First In the World MSI Call Monday, April 27th at 3:00PM!!!

This year, Congress has appropriated $60 million to the Department of Education (ED) for the First in the World (FITW) grant competition, with a $16 million set-aside for Minority-Serving Institutions (MSI’s).  Although priorities for the FY2015 competition have not yet been announced, ED is providing general information about FITW to help institutions begin preparing

On Monday, April 27th , from 3:00-4:00pm Eastern Time, the White House Initiative for Historically Black Colleges and Universities will host “Office Hours” for Minority Serving Institutions.  Dr. Ivory Toldson, Deputy Director for the Initiative, will open up the call and turn it over to Frank Frankfort and Gary Thomas of the Office of Postsecondary Education to discuss First in the World and take questions.

To participate, please dial in at:

Dial In: 800-369-1818

Participant passcode: 5411524

The purpose of the FITW grant competition is to incentivize institutions of higher education and partnering nonprofit organizations to collaborate and help spur the development of innovative approaches and strategies that will improve educational access and outcomes. To help grow the evidence base of effective educational practices, FITW is structured as an evidence-based grant competition that offers up to three tiers of grants – development, validation, and scale up.  Each tier requires a specific level of evidence underlying the proposed approach, and rigorous evaluation of each funded intervention.

ED expects to announce priorities for this competition in May; proposed priorities for the overall program were open for public comment in February-March.

The First in the World competition is run out of the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) office, at ED’s Office of Postsecondary Education.

To learn more about the Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE) and its grant programs, please visit OPES’s website or follow us on Twitter at: @EDPostsecondary.

A RSVP is required for this call. You may RSVP by sending and email to: WHIRSVPs@ed.gov

PHMSA Offering $2 Million in University Research Grants for Pipeline Safety Solutions

PHMSA 01-15

Friday, April 10, 2015

Contact:  Patricia Klinger

Tel.:  (202) 366-4831

 

PHMSA Offering $2 Million in University Research Grants for Pipeline Safety Solutions

Grants Support Agency’s Recruitment Efforts

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) today announced that it is offering $2 million in grants for students and faculty at nonprofit institutions of higher education to research pipeline safety solutions – more than twice the amount awarded last year.  In addition to funding potential transportation solutions, PHMSA offers the grants to expose new engineers and scientists to the technical side of the energy transportation sector, supporting the agency’s recruitment efforts.

“The time is now to start investing in long-term safety innovations and retain a highly skilled, federal workforce,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.  “These grants will encourage students to use innovation and explore new ways to envision pipeline safety solutions for our transportation problems.”

The agency is hiring more than 100 new employees this year, most of whom will serve as pipeline safety inspectors.  The Competitive Academic Agreement Program (CAAP) supports the agency’s oversight of the nation’s exponentially growing energy production and transportation, and helps address the need for new technically trained federal employees.

Launched in 2013, the CAAP has grown based on previous student accomplishments and university interest.  To date, PHMSA has awarded more than $1.5 million to nearly 80 students’ multi-year research projects.  This year’s applicants may receive up to $300,000 for their proposed studies.  The awards are partially matched by non-federal funding.

A third of the federal workforce will be eligible to retire by 2017, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

“We’re not simply offering grants through the Competitive Academic Agreement Program; we’re demonstrating to engineering and technical students that their disciplines are in demand in the energy pipeline sector,” said PHMSA Acting Administrator Timothy Butters.  “PHMSA provides safety oversight for the country’s 2.6-million-mile pipeline network, and we need out-of-the-box thinkers.”

At least 48 hours prior to submitting proposals, applicants should register on PHMSA’s Research & Development website.  Official grant applications are due via Grants.gov on Monday, May 18, 2015. Applicants without a Grants.gov login access should request registration at least two weeks ahead of the grant deadline.

