Lamont Weekly Report, January 27, 2012

One of our collective strategies going forward is to broaden our base of funding from traditional sources by developing relationships with other agencies and institutions. Working in our favor is the growing realization in some of these agencies that university-based fundamental research is necessary in its own right and has much to contribute to
their missions and agendas. For example, USAID - an agency with which we have had some past interactions - is in the process of developing an external grants program for universities, meant to support basic research in support of development objectives. It's important to note that these awards will be grants, not contracts, and the initial discussions suggest that this is a real change in the way USAID will interact with universities. We discussed this at the Lamont Excom this morning, and we concluded that the science we do here could be the basis of competitive proposals. So, stay tuned: we will be putting together some mechanisms to enable proposal development for this particular call. More broadly, NSF and other agencies are developing more programs and writing more RFPs for multidisciplinary science. We are in a good
position to take advantage of this trend.

Another discussion at this morning's Excom was focused on the development of our FY13 budget, and the principles, constraints, and opportunities going forward. It's my intention to have OMG and Excom heavily involved in budget development, so that Edie Miller and I have the widest range of inputs. An overarching strategic objective is to
connect next year's budget to a longer-term plan that locks in our ability to make investments to keep us at the top of our game.

The call for applications for the next class of Marie Tharp Fellows is out, and will soon be on the front page of our website. Please do your best to encourage eligible colleagues to apply.  Kuheli Dutt has the details.

A new version of the Lamont Research Professor Handbook (Version 4.0) has been emailed and is on Kuheli's webpage.

Other business at Excom this morning included discussion of procedures for lateral changes in title for some Officers of Research, an update from Pat O'Reilly on progress on renovation and other capital projects, a small change in our policies regarding overdue final reports (see your DA), and updates on government relations. Please talk to your AD and Excom reps for details.

The sun came out briefly this afternoon and burned the fog off the Hudson. Temperatures are mild. A classic weather pattern - for April.