USM Research Development Travel Program


Purpose
The Office of the Vice President for Research supports faculty travel for meetings with federal agency program officers in Washington, DC and other locations. The goal of the program is to maximize faculty understanding of federal agency programs and to learn details of federal
funding opportunities. Visits with program officers also provide opportunities for faculty members to provide information about USM in general and specific programs to those responsible for providing research support funding.

Policy
Applications for travel funds to meet with federal agency program officers should be made through the USM Research Development Travel Program Form on the VPR web page. Funding decisions are based on funds available and are the prerogative of the Vice President for Research.
In preparation for meeting with federal agency program manager, the faculty member should determine:

  • Have new funding opportunities been announced or are planned?
  • Is the research area of the faculty member coincident with the current or planned funding opportunities?
  •  Does the agency have more than one program that might fit the faculty member’s research interest? If so schedule meetings with program officers for each related program. Often such discussion will ensure consideration of the faculty’s proposal by the mostappropriate panel or study session.
  •  Have other faculty members at USM received funding from this program? If so, a brief meeting or discussion with them before the planned trip will likely prove valuable.
  • Often making the visit with other faculty members who have related interests (inparticular Co-PI’s) helps “break the ice” and facilitates the discussion with the programmanager.

The best time to visit is when an announcement is available and before a proposal is submitted, although it is also sometimes helpful to visit a program manager in person after a proposal has been declined to discuss the reviews and get advice for resubmission.


In scheduling travel to DC, the following expectations apply:

  • Meeting with two or more federal agency officers at one agency or program officers at two different agencies during the visit provides the most value for the time and fundsexpended and are expected.
  •  The faculty member must prepare a one-page, four-color document with illustrations toprovide to the program officer during the visit. This document should be submitted electronically for review by the AVPR prior to travel.
  • The faculty member must prepare a brief (about one-page) report (PDF format) on the trip to be submitted before the travel expense report will be processed. The report shoulddescribe the purpose of the visit and what was learned from the discussions.
  • The report should include contact information for the program office/managers you meet so that the VPR or AVPR can drop by on subsequent agency visits to reinforce your visit and express the University’s support for your work.

The Vice President for Research or Associate Vice President for Research is available to meet with faculty members before travel to discuss the purpose and plans for the scheduled meetings.