December 18, 2017

From NSF: The Fall 2017 National Science Foundation (NSF) Grants Conference Webcast now available online

The Fall 2017 National Science Foundation (NSF) Grants Conference Webcast is now available online. 

All the presentations and recordings of the plenary sessions from the NSF Grants Conference can be viewed here.

Topics include: Types of NSF Funding Opportunities, Proposal Preparation, Award Management, the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program, Merit Review, and more. 

From the NIH: The Future of Animal Law: ILAR Roundtable Workshop & Pre-Workshop Webcast.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Understanding laboratory animal law is necessary and fundamental for all researchers relying on results from animal research, as well as for laboratory animal veterinarians, institutional officials, members of Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees (IACUCs), and veterinarians in training. Both the scope and particulars of these laws are important. Those interested in or impacted by the laboratory animal laws can have significantly different perspectives about the scope or efficiency of the regulations or their implementation.

You are invited to join a workshop and a pre-workshop webcast to explore the future of federal laboratory animal law in the United States, hosted by the Roundtable on Science and Welfare in Laboratory Animal Use of the Institute for Laboratory Animal Research, the Animal Law and Policy Program and the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology and Bioethics of the Harvard Law School.

The pre-workshop webcast on January 17, 2018 will provide overview of applicable laws and regulations governing the care and use of laboratory animals. Join at the ILAR Roundtable website Link to Non-U.S. Government Site - Click for Disclaimer to view the webcast, which will go online from 12:00-12:45pm EST January 17 and will be available as a recording thereafter. No registration is necessary.

The workshop on January 26, 2018 will examine how technological advances, such as CRISPR/Cas9, may impact the current legal framework and the ability to sustainably support laboratory animal welfare. The workshop will be held at the Harvard Law School and will be webcast. Register for the workshop.

The events are free and open to the public. Video archives of both events will be posted on the ILAR Roundtable website within a week of each event. Learn more and register today!

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December 13, 2017

Finding Matching Funds for your Grant Application

SPA’s Augusta Isley and Jackie Davis led the last colloquium in the SPA series for the fall semester on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 in the Arts and Journalism Building.

This colloquium focused on finding sources of matching funds to accompany an award from a sponsor who requires you to obtain a matching amount of money from elsewhere in order to receive their award. This requirement is otherwise referred to as costsharing.

Augusta Isley leads the colloquium.

What is Costshare?

Isley and Davis define it as, “the portion of total project costs related to a sponsored project that is not provided by the sponsor.”

This is generally in the form of a direct cost that would be charged or used to support the project. Costshare can be either a fixed amount of money, a percentage of the project costs, or the commitment of a specified level of effort, but it must be quantified.

Ball State’s Stance on When to include Costshare

  • There MUST be a reason to include costshare in a project budget.
  • When it is required by the sponsor (mandatory)
  • When it is strongly encouraged (voluntary)
    • Some sponsors want to see applicant support (buy-in)

What can be used as Costshare?

The best place to begin is to work with your proposal manager to identify sources of cost-share. They can then help you review the proposal guidelines or award terms and conditions, as it will often state what can be used in those documents. After consulting with your proposal manager, utilize the following moto, "Is it allowable, allocable, and reasonable for this project?"

Sources of Costshare
The room was packed for the
last colloquium of the semester.
  • Salaries and fringe benefits- effort
  • Graduate assistantship tuition
  • Matching grant reserve (MGR)
  • Unrecovered indirect costs (if IDC is allowable on sponsor dollars)
  • Unrecovered indirect costs on BSU costshare (if allowable by sponsor)
  • Department and college funds for supplies and travel
  • Research Incentive Accounts (RIAs)
  • Internal grant funds (ASPiRE, Provost Immersive Learning, Start-up, etc.)

What cannot be used as Costshare?
  • Federal funds are not allowed as costshare for another Federally funded project.
  • Specific costs that are included as F&A in the proposals cannot be cited as direct costshare expenditures.
  • Double counting: Costshare can only be committed and reported as costshare once ($1 = $1).
  • Costs incurred prior to and after the project period.
  • Costs that are not specifically related to the performance of the project.
  • Full costs of equipment owned by Ball State, including maintenance agreements.

Costshare Considerations

It is important to consider potential project costs at the time of budgeting. Once funds are committed, whether mandatory or voluntary, upon award they can no longer be used for anything but that project.

Documentation is key! Your grant manager must keep documentation in the grant file for mandatory and voluntary committed costshare. The department and project team will be closely involved with the documentation process.

