Report on External Grants – Activity, Results, and Procedures

Congratulations to Steve Hanna (Department of Geography), who was informed that the National Science Foundation will be funding a collaborative grant proposal he and colleagues from other universities submitted.  Stephen Davis (Department of Computer Science) landed an award for supercomputing time.  Dianne Baker (Department of Biological Sciences) was selected as a Fulbright Scholar. David Ambuel and Steve Rabson (Department of Classics, Philosophy, and Religion) received an award from the Japan Foundation to support offering a course in Japanese literature. And UMW again received a contract for the last renewal of the “hosted” Watershed Coordinator position. Read on to learn more about these achievements and to learn about the other nine faculty, staff members, students, and volunteers who have submitted projects for external funding since the report that was in the December 2013 newsletter (the list of applicants follows).

Steve Hanna’s NSF grant will come in the form of a subcontract as part of a larger “Transformation of Racialized American Southern Heritage Landscapes” project. Colleagues from several other universities are involved in the project: the University of Southern Mississippi, Armstrong Atlantic University, Texas Tech University, the University of Tennessee, and Norfolk State University. The project will work toward developing an understanding of the central and contested place of slavery within touristic representations of antebellum southern plantation history. The project contends that this new understanding is one step toward a goal of achieving racial reconciliation and social justice.

Stephen Davies was awarded by XSEDE (a distributed virtual organization) a grant for use of computer time on the supercomputer at the Texas Advanced Computing Center.  Estimated value of the award is $4,091. The project (which he is doing with an undergraduate student) involves employing an agent-based model to investigate ecological survival strategies in a rare tidal wetland plant.

David Ambuel and Steve Rabson were awarded $17,137 for one year (2014) to support bringing Japan-related visiting presentations to campus. The grant also supports the purchase of books and videos which, along with the visiting presentations, will be used to support the offering of one course in Japanese literature in the Fall semester 2014. David Ambuel is serving as the grant director; Steve Rabson (and adjunct faculty member) will teach the course (funded by the grant).

Dianne Baker was recently notified of her selection as a Fulbright Scholar, where she will join the research lab of Dr. Finn-Arne Weltzien at the Norweigan School of Life Sciences during her spring 2015 sabbatical. Dr. Baker had previously visited this lab last summer. Her sabbatical project concerns “Spatiotemporal mapping of kisspeptin system gene expression during early development in the model teleost, medaka (Oryzias latipes).”

Finally, UMW receive a final contract to host a Watershed Coordinator position for three months as the position transitions to status under the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). UMW has hosted this position since January 2008, funded through an Environmental Protection Agency grant managed by the DCR. The position assists the DCR in providing technical and administrative support for comprehensive watershed management.  Rather than continuing to have various universities in Virginia host Watershed Coordinator positions, DCR has moved to make the coordinators employees of the DCR. UMW alum May Sligh has served in this position at UMW since 2008. She is transitioning to the DCR and we wish her well in her new employment status.  The final three-month contract for $17,788 supported the last phase of the Watershed Coordinator position hosting at UMW.

ALL of these grants, contracts, and scholarships are impressive achievements. The individuals who earned them deserve our congratulations and praise. And we hope these experiences are productive for them.

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

* Dan Preston (James Monroe Papers) submitted a $300,000 proposal to the National Endowment for the Humanities to renew their support for the project to publish the “Papers of James Monroe”;

* 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 a domain decomposition technique for stochastic control problems;

* Theresa Grana (Department of Biological Sciences), with her student Anna Kania, applied for a $250 small undergraduate research grant from the Chi Beta Phi national honor society to support a project on silencing of essential genes in models of animal-parasitic nematode;

* Debra Hydorn (Department of Mathematics) submitted a $5,000 proposal for summer support for a National Science Foundation grant to support her participation in the PIC Math Program (Preparation for Industrial Careers in Mathematical Sciences);

*John King (Ohio State University professor emeritus and volunteer in the Department of English Linguistics and Communication), collaborating with Teresa Kennedy, (Department of English, Linguistics, and Communication) submitted a $128,716 NEH Summer Seminar proposal for “reading Paradise Lost”;

* David Toth (Department of Computer Sciences) submitted a proposal with an estimated value of $8,184 to the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (University of Illinois) to use in a student intern “supercomputing with blue waters” project;


* Suzanne Sumner (Department of Mathematics) arranged for a continuation of a Memorandum of Understanding with Caroline County Schools to continue UMW’s participation as a subcontractor on their 21st Century Community Learning Centers U.S. Department of Education grant.

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.

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 large 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.

One Response to “Report on External Grants – Activity, Results, and Procedures”

  1. Steve Rabson says:

    Please consider adding the following external grant to the list:

    “Japan Foundation Small Grant”

    $18,000 for one year (2014) of Japan-related visiting presentations, books and videos, and one course in Japanese literature to be taught in the Fall semester.

    Grant Director, Professor David Ambuel, Classics, Philosophy and Religion, and Co-Chair of the Leidecker Center for Asian Studies

Leave a Reply