Grant News

Check out these recent articles about grant-funded research and initiatives at Bates from the Bates Communications team!


February-March 2018

In this issue:

  • Continued Support for the Bates Dance Festival from the National Endowment for the Arts
  • Dance Program Receives $20K from Charles M & Helen M Brown Memorial Foundation
  • Why Having an ORCID iD Matters
  • Slacking with Sponsored Programs: New Ways to Communicate about Grants
  • Update on Federal Budget

Continued Support for the Bates Dance Festival from the National Endowment for the Arts

On February 7th, the National Endowment for the Arts announced this year’s recipients of ArtWorks and Challenge America grants. Included in the list once again was the Bates Dance Festival, which this year will for the first time be under the direction of new Festival Director Shoshona Currier. While the Festival includes several educational and community building programs, NEA support of $40,000 will go specifically toward its public performances, including Erica Mott Productions’ “Mycelial: Street Parliament,” “The Lectern” by Sara Juli and Claire Porter, and “portrait of myself as my father” by Company Nora Chipaumire. Congratulations to Shoni on bringing these path-breaking performances to Lewiston this coming summer!

Dance Program Receives $20K from Charles M & Helen M Brown Memorial Foundation

In more good news for Dance at Bates, we are pleased to note that our academic dance program (part of the Department of Theater and Dance) has received a gift of $20,000 from the Charles M and Helen M Brown Memorial Foundation. We thank the foundation for their generous support of our students and faculty, and the staff of the Office of College Advancement who made it possible.

Why Having an ORCID iD Matters

by Theresa Bishop, Assistant Director, Sponsored Programs and Research Compliance

Since its inception in 2010, ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor iD) has provided more than 4 million authors of research and scholarly work with a single unique identifier (ORCID iD) and with an online platform that connects their professional activities to others in their community. This simple to use registry makes it easy for:

  1. Finding Authors – Authors have enhanced visibility in their communities when registering with ORCID as the iD ensures all of their work can easily be distinguished and identified. A simple search through the ORCID system eliminates the issues faced when searching for authors with common names, or who have had changes in last name or changes in job positions. The iD stays with the author throughout their lifetime of activities.
  1. Applying for Grants – More funders are starting to use ORCID iDs as part of the proposal submission process to streamline pre-award and post-award workflow processes. The National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Health, through the National Center for Biotechnology Information, are linking their systems to ORCID to easily collect publication, collaboration, and affiliation information.
  1. Editors and Publishers – Standard publication forms can be easily auto-populated using ORCID and the iD can be added to manuscripts. Once a manuscript is published with an ORCID iD, others can use the iD to look up other published works and activities of the author.
  1. Syncing with Other Systems – ORCID iDs are compatible with many online systems like Scopus, ResearcherID, LinkedIn, and PubMed and have allowed authors to connect and, in some cases, sync their information between systems.

Registration is easy and free – it takes less than a minute to have an ORCID iD. To register or to learn more about the ORCID platform, you can visit

Slacking with Sponsored Programs: New Ways to Communicate about Grants

In response to (limited) popular demand, Sponsored Programs is running a trial “workspace” in Slack, an app that enables quick communication among shared, user-defined working groups. Some pre-emptive answers to questions:

Does this mean I have to download and learn yet another app?

Absolutely NOT. Use of Slack to communicate with Sponsored Programs is strictly optional. Once we found out from Andrew Kennedy that Slack is “the best way to contact [him],” we wanted to see if having this available as another option for communication works for some subset of Bates faculty and staff. You are still welcome to e-mail, pick up the phone, swing by Coram, or buttonhole us in the Den.

Can I use Slack for things other than grants?

Yes. Andrew uses it to communicate with the students and technician in his research group, and with collaborators at other institutions. You may find that it can be adapted for classes, for departmental use, or for governance committees.

Can I keep record of the communications?

Yes, within limits (the free version of Slack limits the number of messages that can be archived). For communications that need to leave a paper trail, e-mail is a better option. For example, Sponsored Programs will continue to use e-mail and the Bates College website for important policy announcements.

How do I sign up?

Go to For now, you need to use your e-mail address to sign-up. If you are already on Slack using another e-mail address, or if you would like to enable an external collaborator to join in a group discussion, please let Joseph Tomaras know.

Also, on Raj Saha’s recommendation, Joseph is trying a pilot use of “Calendly,” an app for scheduling meetings, to cut down on back-and-forth e-mails. Requesting a meeting does not require that you download the app; just follow this link and give it a try.

Federal Budget Update

by Joseph Tomaras, Director of Sponsored Programs and Research Compliance

You may have noticed that the frequency of new grant announcements has declined a bit since October of last year. Bates faculty continue to write and submit strong, competitive proposals. However, ongoing uncertainty regarding the Federal budget for this fiscal year has slowed the pace at which Federal agencies, and entities that do business with the Federal government, can authorize new grants. We know of more than one Bates faculty member who has been informally assured by program officials of intent to fund their projects in the future, but with formal notification remaining held up, there is only so much we can say.

Here is what we can say: On February 9th, following a brief hiatus of funding, the House and Senate passed yet another “Continuing Resolution,” which keeps the government open at funding levels corresponding to those of the previous fiscal year, through March 23rd. In addition, that deal specified overall levels of discretionary funding for both military and non-military purposes for the current fiscal year and the next one, overriding previously-set levels in budget sequestration bills by increasing both types of funding by roughly 10%. (The macroeconomic implications of pairing such funding increases with the recently passed tax cuts are beyond the scope of this essay.) What both houses of Congress still need to do—and get the President to sign—is to fill in the details of how this money will be spent, by allocating budgets to the various Federal agencies, both for the remainder of this fiscal year (March – September 2018) and the next fiscal year (October 1, 2018 – September 30, 2019).

All indications are that for the remainder of this fiscal year, this will be done through an “omnibus” appropriations bill, that is, a single bill covering all agencies. While agencies can proceed with a bit less caution than before, based on the fact that they no longer have the threat of immediate closure hanging over their heads (see the announcement above from NEA, regarding ArtWorks grants, for an example), anything that requires detailed specifications of Congressional appropriations to act may still be held up. And what exactly happens if the March 23rd deadline passes without passage of the omnibus bill is difficult to project—Congress is not exactly proceeding according to the “regular order” that we may have learned about in high school civics classes.

In the meantime, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), acting on behalf of the Trump administration as a whole, has issued its “budget request” for the next fiscal year. As in the similar document from last year, there are a number of proposed cuts or eliminations that, if they passed Congress without modification, would adversely impact research and other Federally-funded activities at Bates. It is worth noting, though, that before the start of the present fiscal year, the Appropriations Committees of both Houses had issued reports (draft bills for this fiscal year) that encapsulated different sets of priorities than those expressed by OMB. Those reports will likely form part of the basis for this year’s omnibus bill, and may factor into the legislative process for next fiscal year. Individuals may wish to reach out to members of the Maine congressional delegation to express their views on the OMB budget request—it is particularly worth noting that Sen. Collins serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee—but at least inasmuch as the budget impacts the College, it may be premature to sound alarm bells.

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