For questions regarding costshare please feel free to reach out to Augusta Isley,, or Jackie Davis,

December 08, 2017

Philanthropy News Digest RFP Bulletin for the Week of December 8, 2017

Philanthropy News Digest RFP Bulletin - PND: A service of Foundation Center
December 8, 2017
This week's RFP Bulletin from Philanthropy News Digest includes requests for proposals in the areas of arts and cultureeducationelementary/secondary educationenvironmenthealthjournalism/mediamedical researchmental health, and religion.To browse or search hundreds of recent RFP opportunities, visit the RFP section of our website.
Reach your fundraising goals!
Foundation Directory Online adds thousands of grants and multiple RFP opportunities weekly, providing an ever-growing body of evidence to reliably predict the changing funding landscape. With FDO you'll be able to look ahead for new funding opportunities and identify new funding sources!
Start searching now »
Upcoming Deadlines
Ezra Jack Keats Foundation Invites Entries for New Writer and New Illustrator Children's Book Awards
(Due: December 15, 2017)
National Science Teachers Association Invites Nominations for Shell Science Teaching Award
(Due: December 15, 2017)
American Tinnitus Association Accepting Proposals for Research Projects
(Due: December 15, 2017)
NSTA Invites Applications for DuPont Pioneer Excellence in Agricultural Science Education Award
(Due: December 15, 2017)
New RFPs


Fleishhacker Foundation Accepting Applications for Special Arts Fund

POSTED: December 6, 2017
DEADLINE: January 15, 2018
Grants of up to $25,000 will be awarded in support of special artistic projects or initiatives, artistic collaborations or commissions involving Bay Area artists, and/or upgrades to facilities that benefit artists and audiences....

Kresge Arts in Detroit Accepting Fellowship Applications

POSTED: December 7, 2017
DEADLINE: January 18, 2018
Fellowships for emerging and established Detroit-area artists working in live arts or film and music include a $25,000 stipend and professional practice opportunities....

Ucross Foundation Accepting Applications for Fall Artist Residencies

POSTED: December 8, 2017
DEADLINE: March 1, 2018
The residency program, which is located in Sheridan, Wyoming, provides uninterrupted time, work space, and living accommodations to competitively selected visual artists, writers, and composers....

Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation Accepting Proposals for Collaborative Performing Arts Tours

POSTED: December 2, 2017
DEADLINE: March 2, 2018
Grants of up to $15,000 will support projects designed to increase access to live performing arts engagements for audiences across the mid-Atlantic region....

National Endowment for the Arts Accepting Applications for Challenge America Fast-Track Grants

POSTED: December 8, 2017
DEADLINE: April 12, 2018
In 2018, $10,000 grants will be awarded for projects designed to extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations....


Crayola Invites Proposals From Elementary Schools for 2018 Creative Leadership Grants

POSTED: December 4, 2017
DEADLINE: June 22, 2018
Grants will be awarded to innovative creative leadership-team building programs at the elementary school level....


Fleishhacker Foundation Accepting LOIs for Literacy Programs

POSTED: December 7, 2017
DEADLINE: December 15, 2017 (Letters of Inquiry)
Grants will be awarded to K-5 literacy programs serving disadvantaged students....


Chesapeake Bay Trust Launches RFP for Restoration Research

POSTED: December 7, 2017
DEADLINE: February 21, 2018
Grants of up to $200,000 will be awarded in support of research projects designed to answer any of several key questions that will contribute to increased confidence in the proposed project outcomes....

Conservation Alliance Invites Nominations for Conservation Projects

POSTED: December 3, 2017
DEADLINE: May 8, 2018
Grants are awarded in support of projects that seek to secure permanent and quantifiable protection of a specific wild land or waterway with clear habitat and recreational benefits....


Tufts Health Plan Accepting Applications to Community Leadership Fund

POSTED: December 6, 2017
DEADLINE: January 22, 2018
Grants will be awarded in support of community leaders in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island working with multiple stakeholders toward a common community goal....

Community Access to Child Health Seeks Applications for Community Health Programs

POSTED: December 5, 2017
DEADLINE: January 31, 2018
Grants of up to $10,000 will be awarded for the planning and/or implementation of innovative community-based child health initiatives that ensure all children in a community have access to healthcare services not otherwise available....

New York State Health Foundation Invites Applications for Special Projects Fund

POSTED: December 2, 2017
DEADLINE: March 13, 2018 (Online Inquiry Form)
Grants of up to $400,000 will be awarded to organizations with a significant presence in New York State for projects focused on building healthy communities and improving transparency and affordability to empower consumers....

