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.
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 a federal agency program manager, the faculty member
- Have new funding opportunities been announced or planned?
- Is the research area of the faculty member coincident with the current or planned
- 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 most
appropriate 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 (in particular
Co-PIs) helps “break the ice” and facilitates the discussion with the program manager.
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
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
funds expended and is expected.
- The faculty member must prepare a one-page, four-color document with illustrations
to provide 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
should describe 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