Grants to Missouri State University increased nine percent in Fiscal Year 2014 compared to the previous year. The university’s Office of Research Administration announced this week that a total of 289 grants donated to faculty and staff set a new record of $22 million.
These externally funded grants are used for a broad spectrum of ventures at Missouri State, says Dr. Erin Parrish, director of Research Administration. One example, she says, is funding from the state’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), which aids teaching training.
“Our staff and faculty will go out to schools; we get money so we can provide that service. Sometimes, schools will have to provide some money too, but that way we can go out to schools and train teachers on specific topics the schools are interested in knowing about. We can provide that type of training to teachers,” Parrish said.
Most of the funding is provided by federal agencies, donating a total of $8.6 million. State agencies provided the second highest amount at $4.9 million. Despite the economic downturn, MSU said there was an increase in funds supplied by local businesses from last year, offering $3.3 million. There was also major growth in donations from international sources and county agencies – over a 100% increase in each respective area.
The significance of this year’s record-breaking amount in grants lies in the challenges university and staff members face with grant writing and receiving approval, says Parrish.
“They’re already doing a full time job, a lot of times writing these grants on top of whatever it is they’re doing,” Parrish said. “Time and effort is a big issue, some of these grants are huge to get to. Another challenge is since the recession, funding has gotten tighter and definitely reduced the amount of funding. The competition for this funding is very large.”
MSU has a webpage dedicated to highlighting research and scholarly activities at the school.