012

From GRC GrantWeek: Where’s NEA Going? There’s a Map for That

In a move that signals growing rigor and a closer alignment with scientific research agencies, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has released a five-year research agenda, system map, and measurement model. GRC strongly encourages members to review the report on these developments, “How Art Works,” which was officially released at American University on September 20, 2012.

GRC was there as NEA chairman Rocco Landesman described the agency’s efforts to both map the system and tell the story of how art works. The map is the result of a series of community engagement activities designed “to develop a common view of the relationship between art and individual and community outcomes.” Landesman admits that it is “both too complex and too simple but,” nonetheless, “useful.” The map provides what Keats called “negative capability,” or the ability to imagine a system without having to resolve apparently contradictory aspects. Questions such as “what is art?” are intentionally left unanswered, as NEA encourages arts researchers to map everything from Kanye West to a visit to the Met.

Instead, the intention is to explore the interplay among arts participation and creation; the artist, the artwork, and audience; how arts participation influences the lives of individuals and their communities; and how individuals and their communities influence artists and their work.

Sunil Iyengar, director of the NEA Office of Research and Analysis, believes the most significant change over the next five years will be the shift from inductive to deductive arts research, with the expectation that awardees will make explicit connections between NEA-funded research and the public good.

Download the full report and listen to the recording of the September 20 event online.

Cohen Peace Fellows: Deadline November 1

The call to submit proposals for the Benjamin V. Cohen Peace Fellowship is now open. The Fellowship provides support to conduct basic or applied research on topics related to peace. For the 2012-13 academic year, Ball State faculty members AND graduate students are eligible to apply.

  • Faculty Members: Funds may be used for salary, supplies, expenses, and/or travel. Preference will be given to tenure track faculty members at Ball State University. 
  • Graduate Students: Funds may be used for assistantship stipend, supplies, expenses, and/or travel and may also include tuition remission during the academic time period of the fellowship. 

Completed applications and all required materials are due to the Sponsored Programs Office (SPO) by 5:00 PM on November 1, 2012. SPO will route the University Clearance Sheet and forward the completed applications to the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies. The Cohen Proposal Evaluation Committee will then review the proposals. 

For more information on how to apply for the fellowship, visit the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies website or contact CPCS at 285-1622 or

September 21, 2012

From {Centered}: How to avoid common errors in federal grant applications

The competition for federal grants is already fierce, and the pressure to reduce the federal budget overall is almost certain to intensify it. How, then, can you increase your proposal's chances of surviving the review process? In "From a Proposal Reviewer's Perspective" (CharityChannel, August 22, 2012), Ron Flavin, who reviews grant applications for the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Energy, Education, and Health and Human Services, offers practical advice.

Having reflected, with his fellow reviewers, on why only 3% of the applications he has reviewed were recommended for funding, he has concluded that the most common reasons for rejection are:
  • You failed to follow the directions in the funding agency guidelines, especially by omitting any information for one of the review criteria.
  • You submitted a boiler plate proposal - one you used with other potential funders and that does not respond to the particular proposal requirements and format mandated by the RFP.
  • You failed to adequately explain how the project will be sustained after the grant money is gone.
  • You didn't bother to fully describe the applicant organization, the community, or the problem being addressed, because - having been funded by the agency previously - you assumed the description was unnecessary. This is dangerous because you're unlikely to get the same set of reviewers every time. 
  • Your budget appears to be padded, because it's for exactly the maximum amount available. To avoid this, always develop your budget from the bottom up to total all necessary expenses, even if that total is less than the maximum allowed.
{Centered} September 2012 - Volume 5, Issue 9 
© 2012 The Grantsmanship Center. All rights reserved.

September 19, 2012

ARPA-E University: Winning Technical Proposals

Funding applications often require something shorter than a research paper, but more substantive than a business pitch—you need a technical pitch. Join ARPA-E Program Directors Dr. Dane Boysen and Dr. Ilan Gur on Wednesday, October 3rd for the next installment of the ARPA-E University webinar series. Dane and Ilan will share their 5 best practices and 5 deadly sins for writing technical proposals.

Participants will also learn about ARPA-E’s mission and unique role in funding energy innovation. While the webinar will use concepts from the ARPA-E funding selection process, the proposal strategies are applicable to anyone who communicates complex technical information in a short format. Registration is free.

