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Funding dreams and writing Advanced Technology Education proposals for the National Science Foundation

It only takes a quick trip to the grocery store to see that familiar jobs are vanishing. Unless you're in Oregon, grocery store checkers are going the way of gas station attendants, travel agents, and secretaries. Jobs are changing, new jobs require different skills, and even those jobs will be obsolete within a short time.

Community colleges can cushion the blow by developing education programs in response to the needs of their local communities.

Not only do these programs help displaced workers, they help their communities attract new businesses and support economic growth.

Georgia's Technical College System, for example, was credited with helping to convince Dendreon to locate a new $70 million biomanufacturing plant, with 550 jobs and an annual combined payroll close to $35 million in an Atlanta suburb (1).

But, where do schools get the seed money to start new programs in the first place? Surprisingly, one of the best sources of start up funds is the National Science Foundation's program in Advanced Technology Education (ATE) (2). The NSF:

"anticipates that approximately $64.0 million will be available for new and continuing awards in this program in FY2012. Funding in all years is subject to the availability of funds. The program expects to make 75-90 new awards per year."

The impact from the ATE program is huge. In 2009, the ATE program supported programs at 1300 education institutions and served 85,300 students, and 58,100 educators (3).

If you're interested in applying for funds, ATE grant proposals are due in October. The time to start writing is now.

If you want to learn how to develop a plan and write a proposal, Bio-Link is offering a free webinar on May 24th. Dr. Linnea Fletcher, a former NSF program officer, and a Bio-Link Co-PI, will be presenting. 


Note:  The date has changed to Thursday, May 24th.

cross-posted at: Discovering Biology in a Digital World,



1. Alex Philippidis, 2009. Airport Site, Georgia Tax Credit Entices Dendreon to Base New Biomanufacturing Plant in State. Genomeweb BioRegion News.

2. Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Program Solicitation 2011

3. Evaluate Advanced Technological Education Survey 2010 Fact Sheet


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