July 24, 2015

“Huddle Up!”

Last month the Sponsored Projects Administration, along with Dr. Robert Morris, Associate Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School, hosted three open forums for faculty members to ask questions regarding President Ferguson’s Academic Excellence Grants Program. There was a lot of useful information relayed at these meetings and they allowed faculty members, as well as SPA staff, to clear up some ambiguities regarding the program (Related: Check out the Q&A document on the Academic Excellence Grant Program webpage). During the course of these forums several faculty members asked, “What happens if my SPA Proposal Manager isn’t available when I need them?” That is a great question!

SPA Staff Review Nascent
Throughout the year there will be times when Proposal Managers, for one reason or another, are unavailable. To keep things running smoothly in the event of absences (planned or unplanned) the Proposal Managers and SPA administrative staff have a weekly meeting called “the Huddle.”

In the Huddle, the staff spends time walking through an office document called “Nascent.” Nascent is a spreadsheet listing of all the known proposals coming through the pipeline at the University. This is a great opportunity for Proposal Managers to discuss where each proposal is in the development process, bring up any issues they have run into while working on specific proposals, and draw on the collective knowledge and experience of the pre-award team.

The Huddle also helps keeps the entire pre-award staff in the loop regarding each individual’s current work load and allows arrangements to be made for another Proposal Manager to take over should there be a planned absence (vacation, conference, etc.) in the near future.

In the case of unplanned absences, Nascent helps the rest of the team quickly assess what proposals need to be covered. Since all upcoming proposals are listed on one document, and have been previously discussed in the Huddle, it is a relatively easy process for one Proposal Manager to hand off proposals to others for assistance.

Of course the preference is to work with one Proposal Manager from start to submission, but that isn’t always possible. The SPA staff is well prepared to keep operations running smoothly and provide faculty with uninterrupted assistance in the case of an absence. If you still have concerns regarding this issue feel free to contact the Sponsored Projects Administration (Email or 285-1600).

From GRC Grantweek: Government-Wide Science and Technology FY 17 Priorities Announced

by Graeff, Frank J. 

In preparation for the FY 17 Federal Budget, the Obama Administration has released a memorandum to guide the requests of the nation's research and development agencies. The new document, Multi-Agency Science and Technology Priorities for the FY 2017 Budget, states the need for agencies to design budgets that focus on publishing federally funded scientific results, commercializing new technology, and address nine agency-wide research priorities, in addition to agency specific tasks. Although the memorandum does not list specific funding levels, it does give an insight into the top priorities of future federal research.

While recognizing that every agency has specific research areas relevant to their mission, the memorandum asks all agencies to balance those goals with "multi-agency research activities that cannot be addressed effectively by a single agency". The multi-agency priorities include 1) Global climate change; 2) Clean energy; 3) Earth observations; 4) Advanced manufacturing and industries of the future; 5) Innovation in life sciences, biology and neuroscience; 6) National and homeland security; 7) Information technology and high-performance computing; 8) Ocean and Arctic issues; and 9) R&D for informed policy-making and management. Agencies are asked to craft budgets that give proper consideration to these goals, including ensuring that Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer awards and programs contribute to the above multi-agency priorities.

This memo comes at the beginning of the budget process. Federal agency managers will spend the next few months developing their FY 17 budget requests for submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. Budget managers have been previously warned that submissions should reflect a 5 percent reduction from the planning figure contained in the FY 16 request. OMB will comment on the FY 17 requests by late November, with the budget going to Congress in early February 2016.


July 17, 2015

Education Studies Faculty Member Awarded NEA "Big Read" Grant

Dr. Bo Chang from Educational Studies has been awarded a $15,000 Big Read grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. This article from the Ball State News Center gives more information on Dr. Chang and her Big Read project.

July 06, 2015

Graduate Assistantship Available

The Sponsored Projects Administration (SPA) announces a full-time (20 hrs/week) graduate assistantship available for the 2015-16 Academic Year, with potential for continuing into Summer Semester 2016.

Position Title: School Grantwriting Assistant

Position Reportage: The graduate assistant reports to the Associate Director of Pre-Award Operations, Sponsored Projects Administration.

Position Duties and Responsibilities: As School Grantwriting Assistant, primary responsibilities include working specifically with Burris Laboratory School and Indiana Academy Administration, Faculty and PTO to identify and disseminate funding opportunities; consult with teacher/project director on proposal vision, educational standards addressed and classroom impact; be the primary author of classroom grant proposals for smaller Teacher/ classroom grants. Working under SPA supervision, the GA, will have a presence in the schools, and is expected to attend teacher and PTO meetings; time commitment may include evenings and weekends; other duties as assigned.

A competitive applicant will have:

  • Bachelor’s degree in education or related field 
  • Must be available to work 20 flexible hours per week, which may include evenings 
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills 
  • Strong technical writing skills 
  • Extensive working knowledge of Microsoft Office, and technical troubleshooting capabilities 
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and in a highly organized, detailed manner 
  • Demonstrated time management and problem solving skills 
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and deadlines 
  • Willingness to complete training for policy regarding working with minors and grant permission for limited criminal history check. 


  • K-12 teaching/classroom experience 
  • Pursuing a degree related to K-12 education or administration. 
  • Successful completion of the course EDST 697 “The Grant Process and Research” 

Schedule: Time requirement is 20 hours per week. May be required to work evenings and weekends as needed.

Application: To apply, please submit, via email, to Ms. Jackie Davis in Sponsored Projects Administration (jsdavis@bsu.edu) the following materials in PDF or Word format:

  • Letter of interest, including a description of skills, experience, aspirations 
  • Résumé, including contact information (email address & telephone number) 
  • A writing sample of approximately 1,000 words 
  • Three references, including names, titles, and telephone/email addresses 

Submission Date: No later than July 22, 2015

Interviews will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.

Ball State University operates on an equal opportunity basis in hiring practices.