WMU News

GOLD program succeeds in helping get federal grants

June 21, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- A new program designed to assist Western Michigan University graduate students in securing external funding for their research is achieving its goal, as evidenced by federal grants received by two of its participants.

Amy Goodwin and John Landosky, doctoral students participating in WMU's Graduate Opportunity for Long-term Development program, have both received federal funding for their research efforts. Established two years ago by WMU's Graduate College, the GOLD program guides graduate students through the process of searching for and securing grants to fund their research initiatives.

Goodwin, who is working on a doctoral degree in behavioral psychology, was awarded a $52,000 grant last fall from the National Institutes of Health while Landosky, a biological sciences doctoral student, received a $10,000 grant this spring from the National Science Foundation.

"The successes experienced by Amy and John are fine examples that point to the quality of research that they are doing," says Eileen Evans, associate dean of the Graduate College.

Goodwin, of Flagstaff, Ariz., will use her award to conduct research on the effects of illegal drugs on the brain. Specifically, she is examining the effect of LSD and Ecstasy using a procedure known as drug discrimination. She also received a $1,000 grant from the American Psychological Association for her research.

Landosky, a native of Midland, Mich., will use his award to support research on the impact elevated carbon monoxide has on plants and ecosystems. Part of his grant will be used to travel to the University of Michigan's biological field station in Pellston, Mich., this summer to access specialized equipment to conduct experiments.

Both students say the GOLD program has been instrumental to their success in applying for and receiving federal grants.

"It has helped by putting me in contact with others in the same field as myself," says Goodwin, "and the program sets unavoidable deadlines that must be met."

Students involved with the GOLD program attend workshops on seeking grants and participate in quality circles to receive constructive feedback on drafts of grant proposals. They also establish a relationship with a mentor from outside WMU and participate in mock review sessions conducted by faculty volunteers who critique their final proposals.

All WMU graduate students are eligible to apply for the GOLD program. Up to nine participants are selected based on whether their area of research is likely to receive external support, and each receives a $2,000 research account to support expenses related to seeking grants. Landosky and Goodwin were among the first participants selected for the GOLD program.

Landosky says the program has shown him the value of writing grants as well as the University's commitment to graduate studies.

"The GOLD program is concrete evidence that WMU is interested in the success of its graduate students," he says.

Media contact: Lisa Lueking, 616 387-8400

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