October 19, 2017

New Webster office aims to attract grant funding

The Webster University Provost’s Office announced the creation of a new Office of Research and Sponsored Projects on Oct. 25, which will lead Webster’s efforts to attract more institutional and faculty grants. For students, this gives them an opportunity to get their research published.

The office will fall under the umbrella of the Provost’s Office and work closely with Academic Affairs. Webster has already seen recent success in attracted grants; the university was recently awarded more than $1 million in two grants aimed at promoting science education and research.

Linda Dahlgren, a senior grants analyst in the new ORSP, said the new grant efforts and the construction of the Interdisciplinary Science Building make this an exciting time for Webster.

“It puts Webster at a table that we’ve really never been at before,” Dahlgren said.

Dahlgren said the program’s movement from the Advancement Office signifies a change in the way Webster will approach grants.

“It’s not about the money, it’s about projects and the work that’s getting done,” Dahlgren said.

In July, Webster was officially recognized for the first time by the Institutional Review Board (IRB), meaning the university is now authorized to review and approve research involving human subjects.

According to a press release, Webster will increase its focus on grant writing and research throughout the next five years and will begin offering professional development opportunities for faculty.

Eric Goedereis, an associate professor in the Department of Psychology, will serve as the faculty research director for the new program. He said the office will help Webster actively promote faculty research.

“The most important thing it’ll do is help us develop a better support and infrastructure for supporting research opportunities,” Goedereis said.

The ORSP will search for institutional grants as well as helping faculty apply for grants and develop their careers through publications, presentations and student-faculty collaborations.

Goedereis hopes that the ORSP will help attract faculty who are experts in their fields.

“I think it’ll demonstrate that we’re serious about being teachers and researchers,” Goedereis said.

For Dahlgren, the ORSP is an opportunity to support faculty who have worked diligently on research projects when there was little institutional support, to attract more students and to promote Webster’s reputation.

“This ‘overnight success’ has been about eight or ten years in the making,” Dahlgren said.

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