Society of Critical Care Medicine Invites Nominations for 2018 Grenvik Family Award for Ethics

POSTED: December 4, 2017
DEADLINE: August 1, 2018
A $1,000 grant will be awarded to a society member who has promoted the ethical and humane delivery of critical care....


American Psychoanalytic Association Seeks Nominations for Excellence in Journalism Award

POSTED: December 5, 2017
DEADLINE: September 18, 2018
The annual $1,000 prize recognizes professional reporting of outstanding merit that contributes to the public understanding of psychoanalytic and psychological principles and phenomena....


Columbia Medical Center Invites Applications for Summer Program for Underrepresented Students

POSTED: December 2, 2017
DEADLINE: February 2, 2018
The internship program, which provides a $4,000 stipend, is designed to expand the pool of medical and biomedical research applicants from diverse and economically disadvantaged groups....

Thrasher Research Fund Invites Concept Papers for Early Career Grants

POSTED: December 3, 2017
DEADLINE: March 13, 2018 (Concept Paper)
Grants of up to $25,000 will be awarded to new researchers to help them gain a foothold in the area of pediatric research....

A Kids' Brain Tumor Cure Accepting LOIs for PLGA Tumor Research

POSTED: December 5, 2017
DEADLINE: Ongoing (Letter of Intent)
Grants will be awarded in support of basic and translational projects with the potential to advance understanding of the underlying biology of the development and treatment of pediatric low-grade glioma tumors....


APF Issues RFP for 2018 Esther Katz Rosen Pre-college Psychology Grant Program

POSTED: December 8, 2017
DEADLINE: March 1, 2018
Grants of up to $25,000 will be awarded for efforts aimed at improving the quality of education in psychological science and its application in the secondary schools for high-ability students....

APA Invites Nominations for 2018 Distinguished Contributions Award

POSTED: December 4, 2017
DEADLINE: June 1, 2018
The annual award is presented to psychologists working in any area of clinical specialization, health services provision, or consulting and services in an independent setting....


Henry Luce Foundation Accepting LOIs for Projects to Advance Scholarship on Religion and Theology

POSTED: December 5, 2017
DEADLINE: December 15, 2017 (Letters of Intent)
Grants of up to $750,000 will be awarded in support of collaborative, experimental, and field-shaping initiatives that enliven the practice of public scholarship....
Quote of the Week
"I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live up to what light I have...."

— Abraham Lincoln
PND Poll
Should nonprofits or cultural institutions refuse to accept gifts from donors whose wealth may be "tainted"?
Cast your vote.
This Week in PhilanTopic
On the blog, Kyoko has five questions for Vanessa Daniel, founder and executive director of the Groundswell Fund; Laia Griñó, director of data discovery at Foundation Center, introduces the 100&Change Solutions Bank, a new data repository containing submissions to the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation's 100&Change competition; and Laura Wise, a regional event specialist at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, reviews the The Unfinished Social Entrepreneur, by Jonathan C. Lewis....
The RFP Bulletin is a publication of Foundation Center. RFPs posted within the past week are listed above, sorted by topic. To search or browse all RFP postings, visit our website — new RFPs appear daily. PND posts RFPs free of charge submitted by U.S. grantmaking organizations. In order to be posted, RFPs must be received at least four weeks before the earliest deadline date.

November 27, 2017

Ball State Professor's New Study is a Success

SPA would like to congratulate Jagdish Khubchandani on his successful teen dating violence

Khubchandani, a Ball State University community health education professor, looked at school principals nationwide and the numbers he discovered were unsettling.
Jagdish Khubchandani

He found 76% of the school principals didn't have a protocol in their schools to respond to an incident of teen dating violence. Although 57% of them had helped a teen dating violence survivor, only 27% of principals disciplined perpetrators.

Khubchandani wants to use this study to bring about change.

Khubchandani told SPA, “When I was hired in 2010, I wanted to conduct some studies that required funding for supplies and mailing of surveys. No federal agency or foundation had funds for what I was trying to do. I used the $1500 junior faculty start-up provided by SPA to conduct some of these studies and this is what we have achieved.”

Check out more of Khubchandani’s story on Fox 59's website.

November 13, 2017

Immersive Learning: Student Engagement + Community Impact

Ball State’s Director of Immersive Learning, Kelli Huth, was the speaker at the SPA colloquium on Friday, November 4, 2017 in Bracken Library.

Huth’s overall message was to explain how immersive learning projects need to incorporate both student engagement and community impact.

