Keynote Address:

The Role of Collaboration in Acquiring Grant Funding

Defunding of higher education by state legislatures has created a new expectation for all postsecondary institutions to expand their grant writing activities. A challenge for many institutions is how to increase their competitiveness in various grant programs (e.g., NSF, IES, or NIH) with a limited internal research capacity for many academic units on campus. The identification of collaborations within campus and, externally with Foundations or corporate partners, is a key first step. Additionally, it is paramount to develop a vision of what is possible with collaborative research projects versus individualized research agendas. For example, a collaborative project with STEM units that integrates statistical programs, and connects faculty who develop professional development programs, can generate an expanded academic infrastructure/collaboration and opportunities for external funding. In the address, Dr. Mulvenon will discuss several effective strategies for developing successful collaborations, emphasizing both focused and “tangential” research projects. Focused projects are those funding opportunities that are directly aligned with an institution's internal research capacity and scholarship agenda. Similarly, “tangential” funding opportunities are those that may not be perfectly aligned with one's scholarship agenda, but are consistent with institutional research capacity. The address will draw on his experience using collaborative models to successfully obtain external funding for both focused and “tangential” research projects, including how to use these resources for growing research infrastructure, collaborations, competitiveness, and the acquisition of external funding at postsecondary institutions.

Sean W. Mulvenon earned his B.A. in Physics from Eastern Washington University and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees were earned from Arizona State University in Educational Psychology, with an emphasis in measurement, statistics, and methodological studies. Dr. Mulvenon currently serves as the Associate Dean of Research and Sponsored Projects at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas (UNLV) in the university’s College of Education. Previously, he held University of Arkansas positions of Professor, Director of Research Assessment and Promotion, Assistant Vice Provost for Research, Director of the National Office for Research on Measurement and Evaluation Systems in the College of Education and Health Professors, and the George M. And Boyce Billingsley Chair for Educational Research and Policy Studies. Additionally, Dr. Mulvenon has served as a Senior Advisor in the Deputy Secretary’s Office of the U.S. Department of Education. Across the span of his academic career, Dr. Mulvenon has obtained over $15M in externally funded grants, including from highly competitive organizations such as the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH); he has served as the principal investigator (PI) for over $13M. Dr. Mulvenon's CV is located here.