In consultation with other federal and state officials as well as other stakeholders, PHMSA is specifically seeking projects that address technical gaps in the following areas:

  • Preventing and Mitigating Pipeline Corrosion – What innovative new solutions can be proposed in chemical treatments or materials to prevent or manage on-shore hazardous liquid and/ or natural gas pipeline corrosion?
  • Developing Locatable Plastic Pipelines – Excavation damage to buried pipelines can be prevented when professionals detect and mark buried utility lines; however, many plastic pipes can go undetected with current above-ground technology.  Are there effective ways to add or insert electro/mechanical/metallic material to plastic pipes to make it locatable above-ground?  How would you innovate above-ground technology to detect plastic pipes?
  • Developing Inspection Tools to Quantify Pipe Strength and Toughness – How would you develop tools to accurately quantify pipeline strength and toughness which would allow pipeline operators to better understand and manage risks?

Proposals are evaluated on their scientific merit and quality as well as the feasibility of their management plans, work tasks, budgets and schedules.  In the long run, PHMSA intends to adopt the most promising findings into its core research program for further investigation.  For more information, potential applicants should read the full grant solicitation on Grants.gov.  Users can find the solicitation and announcement by searching with CFDA number 20.724 or Funding Opportunity Number DTPH5615SN0003.

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The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration develops and enforces regulations for the safe, reliable, and environmentally sound operation of the nation’s 2.6 million mile pipeline transportation system and the nearly 1 million daily shipments of hazardous materials by land, sea, and air.  Please visit http://phmsa.dot.gov for more information.

 

How HBCUs Can Get Federal Sponsorship from the United States Department of Justice

By: Ivory A. Toldson & Amanda Washington

Over more than 150 years, HBCUs have provided students with the tools to meet the challenges of a changing world.  These institutions are hubs of opportunity that lift up Americans and instill in their students a sense of who they are and what they can become.  Their campuses are engines of economic growth and community service and proven ladders of intergenerational advancement. – President Barack Obama, 2014 Proclamation

Highlights

  • Office of Justice Programs (OJP) typically makes more than 3,500 grant awards to criminal and juvenile justice organizations and victim service providers at the national, state, local, and tribal level, totaling more than $2 billion.
  • The FY 2016 Federal budget requests $154 million in additional funding for DOJ grant programs (Office of Justice Programs, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, and Office on Violence Against Women), for a total grant program request of $2.7 billion.
  • In 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice awarded $40,019,662 to Institutions of Higher Education with $822,596 of the grant funding specifically awarded to HBCUs.
  • In 2014, eleven HBCUs applied to receive grant funding through Office of Justice Programs.
  • In 2014, less than 10 percent of HBCUs applied for any funding from the DOJ and less than 3 percent received funding.

Introduction

Recent high profile interactions between the Black community and law enforcement officials underscore the need for criminal justice research, programs and advocacy at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) awards over $40 million to institutes of higher education, but HBCUs receive only a small percentage of this revenue. The reasons for HBCUs receiving less money are complex. Many contend that HBCUs are smaller institutions with less university personnel to deliver high quality proposals, while others identify systemic biases that may influence raters’ judgments of HBCU’s proposals.

Despite the challenges, some HBCUs have produced successful proposals to the DOJ. As an assistant professor at Southern University A & M in Baton Rouge, Dr. Ivory A. Toldson, the co-author of this article, received a grant from DOJ to study police misconduct. More recently, Howard University, Lincoln University and Elizabeth City State University received grants to address sexual violence. The purpose of this article is to provide information relevant to HBCUs who are interested in securing federal sponsorship for their research and programs through the DOJ.

This series is designed to expand Federal support of HBCU research, programs, and outreach through competitive grants and contracts. HBCUs receive approximately $287 million per year for research and development from 32 federal agencies. However, this is only a fraction of the more than $25 billion awarded to all institutions of higher education. The White House Initiative on HBCUs (WHIHBCUs) believes that increasing revenues to HBCUs from federal grants and contracts is vital to the long term sustainability of our institutions. By developing innovative proposals, working with HBCU liaisons at federal agencies and taking advantage of federal funding opportunities, HBCUs can increase the resources necessary to initiate and sustain vital programs.

