Whittier College is a Hispanic Serving Institution located in Southern California and is among the nation's most diverse liberal arts colleges. Although the College has had recent success in securing external support for undergraduate research, laboratory renovations, equipment and academic programming through its Centers of Excellence and, in particular, the Center for Science, Health and Policy, it lacks a formal infrastructure for the support of faculty research. The goal of the proposed BRAD program Institutional Research Administration Capacity Building (IRAC) plan is to create that needed infrastructure by establishing an Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) at Whittier College.
The specific aims are to: 1) support faculty in their research efforts and increase faculty research activity at Whittier;2) Build research capacity in the biomedical and biobehavioral fields;and 3) Increase research opportunities for underrepresented students. Participation in the BRAD program will provide Whittier's proposed Extramural Associate (EA) and Co-PI with the training and mentorship to establish the OSR and provide research training and support to faculty. A key component of the OSR is the planned hire of a grants manager. Ideally, the person hired for this position will be an experienced sponsored research professional with knowledge of both pre- and post-award support. Through the OSR, faculty will have access to workshops on topics including prospect identification, grant writing, proposal development, and successful grant management in addition to individualized grant support. As Whittier College works to improve its research capabilities, it is essential that faculty have the resources and support to further their research. This is especially true in the biomedical and biobehavioral fields at Whittier where highly motivated and talented early career faculty comprise a growing proportion of professors. Investing in our faculty will undoubtedly yield substantial returns for our diverse student population and community at large.
Whittier College is a nationally ranked private liberal arts college, and a Hispanic Serving Institution, located in Southern California. Faculty at Whittier are conducting research in a variety of health related areas including the study of aging, obesity in children and young adults, examining the relationship between stress and the immune system, and various areas of child development among others. Funding from the NIH BRAD program will enable Whittier to build its capacity to support these and other areas of faculty research while also increasing undergraduate research opportunities for underrepresented students.