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U.P. Grant Planning Workshops Building Partnerships and Community

Did you know the right grant can change the trajectory of a person, project or community? It can provide critical funds to education and research initiatives looking to make a positive impact. That’s why Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation and Michigan Health Endowment Fund are supporting the U.P. Grant Planning Workshop.

It’s a three-part series that began January 30, 2020. The initial training focused on networking and creating academic-community partnerships to improve health. The second meeting will target smaller workgroups, helping to develop ideas and prepare them for submission. The final training will focus on refining proposals to increase their chances of approval.

The U.P. Grant Planning Workshop was born out of a need to connect disparate groups within an isolated area. “Our geography is so [unevenly] distributed,” said Jodi Lehman, Executive Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at Michigan Technological University. “When you have people from all different parts of a network that have ideas, there has to be steps to help them through the proposal development process.”

Steven Elmer, Associate Professor, Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology at Michigan Technological University, is leading the workshop geared toward university faculty, students, clinicians and nonprofit organizations. “The goal is to build stronger relationships and develop collaborations so that we can work together on health-focused projects in the Upper Peninsula.”

This series focuses on multiple grants, including the U.P. Health Partnership Award and the Blue Cross Student Award. “A lot of these due dates are coming up,” revealed Elmer. “The three workshops will make working groups better positioned to submit competitive applications for these upcoming deadlines.”

The first workshop took place in Marquette–a central hub in the U.P.–and attracted over 35 people. There was a visibly positive response as participants were excited to see different stakeholders united. Workshop participants left with a lot of enthusiasm and were eager for the next step in the grant planning process.

Dates for the next meetings haven’t been scheduled but may be coordinated virtually, if necessary. If you’d like to learn more about the U.P. Grant Planning Workshop, please email: [email protected] 

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Photo credit: DME Photography

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