The U.S. Department of Justice Overview

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) provides innovative leadership to federal, state, local, and tribal justice systems, by disseminating state-of-the art knowledge and practices across America, and providing grants for the implementation of these crime fighting strategies.  For FY 2016, President Obama requested $28.7 billion for the DOJ; an increase of approximately $2.5 billion over the previous year. The DOJ’s FY 2016 request includes 118,001 positions including 26,274 Agents, 12,519 Attorneys, 20,921 Correctional Officers, and 4,613 Intelligence Analysts. The FY 2016 budget also request $154 million in additional funding for DOJ grant programs (Office of Justice Programs, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, and Office on Violence Against Women), for a total grant program request of $2.7 billion.

Specifically, FY 2016 request:

  • For OJP totals $2.7 billion, including $1.6 billion for discretionary grant programs and $1.1 billion for mandatory grant programs. It includes $427.1 million in discretionary enhancements, including increased funding for an indigent defense initiative, Second Chance Prisoner Reentry, Justice Reinvestment, and juvenile justice programs.
  • For Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) totals $303.5 million. The COPS request includes $249.5 million for the COPS Hiring Program, with $5.0 million targeted towards increasing diversity in law enforcement, and $35.0 million for Tribal Law Enforcement.
  • For the Office of Violence Against Women (OVW) totals $473.5 million. OVW’s budget includes a total of $50 million in enhancements. Protecting students from sexual assault is a top priority for this Administration, and the Budget includes a $14 million increase to the Campus Violence Program to better meet the need on college campuses.

White House Initiative on HBCUs’ Liaison to the U.S. Department of Justice

As the liaison between the White House Initiative on HBCUs (WHIHBCUs) and OJP, Kevin Jenkins (kevin.jenkins@usdoj.gov) works with the WHIHBCUs to organize efforts to strengthen the capacity of HBCUs through increased participation in appropriate Federal programs and initiatives.

Specifically, Mr. Jenkins helps the WHIHBCUs to:

  1. Establish how the department or agency intends to increase the capacity of HBCUs to compete effectively for grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements and to encourage HBCUs to participate in Federal programs;
  2. Identify Federal programs and initiatives in which HBCUs may be either underserved or underused as national resources, and improve HBCUs’ participation therein; and
  3. Encourage public-sector, private-sector, and community involvement in improving the overall capacity of HBCUs.

Kevin Jenkins serves as the Intergovernmental Affairs Specialist at the Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs. He has been with the Department since March 2008 and has spent his entire professional career in public service working for non-profit organizations, as well as local, state, and federal government agencies, focusing on issues such as mental health, homelessness, transportation, community planning, and advocating for developmentally disabled persons in the criminal justice system.

What opportunities are there for HBCUs to compete for grants/contracts through the agency?

In fiscal year 2011, OJP made more than 3,500 grant awards to criminal and juvenile justice organizations and victim service providers at the national, state, local, and tribal level. These awards include a total of more than $2 billion to support public safety and justice initiatives in every part of the United States[i]. This federal agency offers several grant opportunities for Institutions of Higher Education to implement and strengthen innovative programs. In 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice awarded $40,019,662 to Institutions of Higher Education with $822,596 of the grant funding specifically awarded to HBCUs.

Several bureaus and offices within the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs provide funding and award opportunities to Institutions of Higher Education. In the year 2014, ten HBCUs applied to receive grant funding through the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking (SMART).

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) provides the most amount of money to higher education and provides significant funding and award opportunities to HBCUs. The NIJ funds physical and social science research, development and evaluation projects about criminal justice through competitive solicitations. The focus of the solicitations varies from year to year based on research priorities and available funding[ii]. In 2014, Texas Southern University, Claflin University, Alabama State University, Bowie State University, Howard University and Clark Atlanta University applied for grants within the NIJ.

