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BSC Faculty Members Participate in NSF Grant Proposals Workshop

  • Created
    Monday, October 22 2012
  • Created by
    Jim Nelson/Media Relations - (304) 327-4103 jnelson@bluefieldstate.edu

(Bluefield)—Utilizing the opportunity to talk directly to National Science Foundation (NSF) program directors, two Bluefield State College faculty members participated in an intensive two-day workshop, "The Mechanics of Developing Competitive Proposals." The program at Saint Augustine's University in Raleigh, NC, was facilitated by the Science & Engineering Alliance (SEA), Inc., and sponsored by NSF.

At the workshop for faculty and graduate researchers, Historically Black Colleges and Universities gathered to learn more about NSF and grant opportunities that are available. SEA was created to help ensure an adequate supply of competitive American scientists and engineers while meeting the research and development needs of the public and private sectors.

"This was my first experience at communicating directly with program directors via web access," explained Dr. Anthony Curtis, BSC Assistant Professor of Biology. "Although SEA is reaching out in a broader sense to encourage grant development and submission, the workshop participants were really involved in communications, support, and networking. We are developing an online space where we can maintain communication with our peers who attended the workshop from other institutions."

"The workshop helped to identify faculty members from complimentary disciplines with whom we could partner on cross-function research proposals," added Dr. Julie Kalk, BSC Assistant Professor of Physics and Co-Director of the BSC Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (RASP). "One of the continuing functions of RASP is to pair up collaborators across campus and eventually across institutions. This workshop gave us insight into how the NSF evaluates those partnerships in awarding funds."

SEA is leading an effort to develop a process and model to include HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions in the NSF's large-scale research initiative called the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON). NEON is a continental‐scale research platform for discovering and understanding the impacts of climate change, land‐use change, and invasive species on ecology.

The workshop certainly provided constructive, practical insight into developing substantive grant proposals," Curtis added. "We look forward to applying the lessons learned as we develop grants for NSF consideration."