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NDSU Research Updates
  April 2011  |  Volume 2, Issue 3
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Who's Getting Grant Awards?

One of the best strategies to use when researching potential grant agencies and programs is to search their lists of recent grant awards. Finding out who has been successful, from which organizations, what types of projects were successfully proposed, and the dollar range of the awards can indicate what would be appropriate for future applications. It could also help identify a potential collaborator or mentor from another institution.

Many grant agencies publish award lists on their websites. For example, at the bottom of the National Science Foundation's (NSF's) program web pages, there's a link called "What Has Been Funded (Recent Awards Made Through This Program, with Abstracts)."

Here's another way to conduct a more extensive search for awards from NSF. Go to the Award Search page at http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/. Click on the tab for "Search all Fields." The first field ("Search Award For:") allows you to search for key words. You can also search based on Title, Awardee Information, Program Information (NSF division, program, or office), and Other Information.

Your search results can be used for further leads. If you click on the name of a Principal Investigator in your search results, it will list all of the grants received by that investigator. You may notice that one of those grants is for a program that could fit your interests. Click on that program, and all grants funded under that program will be listed. Click on the title of a project of interest, and the award abstract will appear along with other information on that project.

You might choose to phone or email one or more of the awardees listed to discuss their experiences with the program and the process. They may even be willing to share their successful proposal(s) with you.

In getting to know a grant program and its priorities, finding out what has been funded by the program in the past will help you develop a better grant proposal.

RCATT Pays for Grant Proposal Technical Reviews

Experienced eyes may make the difference between a good or great grant proposal. The Office of Research, Creative Activities and Technology Transfer (RCATT) will pay for technical reviews of grant proposals that meet criteria before submission to a grant agency. This can be well worth the extra time needed and may greatly improve the chances of winning a grant award. Here's how the process works:

  • Enough time must be allowed for a review to take place before the grant deadline, e.g., allow at least a month before the proposal must be submitted to the funding agency. Your proposal does not need to be finished, but must be developed enough to allow for a meaningful review.
  • Contact RCATT to indicate your interest in a technical review, the timeframe, and who you have in mind as the technical reviewer. You, as the grant applicant, must identify an appropriate reviewer from outside NDSU with the correct expertise and one with grant experience. Avoid individuals with whom you have worked in the past, as that introduces the possibility of bias or conflict of interest. It is in your best interest to receive a completely objective review.
  • The grant applicant should make the initial contact with the potential outside reviewer to introduce the idea of the technical review.
  • If the potential reviewer agrees to do the review, RCATT will negotiate the rate of pay. Pay is at a reasonable rate (similar to NSF rate) for a maximum of eight hours work.
  • In order to be paid, the potential reviewer must also sign a brief NDSU Contracted Services Agreement which includes social security number.
  • The grant applicant must then supply the technical reviewer with the draft proposal and the grant program guidelines. Communication is usually by email to expedite the process. The applicant and the reviewer are free to correspond as needed to complete the review.
  • Once the review is complete to your satisfaction (as the grant applicant), RCATT will initiate the payment process.

Contact Kay Sizer, kay.sizer@ndsu.edu, for more information and to initiate this process.

Non-Faculty Travel Awards Program Reinstated

The RCATT Non-Faculty Travel Awards program, previously suspended for this fiscal year, was recently reinstated.  Awards for travel before June 30, 2011, will be made for applicants in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields only.

Matching funds are provided for researchers to travel to present a research paper or poster at a national or international conference. This support is intended to bring national or international visibility to NDSU's research accomplishments. Guidelines and application form are provided at http://www.ndsu.edu/research/spa/nonfaculty_travel_awards.php

The Non-Faculty Travel Awards program is for graduate and undergraduate students, postdocs, research associates, and other nonfaculty employees integrally involved in research projects conducted at NDSU. The applicant must be first author and/or presenter, and only one travel award will be funded per paper or poster.

A related program, the RCATT Faculty Travel Awards program, can be found at http://www.ndsu.edu/research/spa/faculty_travel_awards.html.

Upcoming Events

Gear Up for Grants Seminar
The New NIH Review & Scoring System - Get the Inside Story
April 27, 2011, 3:00–4:30 p.m.
Family Life Center (FLC) Room 122
Panel Discussion - NDSU Professors Dr. Mukund Sibi, Dr. Larry Reynolds, and Dr. Kent Rodgers. Come learn what it's like to sit on the other side of the fence, as a reviewer of grant proposals. The panel will focus on the new review process and scoring system used by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for grant proposals. Panelists will discuss their own experiences as panel reviewers with NIH study sections and offer tips to potential grant applicants for NIH funds.
To register, email kay.sizer@ndsu.edu

Office of Research, Creative
Activities & Technology Transfer
1735 NDSU Research Park Drive
P.O. Box 6050—Dept. 4000
Fargo, ND 58108-6050


Phone 701.231.8045
Fax 701.231.8098