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) also provides discretionary funding to organizations to implement various programs including strategic enhancement to mentoring, community initiatives to increase child safety, and programs that discourage youth gang membership. In 2014, Clark Atlanta University, Hampton University, Florida Memorial University, Alabama State University, and Dillard University applied for grants within the OJJDP.

The Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking (SMART) provide jurisdictions with guidance regarding the implementation of the Adam Walsh Act, and provide technical assistance to the states, territories, Indian tribes, local governments, and to public and private organizations. The SMART Office also tracks important legislative and legal developments related to sex offenders and administers grant programs related to the registration, notification, and management of sex offenders. In 2014, Johnson C. Smith University applied for a grant with SMART.

In recent years, how successful have HBCUs been in obtaining grants/contracts from DOJ?

According to Mr. Jenkins, many HBCUs have expressed that they are unaware of the resources at the U.S. Department of Justice, and only a small percentage of HBCUs have applied for funding. Recently, Howard University, Lincoln University and Elizabeth City State University received grants to address sexual violence, with total awards ranging from $300,000 to $35,000 through the Office on Violence Against Women.

What advice does DOJ give to HBCUs in order to be more competitive in obtaining grants and contracts?

  1. Get involved. OJP is always seeking qualified individuals to join the pool of subject matter experts they call upon to review the strengths and weaknesses of applications for grant funding. More HBCU scholars should join the pool. If you are interested, start the enrollment process by e-mailing ojppeerreview@lmbps.com.
  2. Make connections. Contact the program officer in charge of a request for proposals before starting the application. Find out about administration priorities and application imperatives. If you have difficulties identifying the program officer, contact the HBCU liaison or Ivory A. Toldson (toldson@ed.gov), the Deputy Director of WHIHBCUs.
  3. Start early. Institutions should apply for grant funding early while also striving for the proposal to be collaborative, evidence-based, measured, and comprehensive. Build in an initial rejection and revision into the expected time between starting the application and getting funded.
  4. Collaborate. The U.S. Department of Justice urges Institutions of Higher Education to apply for grants as the primary fiscal agent while also identifying partnerships with local and national agencies, regional organizations and a variety of relevant affiliates.
  5. Ground your proposal in research. In addition, successful grant proposals provide in-depth scholarly work and consist of concrete action plans.
  6. If at first you don’t succeed, try again. If your institution is denied grant funding, it is important to follow up with the Office of Justice Programs to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the proposal. The agency suggests that denied applicants utilize this feedback to revise grant proposals and reapply in the next application season.

Conclusions

The process of obtaining a grant from the Federal Government can be daunting, but there’s only one way to guarantee that a proposal will not be funding – not to apply. Currently, the DOJ funds HBCUs at a level that is less than the average for all Federal agencies. However, this is partially attributed to the low numbers of HBCUs, which have applied. Nationally, 6 HBCUs have law schools, most have criminal justice programs and all offer classes that are relevant to law and justice. In addition, HBCUs have students and faculty members should take leadership in shaping justice-relevant research, policy and practice. In partnership, government officials and HBCUs can expand support to HBCUs through the DOJ.

Specially, the WHIHBCUs should regularly produce reports such as this, which has information regarding the agency’s HBCU liaison, background facts, funding trends, existing HBCU relationships, and agency emphasis. The WHIHBCUs should also work with Federal partners to provide technical assistance to HBCUs who are interested in applying for funding.

HBCUs should work with the President’s Board of Directors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the WHIHBCUs to identify institutional strengths and establish partnerships with federal agencies. HBCUs should also build their institutional capacity to produce competitive grants. Members of Congress can help HBCUs to network with key personnel at federal agencies. Members can also help HBCUs connect with corporate and philanthropic partners to strength collaborative efforts.

Links/Resources to Opportunities

[i] http://ojp.gov/grants101/index.htm

[ii] http://ojp.gov/partnerships/partnerships.htm

 

Ivory A. Toldson, Ph.D., was appointed by President Barack Obama to be the deputy director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. He is currently on leave from his position as associate professor at Howard University.

