UA Foundation Offers Research, Outreach Grants

UA Foundation Offers Research, Outreach Grants

By Alexis BlueUniversity Communications
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University of Arizona faculty and staff are invited to apply for two grants offered by the UA Foundation – one that funds community outreach activities and one that supports start-up research projects.

Applications for both the Community Connection Grants Program and the Faculty Seed Grants Program are due Jan. 15 to the Office of the Vice President for Research, Graduate Studies and Economic Development.

While the Community Connection Grants will be used to fund outreach activities that have a positive impact in the community, Faculty Seed Grants will be awarded primarily to junior-level faculty and scientific researchers to aid them in their research pursuits.

A workshop on preparing proposals for both grants will be held Dec. 9 at 9 a.m. A second session, with the same information, will take place Dec. 11 at 3:30 p.m. Both sessions will be held in Room 102 of the Vine Avenue Annex, 1125 N. Vine Ave. Seating is limited. Those wishing to attend should contact Connie Garcia at 626-0631 or csgarcia@vpr.arizona.edu to register.

The Office of the Vice President for Research will administer both project-based grants this year. In the past, applicants for Independent Grants (now called Community Connection Grants) applied directly through the foundation. But in an effort to simplify the process, both awards will now be handled under one roof, said Jenny Flynn, the UA Foundation's director of foundation development and director of the GIFT Center, which offers support to UA employees in their charitable grant-seeking activities.

Community Connection Grants

Any UA faculty or staff member can apply for a Community Connection Grant of up to $10,000 to support a new or existing outreach project that benefits the community, provided they play a key role in the proposed activity. About $50,000 will be available through the program.

Activities like hosting a unique international conference on campus or establishing a program that brings art students into local classrooms are two examples of projects that could be submitted for funding.

Flynn said the foundation decided to focus on funding outreach activities after identifying a lack of support for those types of activities.

"The U of A is a very people-focused University; we're a land-grant university and people are already engaged in the community all the time," Flynn said. "It's wonderful to be able to offer a bit of support to show that what they do really matters."

To be considered for funding, an outreach activity must meet three criteria: It must be "exemplary (among the best the University has to offer); innovative (bring forward a promising new idea or approach); and create connection between the campus and the world beyond."

Instructions for applying for a Community Connection Grant, as well as an online application, are available on the VPR Web site. Applications are due by 5 p.m. on Jan. 15.

Faculty Seed Grants

The UA Foundation has made $150,000 available in Faculty Seed Grants to help jump-start research projects in all disciplines on campus, with priority given to the work of junior-level faculty and research scientists.

The grants are intended to help researchers gather preliminary data or complete initial work on a project that can then be used to help develop major proposals to submit to external funding agencies or private contributors, said Andrew Comrie, associate vice president for research. Applicants can apply for up to $10,000.

The UA Foundation has offered research grants to faculty and staff since 1986 and estimates that in the last two years alone $300,000 in UA Foundation funding has helped University researchers go on to receive $5 million in external support.

"We've had a great return on the investment," Comrie said. "Sometimes it's hard breaking into the grant game and having early experience is helpful when dealing with other agencies."

While many Faculty Seed Grant applications come from the scientific community on campus, Comrie said researchers in humanities, arts and the social sciences also are encouraged to apply.

Specific guidelines for who is eligible to apply for Faculty Seed Grants are available on the VPR Web site, along with an online application and instructions. Applications are due by 5 p.m. on Jan. 15.

Faculty Seed Grant applications will undergo scientific review by peers from related disciplines on campus, while Community Connection Grant applications will be initially reviewed by panels of University and Tucson community members.

Applications for both grants will then be reviewed by the UA Foundation Board of Trustees' Grants and Awards Committee before the full board makes its final selections in the spring.

Applicants may apply for both grants, but since the awards have different missions, applications would need to be for separate projects or different aspects of a single project. 

For more information or questions on either grant program, contact Linda Nultemeier at 621-3512 or lindan@email.arizona.edu.  

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