Training Opportunities for Spring 2020 Remain Available

Due to the campus closure, the regularly scheduled Office of Sponsored Research and Programs sessions scheduled for March and April will be moved to Zoom.  Because these sessions are moved to Zoom, the previously imposed registration limits are no longer relevant. 

If you considered participating in one of the sessions below, but could not as a result of registration limits, please consider joining remotely.  If interested in participating, simply contact the Director via email ( to receive the connection details.

Thank you and do not hesitate to contact me if I may provide additional information or assistance.


These sessions will provide an overview on the use of SPIN and SMARTS, Hope College’s funding opportunity database and email notification system, respectively. Learn how to use the SPIN database, creating a SPIN account, and create/update your SMARTS notifications. Sessions will be held in campus computer labs.  The same session will be held on both days—there is no need to attend both.

Date/Time:        Thursday 26 March 2020, 4 pm – 5 pm
Location:          Zoom Video Conference

Proposal Development 101

Interested in pursuing external funding in support of your research, educational, or outreach activities but do not know where to begin?  It can be quite intimidating to apply for external grants and fellowships—but learn where to start in Proposal Development 101!  This session will provide you with a broad overview of the grantseeking process, developing your idea and project plan, and building a sponsored program budget.

Session 1

Date/Time:        Tuesday 7 April 2020, 12 pm – 1 pm
Location:          Zoom Video Conference

Session 2

Date/Time:        Wednesday 15 April 2020, 12 pm – 1 pm
Location:          Zoom Video Conference

Impact of COVID-19 on Proposal Submissions and Awards

With COVID-19 impacting nearly every facet of life, proposal submissions and awards are no different.  Below are some items to consider as many of our sponsors shift to remote operations.

Please note the Office of Sponsored Research and Programs has shifted to remote operations.  Please feel free to contact the Director via email ( or Google Chat during regularly scheduled business hours. 

Proposal Submissions

Most sponsors continue to accept proposals for regularly scheduled deadlines; no sponsors have fully indicated the suspension of all grant proposal submissions as a result of COVID-19.  Please remember to check your sponsor/program regularly to see if any deadlines have been extended. 

Access to electronic systems to develop and submit proposals remain operational.  For sponsors which require a paper copy of proposals, please contact the Director ( as soon as possible to discuss arrangements for shipping. 

For those with pending proposals, it is anticipated there will be some delays.  NSF, for example, has moved all in-person panel sessions to remote sessions, which will take some time to organize and conduct—and further delay award decisions.  Some sponsors do permit pre-award costs of up to 90 days (NSF and NIH, for example), so it may be possible to maintain original project start dates if your project is funded. 

If delays will result in significant changes to a project’s scope of work, please feel free to contact the Director ( to discuss options and contact the sponsor. 

Funded Projects

To the extent feasible, work on funded projects may continue while shifted to remote operations.  However, because many of our researchers require access to their labs, libraries, or must travel domestically or internationally to meet their original scope of work, COVID-19 will have a significant impact on research activities for the foreseeable future. 

The biggest question in the sponsored project community right now is “Do I need to contact the sponsor if I am working remotely?”  And the answer to this question, generally, is NO.  Most federal grants require us to contact the sponsor ONLY if the PI, Co-PI, or other senior personnel will be absent from the project for greater than 90 days.  If you are concerned about your specific award, please contact the Director ( to discuss.

Items to consider for funded projects:

  1. You may continue to incur expenses while on remote operations.  This includes salary/wages, materials/supplies, publishing costs, and other expenses necessary for you to continue your project while working remotely.
  2. Please consider postponing travel arrangements until more information is available.  While this may not be possible depending on the urgency of your project, college-sponsored travel is suspended until 13 April 2020.  For those who may have incurred charges to a sponsored project account for travel that was subsequently canceled due to COVID-19, you may seek reimbursement for costs not recovered through the cancellation process.  Please contact the Director ( if you have any questions.
  3. Start planning for a no-cost extension.  Some sponsors (NSF and NIH, for example), provide grantees with an automatic one-time extension of grant periods.  Other agencies require you to specifically request the extension.  A few agencies have already automatically granted no-cost extensions to all projects.  If you have questions about this process or need assistance, feel free to contact the Director (
  4. Remember all other terms and conditions of your award remain in force.  While COVID-19 will likely impact all sponsored research on campus, the original terms and conditions of our awards remain in force.  So if your award requires prior approval for any change to your project, this remains in effect during remote operations. 

Sponsor Updates/Information

A number of sponsors have already published specific websites for COVID:

If you have an award from any of these agencies or are considering a proposal submission in the next few weeks, please be certain to check these sites regularly for updates. 

Susan Ipri Brown receives new NOAA award

Susan Ipri Brown, Director of ExploreHope, recently received a $79,971 award from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Great Lakes Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) Program for the project titled Prep for Day 1: K-12 Students Jump into West Michigan Watershed. The project period is 1 March 2020 through 31 August 2021. Michelle Gibbs and Mike Pikaart will be joining Susan on this project. In addition, the Holland-Hope College Sustainability Institute and Macatawa Area Coordinating Council will also participate in the project, linking middle and high school student data to the overall impact on regional policy and community efforts.

