The Grant Process

Oct 072003
Authors: Christiana Nelson

CSU has been awarded $56.1 million in research grants; a notable

accomplishment as receiving a grant is a challenging process,

according to CSU officials and institute officials connected to the


Lynn Preston, director of the Engineering Research Centers

Program at NSF, said the two National Science Foundation grants

totaling $34 million announced Wednesday were the result of a

rigorous competition.

“The competition began with the submission of 77 proposals on

May 15, 2002, in a wide range of fields,” Preston said in an e-mail

interview. “These were narrowed down to 16 full proposals through

the peer review process. These 16 were reviewed and eight were

selected for a site visit. The final outcome was four new


The grants were for an Engineering Research Center for

Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere and for an

Engineering Research Center for Extreme Ultraviolet Science and


CASA will increase warning and response time for natural

disasters and the Center of EUV will develop laser technologies and

nanotechnologies to create powerful computer circuits.

Neal Gallagher, the dean of engineering, said receiving the

grants was not only competitive, but also time consuming.

“The proposals were among the best we’d ever seen,” Gallagher

said. “The actual process took about one year, but some people at

CSU started working on proposals three years ago.”

CSU and the other universities awarded NSF grants possess

several characteristics that lead to success in receiving a


“All have outstanding teams of faculty, strong commitments from

industry and promise to deliver exciting new technology and develop

a diverse new technical work force for these fields,” Preston


V. Chandra, a professor of electrical and computer engineering

and assistant director of CASA, believes the grants will lead to

great opportunities for everyone at CSU.

“It makes the educational experience rich for everyone on

campus. The most important thing is the outreach; it is not just a

research project,” Chandra said.

In addition to the two NSF grants, the National Institute of

Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a division of the National

Institute of Health, announced last Tuesday that CSU had been

awarded a $22.1 million grant for a Regional Biocontainment

Laboratory to research the progression of diseases.

“It’s a natural fit for us,” said Anthony Frank, vice president

of Research and Information Technology. “The diseases being studied

are the same sorts of diseases our faculty is already


The $22.1 million grant encompassed very comparable levels of

competition to the NSF grants, Frank said.

“It was a fairly typical NIH process – very long, very

detailed,” Frank said. “Specialists evaluate all applications and

write a critique of the strengths and weaknesses of the

applications; the best scoring applications are selected to receive

the grants.”

NIH awarded CSU the grant for a Regional Biocontainment

Laboratory based on several factors, but primarily because of

technical merit and CSU’s ability to contribute to the overall

NIAID research agenda.

“America’s scientists have the commitment, creativity and energy

to equal the task,” said Anthony Fauci, director of NIAID, in a

press release. “The new laboratories will give these dedicated

scientists space to conduct critical research, and equally

important, they will be able to conduct it safely.”

During the 2002-2003 fiscal year CSU was awarded approximately

$200 million in grants and ranks among the top 8 percent of schools

nationwide for average return rates on state investment.

“What we have is very strong,” said CSU’s Gallagher. “We’re

second to nobody.”





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