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A Message from the President: New Grant Initiative

November 7, 2013

I am pleased to announce a new initiative to provide funding for planning grants for UW faculty and staff. The initiative is a collaborative effort among the Offices of the President, Academic Affairs, and Research and Economic Development.

Often, when innovators generate new ideas, the ideas are not at a level yet that is externally fundable. It may be that a researcher does not yet have a sufficient track record in a field, or that there is a lack of pilot data, or that the ideas are viewed as too preliminary. In the current funding climate, where roughly 90 percent of grant proposals are rejected by federal agencies, it is extremely difficult to get external funding unless an idea is quite far along in the planning stage. Moreover, at this point in time, funding agencies often are very conservative in what they fund: They want a fairly high probability of success for the outcomes of the research or other proposal.

These planning grants are a means to enable faculty and staff to develop their ideas to a point at which those ideas are ready for serious external funding. The funding initiative will make available to faculty and staff planning grants of up to $25,000 for proposals relevant to research, teaching, and/or outreach/extension that are:

  1. Creative in their conceptualization.
  2. Interdisciplinary, involving faculty and/or staff from more than one college or school.
  3. Relevant in some way to UW's flagship and land-grant missions of excellence in teaching, research and outreach/extension.
  4. Potentially fundable on a larger scale in the future by an external grant-giving body (e.g., National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Spencer Foundation) after the initial-planning grant phase is complete.

The grants will be for one year and will be non-renewable.

The total allocation for the granting process will be $250,000, so we anticipate awarding anywhere between 10 and 20 grants, depending on the allocations assigned to the various proposals.

Administration of the grant program will be handled by the Offices of Research and Economic Development (Vice President Bill Gern) and Academic Affairs (Interim Vice President Dick McGinity). They will appoint a panel of faculty and staff to serve as evaluators, and the decisions of the evaluators will be final.

Grant proposals should be no more than five pages in length, double-spaced, 1 inch margins, and in 12-point font. A budget and budget justification is to be provided on a separate page. Proposals are to be submitted as a single PDF document to The proposals are due FEBRUARY 1, 2014, and should include:

1.  Names and titles of proposers

2.  Purpose of the proposed initiative

3.  Rationale for the importance of the initiative

4.  Description of the proposed initiative

5.  Method by which the success of the initiative will be evaluated

6.  Budget (totaling no more than $25,000)

Legitimate expenses for budget include, but are not limited to, items such as partial summer salary, equipment, travel costs, materials costs, consultant costs and the like.

Announcements of awards will be made no later than April 1, 2014, with a grant period of July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015.

We would anticipate a new granting program in the subsequent fiscal year.

Any questions about the program should be addressed to Dorothy Yates, or 766-5320.

Good luck in your endeavors,

Bob Sternberg

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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