Why Immersive Learning?

Huth presenting about immersive learning.
Ball State University has the goal of being the model of the most student-centered and community-engaged of the 21st century public research universities, transforming entrepreneurial learners into impactful leaders – committed to improving the quality of life for all.

Huth went on to explain how the relationship between communities and universities should be by quoting the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

“The collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.” 

Huth then summed up the importance of immersive learning and projects that have a community impact by asking the question, “If we aren’t doing work that helps and acknowledges the problems within our community than why do we exist?”

Types of Projects

Entrepreneurial Learning
Entrepreneurial learning is a pedagogical approach in which faculty mentors create high-impact, student-driven experiences that encourage exploration, problem solving, creativity, and risk-taking. 

Immersive Learning
These project-based opportunities pull together student teams that work with collaboratively with community partners to address local challenges. The result is a final product that enhances the community with a lasting impact. 
  • Projects are student-driven, but guided by a faculty mentor
  • Teams are interdisciplinary, when possible
  • Students earn credit for participation


Huth answering audience questions.

You can get involved in our community through in-class projects and interdisciplinary special projects. 
Our community can be anything from businesses, nonprofits, government agencies, grassroots community groups, and these different groups can be on a local, regional, national and even global scale. 

Partnership with the Office of Community Engagement

The Office of Community Engagement is Ball State's front door for community partnerships. They connect the university with challenges and priorities beyond campus.

If you are going to work with a community partner it is important to establish a mutually beneficial relationship.

How to build Mutually Beneficial Relationships
  • Listen to Community Needs
  • Make Appropriate Referrals
  • Look for Opportunities for Lasting Impact
  • Manage Expectations
    • What is the purpose of this project? 
    • What are the community partner goals/objectives?
    • What are the student learning objectives and how will the partner contribute to these?
    • Are there tangible outcomes expected from the project? 
    • What does success look like?
    • What is our timeline?
    • How will the partners/students/faculty communicate throughout the project?
    • How will we assess the outcomes?

Need help with your project? 

An architecture professor shares his
own immersive learning experiences.

Check out the Office of Immersive Leaning!

General Services
  • Project planning
  • Assistance identifying community partners and internal collaborators
  • Proposal development
  • Identifying sources of funding
  • Student recruitment and course enrollment options
  • Information on policies & procedures
  • Assessment tools
  • Assistance with research and presentation opportunities

The Office of Immersive Learning can also offers services that can help the students working on your project develop into professionals. 

Student Professional Development Training
  • Professionalism 
  • Communication Skills
  • Project Management
  • Defining Roles
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Teambuilding Activities
  • Market Your Experience
  • Showcase Opportunities

In some cases, Immersive Learning staff can offer intensive project management services such as: contract development with external partners, grant and budget management, support for travel and purchasing, technical assistance and equipment, publicity & showcase opportunities, and mini-documentaries.

Need funds for your project?

Internal Funding Opportunities
  • Provost Immersive Learning Grants
  • Mini-grants (College-level)
  • Building Better Neighborhoods Grants
  • Immersive Learning Travel Fund
  • Discovery Grants (Ball State Women’s Fund)

Contact the President’s Immersive Learning Fellows for internal funding:

Carla Earhart, Miller College of Business
Ruth Jefferson, Teachers College
John McKillip, College of Sciences and Humanities
Chin-Sook Pak, College of Sciences and Humanities
Paige Waters, College of Communication, Information, and Media
Pam Harwood, College of Architecture and Planning
Maura Jasper, College of Fine Arts
Denise Seabert, College of Health

External Funding Opportunities
  • Local Foundations
  • Government Organizations
  • Direct Contracts with Community Partners
  • Grants – State and Federal
  • Indiana Campus Compact

November 10, 2017

National Science Foundation (NSF) Fall 2017 Grants Conference

Sponsored Projects Administration (SPA) will be showing a live broadcast of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Fall 2017 Grants Conference being held Monday and Tuesday, November 13 and 14 in Phoenix, Arizona.

This is for all who have an interest in:

  • Funding research, including sessions for NSF policy updates and junior faculty opportunities.
  • Learning more about the process of proposing and managing NSF grants from actual program officers.
  • Hearing from experts with honest and up to date information that could help your research efforts.

Representatives of SPA will be on-hand for more questions and information concerning how we can support your efforts.

Below is the schedule. Feel free to come and go as you please to the sessions that interest you. Detailed agenda and speaker descriptions can be found in the links.