Amanda Washington is an M.A. degree student in Education Policy at the EPSA department at Teacher College Columbia University. She graduated from Spelman College.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Released Funding Opportunities

HHS office of Minority Heatlh has released a newletter with funding and grant opportunities for Minority Serving Institutions. Visit the link below to find more information on future solicitations that might be of interest to HBCUs.

 HHS Funding and Grant  Opportunities

FOR MORE INFORMATON ABOUT THE OFFICE OF MINORITY HEALTH VISIT

www.minorityhealth.hhs.gov

 

Social Security Admistration Grant and Fellowship Programs for 2015!

The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College announces the 2015 Sandell Grant Program and 2015 Dissertation Fellowship Program for research on retirement income and policy. These programs are funded by the U.S. Social Security Administration.

2015 Steven H. Sandell Grant Program

  • Provides the opportunity for junior scholars entering a new field to pursue projects on retirement income and policy. The program is open to scholars in all academic disciplines.
  • Awards up to three grants of $45,000 for one-year projects.
  • The submission deadline for grant proposals is January 31, 2015. Grant award recipients will be announced by April 2015.
  • Visit the Sandell Program website to view the proposal guidelines.

2015 Dissertation Fellowship Program

  • Supports doctoral candidates writing dissertations on retirement income and policy. The program is open to scholars in all academic disciplines.
  • Awards up to three fellowships of $28,000.
  • The submission deadline for proposals is January 31, 2015. Grant award recipients will be announced by April 2015.
  • Visit the Dissertation Fellowship website to view the proposal guidelines.

For questions, please contact: Marina Tsiknis, tsiknis@bc.edu.617-552-1092

Center for Retirement Research at Boston College 258 Hammond Street, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467 (617) 552-1762 • fax: (617) 552-0191 • crr.bc.edu

Disability Determination Process (DDP) Small Grant Program

This program provides $10,000 grants to graduate-level students to conduct supervised independent research on improving the efficiency and reducing the complexity of the Social Security Administration disabilitiy determination processes.

Program Information

Eligibility

Applicants must be masters, doctoral, or post-doctoral-level graduate students pursuing full-time studies in accredited programs at the time of the award (Fall semester of 2015) with an academic emphasis in topics of interest to disability programs.

Stipend Details

Up to 25 students will receive a stipend of $10,000 for a one-year project. The stipend may be added to other financial support the graduate student receives from his or her university/research organization.

Application Deadline:  March 2, 2015

Apply Today!

Visit: http://ddp.policyresearchinc.org for more details or E-mail  DDP@PolicyResearchInc.org.

 

Graduate Student Grant Participation Opportunity with the Social Security Administration (SSA)

SSA is excited again to offer graduate students the opportunity to participate in one of our small grant programs in the Fall of 2015!   Selected participants for the Disability Determination Process Small Grant Program receive a $10,000 stipend for a one year project to research enhancements to SSA’s Disability Determination processes.  Please refer to the SSA website link below or the attached flyer for further details on the grant opportunity.

While the  grant opportunities are available to all graduate students pursuing full-time studies in accredited programs as of Fall semester of 2015. We hope for strong participation from the MSI community.  Please note that the application deadline is March 2, 2015.

Disability Determination Process Small Grant Program participation opportunity: 

http://mwww.ba.ssa.gov/disabilityresearch/research.htm#DDP    After opening this link, please select the link on the words, “PRI website” for the Program Description and How to Apply information.

You may contact Thomas Rush (Tom.Rush@ssa.gov), Laura King (Laura.King@ssa.gov),  if you have any questions.

 

Xavier receives $19.6 million NIH award to enhance diversity in the biomedical workforce

Xavier receives $19.6 million NIH award to enhance diversity in the biomedical workforce

NEW ORLEANS (October 22, 2014) – This afternoon Xavier University of Louisiana received a $19.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as part of the national Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) Initiative. Xavier will use the grant to expand the already thriving biomedical programs the historically Black university offers its students.

