Is your organization looking for project-based funding to support activities that further the arts? The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) recently opened applications for its Grants for Arts Projects program. This program supports public engagement with – and access to – various art forms across a variety of disciplines (dance, folk and traditional, media arts, music, visual arts, etc.), artwork creation, arts education, and integration of the arts into community life.

I’m not the type of person who sends out holiday cards. I want to be that type of person. I feel like I should be that type of person. After all, I love receiving them; the photos of our friends and family and their “year-in-review” recaps always bring a smile to my face. And I grew up with a mom who is great at sending holiday cards. I have vivid memories of her pulling out the notebook filled with addresses, often with amendments and notes penned neatly beside certain names. She’d carefully address and stuff envelopes with a card and letter detailing our family’s updates and accomplishments. By giving my brother and me some editorial power over our own paragraphs (so we could keep our very cool reputations intact) and soliciting our help with the envelope stuffing, she was giving us a primer in relationship maintenance.

It can be difficult to find positive aspects to this year. I don’t need to remind you of all of the unprecedented challenges we’ve experienced so far and will likely continue to live through well into the coming year. Instead, let’s focus on something more hopeful! Let’s spend the rest of this year (and early 2021) on something we may not have found much time for in the past: LEARNING!

Department of Health and Human Services – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Attention institutions of higher education! The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) recently opened a funding opportunity focused on mental health services for college students. The Garrett Lee Smith (GLS) Campus Suicide Prevention program provides institutions of higher education (IHEs) with funding to develop the infrastructure and sustainable capacity for effective identification, intervention, and suicide prevention programming on college campuses.

This time of year naturally leads people to reflect back and start looking forward, generating new goals and resolutions. Respectfully, I ask, “How is that even possible with a year like 2020?” It’s been a year filled with fear, sadness, uncertainty, confusion, and constant change, to say the least. Even our everyday language has taken on a whole new plethora of words like COVID-19, pandemic, social distance, quarantine, contact tracing, essential businesses, and flattening the curve. By the way, if you are looking for that blog that says better days are ahead, here is my warning: STOP! This blog is about realness – real thoughts, real feelings, real struggles. I wish I could say that I thought of writing this myself, but I am not that bold. I owe it to a great colleague of mine who challenged me to bring out the realness and ugly truths that may help me (and possibly even others) sort this out in my head.

Department of Health and Human Services - Health Resources and Services Administration Does your organization provide advanced nursing education? The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) recently opened a funding opportunity through its Advanced Nursing Education – Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (ANE-SANE) program. This program focuses on recruitment, training, and certification of registered nurses (RNs), advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), and forensic nurses (FNs) to practice as sexual assault nurse examiners (SANEs). By increasing the supply and distribution of qualified working SANEs, the ANE-SANE program improves overall access to sexual assault forensic examinations.

As grant professionals, many of us know that our workload tends to ease up a bit during the last month or two of the year. Yes, yes, the holidays are here as well, but this is no ordinary year (e.g., pandemic, racial tensions, etc.). What has felt to some people like a decade’s-long timespan (i.e. 2020), is FINALLY coming to an end. (Ok, ok. ‘Some people’ is me. I am ‘some people.’) But if you’re like me, you’re determined to remain cautiously optimistic about the upcoming year; having faith that things will ultimately be ok in the end. So, this is an ideal time to seize the moment and maximize your efficiency by preparing for the year to come. While there are many things a grant professional should do to be ready for an upcoming year, we’ll talk briefly about a few of the key ones.

Department of Health and Human Services - Health Resources and Services Administration Does your organization provide educational programs for individuals pursuing nursing degrees? The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) recently opened a funding opportunity through its Nursing Workforce Diversity (NWD) program. NWD provides funding to assist students from underrepresented and disadvantaged backgrounds as they progress through the educational pipeline – from enrollment to graduation – toward becoming practicing registered nurses. NWD programs accomplish this through the implementation of evidence-based strategies that are proven to support students from disadvantaged backgrounds (including ethnic and racial minorities) in completing their degree programs.

National Science Foundation The National Science Foundation (NSF) has recently opened to proposals its Campus Cyberinfrastructure (CC) program. Given the data-driven nature of scientific research and education, institutions of higher education face many challenges regarding cyberinfrastructure, including computing, data services, security, information-sharing, and more. NSF addresses the growing needs for innovative, effective network infrastructures on campuses through the CC program. Let’s take a closer look at this opportunity.

I recently wrote a blog, Write Like a JD, where I shared some tips I learned in law school that I utilize in my grant writing. When it was published, I was excited – I always am; there’s just something so satisfying about seeing your work in print. But my heart sank immediately when I saw the cover art that originally accompanied my piece. It was a stock photo of a white guy in a suit sitting behind a desk with a gavel on one side of him and the scales of justice on the other. I’m a lawyer by trade, a grant professional by choice, and an African American woman by birth. I did not see myself reflected in this art that accompanied my work.