The University at Albany is establishing a $500,000 fund to give its researchers seed funding so they can be more competitive in federal funding applications.
The fund is part of UAlbany President Robert Jones’ strategy to nearly triple the amount of research expenditures at the public university.
Researchers at UAlbany have until the end of January to apply for a grant of up to $50,000. The grants will be used to conduct preliminary research to bolster external funding applications in life sciences and biomedical research, forensic sciences and cyber security, advanced data analytics and the liberal arts and humanities.
The impetus for the fund is the increasing difficulty researchers have in securing federal funding from organizations like the National Science Foundation or the National Institutes of Health.
“You’re really getting to the point where you’re writing grants and nothing’s happening,” says James Dias, vice president of research. “This is an opportunity to have people up their game when they go to get external funding.”
UAlbany, the largest public research university in the area, had $87.3 million in annual research expenditures in 2013. Jones has set the goal of reaching $300 million in annual research expenditures funding in the next decade.
The university has had two smaller funding pools of $10,000 and $4,000 grants for its researchers, Dias says.
Awards from the newest fund will be made at the end of March 2015.