Grant News


October 2014

In this issue:

  • Continued Support for Bates Dance Festival: New England Foundation for the Arts & Maine Arts Commission
  • John T. Gorman Foundation Provides Scholarship Support for Maine Students at Bates College
  • SmartGrant Grants Management System Coming to Bates College
  • Book Review: How the NIH Can Help You Get Funded

Bates Dance Festival Receives Grants from NEFA and MAC

This summer’s Bates Dance Festival received several grants from the New England Foundation for the Arts, totaling $24,325. These included a National Dance Project grant for $10,000, to support the participation of David Dorfman; a $9,000 New England Expeditions grant which brought in Camille A. Brown and Dancers; and New England States Touring grants for Prometheus Dance ($4,000) and Lida Winfield ($1,325). The Maine Arts Commission has also continued its support of the Dance Festival, with a grant of $9,668.


John T. Gorman Foundation Scholarships for Maine Students

The John T. Gorman Foundation has continued its yearly support of scholarships for Bates students from Maine with a grant of $10,000. Established in 1995 by a grandson of L.L. Bean and headquartered in Portland, the Foundation emphasizes programs that benefit the most disadvantaged people of the state of Maine. We thank the trustees and staff of the Foundation for their ongoing support of Bates’ efforts to make college education available and affordable to all qualified students.


SmartGrant: A More Efficient Way to Prepare and Manage Grants

Staff of the Office for External Grants and the Office of Accounting and Financial Reporting, with the assistance of representatives of the Dean of Faculty, Human Resources and Information and Library Services, have been working behind the scenes to configure SmartGrant, a comprehensive grants management system from ERA Software Systems. Our scheduled date to “go live” is November 17th. As of this writing, we are back-entering pending proposals and active grants into the system; training administrative staff and faculty with routing and approval responsibilities; and aligning grant budgets with the College’s Banner accounting system. Once complete, SmartGrant will enable faculty and OEG staff to expedite institutional approval processes on new grant proposals, generate comprehensive reports on our grants portfolio, and more easily compare their grant budgets to the fiscal data housed in Banner. If you receive a communication from either Joseph Tomaras of OEG or Julie Lindquist King of ERA-SS with SmartGrant in the header, please hang on to it for future reference.


Book Review: How the NIH Can Help You Get Funded: An Insider’s Guide to Grant Strategy

Michelle L. Kienholz and Jeremy M. Berg; Oxford University Press, 2014

Joseph Tomaras, Associate Director, Office for External Grants

This book lives up to its title: The authors have detailed knowledge of the differing institutional cultures and policies of the various institutes and centers that make up the National Institutes of Health. More importantly, since such information can shift due to changes in personnel, appropriation or Congressional authorization, they point the reader to online resources through which one can keep pace with developments relevant to one’s own research program. Some of these resources, such as lists of “cleared concepts” for special interest RFPs to be issued by each of the Institutes, were new to the author of this review.

Even so, the book format shows its limitations. While all information appears to have been updated through 2012, and some sections show signs of having been updated in 2013, there have already been significant changes in NIH policy since then. For example, the prohibition on more than 1 resubmission of declined proposals remains in place, but the NIH has significantly relaxed the content requirements for a proposal to be considered “new”. The book’s strategic advice on resubmissions reflects the older, more restrictive version of the policy. Faculty considering applying for NIH funding are advised to read the book soon, before it gets too far out of date, and to check with the Office for External Grants on significant policy changes.

Another limitation is an orientation toward those institutions—teaching hospitals, medical schools, and research-intensive universities—that comprise the bulk of the biomedical research enterprise, and thus on the R01 grant mechanism that forms the mainstay of their NIH funding. The R15 (Academic Research Enhancement Award or AREA grant) that is so important to researchers at Bates and comparable institutions is only mentioned once.

Despite these limitations, much of the book’s advice is reliable and transferable. A copy is available from Ladd Library. Thanks to science librarian Pete Schlax for ordering it!

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