German Language Academy and Other External Funding News

I’m excited to announce that the Virginia Department of Education has selected UMW’s proposal to host the Governor’s German Language Academy this summer.  Marcel Rotter submitted the proposal, developing it in collaboration with many persons in a number of offices that will be responsible for some portion of the project.  On June 25, 45 Virginia high school students will arrive at Eagle Landing for a 23-day intensive immersion language experience.

The Governor’s German Academy is a full-immersion experience in using and communicating in the language.  Students promise to speak German 100 percent of the time and may be dismissed for deliberate or repeated use of English or another non-Academy language. Specific courses students take will vary depending on the qualifications and interests of the staff selected.  Course offerings in the past have included “German through Pop Music,” and Phonetics, for example. Combining all Academy activities, students will receive over 300 hours of language immersion.

The German Academy teaching staff will probably include public and private school teachers as well as instructors from higher education and other language experts, many of whom are native speakers.  Marcel Rotter will serve as the program coordinator.  Resident advisors, generally college students who are native or heritage speakers or are majoring in German, will assist with afternoon and evening activities, and will enforce residence hall rules. The student-staff ratio for the academy will be approximately 5:1.

This is an exciting development for us, and I congratulate Marcel and everyone else who was involved in successfully landing this bid.

The proposal to host the Governor’s German Language Academy is one example of several that have been submitted by our faculty this year to a number of external funding sources.  Activity in submitting applications for external funding in 2011 seems to be a bit ahead of prior years, and that’s very good.  We currently have a number of applications out to the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, and several private foundations.  I hope to be able to report more good news in the future if some of these projects secure funding.

If you have an interest in applying for these grants or for external funding of any kind (grants, contracts, and so forth), please make sure you submit your proposal for the required UMW internal review before you make an application to the funding agency.  All proposals by UMW faculty or staff for any external funding (regardless of the funding source) follow the same internal review procedures.

From time to time, we post announcements about grant opportunities that may be especially interesting to our faculty.  These are available on the External Grants web page under the option for “Current Funding Opportunities.” One recent posting about a competitive college grant program offered by the Dominion Foundation looks as if it might be an attractive opportunity for some UMW faculty and students.

For full details about submitting an external grant proposal for internal review, go to the outline of the grant approval process at external grants web page.  Associate Provost John Morello continues to serve as the point of contact for persons interested in submitting external grant proposals. In cases where the application will go to a private funding source (a foundation, corporation, or the like), John will coordinate with Donna Mejia in the Office of University Advancement.  Grant requests to private sources still need to proceed through the UMW external grants pre-approval process before they are submitted, even if the UMW Foundation will ultimately be responsible for submitting the proposal to the potential funding source.

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