EPSCoR - Montana NSF

Passing the Torch
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It was once again time to “pass the torch”. In the tradition developed by Montana State University under the recently completed 2004-2007 Montana NSF EPSCoR award, The University of Montana is carrying on this custom.

In 2003 the Montana NSF EPSCoR offices developed a new approach to administering the award by passing the lead responsibilities back and forth between the two PhD granting institutions. With the advent of the 2007-2010 award, the lead is reverting back to Montana State. The PIs and staff at both schools are again excited about this transition and the new challenges it will bring. Anticipating the role changes that would follow, all involved had the foresight to begin preparations well in advance. The PIs and administrators sorted out all the particulars, including appointing research focus area leads and oversight committees as well as creating a new web site. All of the planning has paid off; the transition has been a smooth one.

After the formal announcement of the grant award, an October mini-conference was hosted by MSU in Bozeman, Montana. Representatives from UM and MSU gathered to share ideas, valuable lessons were passed on, and strategies for implementing the new grant were discussed at length. But, the conference was also a time to celebrate a job well done. At dinner, Dr. Chuck Thompson passed a LED lighted torch built in the new spectrUM Discovery Area to an amused MSU director, Dr. Mark Young. With the transition complete and the closing of another chapter for Montana NSF EPSCoR, everyone was ready to dig in to the new grant.