Workshops -Reply William Campbell 13 Apr 1998 07:51 EST
Ellen, I'm part of a 1.4 FTE grants office serving a small, regional,
comprehensive unviersity with approximately 5,000 students. We try to give one
workshop per month during the academic year, though we sometimes miss a month
here and there. We focus on a particular agency or funding opportunity and
invite the campus, with special invitations to whichever depts are most likely
to be interested. E.g. in May we'll do one on Fulbright opportunities for
faculty, let everyone know about it, but target especially the humanities
folks--not that social and hard scientists can't get Fulbrights, but because we
don't get as many opportunities for humanists. In the past we have offered
workshops on NSF teacher enhancement programs, US Dept of Ed programs for
disadvantaged/minorioty students, NEH, NSF ILI and other laboratory enhancement
programs, Wisconsin-specific programs, etc.
We schedule workshops over the noon hour, usually, and invite one or two folks
who have received grants from the targeted agency or program to serve as
resources. If anyone on campus has served as a proposal reader for the
competitions we're targeting, I'll invite him/her as well. I'll speak for a
few minutes about the opportunity, the resource persons will share their
experiences, and then we ask/answer questions and chat. I'll frequently ask
the attendees to share whatever ideas they're working on to get the reaction of
the resource persons. Sometimes those conversations turn into proposals.
Attendance varies--one to about 15, usually 3-5.
How well do they work? Hard to say with any precision, like most of what we
do. They keep folks thinking about external funding, they give folks who have
won grants a little recognition and the chance to show off (or, as we say in
academe, to share their expertise), they spread around some information.
Sometimes they have produced grant proposals, some of which have been funded.
So, from my perspective, they're definitely worth doing.
Regards, Bill Campbell
Director, Grants & Research
University of Wisconsin-River Falls