This project will link existing watershed research at Hope College with area teachers and their classrooms. Middle and high school teachers will engage with area professionals, walk-through hands-on watershed learning with regional students through summer programs, and integrate new curriculum and field experiences within their classrooms. Hope College faculty and mentor teachers will lead teacher professional development sessions and provide mentoring throughout the school year. Hope College education and service majors will provide mentoring for the students during their field experiences.

Congratulations, Susan, on your latest award!

NSF Offers Information to Proposers and Awardees on the Impact of Coronavirus

With the cancelation of a major academic conference this week (APS in Denver), NSF recognizes the impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) on proposal and award activity.

To assist proposers and awardees in assessing impact, please see NSF 20-053: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) for National Science Foundation (NSF) Proposers and Awardees.

This is an evoloving situation–some sections of the FAQs remain in flux. If you have questions, please contact Ron Fleischmann, Director of Sponsored Research and Programs (

Anna-Lisa Cox Continues Her Press Tour for Acclaimed Book

Anna-Lisa Cox, Visiting Scholar in the History Department, continues her press tour to support her book The Bone and Sinew of the Land: America’s Forgotten Pioneers and the Struggle for Equality.

This book explores the history of black pioneers in the Northwest Territory–which became Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin–and how these families were making a stand for equality and freedom in one of America’s forgotten frontiers. Many of these early pioneers left a mark on one of the most important agricultural aspects of the Michigan economy–apple production. Michigan owes much of its heritage to these courageous men and women.

Learn more about Anna-Lisa’s book and research through the Settling Ohio: First Nations and Beyond conference at Ohio University and a recent interview with Michigan Public Radio.

Congratulations, Anna-Lisa, on your continued success! (Oh, and don’t forget to read her book!)

Anita Esquerra-Zwiers receives new award from Sigma Theta Tau Kappa Epsilon at-Large Chapter

Anita Esquerra-Zwiers, Assistant Professor of Nursing, received a $1,500 award from the Sigma Theta Tau Kappa Epsilon at-Large Chapter for the project titled Accuracy and Precision of Infant Test Weights for Breast Milk Bottle Feeding. Students Anastasia Perecki and Kesline Senesca will be joining Anita as co-investigators on this project.

This project will assess the accuracy and precision of community-setting test weighing of infants. Although test weighing of infants has been validated in clinical settings, it has yet to be validated in community settings or among term infants. This work will have significant implications on how researchers may be able to weigh infants outside of clinical settings for a variety of research purposes.

Congratulations on your award, Anita!

HSRT receives new National Endowment for the Arts award

Congratulations to Hoper Summer Repertory Theatre (HSRT) for receiving a new National Endowment for the Arts award! This Challenge America Grant will support the production of Children of a Lesser God, which will run from 29 May 2020 through 6 June 2020.

Learn more about HSRT’s latest award from Hope’s Public Affairs and Marketing.

Congratulations to HSRT, and especially Anne Bakker and Reagan Chesnut, for their award!

Benjamin Meagher receives new award from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship

Benjamin Meagher, Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology, recently received a $17,784 award from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship Teacher-Scholar Vital Worship Grant for the project titled The physical ecology of religious worship, identity, and emotional experience. The project runs from 1 March 2020 through 30 June 2021. Drs. Courtney Peckens and Marsley Kehoe will be joining Ben as co-investigators on this project.

This project is an interdisciplinary, empirical investigation of how the physical design and layout of a worship space influences the experience and reflects the religious identity of the congregation that workships there. This research will provide insights for faith leaders seeking to design, build, or renovate their church’s physical space in ways most likely to enhance community and facilitate positive worship experiences for their congregation.

Congratulations on your award, Ben!

Hope College has a 7/5 business day requirement for proposal submissions

The completed proposal is due to the Office of Sponsored Research and Programs (OSRP; seven business (7) days before the sponsor deadline. The Principal Investigator (PI) has five (5) of these seven business days to finalize the scientific and/or programmatic components of the application.  

“Proposal” is defined as an application to an external sponsor that will commit the college to a project if funded. Proposals typically include a full description of the research project and a detailed budget and require the certification of an authorized official who has the authority to commit the institution to the project.  Letters of inquiry, letters of intent, pre-proposals, and other types of preliminary submissions that do not require the submission of a line-item budget or the approval of an authorized official are NOT subject to this requirement. 

In order to allow Principal Investigators additional time for a final read‐through and last minute minor editing, including corrections or updates to proposals, the seven-day requirement is amended as follows:

  1. Use the Early Notification Form to communicate your grant-seeking plans to your dean(s) and department chair(s). This will help in the process of confirming cost-share and/or course-release commitments, and complete all sponsor-related institutional and investigator assurances.
  2. Complete proposals are due to OSRP seven days before the sponsor’s deadline. 
  3. PIs will have until Day 5 of the 7-business day period prior to the sponsor’s due date to replace a draft version of technical/science documents with the corresponding final version with OSRP. Before the end of business on Day 5, the Director of OSRP will confirm the final version of the proposal with the PI.
  4. The final version of a proposal will be submitted by OSRP in advance of a sponsor’s due date whenever possible to ensure it is successfully received by the sponsor.        

If a PI will not be able to meet the 7/5 business day requirement, they must request an exemption to this requirement from their department chair and dean.

Questions? Feel free to contact Ron Fleischmann, Director of Sponsored Research and Programs (, x 7316).