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Proposals increase 15.8 percent

Through the Office of Sponsored Programs, Murray State’s faculty and staff have applied for 15.8 percent more grant proposals and contract submissions than were applied for in fiscal year 2011.

During the fiscal year which runs from July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011, there were 139 grant proposals and contracts submitted, totaling almost $14.9 million in requested funding. In the fiscal year which ran from July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012, 161 grant proposals and contracts were submitted. The 161 submissions were submitted to request almost $33.9 million, an increase of more than 128 percent from the previous fiscal year.

While $33.9 million worth of grants and contracts were applied for, there is no defined amount the University is guaranteed to receive.

John Roark, director of Sponsored Programs, said the office was a tool for the faculty and staff to more easily navigate the channels, which would result in grant proposals and contract submissions.

“If you never buy a lottery ticket, you are not going to win,” he said. “The same thing applies for proposals. If you don’t apply, you wont be awarded.”

He said the University, not the faculty or staff member, submits the proposals.

“We take no ownership of the awarded grant or contract,” he said. “It belongs to the University and faculty or staff member who came up with the idea. We are merely a guide for people; we help them with the complex process.”

Kristi Stockdale, grants manager of Sponsored Programs, said it was the faculty and staff members who had to come up with the original proposal idea. She said from that point, the office could help up until final submission.

“The whole process, if they come to us with the idea, can take up to two or three months,” she said. “Our unofficial tagline is ‘Full Service for You.’”

She said approximately 25 percent of the faculty and staff have taken advantage of the office’s resources.

While faculty and staff make up the larger portion of those served by the office, Stockdale said the office provided the same services to administrators and students.

In March of 2012, the National Science Foundation awarded Scot Peterson, a graduate student within the College of Science, Engineering and Technology, a fellowship that provides him with three years of financial support, including salary and tuition expenses.

Peterson’s proposal was focused on researching the biodiversity of western streams in an effort to allow land managers to more easily restore streams and surrounding watershed.

Stockdale said Peterson’s award and the BioMaPS (Biology and Mathematics Population Studies) program were two of the office’s student success stories.

Story by Chris Wilcox, Chief Copy Editor.