Coaching faculty on research agendas and grant proposals

photo of Jocelyn Stitt
photo of Jocelyn Stitt

September 2018 

My family got some exciting news in the summer of 2018. My uncle Jerry Stitt spent his career as a baseball coach at the college level as well as for the major league. Trevor Hoffman, one of the students he coached at the University of Arizona, was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame and invited my uncle to attend. My uncle had a great time. I enjoyed seeing how someone who had a very successful career in professional baseball celebrated the importance of my uncle’s coaching.

Why am I writing about this story? Because explaining what I do at IRWG can be challenging, and the language I’ve inherited from my family to talk about it is through sports and coaching. I function as a coach for faculty. Like my uncle going from coaching college students to major league players, I’ve gone from being a women’s studies professor to working with professional scholars of gender and sexuality. And like professional athletes, our faculty need support in the form of advanced feedback on their research agendas and grant proposals. I get to come in and help tweak and sharpen the foundation that the researcher already has. I believe, like a good coach, that there is plenty of success to go around.

That requires a broad base of knowledge about gender studies in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities so that I can give faculty subject area suggestions, rather than just grantwriting advice. I worked on 35 grants last year encompassing all of the major federal funding agencies, including NIH, NSF, and NEH. The topics have ranged from the importance of funding for digital humanities project that archives Chicana activism to a study of microagressions towards female physicians.

This year I’m looking forward to giving workshops on finding and obtaining funding. I’m especially excited to share what I learned at a conference about National Science Foundation funding opportunities. Check your inbox later this semester for dates and times. As always, please email me if you want to learn more about funding opportunities on campus and nationally.

Jocelyn's signature

Jocelyn Stitt
Program Director for Faculty Research Development
jocstitt@umich.edu

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