Monthly Archives: March 2013

Funding Success Skills Series (FS3) – Getting to know your sponsor

As part of the Funding Success Skills Series (fs3), ASU’s Research Strategy Group recently hosted a panel discussion on interacting with sponsor agencies. Almost 50 attendees listened to five seasoned faculty and staff members describe how they approach funding agencies, maintain relationships with them, and create strategic long term plans for interaction.

Neal Lester, Associate Vice President of Research at ASU, stressed the importance of building a relationship with the sponsor; not being disheartened by the size of your budget, but rather being inspired by the quality of your project. He provided several examples where collaborations and funding opportunities emerged by simply speaking up and inviting sponsor representatives to events.

Rachel Levinson, Director of National Research Initiatives for ASU, recommended that you never visit a sponsor without researching them thoroughly. This will decrease the time you spend discussing the sponsor and increase the time spent discussing your idea.

James Collins, Professor in the School of Life Sciences, pointed to professional meetings as one way to connect to sponsors. Faculty should also participate as proposal reviewers whenever possible. And, when meeting with sponsors, a brief, well-written synopsis of your idea is mandatory as a leave behind. Finally, think strategically and long-term when interacting with your sponsor representative. Productive discussions now may yield dividends for years to come.

Sayfe Kiaei, professor in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and the director of the National Science Foundation I/UCRC Connection One, also stressed creating a relationship with sponsor representatives, but also reviewed the importance of reading and responding to solicitations effectively. The solicitation can be seen as an extension of the goals and priorities of the sponsor agency and its representatives.

Gary Dirks, Director of LightWorks, reviewed how he has seen how one sponsor agency (the Department of Energy) has changed over time. Importantly, he suggested that once you receive an award, your relationship with the sponsor should not only continue, but should be augmented to include them whenever possible. This strategy ensures that they are familiar with your current work progression and what ideas are in your pipeline.

fs3 is a set of monthly lunchtime discussions on topics that address the full spectrum of activities necessary for preparing successful proposals. The series aims to contribute substantially to creating a culture that results in winning proposals. For more information, contact RSG: researchstrategy (@)

The next event, Minding the Gap: Transitioning to Large and/or Strategic Proposals, is scheduled for April 2.


Obama Seeks to Use Oil and Gas Money to Develop Alternative Fuel Cars

ARGONNE, Ill. — Warning that the United States risks falling behind in the international race to develop alternative energy, President Obama on Friday proposed diverting $2 billion in revenue from federal oil and gas royalties over the next decade to pay for research on advanced vehicles.

Mr. Obama toured a vehicle research facility at Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago and then spoke to employees about his plan, first proposed in his State of the Union address last month, to use oil and gas money to find ways to replace hydrocarbons as the primary fuel for cars, trucks and buses.

The president said the nation was experiencing one of its regular spikes in gasoline prices, in effect a tax on every American household.

Read entire article here.

Students Develop Innovative Solutions for Energy Efficient Buildings

Every year, the U.S. spends about $200 billion to power our office buildings, shopping mall and stores. Yet, about 30 percent of this money is wasted. Hoping to tap the creative thinking of the nation’s university students, the Energy Department launched the Better Buildings Case Competition. Last week as part of the second annual competition, some of the country’s brightest young minds presented their ideas on ways to cut energy waste and improve commercial building efficiency.

This year, 14 university teams — made up of undergraduate and graduate students with backgrounds in business, engineering, public policy and urban planning — tackled four of the toughest knots in energy efficiency. Using real-world scenarios and data, students had two months to develop innovative solutions for common efficiency challenges — from creating a plan for early retirement of equipment to justifying and installing metering to designing financial models that municipalities can use to improve their own buildings — that real-world private-sector organizations, and state and local governments could replicate.

Read entire article here.

Nigeria: Plateau Govt. to Partner With U.S. – University On ICT

The Plateau Government is to partner with the ICT University, Louisiana, U.S. to provide affordable online Information and Communication Technology courses.

Prof. Comfort Piwuna, the Commissioner for Science and Technology, made this known in Jos on Tuesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

Piwuna said that the courses include certificates, bachelor’s degrees, master’s programmes and Ph D.

The commissioner said that the Plateau State University, Bokkos and the Plateau State Polytechnic, Barkin-Ladi, had been marked as pilot centres for the programme.

“The Plateau Government has agreed to provide the centres and the halls, while the American ICT university will provide the required facilities needed for the effective take-off of the programme.”

She said the partnership would provide additional platform for Plateau citizens to have access to ICT skills and be in tune with the technology-driven world of the 21st century.

Read entire article here.