Case Study: I want to Build a School

24.06.2011 0

Challenge:

What do you do when you’re given $17.5 million dollars and asked to set up a new university endowment program?   There are a number of issues to navigate when you’re establishing a provincial program in forest research.

Deciding how funds will be distributed, setting limits, and ensuring accountability are significant challenges.

Applicants need equitable access to funds and information on how they can apply for them.  Determining eligible activities is important, as many competing interest groups want to participate in funding initiatives.

 

Approach:

The crown agency I was working for was asked to be the delivery agent for a new program to support new faculties at universities around British Columbia.

I was responsible for establishing the funding criteria.  This included defining what should be included in proposal contents, setting benchmarks for evaluation, and recruiting a committee of experts that would examine and determine which proposals would be funded.

I coached applicants on the process and on the contents of the proposals – matching funding requests with the program criteria.

I determined that frequent communication to all stakeholders would be the most beneficial activity I could do.  This kept all expectations focused on the program’s objectives

 

Solution:

I solicited subject matter experts from around North America to participate on the evaluation committee.  We toured each applicant’s facilities and then conducted two evaluation rounds, providing feedback on proposed programs.   Endowments were established in the areas of genetics, geosciences, ecology, and watershed research.

I managed the ongoing administration for the program, establishing processes for reporting, evaluating progress, making disbursements, and for the extension of research results.

 

 

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