Campus News

Workshop to focus on strategies for applying for faculty research grants

The Office of the Vice President for Research will host a faculty workshop, “Grant Writing for Smarties: The Seeds of Research and Scholarship,” Jan. 20 from 2:15-3:15 p.m. in 328 Boyd Graduate Studies Research Center. The workshop will explain the process and best strategies for applying for UGA faculty research grants.

“Grant Writing for Smarties” is a program of practical workshops, webinars and online resources begun in 2010 by OVPR to help UGA researchers increase their competitiveness in winning grants. UGA faculty research grants, also known as “seed grants,” are funded through the University of Georgia Research Foundation Inc., and administered by OVPR. The grants, which normally range from $3,000 to $10,000, support research in science and humanities.

“The initial funds are intended to help faculty and researchers develop projects that can jump-start a research program and have the potential to attract grants from external organizations,” said Jessica Hawks, internal grants and awards program coordinator. In 2010, 45 awards were made out of
100 applications received. UGARF, with the help of the President’s Discretionary Fund for Faculty Research Grants, provided a total of $348,425 in funding, with 28 awards in science and 17 in arts and humanities.

Stefaan Van Liefferinge, assistant professor of medieval art and architecture, received initial funding of $6,353 from UGARF to explore the use of artificial intelligence in understanding architectural history.

“OVPR seed grants are absolutely instrumental for obtaining external funding,” said Van Liefferinge. “They manifestly strengthen the grant application.”

With Walter D. Potter, director of the Institute for Artificial Intelligence in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, and Michael Covington, associate director of the IAI, Van Liefferinge presented the results to the National Endowment for the Humanities, which awarded a grant of $24,965 for further study.

In 2009, Jason Locklin, assistant professor of chemistry, was awarded $300,000 from the National Science Foundation based on work begun with a $10,887 seed grant.

“[The grant] was critical in obtaining preliminary data,” said Locklin who, along with Yiping Zhao, associate professor of physics and astronomy, conducted research to build a smart nanosystem capable of autonomous motion. “It was used to fund a graduate student, who had the opportunity to explore and develop a new surface chemistry platform. This versatile platform provided us with enough preliminary data to prove we could carry out the objectives in our NSF grant.”

The “Seeds of Research and Scholarship” workshop will include a presentation on proposal content and submission requirements for seed grants, a discussion by an accountant on budget development and a question-and-answer session.