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2017 - Schwartz Viewing Room in Bracken Library
10:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m., Welcoming Remarks
10:15 a.m. - 10:45 a.m., Introduction & NSF Overview
10:45 a.m. - 11:15 a.m., Types of NSF Funding Opportunities
11:35 a.m. - 1:45 p.m., Proposal Preparation
3:00 p.m. - 4:40 p.m., Merit Review Process

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2017 - Schwartz Viewing Room in Bracken Library
10:00 a.m. - 11: 00 a.m., NSF Policy Update
12:40 p.m. - 1:20 p.m., Office of Inspector General
1:20 p.m. - 2:00 p.m., Office of International Science and Engineering

Arts and Journalism Building (AJ), Room 289:
4:30 p.m. - 6: 00 p.m., Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program

If you have any questions about this event, please contact Augusta Isley (, 5-5033).

November 02, 2017

SPA’s annual Ball State Research magazine is hot off the press!

This year's cover by Chris Flook.
Every year our magazine profiles members of the Ball State University family who have excelled in their fields. That includes those who’ve been nominated by their peers and have been chosen for special awards.

Check out what your peers are doing by exploring our magazine!

What’s inside?

  • This year’s Outstanding Researcher of the year and the Creative Endeavor of the year Award Winners.

  • Profiles of junior faculty dealing with gender equity and gender identity issues.

  • New faculty who’ve brought a half million dollars with them to do research at Ball State.

  • A professor helping professionals in Career and Technical Education expand their options.
  • A professor showing the benefits of paternity leave.
  • A biology professor who studies yeast – the deadly kind.

  • From death to life… Ball State’s integral role in growing new businesses.

  • Learn how a new internal grant in the Digital Scholarship Lab hopes to help Ball State faculty secure external grants to pursue their research.

  • Meet some of the folks who’ve been featured in past magazines and read what they’re doing now.

  • Finally don’t forget about the eclipse, our cover this year. Read a short story about it inside the back page.

You can read the full Ball State Research magazine on Issuu here!

For any questions or concerns about the magazine contact:

October 30, 2017

Devil on Your Shoulder: Overcoming 4 Bad Habits that Can Sink Your Grant

Ball State’s Donna Browne led SPA’s latest colloquium on Wednesday, October 18, 2017 in the Arts and Journalism Building.

Browne is a grant writer here on campus. She works with the Center for Energy Research Education and Service.

Her lecture focused on four bad habits that can sink your grant and how to avoid them.

Not to worry, as Browne said “Most of these things are under our control, so they are totally solvable.”

The Habits
Browne uses the shoulder devil versus the shoulder angel
to explain these four bad grant writing habits.

“We’re going to be looking at four trends that I’ve noticed in faculty work that have adversely impacted their ability to put together a really solid, competitive proposal,” said Browne.


When you are tempted to improvise you may be feeling excited, eager and you just want to take action on your awesome project idea already. All of those feelings are good, until improvisation negatively affects your proposal.

  • Make sure the grant you are applying for fits your grant perfectly
  • Make sure you meet all of the requirements and are eligible to apply
  • Make sure your project goals and objectives are relevant and match with the organization’s goals
  • Make sure your timeline and the sponsor's timeline are compatible 
  • Develop a concept paper in advance 
  • Follow the directions in the guidelines to the letter
  • Make your budget specific 
  • Pay attention to the details

  • Apply for the first grant you hear of, because you’re excited and think it might fit
  • Just go for it and say you can figure out the details later
  • Apply without developing all aspects of your idea into a solid project
  • Try to move too quickly and spend little time on it
  • Make any mistakes

Rugged Individualism

When you are tempted to express rugged individualism you may be feeling frustration because things aren’t going well, independent, and excited to leap in already.

  • Obtain committed, well-defined partnerships (research partner, community partner, or even your funder)
  • Develop interpersonal relationships
  • Talk through and agree on project commitments with your partner, and put them in writing 
  • Find on-campus support staff to help you develop your best project (SPA or other grant writers) 
  • Be receptive to criticism and feedback 
  • Make sure your proposal expresses your voice and your passion, while still being incredibly detailed 
  • Write in clear English for an “educated layperson” and keep it short 

  • Be a lonely scholar and try to do everything on your own
  • Submit anything without having fresh eyes look at it for proofing (text and budgets), as there is no room for error


When you are tempted to assume you may be feeling confused and frustrated. While underneath that confusion you may be feeling fear or not wanting to put aside your ego in order to ask questions, but never assume you know the answer.

