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.