Illustration from the National Science Foundation depicting different scientific focuses emerging from a globe
The NSF transforms the world through science.
Credit: Nicolle Rager Fuller, National Science Foundation

The University of Arkansas - Fort Smith will partner with the Arkansas INBRE Program to bring the National Science Foundation Grant-Writing Workshop to Fort Smith Tuesday, Jan. 14,  welcoming researchers from across the state to learn from some of the NSF’s leading experts.


This workshop is the first event of its kind at UAFS and will feature instruction on the grant review process, best practices for writing competitive proposals, and how to maximize funding opportunities through interdisciplinary and cross-cut funding from NSF program directors Dr. Stephanie E. August and Dr. Ellen M. Carpenter.


“The National Science Foundation is the premier source of federal funding for basic and applied scientific research,” said Dr. Ron Darbeau, dean of the College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics at UAFS. "Their support for the enterprise of STEM goes well beyond competitive funding and reaches into attracting and engaging new pioneers, enhancing the skills of current scientists and advocating for STEM in tackling a myriad of challenges that confront our human family. We are grateful to Central Christian Church for providing their wonderful venue and to INBRE and the UAFS Foundation for the financial support that allowed us to host the event free of charge to participants.”


The NSF receives approximately 40,000 proposals each year, of which 11,000 are funded through grants and cooperative agreements. More than 2,000 colleges, universities, K-12 school systems, businesses, informal science organizations and other research organizations throughout the United States receive funds through the NSF, which accounts for about one-fourth of federal support to academic institutions for basic research.


“We are excited to host this workshop aimed at enhancing grantsmanship at institutions of higher education in Arkansas and Oklahoma and fostering collaborations among institutions across borders,” said Darbeau added. “We are thrilled by the robust response from the 80 attendees from the 17 colleges and universities represented as well as from the Arkansas STEM Coalition.”


Representatives from North Arkansas College, the University of Arkansas STEM Center for Math, Science and Education, the University of Central Arkansas, the Arkansas STEM Coalition, Southern Arkansas University Tech, University of Arkansas at Rich Mountain, Arkansas Tech University, East Central University, the University of Arkansas at Monticello, Langston University, Philander Smith College, Mid-America Christian University and Ouachita Baptist University will join UAFS in attendance.


The workshop is the culmination of more than a year of planning by the faculty and administration in the College of STEM. “This workshop reflects our focus on academic excellence and belief in the power of collaboration,” said Dr. Georgia Hale, provost and vice chancellor of academic affairs at UAFS. “Our featured speakers bring a wealth of expertise in the grant writing process and in the research process itself, and we are honored to bring their knowledge to such an accomplished field of attendees.”


Dr. Carpenter earned her Ph.D. in neurobiology from the University of Chicago in 1988, where she worked with Dr. Margaret Hollyday on cellular regulation of neuronal growth. She was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Utah, where she worked with Nobel Prize winner Dr. Mario Capecchi on his studies examining gene regulation of embryonic development and patterning. She served as a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles as well as chair of the Neuroscience Interdepartmental Program and director of outreach for the Brain Research Institute. Her research addressed transcription factor regulation and cell signaling in embryonic brain development and cell migration. She is presently a program director in the Division of Undergraduate Education at the National Science Foundation where she serves as the lead program officer for the Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) and Accelerating Discovery programs and as a contributing  program officer for the HSI Program, the NSF Scholarships for STEM (S-STEM) Program, the Neural and Cognitive Science Program and the Understanding the Rules of Life: Synthetic Cell Program.


Dr. August is a program director in NSF’s Division of Undergraduate Education and a professor of computer science at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. She is an active member of the working group for the Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier. She has served as department director of graduate studies and special assistant to the chief academic officer for graduate studies at LMU. Previously she was a staff engineer at Hughes Aircraft Company. Her interests include online interactive digital and virtual learning environments, infusing other disciplines with computing concepts and understanding how STEM education will evolve in the coming years. She is also interested in computational models of reasoning by analogy and exploring the boundaries between people and machines, and looks forward to the day when a machine can read a novel and understand the symbolism in it. She earned her B.A. in Slavic languages and M.S. and Ph.D. in computer science from the University of California, Los Angeles.





Rachel Rodemann Putman
Photo Credits: 
Credit: Nicolle Rager Fuller, National Science Foundation
Date Posted: 
Friday, January 10, 2020
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