Summer 2014 Newsletter

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A image of Dixon Hall where the Sponsored Research and Grants office is located.A image of Dixon Hall where the Sponsored Research and Grants office is located.

Summer 2014 Newsletter


Grant Writer Fellowship

2014 Fellows class.

Immediately following the spring 2014 semester, 16 faculty and 2 staff members gathered for a three-day intensive grant writing program known as the Grant Writers Fellowship Program. This comprehensive enrichment program covered everything from strategizing the selection of potential funding sources to learning effective grant writing skills for competitive grant applications/proposals. Emphasis was placed on writing strategies and skills required to successfully submit competitive external proposals on behalf of Cal U.

The fellowship program included a one-day session presented by Mr. Paul Tuttle from Hanover Grants. He offered the fellows insights on the basics of grant writing, the role of faculty, identifying and selecting funding opportunities, starting a proposal, and the submission process. Mr. Tuttle outlined information on the structure of the National Science Foundation, the US Department of Education, the Institute of Education Services, and the National Institute of Health.Paul Tuttle, Hanover Research, presents to 2014 Fellows Class. 

Fellows received information on applying for and managing federal grants by Dr. Kevin Koury, Dean of the College of Education and Human Services. Dr. Susan Ryan, Earth Sciences, shared her enthusiasm for grant writing and explained the need for networking when seeking private funds. Dr. David Argent, Biological and Environmental Sciences, presented information on writing proposals to state agencies as well as the importance of developing a funding stream for research projects.

In addition, fellows received an overview of the IRB presented by Dr. Robert Skwarecki, Communication Disorders, and the IACUC presented by Dr. Paula Caffrey, Biological and Environmental Sciences. Cheryl Vogrig, OSPR, presented an overview of the department’s services and incentives for grant writing as well as information to aid participants in understanding the PASSHE FPDC grant competition and the corresponding request for proposal. Kim Rabbitt, OSPR, walked the fellows through the process of completing a routing sheet. Finally, Dr. Shelly DiCesaro, Health Science, conducted a mock quality circle review with the fellows.

Cal U’s 2014 Fellows are comprised of five faculty members from the College of Education and Human Services, five faculty members from the College of Liberal Arts, four faculty members from the Eberly College of Science and Technology, and two from the Manderino Library as well as one staff member from Academic Affairs and one staff member from Student Affairs. The OSPR is looking forward to working with the fellows as they pursue funding that aligns with their interests. A complete list of the 2014 Fellows is available at the OSPR web page.


 Indirect Cost Rate Change.

Cal U’s Federally Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Changes

According to the federal government, indirect costs are defined as the expenses of doing business that are not readily identified with a particular grant, contract, project function or activity, but are necessary for the general operation of the organization and the conduct of activities it performs.  Costs, such as heat, light, accounting, and support staff would be considered indirect.   An indirect cost (IDC) rate is established on the basis of a federally approved indirect cost rate proposal and supporting documentation submitted by organizations.  The University’s Comptroller, Keith Curran, prepared and submitted the formal IDC proposal to the US Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS).

In late May, Cal U received a new Negotiated Indirect Cost Recovery Agreement (NICRA) from the DHHS which is in effect from July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2018.  When applicable, the new indirect cost rate for federal grant applications in which the project will take place on campus is 50.9% of budgeted salary and fringe and 22.6% for projects taking place off campus.  It is important to understand that this IDC rate is only applied to the salary and fringe portion of the budget for federal grants which do not limit the IDC rate.  For example, if you are applying to the National Science Foundation for a $250,000 grant of which $75,000 is budgeted for salary and fringe, the on-campus IDC would be 50.9% of $75,000 or $38,175.  Keep in mind that 35% of IDC recovered from your project will be distributed to a cost center to use for your research, professional development, travel, etc.

Cal U’s  NICRA and the Cal U  IDC Distribution Policy is available on the OSPR website.

FPDC Annual Grant Program

What do these things have in common?

a. Research of the invasion of non-native rodents;
b. The response of zooplankton to changing climate; and
c. The study of Dante’s Divine Comedy

The common connection for these three items is that they are the topics of successful applications for the PASSHE Faculty Professional Development Council (FPDC) Annual Grant Competition. 

Dr. Summer Arrigo-Nelson, Biological and Environmental Sciences, Dr. Derek Gray, Biological and Environmental Sciences, and Dr. Nancy Shaffer, Philosophy, are the recipients of grant funds to further develop their knowledge and research in their respective areas of interest. Congratulations to all!

Professional development, as defined by FPDC, “involves the acquisition of knowledge and/or development of skills related to some aspect of the faculty member’s professional responsibilities. The learning may involve increasing knowledge in one’s discipline or a related discipline or of the interrelationships among disciplines – or knowledge about how students learn, about issues facing colleagues in business or basic education or another professional field, or about national trends and issues in higher education.”

If you are a faculty member that has a particular area of interest that you would like to further develop, it is time to start thinking about a project idea. The announcement for the Annual Grant Program will be released in early fall. Contact OSPR at x1662 if you have an idea that you would like to discuss. Fall will be here before we know it!