“Xavier is already number one in the nation as the primary undergraduate source of African American Ph.D.s in the life sciences,” said Dr. Norman Francis, president of Xavier University. “Yet, with this grant, we believe we can triple the number of these graduates and increase the number of African American life science Ph.D.s nationally by 10%. We are proud that NIH has named us one of the institutions that it believes can uniquely contribute to this important goal.”

The award is part of a $240 million NIH investment involving more than 10 institutions to develop new approaches to engage student researchers, including those from underrepresented backgrounds, and prepare them to thrive in the NIH-funded workforce. Xavier and fellow awardees will establish a national consortium to train, mentor and encourage students from underrepresented groups to enter into and stay in research careers.

“These awards represent a significant step towards ensuring that NIH’s future biomedical research workforce will reflect the unique perspectives found within the diverse composition of our society,” said Dr. Hannah Valantine, NIH chief officer for scientific workforce diversity.

“Participation in faculty research projects is a major reason for Xavier’s success in graduating STEM [science, technology and engineering] students, many of whom go on to get the Ph.D.,” said Dr. Gene D’Amour, the university’s principal investigator for the grant. “Working with our partner

research universities across the nation, this NIH grant will greatly increase the opportunities for our students to become even more actively engaged in cutting-edge research and to go on to get life science Ph.D.s.”

Xavier will serve as the primary institution for its grant, “Project PATHWAY: Building Integrated Pathways to Independence for Diverse Biomedical Researchers.” It has partnered with Johns Hopkins University, Emory University, the Louisiana State University and its Health Science Center, Tulane University, The University of Wisconsin, Meharry Medical College, George Washington University, Penn State University, the University of Rochester and the University of California San Francisco. Xavier will conduct and oversee the program’s implementation to broaden the interests of students early in their college careers and attract them to a life sciences Ph.D. The primary benefit to the 11 partners is access to Xavier STEM students to participate in their summer research programs and ultimately attract these students to their graduate programs. These students, known as BUILD Scholars, are motivated undergraduate science students with an interest in doing research and pursuing a Ph.D.

“The Laney Graduate School at Emory University is pleased to partner with Xavier University to implement the BUILD Initiative. Our commitment to enhancing diversity and inclusion at Emory is being implemented through robust, innovative programming that creates pipelines to increase the number of underrepresented students entering and progressing through doctoral programs in the biomedical sciences. Partnership with Xavier University will undoubtedly benefit ¬ and better ¬ our efforts. A deeper level of engagement with BUILD scholars during their undergraduate experience will create opportunities that we hope will not only attract them to our programs at Emory, but ultimately create and nurture a biomedical workforce that is more representative of the unique perspectives and diversity of our nation,” said Lisa A. Tedesco, Ph.D., Dean, James T. Laney School of Graduate Studies, Emory University.

The BUILD Initiative is expected to include five integrated components:

  •  Tuition scholarships, including stipends, for undergraduate BUILD scholars and possible loan repayment funds for those who pursue a Ph.D.
  • Training and mentorship experiences for students across a wide range of disciplines in the biomedical sciences;
  • Salary support for key faculty responsible for research training;
  • Resources for highly effective mentors to train new mentors; and
  • Support for an “innovation space” environment for BUILD awardee institutions to develop additional creative and novel approaches to increase the diversity of the student pool that enters the Ph.D. training pathway relevant to biomedical research

“This NIH grant just could not be a more exciting opportunity for Xavier faculty and students to expand our research mentoring and training efforts to now ensure even a greater number of our graduates will pipeline into STEM terminal degree programs and subsequent biomedical research careers,” said Dr. Maryam Foroozesh, Interim Associate Vice President for Research and Sponsored Programs at Xavier. “Not only does this award speak to the value that Xavier holds for our nation and the world relative to the effective training of biomedical research leaders but also reflects a deep alignment with Xavier’s commitment to its mission and appreciation of its rich history.”

For information about the BUILD awardees and partners, please visit http://commonfund.nih.gov/diversity/fundedresearch