Office of Sponsored Programs Administration & Accounting



January 2016 newsletter header



Regular Business Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00 - 5:00pm

From May 9, 2016 - Aug. 19, 2016, the Office of Sponsored Programs will be following JMU's Summer Schedule:
Monday - Thursday, 8:00am - 5:00pm, and Friday, 8:00am - 12noon

Funding News

Federal Science and Engineering Funding for Academic Institutions Sees First Increase in Five Years: 6% Bump in FY2014

According to a new report from the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES), federal agencies obligated $30.8 billion to 996 academic institutions for science and engineering (S&E) activities in Fiscal Year (FY) 2014, the most recent year for which such information is available, a 6 percent increase over the previous year and the first increase in such funding since FY2009. 

In current dollars, federal S&E obligations to academic institutions fell by $1.8 billion between FY2012 and FY2013, then increased by $1.7 billion between FY2013 and FY2014. During that period of rising funds, the number of academic institutions receiving funding climbed by one. 

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Department of Defense (DOD) together provided 85 percent of all federal academic S&E obligations. HHS accounted for 57 percent; NSF 16 percent; and DOD 12 percent. Most of the remaining funding came from the Department of Agriculture, Department of Energy and NASA. All six of these agencies saw their obligations increase between FY2013 and FY2014. 

Federal academic S&E obligations include six categories: research and development (89% of total federal academic S&E obligations annually over the past 3 years); R&D plant; facilities and equipment for instruction in S&E; fellowships, traineeships, and training grants; general support for S&E; and other S&E activities. 

Featured Funding Opportunity

NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)

Plan now for your REU application. These proposals are complex and require coordination across the university for planning and support. Our office stands ready to assist you. 

Full proposal deadline: August 24, 2016

Solicitation 13-542

The Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program supports active research participation by undergraduate students in any of the areas of research funded by the National Science Foundation. REU projects involve students in meaningful ways in ongoing research programs or in research projects specifically designed for the REU program. This solicitation features two mechanisms for support of student research: 

  1. REU Sites are based on independent proposals to initiate and conduct projects that engage a number of students in research. REU Sites may be based in a single discipline or academic department or may offer interdisciplinary or muti-department research opportunities with a coherent intellectual theme. Proposals with an international dimension are welcome. 
  2. REU Supplements may be included as a component of proposals for new or renewal NSF grants or cooperative agreements or may be requested for ongoing NSF-funded research projects. 

Undergraduate student participants in either REU Sites or REU Supplements must be U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or permanent residents of the United States. 

NSF Update

"Where Discoveries Begin..." 

President TrumanDid you Know?
President Harry. S. Truman signed legislation in 1950 establishing the National Science Foundation and the first appropriation of $3.5 million was approved in 1952. The 2016 appropriation was $7.46 billion. A total of 97 grants were awarded in the first year versus 12,000 in 2015. 
Take a look at the Then and Now infographic. 

NSF Science Communication Toolkit for Principal Investigators

NSF offers a science communication toolkit to help principal investigators determine how to share their work with the broader world and communicate it in a way to inspire curiosity. The toolkit and other resources are available at
The text version of the toolkit is available here.

NIH Update

OLAW Resources for Writing the Vertebrate Animals Section in NIH Proposals 

Are you proposing the use of animal models in your NIH funding application? OLAW has a recent podcast on writing the Vertebrate Animals Section of your grant application. Learn why this section is required in the application, what reviewers look for, and how to write it so that it is consistent with your IACUC protocol. Typically, all of the required elements for the VAS can be addressed within 1-2 pages. 

Check out "Writing Your Vertebrate Animals Section" (mp3 | transcript) and other All About Grants podcasts.

Timely Topics

Consider Including Infographics in Your Funding Proposals

It's a scientific fact that images are processed in the brain faster than words. Hence infographics have become an important tool for communicating a complex story quickly. Visuals draw attention to key messages or explain multi-step processes or complex data sets instantaneously. Creating effective charts and infographics can be time-consuming and frustrating without the right tools. Never mind if you don't have or haven't mastered Photoshop, check out these free resources for samples, techniques, and practical approaches for creating effective infographics.  

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