**Date updated on 9/25

September 18, 2012

Workshop Reminder: Focus on the Search - September 25th

This is a reminder for the previously posted workshop: Focus on the Search.  Focus on the Search is one-hour long intensive workshop session that highlights the resources SPO has to offer for grantsmanship as well as how to effectively search for funding opportunities. The session is held in the SPO conference room and is intended to be a personalized, one-on-one experience. Participants are asked to bring their own Internet-ready device, like a notebook or tablet computer. 

To register: Please follow the following link to the mini-course registration system through Learning and Development. Search for keyword “Focus on the Search”.

September 13, 2012

ASPiRE Student Grant Opportunities

Are you working on a thesis or major project? Planning to present at a conference? Then look to the Internal Grants Program as a funding resource!

ASPiRE Internal Grants supports aspects of student research and creative arts projects. Funds can be used to assist in project costs such as travel or supplies. Proposals are capped at $500 for Graduate students and $300 for Undergraduate Students.

Graduate Student Competition:
Undergraduate Student Competition:
  • Research applications due: November 12, 2012 and January 25, 2013
  • Creative Arts applications due: November 19, 2012 and February 1, 2013
Student Travel Grants: applications due 15th of the month prior to travel date (for presentations of papers and/or posters, etc., at meetings or conferences)

For more information, visit the ASPiRE Student Programs page or call (765) 285-1600

August 30, 2012

Racial and Ethnic Minority Population Health Research at Ball State University

Nationwide, racial and ethnic minority groups suffer from health disparities. Ball State University took a unique initiative this summer to research the predictors and outcomes of racial and ethnic health disparities.

Jagdish Khubchandani
Jagdish Khubchandani, MBBS, PhD (Assistant Professor of Community Health Education and faculty fellow of the BSU Global Health Institute) sponsored five health science students for the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation summer research program (funded by the National Science Foundation). Alicia McClendon, Eryn Pulliam Cannon, Chaztan Moore, Jillian Hicks, and Emily Sullivan received a funding of $3,000 each for the summer 2012 research.

The group is researching minority youth health disparities, adolescent dating violence in minority youth, and diabetes in racial and ethnic minority adults in the United States. In addition, a special topic, minority youth mental health disparities was also researched by the group. Dr. Khubchandani and his group have been invited to present the research on minority youth mental health at the Annual American School Health Association Conference in San Antonio, TX (Oct 10th, 2012).

Taking a step forward, Dr. Khubchandani and his students applied for Ball State University to become the Official summer host for NIDDK/ NIH Summer Student Research. BSU student Emily Sullivan has been sponsored by Dr. Jagdish Khubchandani for the NIDDK STEP-UP summer research fellowship. The Short-Term Education Program for Underrepresented Persons (STEP-UP) is a federally funded program managed and supported by the Office of Minority Health Research Coordination (OMHRC) in the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) of the National Institutes of Health. NIDDK STEP-UP emphasizes increasing the participation of students from backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical research on a national basis to promote the mission of NIDDK/ NIH.   To accommodate Dr. Khubchandani and Emily Sullivan’s proposed research, an exception was made by the NIDDK STEP-UP to make the Department of Physiology and Health Science at Ball State University a designated epidemiologic research center via the BSU Sponsored Programs Office.  Sullivan will be paid a stipend, and BSU will be given an award by NIDDK STEP-UP for supporting the research program. Currently, Sullivan and Dr. Khubchandani are looking at the National Health Interview Survey to assess the correlates of diabetes in minority adults. Dr. Khubchandani and Emily Sullivan presented part of their research at NIDDK/ STEP-UP conference in Boston on August 8th, 2012.

From left to right, Chaztan Moore, Emily Sullivan, Alicia McCledon, Eryn Cannon, and Jillian Hicks

August 29, 2012

8 Reasons You'll Get the Grant

The Grantsmanship Center posts mini-webcasts that give good advice to potential investigators. This one is all of 137 seconds!

The Grantsmanship Center:

August 23, 2012

Deadline Approaching: WIPB's Student Program Initiative

WIPB's Student Program Initiative offers funding up to $10,000 to student teams to support the creation of original local video projects. Students will be asked to describe in writing (500 words or less) how their team will collaborate with other students to develop their video project. Teams may include two or more Ball State University students from any academic discipline and must be enrolled as full-time status. All work must be completed by April 2013.

To apply, interested students should download the 2013 Call for Proposals (pdf) available at and submit their proposal by Friday, August 31, 2012. No late applications will be accepted.

