May 24, 2012

From Arts:92: Teaching Artists to be Eligible for Arts IN Education Grants

The Indiana Arts Commission (IAC) announced earlier this month that for the first time teaching artists will be eligible to apply for the IAC's Arts IN Education grants. Eligible teaching artists must be 18 years of age or older. They must have been an Indiana resident for one year prior to the date of application, and must remain an Indiana resident during the grant period.

Eligible teaching artists may not be enrolled in any degree-granting program (undergraduate, graduate and doctorate) as of October 11th, 2012. Teaching artists may not apply as part of a collaboration for which another artist is also applying in the same year, and may not apply on behalf of an organization. Organizations, other than schools, may not apply.

As in years past, applicants may request up to $3,000 for their project. Grant awards must be matched, dollar for dollar with the IAC grant awarded with school funds, contributed funds, in-kind donations, or services. Funding may not replace or supplant existing resources.

Funded projects must take place during the scheduled school day and may not fund after-school or summer activities. Projects must also meet a minimum of five (5) Indiana academic standards (from three required last year).

Applications will open in mid August with an application deadline of October 11, 2012. 

Arts IN Education grant information and guidelines will be available online in mid-August. Interested applicants should then refer to the IAC website Arts IN Education page.

If there are additional questions, please email Susan Britsch or call 317-232-1281.

May 22, 2012

Keep yourself informed with SPO Info Sessions!

The Sponsored Programs Office conducts many workshops and information sessions throughout the year for students, faculty, and staff. Please visit our website for more information and updates!  

April 11, 2012
Grantsmanship Information Session (GIS)Click here for video - 1:17:54
Need grant funding to carry out your work? In a quandary about how to get started? Hear first-hand experiences from funded colleagues who have successfully navigated the path to a grant award. This hour-long discussion will include topics such as, how to identify funding opportunities, and how to position yourself as a scholar.

May 2, 2012
Core Fulbright Information Session ~ Click here for video - 1:18:05
The Sponsored Programs Office, in conjuction with the Rinker Center for International Programs and the Contracts and Grants Office, present an information session on the Core Fulbright Scholar Program for University faculty and professional personnel. Former Ball State Fulbright awardees present their perspectives and experiences with Fulbright.

May 17, 2012

COS Funding Opportunities conversion to COS Pivot to be completed as of June 30, 2012

COS Funding Opportunities, Expertise, and Scholar Universe became COS Pivot in August 2011.  Ref-Works will be completing the conversion and phasing out the legacy system. COS Funding Opportunities currently available at (or will no longer be available after June 30, 2012. The same great funding information is available in Pivot, which you currently have access to. Anyone who logs in to after the 30th will automatically be redirected to Pivot.

To avoid any problems accessing the system, please update any bookmarks and log into Pivot at the new website: Ref-Works will be posting warning notices to users throughout the legacy platform within the next few days.

COS Pivot is the most comprehensive database of funding opportunities, containing up-to-date grants, awards, fellowships, and other funding opportunities covering all disciplines, as well as identifing researcher expertise within or outside Ball State.

If you have any questions or concerns about using Pivot at Ball State, please feel free to contact Augusta Wray in the Sponsored Programs Office.

May 16, 2012

From SRA Catalyst: Spanky's Comparative Competencies, Redux

As a research proposal development trainer I have always been frustrated by those who attend workshops to learn the “tricks” and “special language,” the magic silver bullets that will make them successful. Invariably they are frustrated when I open the day by saying that these tricks and gimmicks don’t exist and the only magic is working harder than your competition, following the guidelines, learning some communication techniques and most of all, doing your homework. I would repeat throughout the day that the skills one needs to develop a proposal are skills that one uses every day in their “normal life,” often illustrating these points, with “If you can do X, then you can do Y.”

Back in 1996 I developed a list of comparative competencies to show potential PIs that the skills needed to write a proposal could indeed be drawn from their everyday life. Soon these little statements took on a life of their own, and were shared in a newsletter and through the RESADM-L list. Realizing that a generation or two of people have passed through the biz since these first came out and, like all things, they have become a bit dated, I decided to update and streamline the list. Below are a few of the originals and some new ones. I hope you will find them useful in your training programs.

