The purpose of the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research (OSPR) is to help Governors State University (GSU) faculty and staff achieve success in their research and other grant-related endeavors.
Our newsletter helps keep faculty, students, and community partners informed of up-to-date news and information related to currently funded projects and the ongoing quest to secure grants and discover funding opportunities.
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The Illinois Department of Human Services maintains the Grants Alert System which reports on human services-related funding opportunities.
Despite the limited focus of the grant opportunities reported on the site, it does include a broad array of grant-related features such as:
- a grants list-serve;
- links to relevant federal, corporate, foundation, as well as state government funding opportunities; and
- grant-writing tips, publications, and resources.
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Institutional Review Board News
The IRB’s first meeting of the academic year was held on Oct. 5, 2010.
One new program to be developed this year is the more systematic approach to ensuring that GSU students involved in research obtain the appropriate training regarding the protection of human subjects through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI), an online training service to which GSU subscribes.
More information on this initiative will be forthcoming from the IRB Chair, Chip Coldren, Ph.D.
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Grant Resources and Tips for Grant Submission
The title and abstract of a proposed project are key to funding considerration, according to Dr. Harold Perl of NIDA and Dr. Michael Sesma of NIMH.
At the 2008 NIH Regional Seminar on Program Funding and Grants Administration, in their session on “Grant Writing for Success,” Drs. Perl and Sesma noted that the proposal’s title and the abstract are important because they:
- are probably the first things read, serving as the best opportunity to catch the interest of the reviewers, and
- help ensure that the application gets directed to the correct review group.
According to Drs. Perl and Sesma, the title should be clear and descriptive, capturing the essence of the project's goals and objectives. For example, in comparing the two project titles below, Dr. S. Joseph Levine of Michigan State University concludes the second title is superior because it communicates the essence of the project using fewer words.
- Title #1: The Systematic Development of a Local Initiative to Create a Learning Center for Community Education
- Title #2: A Local Learning Center for Community Education
Regarding the abstract, Drs. Perl and Sesma emphasized that the abstract should describe concisely the following aspects of the project.
- Significance—What is the problem/issue and why should we care?
- Hypotheses and Research Questions—What are the proposed project’s specific aims?
- Methods and Analyses—How are the aims/problems going to be investigated or solved?
According to Dr. Levine, the abstract should present a framework for the proposal, but should not present details that appear later in the proposal.
Finally, the abstract should be written after the details of the proposed project have been determined.
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Recently, GSU has submitted approximately 11 new or continuing grant applications. Principal Investigators, grant titles, and agency are summarized below.
Application for Matching or Supplemental Funds, Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation
- International Showcase
- Economics of Globalization
- Teacher Training Program
- School-Based Activity Grant
- Replication of Best Practices
- Distribution of Curriculum Materials, Council for Economic Education
- Early Childhood Block—Continuing 0-3
- Early Childhood Block—Continuing 3-5, Illinois Board of Higher Education
Teaching with Primary Sources, Library of Congress
International Trade Center, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
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Principal Investigator (PI) Profiles
Hilary Burkinshaw, Director of CenterPoint at GSU, responded to questions about her success in securing the funding for this tremendous resource to GSU and surrounding business communities.
Q: Currently CenterPoint is funded by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and the U.S. Small Business Administration. Has Centerpoint always been funded in part by outside agencies? How and when was the funding from these two agencies originally secured?
A: The Illinois Small Business Development Center, the central organization in CenterPoint, has always been funded in part by outside agencies. To appreciate the reason for this, it may help to know some background.
Small Business Development Centers originated from the 1977 Small Business Development Center Act, which was created to “make grants to support the development and operation of small business development centers in order to provide small business with management development, technical information, product planning and development, and domestic and international market development, and for other purposes.”
The plan envisioned universities combining with government resources to bring the strength and knowledge of the university as a whole to support the growth and development of the economically important small business community. The Act did not become law until 1980. At the time of the legislation there were only 11 state universities participating in the pilot program.
As the pilot program proved to be successful, it was extended across the country, with Illinois joining the program in 1984 and Governors State University being one of the original Illinois centers. The National Network, of which the GSU center is a part, has centers in all 50 states, plus Guam and American Samoa.
The network, in the words of our national association, the Association of Small Business Development Centers, (ASBDC), “provides the nation’s small business community with high quality and innovative management and technical assistance programs. Program offerings are constantly evolving to meet the changing needs of a dynamic small business economy.
Through directed learning and one-on-one counseling, the Network is able to also address unique needs of individual businesses. The Network, with the support of its partners, remains the nation’s premier program providing management assistance and education to America’s entrepreneurs.”
In Illinois the state network has always been funded through the state’s lead economic development agency, which is now called the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Consequently, our funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration has always come to the university through IDCEO as the funding body.
The Illinois Small Business Development Center at GSU has been a part of the University for 26 years. Over the years, we have also hosted an Entrepreneurship Center, a Procurement Technical Assistance Center, and in this round of funding, we were awarded additional funds for an International Trade Center.
