Posts tagged ‘funding’

Work-Life Support for Postdocs

We are staffing a table this Friday at the Annual Postdoc Resource & Networking Event.  Our Funding Resource Specialist was asked to provide some information on sponsored project support, but we also decided to take this opportunity to gather networkinginformation on what family caregiving programs and benefits are available to postdocs at Brown.

We are creating a brochure with information collected from our office, Human Resources, and the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.  We realized pretty quickly that there are different programs and benefits available to postdoctoral fellows versus research associates.  

Summary of Resources:


September 22, 2010 at 9:51 am Leave a comment

Communicating Your Research

elevator pitch

Image credit: Career Rocketeer

This morning we attended a committee meeting of research administration and advancement staff.  (Our Funding Resources Specialist is a member of this working group.)  We brainstormed ideas for how we could help faculty better communicate their research.  We decided to convene a smaller group that would develop a few possible ideas for faculty workshops.

The theme today was audience.  Faculty need to identify who their audience(s) is when communicating their science.  Examples of important audiences include private donors, federal funding agencies, the news media, and general public (broader impacts).

Also important, the development of a fantastic elevator pitch.  We acknowledged the importance of being able to read one’s audience and then concisely telling them who you are, what research you do, why its the greatest and most relevant thing ever.

Here are some of ADVANCE at Brown’s resources for how to raise your research profile.  How do you work with faculty to help them develop their communication their science?

September 20, 2010 at 10:53 am Leave a comment

Fall 2010 Faculty Outreach & Networking Events (FONE)

We are again hosting our Faculty Outreach & Networking Events (FONE) this fall.  Our topic for this semester: Raising Your Research Profile.  We made one significant change this semester–we decided to open the events to everyone on campus:  faculty, administrators, staff, graduate students, and postdocs.  The more the merrier!  Plus, we were able to take advantage of the centralized training registration system for the Brown community.

We had our first successful session of the term this week.  Amy gave a talk on Community of Science (COS), the University’s subscription-based funding opportunities database.   Everyone was interested in the topic and asked great questions.  We were also excited to see everyone networking and exchanging email addresses.  Specifically, it was great to have staff members (department managers, etc) there.  Finding research support is not only the responsibility of faculty (the researcher), and we realized how important it is to include everyone and make sure the information reaches each part of the, in this case, grant-seeking process.

September 17, 2010 at 3:08 pm Leave a comment

2010-11 Faculty Mentoring Guide

Our new-and-improved Mentoring Guide is now available!!

Taking into consideration the results of our mentoring program evaluations and what we’ve learned this past year, we updated our Mentoring Guide to better meet the needs of the faculty we serve.  Additions include:

  1. Explicit recommendations for setting short and long term goals, and identifying benchmarks for these aims.
  2. Defining what it means to be an advocate for ones mentee.
  3. Best practices for mentoring women faculty.

The Guide also contains a new and extensive list of faculty development resources for help in framing career goals.  New topics include negotiation and how to say no; research and publishing; intellectual property and copyright; laboratory management; raising your research profile and finding collaborators; writing for publication; teaching; tenure and promotion; and work-life balance.  And, of course, we continue to provide best practices for fostering a productive mentoring relationship and the role of junior faculty and mentors within the parameters of the relationship.


September 16, 2010 at 12:43 pm Leave a comment

Award Transparency Best Practices

treeMany ADVANCE programs offer small grants as part of their institutional transformation initiatives.  For example, our Career Development Awards provide $15,000 for faculty to develop collaborative research projects, usually with peers or potential mentors from other institutions.  There are a number of things we have done to make award processes more transparent.

  1. We state the review process and selection criteria in the request for proposals (RFP).  “An ad hoc review panel of faculty members and administrators will review the applications.  Proposals are evaluated on their potential to have a significant impact on the faculty applicant’s career goals as well their ability to affect the careers of women scientists.  Because the goal of the ADVANCE Program at NSF is to fund initiatives that support women scientists’ success, all applicants must describe how their proposed plan will affect the careers of women scientists, either applicants or collaborators.”
  2. Potential applicants like to see examples of successful proposals.  We include a note about the availability of these materials in our announcements when releasing a new RFP.  Additionally, we provide web links to funded project descriptions so applicants can quickly see which of their colleagues and peers have been successful (networking opportunity!).
  3. We explicitly cite NSF guidelines in our RFPs and communiqués.  For instance, we provide a link to the Allowability of Costs from the Grant Policy Manual to help explain decisions about eligible expenses.  We also provide a link to NSF program areas to help us clarify disciplines that are and are not eligible for funding through the CDA program.
  4. We automatically provide reviewer feedback to unsuccessful applicants as part of the decision-making process.
  5. We measure and report application submission and success rates to help us assess if we are reaching our target groups effectively.  For example, as of 2008-09, there are eleven STEM women associate faculty members at Brown University.  Of these, nine (82%) have applied for CDAs.  Seven (78%) of those applicants have received grants from this competitive award program.

What processes have you implemented to promote best practices for award transparency?

March 29, 2010 at 3:32 pm Leave a comment