Report on External Grants – Activity, Results, and Procedures

Congratulations to  Ben LaBreche (Department of English, Linguistics, and Communication) who recently learned that he was awarded TWO separate fellowships in support of his project on Liberty Agonistes – a study of 17th Century theories on liberty (particularly the writings of John Milton).  Also, Brian Rizzo (Department of Geography) landed a contract with the Law Library of Congress.  Read on to learn more about their achievements and to learn about the other eight faculty, staff members, and students who have submitted projects for external funding since the report that was in the February 2013 newsletter (the list of applicants appears on the next page).

Ben LaBreche’s fellowships come from two sources.  He received a year-long $45,000 Solmsen Fellowship from the Institute for Research in Humanities at the University of Wisconsin.  These are highly competitive awards (four or five are awarded each year).  Ben also learned that he was awarded a Clark Short-Term Fellowship for research at the UCLA William Andrews Clark Memorial Library consisting of one month of summer financial support as he pursues his research.  Ben’s results show that persistence pays off – he submitted no fewer than eleven separate fellowship applications for his Milton project in the last academic year!

Brian Rizzo’s contract was to deliver an introduction to GIS course to employees of the Law Library of Congress, introducing them to ArcGIS (a prominent software platform for designing and managing solutions through the application of geographic knowledge).  Training for twelve employees was conducted on site at the Law Library’s location in Washington, D.C.

Theresa Grana (Department of Biological Sciences) and David Toth submitted two proposals to XSEDE (a distributed virtual organization) for use of computer time on the supercomputer at the Texas Advanced Computing Center.  They were awarded 60,000 hours of computer time at an estimated value of $4,910. The project involves teaching students how to conduct drug discoveries with a supercomputer.

Since the February newsletter, the following persons have submitted grant or contract proposals.  We wish them good luck with their applications.

* Charlie Sharpless (Department of Chemistry) submitted a $105,320 collaborative research proposal (with colleagues from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute) to the National Science Foundation to investigate oxygenation of hydrocarbons in the ocean;

* Leo Lee (Department of Mathematics) submitted a $10,000 Young Investigator grant proposal to the Korean-American Scientists and Engineers Association to support his project on optimization-based DDM for stochastic control problems;

* Theresa Grana (Department of Biological Sciences) applied for a $1,250 small project research grant from the Virginia Academy of Science to support a project on description of a new Caenorhabditid nematode species found in Virginia;

* Mindy Erchull (Department of Psychology) and her student Leanna Papp submitted a $5,000 summer research grant proposal to the Psi Chi Council for Psychological Science for a project on conceptualizing safety anxiety as a result of youth sexualization and objectification;

* Nabil Al-Tikriti (Department of History and American Studies) and Renee Davis (Simpson Library) submitted a $5,000 library grant proposal to the Institute for Turkish Studies to increase the library’s holdings in Turkish and Ottoman studies;


* David Toth (Department of Computer Sciences) submitted a proposal with an estimated value of $4,518 to NVIDA for the donation of two GPUs (graphics processing units) to use in a parallel processing research project as part of an undergraduate research project.

Congratulations to everyone for their efforts in developing an application!  I hope these projects meet with a good reception from the various funding entities.  It takes substantial effort to develop a project proposal and (as we know) the competition for funding is usually fierce.  In my next newsletter, I hope to have some good news about projects that have been funded.

If you have an interest in applying 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.  Associate Provost John Morello continues to serve as the point of contact for persons interested in submitting external grant proposals.

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