Case Study

University Client Wins $1.2 Million Noyce NSF Grant

Photo by Colleen Lane

Summary

McAllister & Quinn worked with a University client to pursue a highly competitive and prestigious student scholarship grant that helps address the need for more STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) teachers. The grant provides scholarships to STEM majors as well as STEM professionals to help them earn their teaching credentials and in turn teach in high-needs public schools.

Strategy

The McAllister & Quinn team had worked closely with this University for a number of years to support and expand its grant and foundation funded projects. As part of its ongoing relationship with the University, the McAllister & Quinn team conducted an annual organizational analysis with the University’s grants team to include key administrators and faculty. This University’s strengths were examined, existing and emerging academic programs were reviewed, and federal/foundation funding opportunities were identified while considering faculty research interests.

The McAllister & Quinn team made a strong case that the University was positioned to pursue a Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program grant, a unique and highly competitive project that only a few institutions receive annually to help train STEM teachers. McAllister & Quinn recognized that the University’s tradition of innovation in the sciences and commitment to education outreach, as well as recent recognition of the University’s STEM activities, made it competitive for this award and that the timing to pursue it had arrived.

The National Science Foundation, which administers the Noyce Program, had not yet released a funding announcement, giving the McAllister & Quinn team the necessary time to begin organizing faculty, internal grants resources and administrators to prepare the Noyce application. Well in advance of writing the proposal, the McAllister & Quinn grants team worked side-by-side with faculty and administrators to (1) shape the strategy, (2) gain valuable insights on nuances of the grant competition, and (3) conduct a special training workshop for faculty on this funding opportunity. The client team coordinated the activities of the faculty and administrators, monitored the team to meet all deadlines and requirements, collaborated with faculty on grant-writing, and completed an “Internal Panel Review and Edit” to improve the final grant application to ensure it was competitive. The team also provided technical advice that assisted the University to communicate effectively with the NSF.

Results

The University received a $1.2 Million award, allowing the University to attract a talented, diverse cohort of students and continue to build upon its strengths in physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics programs. The award also allows the University to continue to build upon existing partnerships with area schools as part of other academic initiatives.