The University Of Kentucky Receives Grant To Assist Historically Minority Institutions With Grant Writing

September 01, 1998

LEXINGTON, KY. (Sept. 1, 1998) -- The University of Kentucky has been selected as the national leader to assist predominantly minority institutions in improving their competitiveness in writing training and research grant proposals.

The National Institute of General Medical Sciences, an agency of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded UK a five-year, $961,582 grant to establish interactive learning modules on the Internet for writing grant proposals.

The program will target institutions with traditionally underrepresented populations and institutions that have not been successful in grant writing and receiving basic research grants in the past.

"This is an excellent outreach opportunity for the University in its resolve to help minority institutions," said Donald Frazier, Ph.D., principal investigator for the grant and professor of physiology in the UK College of Medicine.

The program will include three phases with development activities, testing and evaluation of the Internet course modules slated for the first year of the project. A national advisory committee representing predominantly minority institutions will be set up by spring 1999.

Phases two and three of the project entail recruiting participants and mentors, implementing of an introductory conference and starting the Internet course.

The interactive Internet learning modules will be based on successful workshops conducted annually at UK since 1980. Frazier and the staff of UK Sponsored Program Development have worked cooperatively over the past 18 years in development of the workshops, which have been held for Kentucky school teachers, staff and board members for civic organizations, and UK faculty.

Staff at the UK Faculty Academic Computing and Technology Support Center at Media Design and Production will convert the modules to a web-based, CD-ROM hypermedia format.

Eighty participants will be targeted for each year of the program. They first will attend an introductory conference at UK, where they will take classes on grant writing and the peer review process, computer hardware and software, and get an overview of the 10-week internet course modules.

"The introductory conference also will be a very valuable personal networking time for participants," Frazier said. "The conference will give them the opportunity to meet with their colleagues with whom they will be interacting during the Internet course."

Participants will have mentors from their specific research areas. Mentors will be recruited from more than 200 UK faculty members who have completed the model workshop and from the Society of Research Administrators and the National Sponsored Programs Administrators Alliance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Inc.

During the first year of the grant, the Internet course modules will be tested and evaluated at two sites, the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico and Virginia State University (VSU) in Petersburg, Va. UPR has a 99 percent Hispanic enrollment and VSU is a historically black university. The two sites have agreed to recruit faculty members from their institutions to participate in the testing and provide feedback for evaluation and improvement.

"We have faculty with the ability and reputation to compete for major research contracts, which reflects their expertise in grant writing," said Delwood Collins, Ph.D., vice chancellor of research and graduate studies, UK College of Medicine. "The training program being developed at UK should enhance the research capabilities of the participating historically minority institutions."

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