Successful extramural funding efforts depend heavily on direct interactions with funding agency officials. Early and sustained engagement with program managers is crucial for two reasons. First, it helps sponsors develop the necessary level of confidence that research concepts will advance their agencies’ missions. Second, program managers routinely give applicants advanced intelligence on the timing of solicitations and new requirements, allowing them to be proactive – rather than reactive – in pursuing extramural funding.
Recently, McAllister & Quinn collaborated with a university client’s Office of Government Relations to assist faculty in a successful “DC Fly-In.” A group of investigators met with Department of Defense program managers at the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and Office of Naval Research to learn about the agencies’ funding priorities and present research that may be of interest. Our work included identifying program offices and personnel that may have an interest in the client’s research capabilities; helping to build a robust agenda and schedule meetings; leading an introductory workshop to help prepare faculty for the DC sessions; participating in and facilitating meetings; and debriefing with faculty to outline follow-up activities.