  • Ask questions 
  • Talk to the program officer, they are there to help you. They are your partner and they want to see your best proposal submitted 
  • Make sure your partners' commitments are clear and mutually understood 

  • Assume you know the answer to ANYTHING 
  • Don’t assume your partners’ automatically know and understand their commitments


When you know you are procrastinating you are probably feeling stressed and confused. You may also be experiencing an underlying fear, because you feel you cannot deal with it right now.

  • Know that EVEVRY part of a grant proposal TAKES TIME (ideation, writing, editing, meetings, etc.) 
  • Submit a proposal before the due date, as it may take time to go through 
  • Make a weekly work plan and stick to it 

  • Forget to give yourself deadlines before the actual deadline of the grant submission 
  • Forget to give yourself a time cushion 

Faculty take notes as Browne explains
the bad habits often seen with faculty.
Reality Check

The reality check is that grants take a lot of time and there is just no way around it.

Browne summed it up best by saying, “If you’re going to do the grant, you’ve got to do the grant, because competition is fierce and there will always be more applicants than there is grant funding.”

October 18, 2017

Applying for a Discovery Grant

SPA’s Jackie Davis led the third colloquium in the SPA series on Friday, October 6, 2017 in Bracken Library. Alongside her was Tammy Hall, vice president of the Discovery Group and grant committee chair and Cathy Whaley, director of the Northeast Indiana Area Health Education Center (NEI-AHEC) as well as a current and former grant recipient.

What is the Discovery Group?
Jackie Davis leads the discussion
Davis describes the group as “a collaborative philanthropic group established at the Ball State Foundation. They do work through the foundation and support projects and programs at Ball State.”

Discovery funding is only for Ball State faculty and staff. The funds come from a pool of annual contributions and are considered external funding.

The overall purpose of the Discovery Group is to connect its members to Ball State University, inspire women to become leaders in philanthropy and to provide financial support for innovative Ball State projects and programs.

Application Details
Important information to include in your proposal:
  • Purpose/implementation plan
  • Measurable goals/objectives
  • Evaluation Plan
  • BSU student impact/involvement
  • Clear connection to Ball State’s Centennial Commitment  (undergrad focused)
  • Sustainability plan
  • Detailed budget and budget justification

Tammy Hall and Cathy Whaley answer audience questions
Advice for Applying
“Your proposal needs to be telling your story. It needs to be clear and concise, while stating what you are going to do, how you will accomplish your goals, how the results will be measured and how much it is going to cost” said Davis.

Whaley, as a current and former grant recipient, said that it is important that you find out “who are the Discovery Grant people, who is on the board and what are their philanthropic reasons?” This will help you better understand the audience that will be reading and considering your proposal. It is important to know who you are writing for.

Whaley went on to state that when applying for a grant she always makes sure to hit on keywords from the organization’s mission in her proposal. Be sure to address and incorporate as many as possible into your own project. For example, with the Discovery Grant, Whaley made sure that her project was student centered and followed the Centennial Commitment.

Additional Advice:
  • Have someone outside of Ball State and even outside of academia read your proposal, because the board is not made up of Ball State faculty. 
  • Synthesize goals/objectives down to the most important things you want the board to know.
  • Funding is for a one year project, so be clear with your timeline. Avoid listing long term objectives that go past the one year mark. 
  • The maximum award you can receive is $25,000 and you may only hold one award at a time, so plan accordingly.

Scoring Rubric
In addition to Davis’ and Whaley’s advice, it is crucial that you look at the Discovery Group’s scoring rubric, because this is the document the board uses to decide which proposals to consider. It helps everyone who submits a proposal be on the same page, and the reviewers can better compare apples to apples. Be sure to see how your proposal stacks up against their criteria and make changes where necessary.

Examples of projects that score high:
  • Student centered
  • Impact a high number of students 
    • Something small, such as students reading a pamphlet you create is not considered as impact.
  • Involve community interaction
  • Entrepreneurial type projects
  • Immersive learning
  • Interdisciplinary projects (2 colleges working together)
The Discovery Grant board uses this rubric to score each proposal. After scoring, they take the highest scoring proposals and invite them to give a live presentation at their annual meeting. This presentation will be what essentially convinces the members of the Discovery Group to vote for your proposal. After the presentations all members vote, and the proposals with the most votes are the ones that get funded. The number of funded proposals will also vary from year to year based on the amount of contributions received that year.

If you decide to pursue a Discovery Grant be sure to keep an eye on their timeline!

