External funding increases as the number of quality proposals submitted increases; increasing the number of faculty submitting proposals is a logical step to increase external funding. Reflecting on a physical educator’s > $1.5 million grant portfolio, two main themes emerge: the role of the PI and the unit administrator. Realizing increases in external funding is in part a result of administrators empowering faculty for success, and five administrator strategies have been identified. These strategies include: (1) value all sources of external funding (e.g., teaching, research, outreach, federal, foundation), (2) reward the process and the outcomes (a good proposal is equal to a data-based paper), (3) facilitate connections for collaboration (e.g., spread the word about your faculty), (4) provide infrastructure (from labs to personnel evaluation), (5) identify and develop potential. Important strategies for PIs include: (1) write proposals, (2) take risks, (3) answer the phone, (4) details matter, and (5) seek collaborators.
Thomas Thomas is professor and chair of the School of Health and Kinesiology, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA.