Each year the CFAES Office for Research and Graduate Education and the Grant Development Support Unit (GDSU) invite newer faculty members to travel to Washington, D.C., which allows faculty to visit federal agencies and program officers, while providing an opportunity to network and increase collaboration across departments.
The 5th annual DC Days program took place May 7-9, 2018, allowing eight faculty members and three administrative staff from CFAES to travel to the hill. Attendees included Rafiq Islam, V.M. "Bala" Balasubramaniam, Eric England, Kerry Ard, Anne Dorrance, Adam Ward, Lori Kaser, Melanie Lewis Ivey, Drew Hanks, Elizabeth Long, and Pam Schlegel.
This year CFAES made a joint trip with the College of Education and Human Ecology (EHE), adding 12 EHE faculty and two staff members.
On day one, CFAES attendees hopped on the metro and headed to USDA to learn about the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).
In 2017, the number one federal sponsor awarding CFAES funds was the USDA, providing almost $9 million in capacity funds and competitive awards. Our state liaison, Ann Lichens Park, gave an introduction followed by updates from program officers about the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Programs and the NIFA Center for International Programs. In the afternoon, CFAES attendees joined EHE attendees at the National Science Foundation (NSF).
On day two, all attendees headed to Ohio State's Office of Government Affairs on Capitol Hill to learn more about how university federal liaisons facilitate the development, implementation, and advocacy of the university's federal agenda. The afternoon was spent at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where faculty learned about the grants and peer review process, as well as how to find the right funding opportunities.
The Environmental Protection Agency was the final stop on day three, where program officers discussed the National Center for Environmental Research (NCER) and related funding opportunities in depth.
While in Washington, most faculty arranged time to visit individually with program officers to discuss their research and possible funding opportunities. Faculty organized one-on-one meetings with USDA-NIFA and NSF program officers, in addition to two agencies that were not a part of the itinerary, including the Civilian Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) Global and the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR).
Those interested in joining the next group can check the GDSU website in the fall for the 2019 Request for Applications. -- Kayla Arnold