New FPDC Opportunity

Last fall, the Sate System Faculty Professional Development Committee (FPDC) offered, for the first time, an Innovation in Teaching and Improvement in Student Learning Outcomes Grant Competition. Successful recipients of this grant are to provide professional development to gain expertise in innovative methods for teaching that improve student learning outcomes. 

Dr. Laura Tuennerman, History and Political Science, Dr. Pamela Twiss, Social Work, and Professors William Meloy and Julia McGinnis both from the Louis L. Manderino Library are the first Cal U recipients of this grant. Congratulations!

This team is in the process of working on a project that creates a multi-disciplinary learning community that provides professional development for faculty members to learn oral history documentation, preservation, and digitization. The training provides methods for student involvement which has been proven to lead students to greater engagement in their education and creates a sense of personal and community identity.

This project team plans to create an online digital community history archive that will be available to the public.

Golf Program for Elementary Age Girls

Vanessa MacKinnon instructs a student in golf.Dr. Vanessa MacKinnon, Professional Golf Management, was awarded a grant from the Women’s Sport Foundation’s GoGirlsGo! Program to teach golf lessons to girls ages 8-10 for a 12 week period during the spring 2014 semester.  There was no shortage of interest which triggered Dr. MacKinnon to provide a second session for the overflow of interested girls in fall 2014.

The program benefits the young girls by getting them moving, and also gives Dr. MacKinnon and the volunteers from the Women’s Studies Program, Options@CalU, and the Department of Health Science, the opportunity to discuss other topics with the girls such as proper eating habits, stress prevention, positive body image, and risks of substance abuse. 

This program also benefits the students in Cal U’s Professional Golf Management Program (PGM).  The students in the PGM program assist Dr. MacKinnon with the junior clinic sessions.  These sessions give the PGM students opportunities for service and the chance for hands-on teaching.


Did you know

Faculty can earn workload incentives to write grant proposals?

The President’s Incentive for Sponsored Programs in Research, Education, and Service (INSPIRES) is available to faculty members interested in grant writing.  This program provides workload incentives to faculty grant writers who seek funding from external funding sources.  If you are interested in this reward program, the detailed guidelines are available at the President’s INSPIRES Program.

Workload Equivalencies are available each semester for grant writing and proposal development?

The WKEs for Grant Writing/Development three-year pilot program enables faculty members to apply for a 3-credit WKE during a fall or spring semester to provide time for developing and writing a competitive proposal for a large sponsored program or research.  If you are interested in learning more about program, the detailed guidelines are available at the WKE for Grant Writing/Development.

Help in grant writing and proposal development is available from Hanover Grants?Hanover Research

Cal U has contracted with Hanover Grant Development Services to provide assistance in procuring grant funds.  Their services include multi-faceted project development, comprehensive grant-writing assistance, identification of suitable grant opportunities, assistance with post-award compliance, strategic outreach to, and relationship cultivation with, federal, corporate, and foundation contacts, assessment and overhaul of previously rejected proposals, and ensuring project sustainability.  In addition, Hanover generates a weekly email alert of funding opportunities. 
                                                                                  If you are interested in receiving this alert, please contact the OSPR.

OSPR Outreach and Incentives Fiscal Year 2013-2014

The OSPR has been busy this year launching new outreach initiatives as well as continuing existing programs.  Following is a brief overview of the programs as well as attendance data.

Benefits of Grantsmanship – During the fall and spring semesters Cheryl Vogrig and Donna Gilmore visited seven academic departments providing a brief overview of the “Benefits of Grantsmanship” to 81 faculty and staff.   

Lunch and Learn – The OSPR staff interacted with 53 faculty and staff members during the informal brown bag lunch sessions which were held monthly throughout the fall and spring semesters.

Hanover Webinars – Cal U and the OSPR have been working with Hanover Grants, a global research and grant writing firm, to enhance and enrich our grant-writing resources.  During the fall semester 34 faculty and staff members participated in a three-part series of training webinars conducted by Hanover Grants. 

INSPIRES Program - Year 1 of the pilot program, July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014, was successful with nine faculty members receiving 14 incentive awards totaling $1,378.  Year 2 of the program has started strong, with nine faculty members to receive ten incentive awards totaling $1,923.80 through July 31, 2014.

WKE for Grant Writers - Three faculty members, Dr. Barbara Hess, Math, Computer Science and Information Systems, Dr. Marta McClintock-Comeaux, History and Political Science, and Dr. Kimberly Woznack, Chemistry and Physics, have each received a 3 credit workload equivalency (WKE) for Fall 2014 semester.  Dr. Hess is developing a proposal for the National Science Foundation’s Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program that provides funds to support talented science, technology, engineering, and mathematics majors and professionals to become K-12 mathematics and science teachers. Drs. Woznack and McClintock-Comeaux are collaborating on a proposal for the National Science Foundation’s ADVANCE Program aimed at increasing the participation and advancement of women in academic science and engineering careers.