New posts aim to boost grant success
The U of S will create two new short-term positions Sept. 1 to improve the quantity, quality and success of grant applications to NSERC (the Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council) and SSHRC (the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council).
Vice-President Research Steven Franklin said this week the new staff will work with a full-time grants development officer. They will be full-time for the first year and likely part-time for two more years.
The new positions are funded through the federal program that which helps cover the indirect costs of federally-sponsored research.
“I am delighted to announce these new appointments which will help improve our research success in these critically important tri-council areas,” Franklin said.
Mathematics professor Chris Soteros is being appointed NSERC Research Co-ordinator, providing support for efforts aimed at intensifying the research activities for natural and applied sciences on campus. He is currently the NSERC representative at the U of S.
English professor Peter Stoicheff will become the SSHRC Research Co-ordinator, providing support for efforts to intensify research, scholarly and artistic activities within the SSHRC community. Stoicheff is currently the U of S SSHRC Transformation Officer.
The two will work to increase grant applications and proposal quality by providing guidance and support to principal investigators, including budget review and other aspects of proposal development. Mentorship programs, internal review processes, and grant preparation assistance are other potential initiatives.
Both will ensure that campus researchers and scholars are aware of funding programs and will provide feedback from researchers to the granting council on programs, regulations, and needs.
They will also encourage development of interdisciplinary groups, support development of collaborative grant applications, and help scholars take advantage of multi-partner and multi-agency funding opportunities.
The 2003-04 U of S success rate with SSHRC for standard grants was 29 per cent, while the national average was 43 per cent. The 2003-04 U of S success rate with NSERC for operating grants was 66 per cent, while the national average was 80 per cent.