September 22, 2016

SPA Colloquium - Faculty Success Stories: Pathways to Funding Success (Session 2)

One thing is clear about the journey towards achieving funding success to support your research agenda: Every path is different and faculty success stories come in all shapes and sizes. 

Sponsored Projects Administration is excited to continue the inaugural year of SPA Colloquia, a series of faculty learning sessions addressing various topics related to grant seeking and the external funding enterprise on campus.

Susan McDowell, Professor of Biology, and Pamela Harwood, Professor of Architecture, shared their testimonies on Wednesday about achieving funding success at Ball State University. Their individual processes to receive funding were vastly different, but both agree that achieving funding advanced their academia.

"Collaboration was absolutely essential to get funding," Harwood said. "My students helped write the grants and the community was a great partner. Those one-on-one opportunities exist and they should be taken advantage of."
  Left to right: Pamela Harwood, Professor of Architecture, and Susan McDowell, Professor of Biology, 
  discuss the ways in which they achieved funding success to support their research and teaching agendas.
Harwood expounded on the importance of taking advantage of several smaller grants in the search for funding. 

"We were funded by a series of smaller grants that were both internal and external of the university," she said. "That might have been challenging for SPA, but the process went very smoothly. Any time I had a question they helped look for the answer."

McDowell highlighted some challenges in the search for funding, but maintained that it is always a learning experience.

"There is a lot that goes into grant writing," she said. "Going to SPA for help completely restructured my thinking." 

Several themes surfaced during Wednesday's discussion: 

  • Collaborating with students and surrounding communities is integral in the search for funding
  • Every path towards funding success is different 
  • Combining several smaller grants can be beneficial
  • Sponsored Projects Administration is a great resource when the search for funding seems daunting (We are here to help!) 

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