Timeline for Grant Proposals

The grant period Discovery Awards will be from May 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019.
  • October 1, 2017 – Cycle to submit proposals begins. Please work with your Sponsored Programs Proposal Manager for proposal development, review and budget preparation.
  • December 1, 2017, 5:00 PM – All Final proposals due as a single pdf file emailed to You will receive confirmation of proposal receipt. 
  • January, 2018 – The grants committee will select the top proposals for presentation at the Discovery Annual Meeting; all applicants will be notified of decision at this time. 
  • March, 2018 – The selected proposals are presented at the Discovery Annual Meeting. Following a vote by the Discovery Members attending the meeting the grant awards will be announced that day.

October 13, 2017

External Funding Alert: NEA Big Read

NEA Big Read is accepting applications from non-profit organizations around the nation to develop community-wide reading programs between September 2018 and June 2019.

A Big Read is a month-long series of programs centered around one NEA Big Read book. Programs include a kickoff, a keynote, book discussions, and other artistic events to foster engagement with the selected title and encourage reading. Want to know more? Read about recent NEA Big Read programming in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Organizations selected to participate in the program receive a grant ($5,000-$15,000), access to educational and promotional materials, and online training resources. Approximately 75 organizations from across the country will be selected.

To review the Guidelines and Application Instructions, visit the Arts Midwest website.

Application deadline: January 24, 2018 by 4:00pm CST

Follow @NEABigRead on Twitter for all the latest info and news.

We are proud to announce the addition of four new books to the NEA Big Read list this year:
  • Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast
  • The Big Smoke by Adrian Matejka
  • A Small Story About the Sky by Alberto Ríos
  • Burning Bright by Ron Rash
For a full list of available titles, check out our list of books.
Credit block
NEA Big Read is a program of the National
Endowment for the Arts in partnership with
Arts Midwest.
Copyright © 2017 Arts Midwest, All rights reserved.

October 11, 2017

Research Week is only a week and a half away!

Research Week – October 23-27
Mark your calendars for Research Week, Ball State’s annual celebration of externally funded research, scholarship, creative work, and community engagement.  Special events include the following:

  • Monday, Oct 23: BeneFacta Day (by invitation only). 
    A special event celebrating those who received or applied for external funding to support their work.
  • Research Week Honoree Presentations (open to all).  All events at 3:00 pm, Bracken Library 104.
    Come hear your colleagues discuss their externally funded work and offer their insights into developing successful proposals.
  • Tuesday, Oct 24: Janay Sander, Department of Educational Psychology.
    Come hear about the process of applying for and then implementing an externally funded project that includes real-world research questions, community-university partnerships, immersive learning, and high quality research methods all in one project. RSVP Here.
  • Wednesday, Oct 25: Cathy Whaley, Director, Northeast Indiana Area Health Education Center (NEI-AHEC).
    Come hear Cathy Whaley discuss the programs and funding strategies for AHEC. The purpose of the Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) Program is to develop and enhance education and training networks within communities, academic institutions, and community-based organizations. The Northeast Indiana AHEC is one of more than 250 Centers across the United States and is financially supported by federal, state, and local funds. RSVP Here.
  • Thursday, Oct 26: Eric (VJ) Rubenstein, Department of Biology.
    Like humans, all cells must take out the trash. When cells switch from taking out the trash to hoarding it, mayhem — in the form of disease —ensues. In his presentation, VJ Rubenstein will discuss his federally funded investigation of cellular waste management. RSVP Here.
  •  Friday, Oct 27: Creative Endeavor of the Year Lecture (open to all).  Christopher Flook (Department of Telecommunications) will discuss the work that has earned him this prestigious university award. RSVP Here.Scott Trappe's Researcher of the Year lecture has been postponed until Spring Semester 2018. More information to follow.

    For more information about these events contact

September 20, 2017

Academic Year 2017-18 Events Calendar

Faculty Events Calendar 2017-18
Sponsored Projects Administration
For more information: Stan Geidel (sgeidel@bsu – 285-2022)
or Jessie Roark ( – 285-5003)

SPA Colloquia: Faculty learning opportunities in a variety of formats on topics of interest pertaining to sponsored projects. Features faculty peers, Sponsored Projects Administration personnel, and other special guest panelists.
Focus on the Search: Workshops covering the funding search databases and techniques used at Ball State. Workshops are open to faculty, staff, and students. Registration through the minicourse system required. 
Special Events: Research Week; Researcher of the Year and Creative Endeavor of the Year Lectures; Student Symposium.
Updates: Be sure to check our blog at for the latest schedule changes and updates.


