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Competitive proposals sought under final funding initiative for BRAC

Towson, Md. (July 14, 2010): This will be the last year for funding under the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) grant program which provides funding for initiatives to address the higher education needs related to the BRAC process. The BRAC Higher Education Investment Fund, administered by the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC), funds projects that directly impact the educational needs for one of the five BRAC installations (Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG), Andrews Air Force Base, Fort Detrick, Fort George G. Meade, National Naval Medical Center (Bethesda Naval Hospital)).  Grants are restricted to Maryland two-year, four-year, public or private institutions of higher education; Maryland research institutions; Maryland Regional Higher Education Centers; and Maryland private career schools approved by MHEC.

Under the two previous deadlines, TU secured two grants. Both were previously featured in “News” and are available for viewing under “Related Links”.  Also available are a copy of the PowerPoint presentation from the June 21st BRAC technical assistance meeting and a list of currently funded proposals under the BRAC initiative for your reference. Below are highlights from the meeting for interested applicants.

  • Contact the BRAC Coordinator, Dr. John Stephenson, to discuss your project idea. He is a valuable resource and welcomes discussion on what is an appropriate fit under the BRAC funding initiative.
  • Funding must be used within the grant funding cycle of January 1, 2011 to December 30, 2011 No-cost extensions will not be granted. Once MHEC funding has concluded projects should demonstrate sustainability. 
  • Needs Assessment – Needs should be based on the “Higher Education Needs and Capacities” study located within the research funding announcement (RFA). The use of other sources to determine needs is also recommended. Programs that look at workforce development, especially in the support positions (i.e. clerical, administrative, security, lab assistants, entry IT technical positions focusing on industry certifications) are encouraged. You should determine whether a need is already being met. A list of currently funded projects is available under “Related Links.”
  • Project Outcome and Objectives – Provide a list of goals and supporting objectives. Be specific and explain to the reviewer what you plan to accomplish and your expected results. You should indicate the potential impact of your project. Include estimates on the number of people you plan to train under your proposal. You will be assessed on not only the project scope, but also how specific, achievable, and measurable the project outcomes are.
  • Plan of Operation – Provide as much detail as possible when explaining the activities proposed. It is recommended that someone outside of the project team review your proposal to determine clarity. It is expected that a detailed timeline will be included in the proposal.
  • Management Plan – The specific duties and responsibilities of project team should be described and linked to budget and plan of operation. If partners are proposed, their roles should be explained here.
  • Project Evaluation –The plan is an integral part of the project’s design and implementation, not something done after the project is completed.  The evaluation must be clearly tied to project objectives and outcomes. You should clearly state how you are going to evaluate the project, what data will be collected and how often it will be collected. The evaluation must be a tool for making mid-grant programmatic changes and if funded, it is expected that evaluation results will be included with the interim and final reports.
  • Budget –All proposed costs should be linked to the narrative. Partnerships are excellent sources for additional resources and are encouraged. Matching funds from partners and applicant institutions demonstrate commitment and sustainability. Vendor quotes are recommended to document necessary purchases.

In the technical assistance meeting, Dr. Stephenson cautioned the audience regarding proposals that plan to expand academic programs or offer a new college course. When writing such proposals, applicants should consider the one-year time line and whether or not implementing a new program is feasible when considering approvals and accreditations necessary for such an endeavor. Remember, proposed projects must be completed by December 3, 2011. No extension will be allowed under this final funding announcement. 

With the success of the BRAC initiative, Dr. Stephenson anticipates the release of a new RFA in Cyber Security for funding starting January 1, 2012 – Dec. 30, 2012. The Office of Sponsored Programs & Research will keep the TU campus informed as information becomes available.

Office of Sponsored Programs & Research
212E Administration Building

Phone: 410-704-2236
Fax: 410-704-4494
E-mail: ospr@towson.edu

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