February 07, 2014

New Office Aims High

Annemarie Delgado, director of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs

Wentworth is a place of big dreams and the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs is working hard to make many of those dreams come true.

The office, which was created last semester and operates under the Office of the Provost, works to promote grant and external funding opportunities to faculty and staff. Annemarie Delgado, director of the office, is in the middle of it all, working with others to develop ideas and submit applications in support of their scholarly activities.

“We’ve had quite a bit of interest from faculty and staff thus far,” said Delgado, who points out that nine proposals have been submitted since she took on the role, more than the total submitted through Wentworth in previous years. “Our faculty are building teams and forming collaborative relationships, which will only serve to enhance our chances of being funded by external sponsors.”

Among those submitting grant applications are John Duggan, department chair for Civil Engineering and Technology, who wishes to upgrade lab equipment through a proposal to the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) program; Assistant Professor Lili Ma, who submitted a proposal to the NSF’s National Robotics Initiative; and Associate Professor Gloria Ma, who applied for a grant through the NSF’s ADVANCE program, which aims to increase the participation and advancement of Women in Academic Science and Engineering Careers.  Two other faculty members applied for grants through the American Association of University Women, Associate Professors Durga Suresh and Kathleen Grace Kennedy, and two others, Assistant Professor Haifa El-Sadi and Associate Professor Durga Suresh, submitted grant applications to the NSF’s Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) Program. Assistant Professor Rachel Maitra has additionally submitted a subcontract proposal to Yale University for a proposal to the NSF, and Shankar Krishan, department chair for the College of Engineering and Technology, submitted a subcontract proposal to the University of Miami for an NSFIUSE grant.

For those who have a research or program idea, but don’t know the first thing about how to write a proposal or where to submit paperwork, or simply don’t believe they have the time, Delgado is here to help. “We know that teachers have a heavy workload and it can be tough to figure out where to start,” she said. “But [interested parties] can use our office as a resource. We also have Hanover Research to assist us and access to PIVOT, a funding opportunity database that has over 30,000 funding listings. And we can help with grants both big and small.”

Faculty members can also request release time for certain research, a statement that has the blessing of both Associate Provost Charles Hotchkiss and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Russell Pinizzotto.

Delgado explains that her office is continuing to grow (two work study students were added this semester and additional staff are expected to join soon) and that they have a series of informational workshops planned that will be announced shortly. She also encourages members of the Wentworth community to think about long-term projects that they would like to pursue.

“If they want to do it,” said Delgado, “there’s a way.”

More information on the Office of Sponsored Programs, as well as access to the PIVOT database, can be found online.  Those interested in research grants and sponsored programs can also contact Delgado directly at either delgadoa@wit.edu or 617-989-4479.

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