7             SPA Colloquia: The Cohen Grants – Writing Effective Applications.
   Presenters: Larry Gerstein & Jackie Buckrop (3:00 pm, Bracken Library 104)
8             Focus on the Search: Part 1 (1:00pm, SPA Conference Room) Registration Required
13           SPA Colloquia: Finding the Best Sponsor Fit for your Project. Presenter: Jackie Davis
   (Noon, Art & Journalism Bldg, Atrium Dining Room)
14           Focus on the Search: Part 2 (2:00pm, SPA Conference Room) Registration Required


6             SPA Colloquia: Applying for a Discovery Grant.  Presenter: Jackie Davis
               (3:00 pm, Bracken Library 104)
12           Focus on the Search: Part 1 (11:00am, SPA Conference Room) Registration Required
18           SPA Colloquia: Devil on Your Shoulder: Overcoming 4 Bad habits that Can Sink Your
   Grant. Presenter: Donna Browne (Noon, Art & Journalism Bldg, Atrium Dining Room)
19           Focus on the Search: Part 2 (1:00pm, SPA Conference Room) Registration Required
24           Research Week: Janay Sander, Research Week Honoree.
   Presentation: Janay Sander with SPA staff.  (3:00-5:00pm, Bracken Library 104)
25           Research Week: Cathy Whaley, Research Week Honoree.
   Presentation: Cathy Whaley with SPA staff. (3:00-5:00pm, Bracken Library 104)
26           Research Week: VJ Rubenstein, Research Week Honoree.
   Presentation: VJ Rubenstein with SPA staff.  (3:00-5:00pm, Bracken Library 104)
27           Researcher of the Year/Creative Endeavor of the Year Lectures.
   Presenters: Scott Trappe and Chris Flook (3:00-5:00pm, Bracken Library 104)


3             SPA Colloquia: Immersive Learning: Student Engagement + Community Impact.
   Presenter: Kelli Huth (3:00 pm, Bracken Library 104)
7             Focus on the Search: Part 1 (5:00pm, SPA Conference Room) Registration Required
8             Focus on the Search: Part 2 (5:00pm, SPA Conference Room) Registration Required
15           SPA Colloquia: Finding Matching Funds for your Grant Application.
   Presenters: Augusta Isley & Jackie Davis (Noon, Art & Journalism Bldg,
   Atrium Dining Room)


17           SPA Colloquia: Invest in Your Idea!: Concept Papers Save Time and Grief When Deadlines
   Loom. Presenter:  Donna Browne (Noon, Art & Journalism Bldg, Atrium Dining Room)
18           Focus on the Search: Part 1 (2:00pm, SPA Conference Room) Registration Required
24           Focus on the Search: Part 2 (2:00pm, SPA Conference Room) Registration Required
26           SPA Colloquia: Shining a Light on the Mysterious World of Contracts and Grants.
   Presenter: Ted Kolodka (3:00 pm, Bracken Library 104)


7             Focus on the Search: Part 1 (11:00am, SPA Conference Room) Registration Required
9             SPA Colloquia: Proposal Resubmissions: Addressing Reviewer Comments.
               Presenter: Justin Miller (3:00 pm, Bracken Library 104)
14           SPA Colloquia: Research and Scholarship in the Fisher Institute of Wellness.
               Presenter: Youfa Wang (Noon, Bracken Library 104)
15           Focus on the Search: Part 2 (11:00am, SPA Conference Room) Registration Required


14           SPA Colloquia: Voyage into the Real World: Working with Community Partners and Local
   Funders. Presenter: Donna Browne (Noon, Art & Journalism Bldg, Atrium Dining Room)
21           Focus on the Search: Part 1 (5:00pm, SPA Conference Room) Registration Required
27           Focus on the Search: Part 2 (5:00pm, SPA Conference Room) Registration Required
30           SPA Colloquia: Preparing an Effective NIH AREA Grant Application.
   Presenters: Jackie Davis & Maria Bumbalough (3:00 pm, Bracken Library 104)


6             SPA Colloquia: The Fulbright Experience. Presenter: Justin Miller
               (3:00 pm, Bracken Library 104)
11           SPA Colloquia: NEH Summer Stipends – Preparing an Effective Application.
               Presenter: Augusta Isley (Noon, Art & Journalism Bldg, Atrium Dining Room)
17           Student Symposium
·         Look for registration information in early January
19           Focus on the Search: Part 1 (2:00pm, SPA Conference Room) Registration Required
23           Focus on the Search: Part 2 (2:00pm, SPA Conference Room) Registration Required