Office of Major Grant Development
The Office of Major Grant Development assists Agricultural Research Center and CAHNRS faculty members who are pursuing external funding, in particular integrated, multi-investigator grants. The objective of the Office is to provide clerical, organizational and editorial support to individuals interested in taking a lead in preparing complex proposals. By doing this, the Office will both aid current efforts to pursue grants and also accumulate institutional experience that will be used to improve the quality of large proposals in the future. As time permits, personnel will also gladly assist with other competitive grant proposals seeking funds from external sources.
Flexibility and versatility are part of our approach, and the goal is to accomplish whatever Principal Investigators need at every point of the proposal preparation process. The Office often assists with:
- Scheduling and other support for organizing meetings between faculty located elsewhere, either in-person or using video-conferences, etc.
- Scrutinizing the specific requirements of the Request For Applications (RFA) and discussing the agency requirements with the lead PD as the process of proposal preparation proceeds.
- Editing written proposals, generating clean figures and tables, creating logos and graphic design, organizing appendices, managing citations, writing sections such as Facilities & Equipment, creating logic models, and preparing the final layout of pages so they meet agency guidelines.
- Obtaining, organizing and inputting information for Conflict of Interest, Current & Pending, Biographical Sketches and other forms needed as part of grants.gov and NSF FastLane submission systems.
- Establishing and monitoring timelines to help keep all parts of the propospal moving forward at all times, including obtaining documentation needed from Co-PIs and subcontractors.
- Where appropriate, assisting in the preparation of budget spreadsheets and forms for review by Mary Lou Bricker of the Agricultural Research Center.
- Meeting one-on-one with faculty considering their next proposal efforts.
- Offering grant-writing workshops, editorial assistance, and strategic advice, especially for junior faculty members.
Director: Dr. E. Kirsten Peters
Dr. Peters earned her doctorate in geology from Harvard University, has taught at WSU, and has a strong background in writing and editing in a variety of areas, including growing experience with large federal proposals. Please contact Dr. Peters with any questions about how her office can assist you.
Coordinator: Susan Bentjen
Ms. Bentjen earned her Bachelor’s degree in chemistry at Gonzaga University and her Master’s in chemistry at the University of Idaho. She has worked at Hanford and for an environmental chemistry company in the Midwest. She has more than 15 years experience at WSU assisting at every level with major grant proposals for NIH, USDA, NSF and other agencies.
To make use of the resources of the Office, please contact Dr. Peters at 509-335-0477 or email@example.com. Points relevant to the initial discussion of needs and resources will include:
- time-frame of proposal preparation and submission
- number of Co-Principal Investigators and collaborators
- number of institutions other than WSU that will be involved in the work
- approximate budget total and WSU fraction of the budget
- budget matching requirements or any other special circumstances of the RFA
The Office is supported via a small fraction of the F&A monies the department or center will receive if a proposal is funded. This system means the ARC is not taxing units “up front,” but will instead share in funds raised only by successful proposals.
The amount paid by the unit depends on the support provided, but generally varies between 1-3% of the F&A on the grant. Because of this issue, the chair or director of the unit must agree with the Principal Investigator that the help from this Office is appropriate for a project. The F&A under consideration is only that portion that comes to WSU.
We will negotiate rates in situations, such as equipment grants, where the F&A rate is not standard. A written agreement between the ARC, the Project Director, and the chair of the unit must be signed before the Office starts to work on a proposal.
Questions about the past performance of the Office can be directed to faculty with whom we have worked, including:
- Prof. Shulin Chen - Biological Systems Engineering
- Asst. Prof. Amit Dhingra - Horticulture and Landscape Architecture
- Assoc. Prof. Su Ha - Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering
- Assoc. Prof. Laura Hill - Human Development
- Prof. Scot Hulbert - Crop and Soil Sciences & Plant Pathology
- Prof. Norman Lewis - Institute of Biological Chemistry
- Prof. Jill McCluskey - School of Economic Sciences
- Asst. Prof. Holly Neibergs - Animal Sciences
- Dr. Brad Gaolach - Extension Director in Pierce and King Counties