General Information: Direct questions about the Program Initiative to Bill Bryant, Production Manager,

About WIPB-TV 
A PBS affiliate, WIPB is licensed to Ball State University and serves more than 1.5 million people in east and central Indiana and western Ohio. WIPB multicasts three channels: WIPB-HD 49.1, WIPB CREATE 49.2 and WIPB Radar 49.3 broadcast on cable, over the air and Dish Network. Station information is available at

August 20, 2012

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Stipends

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Stipends program supports research that contributes to the scholarship, the public's understanding, or the advancement of teaching of the humanities. Projects may be completed during the award period or may be part of a longer-term undertaking. Recipients' work often results in articles, books, databases, or other scholarly tools.

An outright award of $6,000 is provided for two consecutive months of full-time research and writing. In accordance with NEH guidelines, Ball State may nominate two faculty proposals.

Ball State internal application deadline is August 27, 2012.
Deadline for final submission to the NEH is September 27, 2012 for projects beginning May 2013.

Click here for full guidelines.

Materials to submit for the August 27 internal review:
  • The Ball State NEH Summer Stipend Internal Application Coversheet
    **This form is in lieu of ATTACHMENT 1: Supplemental Information for Individuals Form
  • A single copy of the application, including:
    • 3-page (single-spaced) narrative
    • 2-page (single-spaced) resumĂ©
    • 1-page (single-spaced) bibliography
    • 1-page appendix (graphical materials or edition/translation sample, if applicable)
  • You do not need to include reference letters at this time.
  • You do not need to have processed a Ball State clearance sheet.
  • Proposals will be submitted electronically through
Please submit your completed internal application to Justin Miller by August 27, 2012.

Questions about this program may be directed to Justin Miller.

August 13, 2012

Fall Workshops: Searching For Funding

Focus on the Search
Our Focus on the Search is one-hour long intensive workshop session  that highlights the resources SPO has to offer for grantsmanship as well as how to effectively search for funding opportunities. The session is held in the SPO conference room and is intended to be a personalized, one-on-one experience. Participants are asked to bring their own Internet-ready device, like a notebook or tablet computer. 

To register: Please follow the following link to the mini-course registration system through Learning and Development. Search for keyword “Focus on the Search”.

Workshops with University Libraries
University Libraries and the Sponsored Programs Office (SPO) are combining forces to assist faculty in finding funding sources for their research and creative activity agendas. SPO’s Augusta Wray will give a tutorial on COS Pivot, the largest funding opportunity and researcher expertise database, as well as other resources SPO has to offer. You will also learn about Web of Science, a powerful database helpful in crafting necessary literature reviews for grant proposals.

Grants for Graduate Students: Identifying Sources
Monday, September 10        10:00am - 11:30am      BL 225

Finding Funding for Faculty: Identifying Sources
Wednesday, September 12        3:00pm - 4:30pm      BL 225

Visit the University Libraries workshop page to register! Check back often for updates! 

August 02, 2012

From GRC GrantWeek: Landing the Corporate Grant

The Chronicle of Philanthropy has compiled a set of strategies for organizations seeking support from corporate giving programs. The primary reminders are to research, research, research and network, network, network.

Tori Kaplan, assistant vice president of corporate social responsibility at CSX Corporation, tells the Chronicle she expects grantseekers to be familiar not only with the corporation’s philanthropy mission, but also with its business mission. Where possible, applicants should stretch their social networks to connect with company employees. According to Jacquelline Fuller, director of charitable giving at, employee-recommended proposals “absolutely […] carry more weight” than great proposals from unknown applicants.

In addition to building pre-submission awareness and support from the prospective funder, applicants should also take every opportunity to establish relationships with potential collaborators. Although corporations operate in a competitive, market-driven environment, they appreciate the value of cooperative solutions and prefer to work with organizations that have already built successful partnerships.

Measurable results are critically important to all sponsors, but especially to organizations rooted in profit-generation. “There’s a greater expectation for grant recipients [to deliver] a return on that investment,” says Torrence Robinson, senior director of the Fluor Foundation. In spite of their insistence on performance, corporate foundations tend to be generous and responsive to their applicants – successful or not. If a grant application is rejected, always ask why.

Prior to a virgin submission or following a negative funding decision, applicants may choose to offer the funder access to the project prior to a full-on commission of funding. This can involve inviting representatives to campus, engaging them as volunteers, or seeking support for just a small piece of the proposed project. 

