Already an expert in her field of study, Vicky Elliot further enhanced
her career plans in academia after completing a grant-writing course
at The University of Southern Mississippi.
Elliot, a New
Mexico native working on her doctorate in nutrition and food systems
at Southern Miss, took the class last year from Dr. Jerome Kolbo,
a professor in the university's School of Social Work. With the
skills she gained from the class, Elliot secured grant funding for
her doctoral research, which included examining ways to improve
health and nutrition within a school community.
helped Elliot realize the opportunities available for securing funding
and the steps necessary to compete for grants - and the necessity
of such skills for higher education faculty.
found that as I enter into academia, it's a requirement (to know
how to apply for a grant)," Elliot said. "It's a critical
component of academic success."
the grant-writing class presents basic principles of successful
proposal development and design. The course is offered in a one-week
format in the intercession period between semesters. By the end
of the week, students submit a one- to two-page concept paper. Class
participants are also required to critique a grant proposal and
submit a viable grant proposal.
social work students, Rhonda Sanders from Picayune and Jerri Adams
from Yazoo City, recently had their grant proposal for placing technology
in the classroom funded for over $61,000 by the Department of Health
and Human Services' Head Start Bureau. As a result, the Picayune
Early Head Start program now has computers in each of the six classrooms,
a new computer lab, and a wide array of equipment for parents in
their neighborhood to use onsite or at home.
year, one or two of the submitted grants from the students in the
class are funded," Kolbo said, noting that Elliot's proposal
was one of the most recent submissions to receive funding. She spoke
to students in the last class recently about her experience in writing
a grant and securing funding.
the best parts of the class is the guest speakers (like Elliot),
who share their experiences and ideas on how to be successful in
grant writing," Kolbo said.
has become even more crucial as public funding for higher education
and other public service programs declines, Kolbo said.
to secure external funding has become increasingly important in
light of decreasing public dollars, no matter if you are an academic
or a practitioner providing services in the community," Kolbo
Dr. Cecil Burge,
Southern Miss associate vice president for research and technology
transfer, said the ability to secure external funding gives university
faculty opportunities to advance their research and better serve
has to be an entrepreneur to acquire the resources to run their
programs, so I believe this is an essential course for anyone contemplating
moving into academics," he said.
Johnson, a doctoral student in the Southern Miss School of Human
Performance and Recreation from Prattville, Ala., said the course
showed him how to find external funding sources and learn the nuances
of securing grants.
not just about filling out paperwork," Johnson said. "It's
about contacting people (who are part of the award process) and
getting a feel for the process of pursuing a grant."
will be offered again May 17-21. For more information, contact Kolbo
at (601) 266-5913 or by e-mail at email@example.com.