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NDSU Research Updates
  February 2012  |  Volume 3, Issue 2
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Don't Wait Til the Last Minute: Apply Early

As advised recently by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in The Dangers in Delay (December 28, 2011), as the electronic grant proposal submission process has improved, so have the potential dangers when submitting an application near the deadline.

According to NIH, "As people become more confident in the ability of eRA (electronic research administration) to process applications quickly, we see an increasing backlog of 'last minute' applications on submission due dates. For a recent December due date, more than 1,000 applications were submitted in the final hour."

That puts a lot of pressure on the relevant staffers to process many applications quickly and accurately. This crunch time holds true not only for grant agency staff, but also for your local university (NDSU) staff.

Grant agency deadlines are firm. Agencies such as NIH will not consider applications with submission errors, nor will they review late applications, even if only a few minutes late.

More advice from NDSU's Sponsored Programs Admin (SPA) staff: If you're not sure - Ask Early. Every grant program has its own unique requirements, as does each university and each proposed project, so it's best to get clarifications about agency or university policies and procedures while you're still in the planning stages, as you are developing your grant proposal.

According to NDSU policy, all applications submitted by NDSU employees to an external agency, whether federal, state, foundations, or private sources, require prior approval by an authorized institutional representative of the university before they are submitted to the proposed grant sponsor. But even seasoned grant applicants sometimes don't realize all the situations when a Proposal Transmittal Form (PTF) is required to obtain university approval beforehand. Three examples below provide clarification:

  • If you are a sub-grantee or a collaborator in a grant proposal to be submitted by another university, you are still required to submit a PTF here at NDSU for your portion of the proposed work.
  • For pre-proposals or letters of intent that include a budget, a PTF is required, even at that preliminary stage.
  • Multiple-year grants will often require a PTF for continuance of each subsequent year of a project - not always, but it's a good idea to check with SPA.

Email Alerts Make Grant Seeking Easier

Grant seeking takes time. One of the most efficient ways to find an appropriate grant program is to sign up for grant email alerts from the grant agencies that are most likely to fund grants in your field. By receiving such email alerts, you will have a steady stream of information automatically sent to you on a regular basis without having to actively conduct online searches.

Offered below are websites where you can sign up for grant email alerts from some of the major granting agencies. Though this list is brief, many other grant agencies also offer email lists to which one can subscribe.

Anderson Named to Interim ND-EPSCoR Position

Sheri Anderson has been named interim co-project director at NDSU for the North Dakota Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (ND-EPSCoR). Effective February 16, Anderson serves in the interim appointment for the position previously held by David Givers, who retired in January. In her interim position as ND-EPSCoR co-project director at NDSU, Anderson will be responsible for overseeing EPSCoR programming and operations and will assist in crafting the next ND-EPSCoR submission to the National Science Foundation.

Established in 1986 as a North Dakota University System program, ND-EPSCoR works to strengthen the state’s science and technology infrastructure and enhances its participation in competitive research and development. For more information, see http://www.ndepscor.nodak.edu.

Don't Miss This Resource

Don't miss the companion newsletter that accompanies each issue of this newsletter. Click on Research Development & Grant Writing News in the right hand column and enter your NDSU email log-in. You will have access to valuable tips for developing your research program and winning grants. Graduate student and postdoc opportunities are also included.

Upcoming Events

North Dakota Energy Symposium: Using Technology to Enhance Clean Energy Production
Hosted by U.S. Senator John Hoeven
March 5, 2012
NDSU Memorial Union
Join U.S. Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) and experts from the national laboratories and the public and private sectors for this one-day symposium focused on opportunities and constraints in energy production. Learn more about the role technology can play in enhancing current energy production methods. Symposium topics will range from oil and gas production to wind energy and transmission issues. Sessions include: Computing in the Bakken, Improving Access to and Maximizing Output from Existing Fossil Fuel Resources through Modeling and Simulation; Powering the Plains Through High Performance Computing—Making Alternative Energy Mainstream; and Putting
the Smart into Smart Grid. Invited speakers include representatives from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Whiting Petroleum, QEP Resources, Xcel Energy, Siemens Energy, North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources, LM Wind Power Blades, Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, North Dakota State University and the University of North Dakota. See more information >>

NIH Regional Seminar: Program Funding and Grants Administration
Hosted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
April 16-18, 2012
Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana
Each year, the NIH Office of Extramural Research (OER) sponsors two NIH Regional Seminars on program funding and grants. These seminars are intended to help demystify the application and review process, clarify federal regulations and policies, and highlight current areas of special interest or concern. The NIH Regional Seminar involves approximately 35 NIH and HHS staff who are brought to a central location in order to educate, share, and listen to attendees over the course of two days. In addition, one can take advantage of networking opportunities to learn from fellow attendees. The seminar and optional eRA workshops are appropriate for grants administrators, new and early stage investigators, researchers, graduate students, and anyone interested in the grants administration process. This year there are more networking opportunities than ever before...additional Institute/Center representation with one-on-one meeting opportunities and inclusion of sessions on NIH niche programs such as the AREA/R15 program. See more information >>

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


Phone 701.231.8045
Fax 701.231.8098