Report on External Grants – Activity, Results, and Procedures

UMW faculty and staff are continuing to submit external grant and contract proposals and to achieve success. Congratulations to Charlie Sharpless (Department of Chemistry), Nabil Al-Tikriti (Department of History and American Studies), and Christine Grosse (College of Business) who learned that their proposals have been funded!  For details about their projects, and to see the several other faculty and staff members who have submitted projects for external funding since the report that was in the April 2013 newsletter, please read on!

Charlie Sharpless is receiving a National Science Foundation grant for his collaborative research project with colleagues at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the University of California, Santa Barbara.  The project involves research on the “Oxygenation of Hydrocarbons in the Ocean.”  The share awarded to the University of Mary Washington for this three-year project is $106,763 and it represents a second project that Charlie currently has ongoing with NSF support.

Nabil Al-Tikriti was awarded a $5,000 grant from the Institute of Turkish Studies to increase the UMW Library’s holdings in Turkish and Ottoman studies to a level where undergraduates may research a wide variety of subjects in English.  Renee Davis of the UMW Library worked with Nabil to assess the Library’s current holdings and to help compile the proposed list.

Christine Grosse received a $1,500 award from the Illinois Center for International Business Education and Research in support of her research project on a module for foreign language teacher preparation in business languages and cultures.  Ms. Grosse is collaborating with a colleague at Florida International University.

Also, Suzanne Sumner (Department of Mathematics) collaborated with the Caroline County Public Schools (Caroline Middle School) on a “Memorandum of Understanding” related to UMW’s contributions to a 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant proposal to the Virginia Department of Education.

Once again, all these achievements are great news for our colleagues and for UMW.

Since the April newsletter, the following persons have submitted grant or contract proposals.  We wish them good luck with their applications as they await final decisions from funding entities.

* Janet Asper and Kathy Loesser-Casey (Department of Chemistry and Department of Biological Sciences) submitted a $32,147 contract proposal to the Naval Surface Weapons Center, Dalgren with an option for four additional years of funding (grand total of $166,711 if all five years are approved);

* Eddie Perry (UMW Police Department) collaborated on a $50,000 grant proposal to the United States Department of Justice for a community policing “micro grant” designed to improve cooperative relationships between the two departments, the City of Fredericksburg and the University by establishing pilot community policing projects;

* Jim Groom and Martha Burtis (Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies) submitted a $16,000 grant proposal to Hewlett-Packard to develop a mini-course proposal for the HP Catalyst Academy on the topic of digital storytelling;

* George Meadows (Department of Curriculum and Instruction) submitted a $20,000 contract proposal to Rock Creek Park (National Park Service) for the development of Urban Wildlife Kits to be used by the Park;


* Roberta Gentry (Department of Foundations, Leadership, and Special Populations) submitted a $53,252 grant proposal to the Virginia Department of Education for a special education teacher support project.

Congratulations to everyone for their efforts in developing an application!  It takes significant time and effort to develop a project proposal and competition is usually fierce.  Here’s hoping we will have more good news to share in the future about projects that have received awards.

For those with an interest in applying for external funding of any kind (grants, contracts, and so forth), please remember to 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.

The location of the materials relevant to applying for external grants is available:  Or from the main page at the Provost’s web site, just look for the heading titled “Grants and Research.”

The list of awards at the web page represents all the awards that have been made known to the Provost’s Office through the process for approving external grant and contract applications before they are submitted.  If there’s an awarded project missing from this list, please contact the Office of the Provost.  We’d like to recognize your accomplishments.

In an effort to increase the prospects for success in the very competitive external funding environment, UMW released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the provision of “Comprehensive Sponsored Research Services.”  Among other requirements, the RFP scope of work stated that the selected firm would develop an understanding of the research capacity of the institution by holding meetings with faculty and administrators, offer grant writing workshops, arrange personal visits to appropriate funding agencies, and provide grant writing services working in collaboration with the subject-matter expertise of the faculty and staff in order to successfully submit complete proposals.

The following persons are serving on the RFP Committee:  Torre Meringolo, Vice President for Advancement and University Relations (committee chair); Marta Smith, Director of Accounting; Keith Mellinger, Chair, Department of Mathematics; John Morello, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs.  Look for additional updates regarding the RFP process as soon as there is progress to report.

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