These changes have reflected the various directions that the federal and state governments have seen as critical to the needs of the small business service market. The results of the work of CenterPoint since 2000 are reflected in the GSU dashboard measures.
(Quotations taken from the ASBDC website on November 18, 2010.)
Q: What is your secret to maintaining what seems to be a long-term funding commitment?
A: I am not sure that there is a huge secret to maintaining a long-term funding commitment. If there is a secret, it is to deliver on what was promised.
At CenterPoint, we constantly meet and frequently exceed the requirements of the funding agency, Illinois DCEO. The proof of that is in the dashboard measures I referred to earlier.ore importantly, I think, is to deliver a first-rate service to the people you serve, in our case the small business owners, and those who want to become small business owners in our region. You can meet all the metrics in the world, but if one does not meet and exceed the needs of clients, then you are not going to maintain funding.
To ensure that we meet the needs of our clients, we monitor all aspects of what we do and adjust and amend our services and programs based on the feedback we receive from our clients.
We participate in community associations, such as economic development agencies, chambers of commerce and trade associations, to maintain presence and currency in the market place; we are actively involved in the state’s main trade association, the Illinois Entrepreneurship and Small Business Growth Association.
I also am fortunate to have highly competent team members in the CenterPoint office who are committed to providing great service, are creative in their development of new programs and ways of delivering services and ongoing professional development.
With all these things in place, we are confident that we are always able to deliver both the goals that are set by the funding body, in our case DCEO, and the demands of our clients.
Q: How long have you been the Director of CenterPoint? How would you like to see CenterPoint change or grow?
A: I have been the Director of CenterPoint since 1998. I would like to see CenterPoint get more involved in a range of activities across the university. We are a service that is available to students, and we see many in our offices, either while they are still studying, or a few years post education when they are considering branching out into their own business.
Statistics indicate that only a small percentage of small business owners come from the business colleges; most come from a wide range of alternate backgrounds such as the health professions — speech pathologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, etc., and the arts — writers, musicians and artists.
With that in mind, I would like the services at CenterPoint to be seen as a service to the university community as a whole. We are able to offer practical experiences for students through guided consultation projects with our clients, speaking to student groups about the basics of business ownership, or supporting faculty research, perhaps.
I would also like to see us expand the range of seminars and courses that we offer to the community, both on campus and on line. Finally, I would love to find ways of diversifying our funding base.
You can find more information about CenterPoint at the Center’s website or contact Hilary at firstname.lastname@example.org. We thank her for her input!
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The Health Care Jobs for Chicago Southland Project welcomed a new data manager, John Bollweg, in September.
Formerly the Director of Analytics and Technology with CI Profiling, Inc., John comes to the project with significant experience in data management, analysis, and evaluation, and has worked in a variety of corporate and academic settings.
On the Health Care Jobs for Chicago Southland project, John's role is to build and maintain a database that integrates the information provided by project partners systematically, efficiently, and cleanly; and ensures the timely and comprehensive reporting required by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration, the project’s funding agency.
John is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Medieval History at Western Michigan University.
Andrew Steil formally joined the Center for the Care and Study of Vulnerable Populations as a research assistant in October after serving as a summer intern.
Andrew obtained his bachelor’s degree in May of 2010 from Indiana University in Bloomington. Andrew will assist in the Center’s support of GSU faculty research projects and management of various grant- related activities.
Angela Davis and Gowri Shankar Gunaganti, two graduate assistants based at Hantack House, were inducted November 12 into the National Scholastic Honor Society for the Allied Health Professions, the Alpha Eta Society.
Angie and Gowri are both graduate students in Health Administration and are supported by the College’s Building Capacity in Health Disparities Research grant funded by the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities.
On October 22, the College of Health and Human Services held a conference titled, Eliminating Health Inequity: From Research to Practice.
The objectives of this conference were to:
- highlight the health inequities found in the region;
- present information about how some community programs are addressing these inequities;
- highlight the kind of health inequity research GSU is conducting; and
- build partnerships with the community.
Over 150 individuals from the university and the community attended the day-long conference. For those of you who missed the conference, presentations are available on CHHS’s website.
Thanks are due to the many faculty, staff, and community groups who contributed to the successful planning and implementation of the conference.
And special thanks to the student volunteers from Health Administration Professor Jennifer Groebner’s Introduction to Health Care Management Strategies class who warmly welcomed, efficiently registered, and expertly directed conference attendees to the appropriate venues!
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- Linda F. Samson, Interim Vice-Provost of Research and Graduate Studies: 708.534.4389, email@example.com
- James R. “Chip” Coldren, Jr., Ph.D., Associate Professor, Academic Program Coordinator for the Criminal Justice Program, Co-Director of the Center for Law Enforcement Technology Collaboration, IRB Chair, 708.534.4390, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Penny L. Havlicek, Director of Administration and Operations Center for the Care and Study of Vulnerable Populations: 708.235.3982, email@example.com
- Becky Nugent, Writing Center Coordinator and Co-Chair of IRB: 708.235.2105, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Andrew Steil, Research Assistant, 708.235.7432, email@example.com
On the Web at:
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