Returning travel program to bring faculty members to funders

Meeting in Washington, D.C.

This past September, nine junior faculty members joined representatives from the University of Oregon’s Office of the Vice President of Research and Innovation on a four-day trip to Washington, D.C. to build relationships with program officers at federal funding agencies.

Following the success of the pilot program, the office is again soliciting applications to participate in the initiative, re-named the DC TRIP: Travel for Research, Innovation, and Partnerships.

Like last year’s group, teams received a behind-the-scenes look at funding agencies and enjoyed the opportunity to connect with congressional representatives. Krista McGuire, an assistant professor in the Department of Biology, was one of the inaugural cohort members.

“While I’ve been in academia for longer than most of the other faculty on the trip, this was by far the most valuable experience I’ve had for enhancing my grant writing in my entire career,” McGuire said.

This year’s squad of UO researchers will travel to the nation’s capital Sept. 13-16 to conduct individual and group meetings with program officers and other officials at federal funding agencies, such as the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and National Endowment for the Humanities. The program covers transportation, lodging and per-diem expenses.

Members will also participate in three pre-travel workshops during the spring and summer term to develop and refine a concept paper and learn best practices for connecting with and presenting research to federal sponsor program officers.

Priority for the awards will be given to early career faculty members who are preparing applications to specific agency programs. The initiative is part of a strategic plan by the UO’s Research Development Services unit to provide support and training to new faculty members as they launch their research programs. The unit offers services for faculty members seeking support for research, performance, public service and scholarly projects.

Faculty members with the rank of assistant professor, associate professor, research assistant professor or research associate professor who hold a full-time appointment may apply. Eligible faculty members must have started their first quarter on campus on or after September 2017. Emeritus, courtesy, visiting and pro-tem appointee ranks are ineligible.    

Interested participants must apply using the online application by March 20 at 5 p.m. The brief application requires a one-page letter of interest describing the faculty member’s specific research focus and the name of the agencies and affiliated institutes or programs with which the would like to meet, along with a two-page curriculum vitae or biographical sketch.

For additional questions, contact Kate Petcosky-Kulkarni at