by Tom McCoy
Welcome back to faculty, staff and students. To those people who are new to our campus, I'm
Tom McCoy, vice president for research at MSU.
Briefly, this office administers all grant- and contract-sponsored research and creative
projects, which last fiscal year totalled $61 million (see story). It coordinates
the work of several specialized centers offering research and instructional opportunities,
such as the Center for Biofilm Engineering and the Thermal Biology Institute. The office
also serves as the technology transfer arm of the university by working with faculty to
patent and license their inventions and by working with local companies on new technologies.
We have a research communications staff as well that works with faculty and students to
publicize MSU creative projects in the local, regional and, in some cases, national media.
In short, I and my staff are here to support and encourage the creative projects that are
the lifeblood of every university.
Toward that end, some exciting changes have occurred within our division. Sandy Sward has
been promoted to the position of Director of Pre-Award Services. Pre-Award Services encompass
a wide range of support designed to foster research and creative activities before getting
an award of external funding. An example would be identifying possible funding sources for
a particular project. For students, the office can help identify possible fellowships.
These various components of the pre-award function are facilitated by a database that contains
information on an individual's research interests.
Sandy joins Audrey Thurlow who has provided pre-award assistance for the past eight years.
Sandy is setting up personal appointments with individuals to visit with them in their offices
about their specific research interests, but she and Audrey also invite you to get in touch
with them to arrange such a meeting. Please call Sandy at 994-5318 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While personal visits are optimal, a profile sheet is also available on the web that helps
the pre-award office track interests with funding. I encourage faculty to complete this form so that when
funding opportunities become available, notices can be sent electronically to alert individuals
of deadlines and the various guidelines for submitting an application or proposal.
The Pre-Award Office also welcomes individuals, small groups and classes for workshops on
finding grant opportunities and will continue to participate in the Grants and Contracts
roundtable that has been well attended. Researchers and departmental personnel are invited
to attend the roundtable that will meet once a month through May or June 2002.
In addition, overviews of the Pre-Award and Grants and Contracts operations have been
scheduled for Friday, Oct. 5, from 9 to 11 a.m. and again on Monday, Oct. 8, from 2 to 4 p.m.
in Room 108 of the Ag/Bioscience Building. These "Excellence in Research" sessions offer an
opportunity to meet the staff and ask questions.
In other staff news, Bob Pfister has been selected to replace Sandy as the assistant director
of the Grants and Contracts office. Bob was recently in charge of all sub-contracts for the
Grants and Contracts office. This responsibility will now be handled by Deb Cox and a new
fiscal officer will be hired to replace Bob.
Please feel free to contact the research office or any of the above individuals or other members of my staff
to help you with your respective research endeavors. The main office can be reached at 994-2891.