University research programs can attract millions of dollars that make institutions of higher learning dynamic places to study and work. As a public land-grant school, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore embraces its historic role as a place that values inquiry and exploration.
From obtaining funding for the “chicken house of the future,” a science-focused summer camp on the UMES campus, programs for socially disadvantaged farmers or addressing the diabetes issues locally, the Office of Sponsored Research Programs (OSRP) administers the university’s portfolio of grant, cooperative agreements and contract awards.
From an annual base of a little over $3 million in fiscal year 1991, the total awards received by the university in fiscal year 2011 rose to $23.6 million. That translates into an astonishing growth rate of 686 percent over that 20-year span.
OSRP works closely with faculty, research associates and students by offering assistance in the preparation and submission of proposals as well as in the administration of grants and contracts.
Today, the office provides a wide range of services, including; security services for employees needing federal clearances, support for commercial services used to search for potential funding sources, support for community grant-writing efforts, corporate partnerships and overall compliance with the growing number of federal and USM regulations and reporting requirements. It also organizes workshops and helps with grant writing and editorial assistance.
As research evolves and changes, and as competition for funding becomes more intense and critical, new sources of monies need to be sought. The OSRP’s role is matching research projects with funding sources. These may include government agencies, foundations and other research institutions.
New awards made during the 2010-11 fiscal year include highly competitive research projects funded by several federal agencies, such as the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Institute of Health.
As a result of studies involving complex chemistry, pharmacology, agriculture, and biology, collaborative projects with major research universities, such as Johns Hopkins, Cornell, Carnegie Mellon, and Morgan State University, UMES experienced a 150 percent increase in funding over the previous year.
Visit OSRP website or contact Catherine Bolek at 410-651-6714 to learn more about sponsored research at UMES.
-- Catherine S. Bolek with Veronique Diriker, Ph.D.