Hampden-Sydney College works as a community to secure grants support from public resources and private foundations for academic programs and College priorities.

In last month's Grants Connection, I discussed progress made over the summer in building an infrastructure to support our grants work. Another indicator of our progress is our growing grantsmanship.

Grantsmanship is equally as important to earning awards as is the writing of proposals. Project Grantsmanship, an initiative of The Grantsmanship Center, describes grantsmanship as four key ingredients: planning programs that deliver results, increasing impact through collaboration, articulating clear and logical arguments for financial support, and identifying and working in partnership with funders who share our goals. Our own ingredients include the increasing project planning through teams of faculty and staff, the consideration of both internal and external collaborators who will bring strength to our concepts, and our vibrant activity in preparing and submitting proposals.

You already know that the grants world is dynamic - as regulations change and grantors evolve, so we must keep our grantsmanship on point. To help with this, a growing supply of tools is available to you in the Grants Community on Canvas, "Proposal Tips" in this newsletter links you to strategies, and suggested external resources in "This Month's Most Interesting Reading" (including a new article by Jack Kracier, "The Art of Grantsmanship") include data and policy reports that keep you environment-aware when building your case statement(s).

Let's talk about what else will be helpful to you in building grantsmanship skills, your own ideas about projects, and your dream collaborations.

Happy October,

PJ. Townsend, Director of College Grants

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Proposal Tips of the Month

  1. Christina M. Gillis provides a brief guide to "Writing Proposals for ACLS Fellowship Competitions" that may be useful as well in creating other fellowship proposals. Here are a couple of key points:
    • Each applicant must develop his/her own rhetorical and argumentative strategy. Audience awareness, sureness of voice, clarity and cogency in stating the question at hand, are essential.
    • The applicant should clearly establish the main question to be pursued, and set-up the reader's expectations regarding the prinicpal research statement of the proposal - the central claim - and how well it will be explained.
    • The reviewers want to know why a particular methodology is appropriate for the questions being asked, how the research will be carried out, what has already been accomplished, and what time frame is envisioned for completion.
  2. Struggling with that pesky proposal question about sustainability? Here's what Barbara Floersh advises (writing in Nonprofit Times): Most people define sustainability as "obtaining funding to keep the program running." That's not quite right. It's primarily about perpetuating the results that are being achieved.
    Read more about what she recommends in "Sustainability after the Money Runs Out."
  3. Audio training modules are now a part of the Grants Community in Canvas. First up: "Grants at Hampden-Sydney: A Review of Basics" This is a 10-minute training that you may access at your convenience. New modules will be added to the "training" file as they are recorded.
  4. Annual Reminder: Your Grants Office is your partner in the full life cycle of grants (target, submit, manage, closeout, steward). The Grants Community in Canvas and the Toolbox webpage in the Grants content area provide written resources for many grants functions and are available to you 24/7. Please ask for the support you need - how we manage awards is as important as top quality proposals in engaging grantor support. Briefly, our partnership includes:
    • Help identifying the right grantor
    • Assistance initiating and building the grantor relationship
    • Information that will help link your project to institutional priorities and/or other internal collaborations
    • Vetted content to support your own proposal(s)
    • Facilitate electronic submissions across multiple grantor systems
    • Conduit for internal reviews/approvals
    • Assistance with project grants management/amendments/closeout


This Month's Most Interesting Reading

 The Grants Toolbox page contains a library of resources to help you build your proposal.

Featured reports will remain in the Grants Connection, like this Month's Most Interesting Reading: 

Digital Literacy in Higher Education, Part II, An NMC Horizon Project Strategic Brief (August 2017)

University Innovation Alliance, Groundbreaking Alliance of Public Research Universities to Provide Students with Last-Mile Grants to Support College Completion

Brief from Education DIVE, Survey: North Carolina A&T State U, Howard Schools of Business leading in Faculty Diversity

Education Commission of the States, Policy Snapshot: Postsecondary Campus Safety

Lumina Foundation, A Stronger Nation: Learning Beyond High School Builds American Talent

Art of Granstmanship by Jack Kracier, former Director of Human Frontier Science Program

Grants Toolbox



Academic Year to Date Awards (as of September 27, 2017) = $4,128,985
KUDOS Awards Ticker for AY 2016-17 = $737,777


Faculty Research

Scholarship and teaching are intimately related. Here are highlights of faculty research interests.

Faculty Research

Director of College Grants

PJ. Townsend
(424) 223-6144
Estcourt Annex | Box 637
Hampden-Sydney College

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