Papers are laid out across a table. A pen sits on one stack of paper. The paper in the center of the frame has handwritten annotations and highlighting. A Macbook is visible in the background.

OARS & ORU offer training and other events this fall

35 different colored squares are arranged in a calendar grid. 31 of the squares are labeled with the numbers 1 through 31, representing days of the month.

This fall, OARS and the Office of Research for Undergraduate (ORU) are pleased to offer training and other events designed to contribute to the success of Miami’s researchers, scholars, and creative artists. Details are available below.

eSPA training

All Miami faculty – regardless of discipline or target agency – who submit proposals for external funding must now use eSPA for internal proposal routing and approval.

We strongly encourage any researcher/scholar who has not already attended eSPA training to participate in one of the following sessions (click on the date to register):

  • Wednesday, September 16, 10:00-11:30am in the B.E.S.T. Library instructional space (116 Laws Hall)
  • Thursday, September 24, 3:00-4:30pm in the B.E.S.T. Library instructional space (116 Laws Hall)

Each 90-minute training session provides an overview of the online system and walks through the steps involved in creating a proposal record, building a proposal, routing a proposal for approvals, and monitoring proposal and award activity.

SPIN training

As of August 1, 2015, InfoEd’s SPIN Global Suite replaces ProQuest’s Pivot as Miami’s source of information about funding opportunities.

OARS will offer two workshops in September designed to introduce researchers and scholars to SPIN and to help them learn to navigate this system. Click on one of the following dates to register.

  • Wednesday, September 9, 3:00-4:00pm in the B.E.S.T. Library instructional space (116 Laws Hall)
  • Tuesday, September 15, 9:00-10:00am in the B.E.S.T. Library instructional space (116 Laws Hall)

ORU open house

On Wednesday, September 2, from 10:30am to 2:00pm, the Office of Research for Undergraduates (ORU) will hold an open house in its Advanced Instructional Space (AIS) on the first floor of King Library. The open house provides both students and faculty an opportunity to learn more about ORU programming and funding opportunities. Students representing various programs and awards will be on hand to answer any questions and provide their perspective. For those who want to get involved in research but may be unsure how to get started, this is the perfect place to be! No registration is required.


NSF IBSS networking

To encourage the formation of interdisciplinary teams to submit proposals to the NSF’s Interdisciplinary Behavioral & Social Science (IBSS) program, OARS will host a networking event from noon to 1:00pm on Monday, September 14 in 104 Roudebush Hall. To attend this event, please register by Thursday, September 10.

Proposal writing workshop

This 6-week, hands-on workshop assists participants in developing a proposal for submission to an external funding agency.  The workshop is designed to:

  • Help participants identify external funding sources
  • Assist step-by-step with proposal development
  • Integrate peer review in the proposal development process
  • Familiarize participants with internal resources for funding, statistics, evaluation, and compliance
  • Introduce participants to institutional grant-writing and research-related resources
  • Educate participants on procedures and policies for institutional routing and submission of grant proposals to external sponsors

This workshop is appropriate for full-time faculty and staff who:

  • Are new to external funding
  • Value peer review
  • Desire set-aside time for proposal writing, development, and peer feedback
  • Have project goals and objectives already in mind

New participants who complete the workshop and submit a proposal for external funding within a year after the 6-week workshop are eligible to receive $500 in operating costs to support their research, educational, and creative endeavors.  Please note that only full-time, permanent employees are eligible for the $500 incentive.

Workshop participants should be able to meet weekly on the Oxford campus for a 1.5 hour working session (dates & times to be determined by participants’ schedules).  Attendance is necessary to ensure a successful experience for all participants. Therefore, those who miss more than one session will not be eligible for the $500 in incentive funds.

If you are interested and can make the time commitment, please complete this availability survey so that OARS may select a time to accommodate a majority of schedules.

Calendar image by Philip via Flickr. Research proposal notes image by Catherine Cronin via Flickr. Both used under Creative Commons license.

Nine ice cream scoops of varying sizes are arranged in an oval on a wood cutting board. The scoops are all silver metal and the handles are spring-loaded.

Former NSF program officer offers the inside scoop

Dr. Joyce Fernandes referred workshop participants to this tongue-in-cheek publication by the NSF Division of Astronomical Sciences.
Dr. Joyce Fernandes referred workshop participants to this tongue-in-cheek publication by the NSF Division of Astronomical Sciences.

The need to present a clear, relevant message focused on basic science was the theme of a September 16 presentation by Dr. Joyce Fernandes, Professor of Biology and former NSF Program Officer.  On writing an effective NSF proposal, Fernandes noted that “focus and packaging are key.”  She said it’s important that proposed research align with the NSF’s mission to support basic scientific research and with the goals of the program to which the investigator is applying. The best way to get an initial sense for the relevance of a proposal idea, according to Fernandes, is to read the program solicitation and to talk with the program officer prior to writing the proposal.

With funding levels hovering around 5-10% it is it important that a proposal not only follow the guidelines, but also that it stands out in a crowded field. Attention to the NSF review criteria of intellectual merit and broader impacts is also a must. Not only must an applicant propose to conduct good, sound, relevant science, but she must also demonstrate how the work will benefit students, the institution, the scientific community, and the public.  To check whether a proposal adequately addresses intellectual merit and broader impacts, Fernandes suggested PIs consider asking a colleague to read a draft and provide feedback prior to submission.

“Every solicitation has a link to funded proposal abstracts,” noted Fernandes. She advised attendees to familiarize themselves with the types of research being funded by the NSF by signing up for NSF updates on new and updated program solicitations and policies via e-mail, RSS feeds, and podcasts and on Twitter @NSF. OARS is also on Twitter @MiamiOH_OARS.  Follow us for funding and programmatic updates, as well as updates on workshops and other educational opportunities.

In addition to offering insights on how to get NSF funding, Fernandes also shared a document created by the NSF Division of Astronomical Science titled “NSF Proposals: How NOT to get funded” (see above).

Join us for more insights into the NSF on Tuesday, October 14 from 12:00 to1:00pm in Pearson 208, when Dr. Fernandes shares examples of NSF broader impacts and how to integrate research with educational activities.

Featured image by Gwen Ashley Walters via Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.

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OARS offers fall workshop series

Head-and-shoulders portrait of a bespectacled woman in a tan top with a red and pink zig-zag pattern.
Former NSF program director and professor of biology Joyce Fernandes is one of the presenters for OARS’ fall workshop series.

This fall, OARS will host a series of brown-bag workshops on navigating the NSF proposal process.  Workshops will be held select Tuesdays from noon to 1:00pm in Pearson 208.  You are welcome to attend any or all of the sessions.

September 16
Writing an effective NSF proposal: what’s your sales pitch?
Led by Joyce Fernandes, Department of Biology
RSVP here.

September 23
NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program: how do I apply?
Led by Tricia Callahan, OARS
RSVP here.

October 14
NSF broader impacts: integrating your research with educational activities
Led by Joyce Fernandes, Department of Biology
RSVP here.

October 21
NSF data management: what is data management, why is it important, and how do I write a sound data management plan?
Led by Eric Johnson, University Libraries
RSVP here.

November 4
Funding opportunities for STEM education
Led by Joyce Fernandes, Department of Biology
RSVP here.

November 11
NSF resubmission: how to decipher the panel summary
Led by Joyce Fernandes, Department of Biology
RSVP here.

November 18
Communicating with the NSF program officer: how, why, do’s and don’ts
Led by Joyce Fernandes, Department of Biology
RSVP here.

Featured photo (left) by Luke Faraone via Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.  Photo of Joyce Fernandes (above) by Miami University Photo Services.