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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI oceanographer on loan to National Science Foundation to help guide funding decisions

Media Contact: Todd McLeish, 401-874-7892

NARRAGANSETT, R.I. – January 30, 2012 – An oceanography professor at the University of Rhode Island has been selected to spend the next two years at the National Science Foundation helping make decisions about what grant proposals receive funding.

S. Bradley Moran begins his new assignment on January 30.

“I’ve always wanted to be in the room to hear how funding decisions are made,” said Moran, a professor at the Graduate School of Oceanography and a resident of Kingston. “It’s a rare opportunity and a feather in the cap for URI.”

Moran was selected after a national search for a program director to serve in the NSF Division of Ocean Sciences. He will help guide the merit review process for grant proposals dealing with chemical oceanography.

“It’s beneficial for NSF to include scientists who are in the trenches writing proposals because they are familiar with the ongoing research in the field,” explained Moran.

While Moran will not make decisions about URI grant proposals, he said that the University can benefit from his position by “having someone working at the NSF who will become familiar with new funding initiatives, multi-institutional programs, and related research and education opportunities that one might not necessarily know about while working in your URI office and laboratory. It’s extremely helpful to know the kind of future projects and initiatives that are being proposed and funded.”

Moran, who has received funding from NSF for his chemical oceanography research continuously since 1992, is enthusiastic about his new role in part because it “is an opportunity to return some of the investment made in my research and education activities.”

He is also interested in learning more about the field of research administration. Moran gained his first experience in this area in 2008 when he was appointed to a temporary position as assistant vice president for research administration in the URI Research Office.

“I’m becoming more and more interested in scientific research administration as time goes by,” Moran said. “This new position provides an opportunity to gain experience in science administration at a major funding institution.

“I’ve always believed that you create your own opportunities. I rather fortuitously found myself in the Research Office through my work with the Blue MBA [a graduate degree program combining business and oceanography], and in turn that has led to this new opportunity,” he added.

Moran has six active NSF research grants, and he will periodically return to URI for up to 50 days each year to continue that research and advise his graduate students.

“After I return to the Graduate School of Oceanography in 2014, I look forward to whatever interesting opportunities might be presented,” he concluded.