New Office of Research & Sponsored Programs

August 22, 2016

To the Jacksonville University Community: 

Over the course of the past two years, Jacksonville University applied for more than $6 million in external funding to support the research and scholarly endeavors of its faculty and administration.   These efforts resulted in $3.2 million in grant and contract awards, and have fostered several important initiatives, including research projects, student scholarships, professional development, community outreach, and program development, among others.  Each proposal – funded or not – represents an idea, a curiosity, and an attempt to advance learning.  The worthy pursuit to accrue knowledge motivated the submission of each proposal.

It is in this vein that I am pleased to announce a substantial increase in our commitment to strengthen our capacity to support the pursuit of knowledge and grow our research enterprise.  Reporting to the Sr. VP for University and Academic Affairs / Provost, the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) is established and charged with advancing and safeguarding Jacksonville University’s engagement in scholarship, creativity and innovation. This will be accomplished through a range of targeted support services offered to faculty to promote their scholarly pursuits.

Located on the second floor of the Howard Administration building, the ORSP will facilitate the pre-award and non-financial post-award phases of the sponsored projects lifecycle. Services include:

  • Assistance with identifying appropriate funding sources;
  • Fostering opportunities for internal and external collaboration;
  • Facilitating the internal approval process and technology transfer.

Working closely with Finance, the Controller’s Office, University Relations and Development, Communications, and the Institutional Review Board (IRB), the ORSP will also ensure regulatory compliance in areas including human subjects, conflicts of interest, and research integrity.

Research and Sponsored Programs will be headed by Renee Rossi, who will serve as Director.  The Department’s website, to be formally launched in the coming weeks, will include links to funding sources and a Research Toolbox with grant writing tips and best practices. Account set-ups and post-award financial management services will be facilitated through the Controller’s Office with Carol Fountain, Accountant, as the primary point of contact.

Two new positions, supported entirely through EPIC funding, will be phased-in to expand the capacity and efficiency of services to faculty, including a research compliance coordinator and a research development coordinator.

Also, we have subscribed to Pivot, the top-rated on-line funding opportunity database, enabling our faculty and students to search the Pivot website using any computer with access to the internet and a Jacksonville University email address. Faculty may set-up a profile based on their project interests, and Pivot will use the profile to deliver tailored funding opportunities via email.

The establishment of a research Administration office is another important milestone in Jacksonville University’s continuing dedication to academic excellence. Sponsored research enhances the quality of teaching, retains and attracts superior faculty, and provides new experiential learning opportunities for our students.  We plan to hold information sessions on how to seek funding opportunities, typical phases and compliance aspects of sponsored projects, and Pivot software.  Look for invitations to these sessions this fall.

We often celebrate curiosity as the very basis of education. As we anticipate the arrival of new and returning students for the 2016-17 year, I encourage each of us to be bold and follow our curiosities while engaging students in the educational journey.


Tim Cost
Jacksonville University
Class of 1981