August 01, 2012

From {Centered}: Four questions to ask before responding to an RFP

When a funder issues a Request for Proposal (RFP), what's the best way to decide whether or not to invest the time required to develop a reponse? In "Beginning With the End in Mind" (Local/State Funding Report, May 28, 2012), Christine Heft recommends asking four questions in the following order:
  1. Are the funds offered for a purpose that fits within your organization's mission? If so, move on to Question 2.
  2. How many grants will be awarded from the total amount available? If this is a national competition and the number of grants is limited and the total amount to be awarded is relatively small, don't bother to apply. Otherwise, make a judgment about your organization's chances of success; if they seem good, go on to Question 3.
  3. What is the application deadline? If you will have enough time to gather data, do any research necessary, and get input from all relevant parties inside and outside your organization, then proceed. Heft estimates that, on average, it takes about four weeks to prepare a federal grant proposal, while a proposal to a state government or to a foundation takes two to three weeks. [See editor's note.]
  4. How will the grant impact your organization's budget if you are successful? Does it require a match? If so, of what type? Will it require hiring new staff, increasing office space, or upgrading information technology? Will the total grant amount be more than a third of your total budget? If so, and if grantees will get the funds as reimbursements, rather than up front, how will you front the costs? Don't submit an application unless you know your organization is prepared to accept the financial consequences of receiving the grant. 
Editor's Note: We asked two of The Grantsmanship Center's Competing for Federal Grants trainers to weigh in on the length of time it takes to prepare a federal grant proposal.
Chuck Putney: "I'd say four weeks of work (140-160 hours) spread over eight to ten weeks is close to the mark for federal grants. Or four weeks, uninterrupted by other concerns, maybe - but it takes a collaborative process, conversations, the engagement of program staff, etc."
Barbara Floersch: "I agree with Chuck. It can be done much faster in certain circumstances, but other times it may take longer. It also depends on who's doing the work. Is one person is carrying almost the whole load? Or are other team members making significant contributions?"

Source: {Centered} July 2012 - Volume 5, Issue 7 © 2012 The Grantsmanship Center. All rights reserved.

July 20, 2012

Discovery Awards - Call for Proposals - Deadline: September 17

Discovery is a women’s collaborative philanthropic group established to support projects and programs at Ball State University. Discovery members are volunteers who pool annual contributions and work with university administrators to select the projects they support.

Discovery invites the submission of project proposals for funding in 2013. The due date for project nominations is September 17, 2012. Proposals must be turned into the Sponsored Programs Office by September 17. It is highly recommended to contact SPO well in advance of the submission deadline.

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. We ask that you submit proposals that match your priorities as well as the selection criteria identified by Discovery. Discovery funds projects that further the mission of the university as expressed in the 2007- 2012 Strategic Plan.

Please click here for full guidelines

From the proposals received, the committee will invite six project directors to make oral presentations in November 2012. Decisions will be announced in February.

July 03, 2012

Extramural Nexus: What you're missing!

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Extramural Research (OER) has a monthly newsletter called "Extramural Nexus".  This newsletter provides many helpful articles and tips to prepare your NIH proposal!

A quick FAQ of sorts is the "You Ask, We Answer" portion. Here is a sample of the questions:
  • Is There a Time Limit for Resubmission?
  • How Do I Fill Out the Budget Form for an AREA App?
  • For a Resubmission, May I Request a Different Study Section or IC?

OER also provides an extensive archive of podcasts specifically designed for investigators by those that know the information best! Topics include:
  • Prepare a Successful Grant Application?
  • Be an NIH Investigator?
  • Understand How Your Grant is Reviewed?

New resources are posted on a regular basis on a variety of new regulations and policies. Examples include:

Dr. Sally Rockey is NIH's Deputy Director for Extramural Research. Her blog "Rock Talk" is updated frequently with new information straight from the NIH.
  • Postdoctoral Researchers—Facts, Trends, and Gaps
  • What We’ve Learned About Graduate Students

June 27, 2012

From Inside Higher Ed: How To Ask

This article was originally published by Inside Higher Ed June 6, 2012, written by Elizabeth H. Simmons.

Suppose you have a great idea for improving a course, starting a research project, undertaking public outreach, or helping students explore alternative career paths. To launch this idea, you need some key resource: a research assistant, working space, a teaching fellow, supplies, a website, or support to attend a workshop. Perhaps you’ve even recently seen an invitation from a foundation, a federal agency, an on-campus institute, or your department chair to apply for support.

How can you acquire what you need to start the project? That depends what you need and from whom you need it.

Formal calls for proposals from external funding agencies are straightforward to pursue. They usually come with specific directions about what kinds of activities are supported, how much to request and what documentation to submit.

Seeking funds within your institution can seem more murky. If you are contacting your department chair in response to a brief announcement at a faculty meeting, it may be hard to know where to start. This article discusses how to ask for resources effectively, whether or not an official call for proposals has been issued.