The Office of Sponsored Programs and Research (OSPR) is reintroducing a newsletter to inform and alert the Governors State University (GSU) community and its community partners about tools, resources, and activities that will facilitate the successful acquisition and management of grants.
This newsletter addresses the entire spectrum of grant information from searching for funding opportunities to evaluating requests for proposals, gathering information, writing a successful proposal, contracting, and grants administration.
Content will include discussion of Funding Sources, Institutional Review Board (IRB) News, Tips on Grant Submissions, reports on GSU Grant Activity, Principal Investigator (PI) Profiles, and information on a variety of grant resources. This newsletter is intended to provide you with integrated, meaningful, specific, and insightful assistance.
We welcome your participation and input! Please feel free to contact any of the office staff listed at the end of the newsletter for more information, to share ideas, as well as to provide us with feedback regarding the content or information provided in this newsletter.
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One of the largest and most significant sources of funding opportunities is GRANTS.GOV, a central storehouse for information on over 1,000 federal grant programs that provide access to approximately $500 billion in annual awards for government organizations, educational institutions, non-profit organizations, and small businesses, among other types of organizations.
GRANTS.GOV describes the grant opportunities offered by the 26 federal agencies that make grants, from the Agency for International Development to the Social Security Administration. Potential applicants can search these grant opportunities by keyword, by funding category, and by agency. Alerts of new grant opportunities also can be obtained via email.
GRANTS.GOV is also a vehicle for grants submission, allowing individuals acting on behalf of their organizations to download a grant application package, complete the package, submit the package, and track the status of a completed package.
GSU is already registered to use this service, with Dr. Linda Samson, Dean of the College of Health and Human Services and Interim Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Studies, designated as the Authorized Organization Representative. This means only Dean Samson has the authority to sign and submit grant applications on behalf of GSU.
GRANTS.GOV offers a wealth of resources, including user guides, tutorials, checklists, and software downloads to help the potential grant applicant find, prepare, and submit successful grant applications. All individuals seeking federal funding should become familiar with this essential and comprehensive website.
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GSU’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) is charged with the responsibility to ensure the protection of human research subjects. The IRB derives this authority from Federal Regulation, Title 45, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 46, which requires that all institutions receiving federal funds and conducting research using living humans as subjects establish and operate an IRB.
Any student, faculty member, or researcher intending to conduct research on human subjects originating at GSU must obtain approval from the IRB prior to commencement of the research. Grant applications may ask whether the applicant has obtained IRB approval for the research being proposed.
There are three levels of approval.
- Exempt: Research may be exempt from full committee review and the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects; research involving the use of educational tests, existing and publicly available data sets, and food and taste quality evaluations are usually exempt. However, only the IRB can deem a project exempt.
- Expedited: Research involves minimal risk to human subjects.
- Full IRB Review: Required for those studies that are neither exempt nor expedited.
Only the IRB, not the individual investigator, can make a final determination as to project approval. Furthermore, the individual investigator needs to apply for approval. The researcher must apply to the IRB using one of two forms available on GSU’s IRB website using the form that he or she thinks best fits the research project.
A Project Exemption Review Form must be completed for projects believed by the investigator to be exempt from further review or consideration by the IRB. The completed form should be submitted to Becky Nugent, Co-Chair of the IRB. If you like, you may fill in the online form up to the Abstract section. Then you may print out the rest of the material and submit it with the form. Turnaround time is generally one week or less.
For expedited and full IRB review proposals, the Investigator must submit a Research Subjects and Safety Review Form to Becky Nugent as well. In many cases, expedited review can be conducted within two weeks; a full IRB review generally requires up to four weeks prior to decision.
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Tips on Grant Submission
Prior to submitting any grant application, faculty and staff must complete a GSU “Intent to Submit Grant Form”, as found on the OSPR webpage. Forms are provided for academic and non-academic grants. The procedure is described in more detail in the “Intent to Submit Grant Process and Checklist,” also found on the OSPR webpage.
Accompanying the academic form should be:
- Copy of concept paper, abstract of project, or draft proposal
- Draft budget
The purposes of this process are to ensure that GSU can assess any commitment required on its part and that OSPR is notified of the grant application due date and can make OSPR staff available to assist if necessary.
Faculty or staff submitting applications should first discuss their proposal with their Chair and Dean, procuring approval. Once these are obtained, the completed Intent to Submit Grant Form should be submitted to Dean Linda Samson, Interim Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Studies, who is the Presidential Designee for Academic Grant Applications.
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Since the beginning of 2010, approximately 11 grant applications have been submitted by GSU faculty or staff within the four colleges.
Most of these applications were submitted to federal agencies.
Many administrative units submitted grant applications as well, including:
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Principal Investigator (PI) Profiles
We profile Maristela Zell, Ph.D., LCSW.
Maristela Zell is Associate Professor of Social Work in the College of Health and Human Services at GSU.
Dr. Zell writes:
I have been interested in examining the underrepresentation of Latinas/os in higher education for several years. Although more Latinas/os attend college today, they represent only 11 per cent of all undergraduate students.
For the last four years, my research has been funded by the NIH’s National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities. While others have focused on lack of access to higher education, and poor academic preparation, my research addresses Latinas/os’ psychological and subjective experiences in college.
Also, unlike most studies, I have explored the experiences of the Latina/o community college student, not the traditional undergrad in traditional institutions.
More recently, NIH’s funding has made it possible for me to expand my studies into the experiences of Latinas/os attending graduate programs, where they are more underrepresented. While examining these issues more closely, I became interested in the effectiveness of mentoring programs that support Latina/o students’ academic success and am currently evaluating the GSU Latino Center for Excellence mentor program.
For more information about Maristela’s research, please contact her at email@example.com. We thank her for her input.
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The Center for the Care and Study of Vulnerable Populations maintains a library of current texts and recent periodicals pertaining specifically to research and grant writing at Hantack House. Three recent additions to our library include:
- The Grant Application Writer’s Workbook. Successful Proposals to Any Agency. By Stephen W. Russell and David C. Morrison
- The Grant Application Writer’s Workbook.* National Institutes of Health. By Stephen W. Russell and David C. Morrison. This volume includes a CD with templates for creating your writing schedule and creating the outline for your master plan.
- The Grant Application Writer’s Workbook.* National Science Foundation-Fastlane. By Stephen W. Russell and David C. Morrison. This volume includes a CD with templates for creating your writing schedule and creating the outline for your master plan.
All are available for check-out or on-site review. Hantack House is staffed between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Call Angie Davis at 708.235.6984 for more information.
*Note: These two books are not the same. One helps individuals writing to the requirements of the National Institutes of Health, and the other helps individuals writing to the requirements of the National Science Foundation. Grant writers should be aware that federal agencies each have their own specific set of requirements.
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- Linda F. Samson, Interim Vice-Provost of Research and Graduate Studies: 708.534.4389, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Penny L. Havlicek, Director of Administration and Operations Center for the Care and Study of Vulnerable Populations: 708.235.3982, email@example.com
- Becky Nugent, Writing Center Coordinator and Co-Chair of IRB: 708.235.2105, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Donna Rolih, Contracts Administrator, Grant Accountant: 708.235.7664, email@example.com
- Jamie Tadsen, Assistant to the Interim Vice Provost of Research and Graduate Studies: 708.235.7393, firstname.lastname@example.org
On the Web at:
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