Report on External Grants – Activity, Results, and a New Incentive Plan!

By John T. Morello, Associate Provost, Academic Affairs

UMW faculty and staff are continuing to submit external grant and contract proposals and to achieve success. Congratulations to Dan Preston (James Monroe Papers), Kelli Slunt and Dianne Baker (Departments of Chemistry and Biological Sciences), Neil Tibert (Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences), Davis Oldham (Department of Chemistry), and Janet Asper (Department of Chemistry) who learned that their proposals have been funded! Several other faculty and staff members have submitted projects for external funding since the last report in the April 2014 newsletter. And a new plan to “incentivize” applications for external funding is underway. Keep reading for details on all of these developments.

Dan Preston won another three-year grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (Scholarly Editions program) to support the continuation of the project to compile and publish the papers of President James Monroe. Dan received a prior NEH award in 2011 for $250,000. His new award, for $290,000, will enable the publication of volumes 6 and 7. The entire Monroe Paper’s project is anticipated as an eight volume set. The documents to be presented in volumes six and seven of the Monroe Papers cover the years April 1811-March 1817 and are important for understanding both James Monroe and this crucial period of American history. Among the key moments in American history that will be reflected in these papers are government administration during the years surrounding and encompassing the War of 1812 and American expansion into the Gulf Coast Region. This project is one of 177 nationally that received NEH awards announced in July 2014.

Kelli Slunt and Dianne Baker also received word that the National Science Foundation had extended the funding on their project for an additional two years. With the additional funding approved, the NSF support for this project amounts to $444,056 in total. (The initial award, for three years, had been for $262,615.) Their STEM Talent Expansion through Research, Engagement, Preparation and Scholarships (STEREPS) project is designed to enhance student performance and interest in STEM careers, particularly among students in traditionally underrepresented groups in STEM fields. Jodie Hayob and Ben Kisila (Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences), Deb Hydorn (Department of Mathematics), and Venitta McCall (Department of Foundations, Leadership, and Special Populations) are collaborators on the project. The project involves an interdisciplinary summer bridge course geared to skill development to prepare students for STEM courses and peer-led student supplemental learning sessions in traditionally challenging gateway courses. Scholarships for recruiting and retaining underrepresented STEM majors, a summer high school research program, career-based seminar series, and undergraduate research programs are also part of the project.

Neil Tibert was awarded the first year of a proposed five-year contract with the U.S. Geologic Survey. The project involves a joint research program in the field of global climate and sea-level change under the auspices of The Global Change Research Act of 1990, which established the United States Global Change Research Program.   The project will analyze the impacts of Holocene sea level rise and extreme storm events on tidal marsh wetlands in the greater Chesapeake Bay region with emphasis on the Potomac and Rappahannock River estuaries. The initial contract amount awarded was $13,731; the proposed five-year project was submitted for an amount of $74,973.

Davis Oldham received approval from XSEDE (a distributed virtual organization) for use of computer time on the supercomputer at the Texas Advanced Computing Center. Estimated value of the request is $4,910. His project involves examination of novel therapeutics to treat drug resistant tuberculosis (TB) strains. As his project proposal points out, many current therapies for TB are no longer effective due to resistance. New anti-TB drugs are necessary to combat the resistant strains.

Finally, Janet Asper received word that the first “option year” on her contract with the Naval Surface Weapons Center, Dalgren had been picked up. Her project involved Transmission Electron Microscopic analysis of Bacillus cereus, Bacillus subtilis var globigii, and Bacillus anthracis Delta Sterne spores and Synthesis and Characterization of Novel Compounds. The option year contract is for an amount of $12,680, bringing the total funded so far to $35,427.

Once again, this is great news for our colleagues and for UMW.

Since the April 2014 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.

* Elizabeth Larus (Department of Political Science and International Relations) submitted a proposal for a Taiwan Fellowship (estimated amount of $7,755) to the Center for Chinese Studies, National Central Library, Taipei, Taiwan;

* Davis Oldham (Department of Chemistry) submitted a proposal to XSEDE (a distributed virtual organization) for use of computer time on the supercomputer at the Texas Advanced Computing Center. Estimated value of the request is $47,575. His project involves running a virtual screen for inhibitors of critical enzymes in Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium associated with tuberculosis (TB) infection;

* Julius Esunge (Department of Mathematics) submitted a Fulbright Scholar proposal for a teaching and research project entitled “Capacity Building in Actuarial and Financial Mathematics at the University of Buea in Cameroon” (estimated Fellowship value is $30,000) ;

* Roberta Gentry (Department of Foundations, Leadership, and Special Populations) submitted a $27,150 grant proposal to the Virginia Department of Education for a special education teacher support project as part of the state initiative for providing traineeships for special education personnel;


* Nora Kim (Department of Sociology and Anthropology) is submitting a proposal to the Social Science Research Council for an Abe Fellowship on Monday, September 1 (her application request was approved today!) for her proposed study on “Immigration and East Asian Nation States: A Comparative Study of Ethnic and National Boundary Making in Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea.”

Congratulations to everyone for their individual 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.

One other project submitted deserves mention – a National Science Foundation grant for STEM scholarships led by Nicole Crowder in collaboration with the firm of McAllister and Quinn. See the newsletter article on the first McAllister & Quinn project for a description of her project.!

New Incentive Plan for Submitting External Grants — First Awards Announced

In May, at the conclusion of the on-campus, grant-writing workshop we hosted, the Office of the Provost announced a new plan to “incentivize” applications for external funding. Full details of the plan are posted on the External Grants website. In brief, the program (which is being conducted on a trial basis in 2014-15) provides additional faculty development funds for any full-time continuing faculty or staff members who submit a competitive grant proposal to an off-campus grant/contract agency. The first recipients of incentive funds are Neil Tibert, Davis Oldham, Julius Esunge, Roberta Gentry, Nicole Crowder, and Nora Kim.

To be eligible, the applicant must have developed and submitted an external funding proposal after May 15, 2014 (the date when the incentive plan was announced). Additionally, the applicant must have followed existing proposal submission guidelines and policies as set forth by the Office of the Provost. For proposals developed with assistance by an outside grant writer, the incentive amounts are reduced by half.

Incentive funds will be deposited in the faculty member’s “org” for use in support of professional development activities at the discretion of the faculty member. All relevant UMW and Commonwealth of Virginia expenditure policies will apply to the use of these funds.

Applying for External Grants and Funding

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.

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