Spanky's Comparative Competencies, Redux
(If you have___, then you can___)
  • planned a week’s menu & shopped at the grocery -- identify needs & develop a budget. 
  • estimated the cost of a large expenditure -- justify budget items. 
  • tried to impress a potential date -- talk to a sponsor. 
  • read a rental contract -- read a project contract. 
  • defended a dissertation -- defend a proposal. 
  • written a speech -- plan and develop a proposal narrative. 
  • planned a vacation -- make a timeline. 
  • asked Dad for money-- ask an Uncle (Sam) for money. 
  • had your in-laws drop in unannounced -- survive an NIH site visit. 
  • chaperoned an elementary school field trip -- lead a proposal development committee. 
Read the full article in SRA Catalyst May 2012...

May 10, 2012

YouTube Channel of Interest: The Grantsmanship Center

The Grantsmanship Center was founded in 1972 with the initial motivation of offering grantsmanship training to nonprofit and governmental agencies. There are numerous resources for grantseekers available at no cost at the TGC website ( These include daily grant announcements from the Federal Register, archives of The Grantsmanship Center Magazine, indexes of funding sources at the local, federal and international levels, and more.

Their YouTube channel feed is full of great information in 5-10 minute, easy to understand video nuggets, can be found by clicking here.

May 01, 2012

From GRC: Inside the Room with an NIH Study Section Member

One of the primary goals of GRC’s Health Research and Education Task Force is to give GRC members an in-depth look into the peer review process at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). To this end, Dave Stone, Associate Vice President for Research at Northern Illinois University and task force co-chair, interviewed Paul Silvia, Associate Professor of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, who spoke at GRC’s February conference. Silvia also has served on NIH’s Social Psychology, Personality and Interpersonal Processes Study Section. This interview is a rare window into the NIH review process, and a great resource for GRC members. In the coming months, the Health Task Force plans to interview more NIH reviewers from different study sections.

Silvia’s interview addressed general issues with which all study sections deal, and the following important points were made:

  • Literature review: Reviewers will be looking for the significance and relevance of the proposed project through the literature cited. Investigators should already know why their research is significant, and include at least two reasons justifying the work by the second paragraph. Investigators should also indicate a clear link to a public health problem;
  • Methodology: Despite shorter page limits it is still important to include everything. NIH is very interested in statistical power. And to establish credibility, investigators should always include a timeline. This helps reviewers answer the question of feasibility – can the researcher actually accomplish his/her project goals? Silvia suggested that reviewers are not as concerned about investigators addressing Plan B if the project fails to meet its objectives;
  • Personal statement in the biosketch: Silvia recommended applicants pay close attention to this. Investigators should list their research background, their training, and their publication history to make the case for why they are doing this particular project. Reviewers often have a hard time connecting the credentials of the investigator to the proposed research;
  • Impact scores: While the impact score involves being judged on five criteria (significance, investigator, innovation, approach and environment) Silvia said the most important of them are significance and approach. Innovation is more appropriate to address in R21 applications where high risk research is valued. Investigator and environment criteria (while important for R15 proposals) are a given in most R01 applications;
  • R15 level of effort: Silvia said one course buy-out plus summer effort should be sufficient to establish that the research can be accomplished. He suggested at least 50 percent effort in the summer, plus 10-20 percent effort during the academic year;
  • Addressing issues of women, children (NIH considers people 18 to 21 as children) and human subjects in the application: Silvia emphasized this section receives more attention from reviewers than investigators may assume. It is especially important to address research subject sampling. Investigators need to be pro-active in addressing limitations to the subjects available in their regions of the country, and include a collaborator where feasible; and
  • Grouped applications: NIH now starts each session with reviews of R01 applications from new and early stage investigators so it may benefit investigators to identify themselves this way. Silvia also said R15 applications receive a huge benefit from being ‘clumped’ because these reviewers are more familiar with the R15 criteria. In closing, Silvia said review committees haven’t seen many R03 (small grant) proposals recently due to their limited funds. R03s are typically used now to leverage funds on an ongoing R01 grant.