New Resource to Help Researchers Secure Large Grants
By Sally Logue Post
The Office of the Vice President for Research has created a new resource to help faculty members win large research grants. The Research Development Team (RDT) is a three-person group working primarily with multi-disciplinary or multi-institutional teams applying for large awards.
The RDT, which has unofficially been known as the SOAR team, is made up of Reagan Hales, managing director; Heather Morris, associate managing director; and Anna Thomas Young, senior proposal development administrator.
“Many funding agencies are moving toward awarding large, multi-million dollar grants to teams of researchers from multiple institutions,” said Taylor Eighmy, vice president for research at Texas Tech. “The RDT was created to help find opportunities to partner with other institutions and then help shepherd the proposal through to completion.”
Complex grants can become an almost full-time job for researchers. The RDT also allows faculty to continue to focus on their work in the classroom.
“It is extremely challenging for a single researcher to do all of the administrative work involved in a complex, multi-institutional grant submission,” said Bob Smith, Texas Tech provost. “The RDT provides that valuable assistance so that the faculty members can still manage their other teaching, research and service demands.”
A key part of the team’s responsibility is forecasting what external funding opportunities are on the horizon and examining whether they fall within the university’s research themes and investment areas, then determining if there are researchers at Texas Tech who are interested and analyzing if there are other institutions or other external partners that would be a good fit with Texas Tech researchers.
“If we know what external funding agencies are interested in ahead of time, we can begin preparing long before the actual requests for proposals go out,” said Hales. “These large, multi-institutional proposals take a great deal of time and we can be most successful when we are proactive versus reactive.” For contact information for the Research Development Team, go to http://www.depts.ttu.edu/vpr/rdt/index.php