A Grant Will Fund COVID-19 Research in Utah

The United States is a vast country, and as COVID-19 is spreading, each state is reporting numbers of those tested, those being treated, and those who have lost their lives to this pandemic. There is a fear, shared among many health care professionals and politicians alike, that the spread of this pandemic may overwhelm the current U.S health care system that seems wholly unprepared to meet its demand. Items like masks and gloves for health care workers, respirators, and urgent care beds for patients are in short supply, and a vaccine is still months from being viable. However, there’s some positive news coming out of the State of Utah where physicists have been granted a research grant to study COVID-19, and understand the impacts of the novel coronavirus.


In Utah, as of recently, 78 people have tested positive for COVID-19, 68 of them being actual residents of the state. This number is reported after more than 1500 people have been tested throughout the state (though the number may be higher because some labs only report positive results). This number has jumped, with 15 new cases in a single day, and Salt Lake City and Summit County feeling significant impacts from this pandemic.

Researchers at the University of Utah will hopefully be able to help with mitigating this pandemic, with a grant that has been awarded to them to study the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). According to Michael Vershinin, assistant professor of physics at the University of Utah, as well as co-principal investigator on this grant, the goal of this research is not to create a vaccine for this virus or find a treatment, but to understand what “makes it tick” and to inform policy decisions moving forward.

Vershinn says: “The idea is to figure out what makes this virus fall apart, what makes it tick, what makes it die.”

Together with another professor at the University of Utah, Saveez Saffarian, Vershinn has searched the fully-sequenced SARS-COV-2 genome, and have located the exact sequence genes that are responsible for the actual structural integrity of the virus. Their goal is to recreate the virus in a way that it won’t have the ability to replicate, or infect, or even spread. The goal is also to see how the virus reacts to changes in temperatures or humidity levels, which will allow an understanding of how it could be impacted by different seasons.

Vershinn also makes the point that: “viruses tend to lose their ability to infect people because they lose their structure in different environmental conditions.”

This research will help to inform actionable insights not just for this pandemic, but for those in the future, and hopefully help prevent or mitigate future disasters.

GrantWatch is committed to helping ensure that nonprofits have the proper information about grants that have been made available as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and our team is consistently updating this list to reflect any updates available.

Coronavirus COVID-19 grants

If your organization is seeking Coronavirus COVID-19 grants, loans, funding opportunities and financial assistance, please go to the following URL – https://www.grantwatch.com/cat/56/coronavirus-covid-grants.html. This list of grants is ever-evolving, so check back often.

Skills for the future

Skills For Rhode Island’s Future: One of the most important elements of a society is how prepared are students who will eventually transition into the workforce. Are they prepared for the knowledge and skills that will be required of them? Will they be prepared for the types of jobs that are in high demand, will they be capable of performing jobs that will help them to move forward, and will they have access to the types of opportunities that will help them to build careers? A nonprofit group in Rhode Island has received funding to help make this a larger reality. 

For many students, ensuring that they have an internship is not just important for their future career, it may also be a requirement for them to graduate from university. And gaining access to those internships may be helpful in other ways as well, including allowing them access to contacts that can help mentor them and open opportunities along the way. A nonprofit statewide agency in Rhode Island has received a grant from American Student Assistance in order to help place students in internship opportunities.

Rhode Island's Skills For The Future

Skills for Rhode Island’s Future will use these funds to place four hundred and twenty-five students in internships plus hire three new job coaches. The grant is for 1.5 million dollars and is over a three year period. The funds will be used for Skills for Rhode Island’s Future’s current internship program. The programs currently take high schoolers and place them into paid summer internships with partner companies. 

Governor Gina Raimondo announced this grant funding this week, at a conference at Citizens Bank: 

We know this initiative is a success because we’ve seen it,” Raimondo said. “We’re seeing it and it’s working.

Rhode Island’s market executive for Citizens Bank and chairwoman of the state Board of Education, Barbara Cottam had this to say about the grant being awarded to Skills for Rhode Island’s Future:

We have a huge equity gap where, depending on your zip code, often there’s different levels of access to opportunity, to network, to get into the job market,” she said, “and I think this program is phenomenal. It brings in all students, it is blind to any of those barriers, and it gives each student a summer experience in a professional environment where they can contribute to the company and also define their career paths and what they want to do.

Who is Katherine Johnson?

Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson was an American mathematician who worked for NASA for 35 years. Her calculations of orbital mechanics were critical to the success of the first and subsequent U.S. crewed spaceflights. Katherine Johnson mastered complex manual calculations and helped pioneer the use of computers to perform the tasks.

Mrs. Johnson’s was responsible for calculating trajectories, launch windows and emergency return paths for Project Mercury spaceflights, including those for astronauts Alan Shepard, the first American in space, and John Glenn, the first American in orbit, and rendezvous paths for the Apollo Lunar Module and command module on flights to the Moon. Her calculations were also essential to the beginning of the Space Shuttle program, and she worked on plans for a mission to Mars.

Katherine Johnson
Aug. 26, 1918, to Feb. 24, 2020

10 Things you need to know about Katherine Johnson

  1. Katherine Johnson is one of the first African-American women to work as a NASA scientist.
  2. She was one of three black students to integrate West Virginia’s graduate schools.
  3. She graduated with B.S., Mathematics, and French from West Virginia State College in 1937.
  4. Mrs. Johnson was a school teacher prior to working at West Area Computing section at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics’ (NACA’s) Langley laboratory.
  5. In 1957, she provided some of the math for the 1958 document Notes on Space Technology, a compendium of a series of 1958 lectures given by engineers in the Flight Research Division and the Pilotless Aircraft Research Division (PARD).
  6. Katherine Johnson worked on the Space Shuttle and the Earth Resources Satellite (later renamed Landsat) and authored or co-authored 26 research reports. 
  7. In 2015, President Barack Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
  8. In 2019, Mrs. Johnson was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal
  9. She was portrayed by Taraji P. Henson as a lead character in the 2016 film Hidden Figures.
  10. She died on February 24, 2020. She was 101 years old.

Featured Grant

21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) Grant. Grants to Virginia Schools, Nonprofits, For-Profits, and IHEs for Out-of-School Academic Enrichment Programs. Funding is intended to support programs that help students meet standards in core academic subjects, such as reading and mathematics; offer enrichment activities that complement regular academic programs; and offer literacy and other educational services to the families of participating children. Special emphasis is placed on programs serving low-performing schools, and schools with a high-poverty student body.

Why Do I Need a Professional Grant-Writer?

Grants can greatly enable a nonprofit organization’s ability to provide services, create innovative programs, and fund operations. Finding and winning grants can prove to be a difficult challenge. Finding grant opportunities and preparing proposals takes time and skill. Grant guidelines and requirements can be confusing and difficult to navigate. The biggest challenge of all is that applying for grants is a competition and the competition is stiff.

Professional grant-writers are experienced in the grant-writing process and know what it takes to create a winning proposal. They can assist your organization in understanding the application process and prepare you to be successful. To win a grant, the funder must have confidence that the program being funded is going to successful and sustainable. Professional grant-writers can use their experience to objectively present your program’s successes and sustainability and thus increasing your potential for winning the grant.

Most importantly, a professional grant-writer is a member of your team. They are invested in your organization’s success and exist to help you help others. They are there to work alongside you as a resource and as one of your biggest supporters. The professionals at grantwriterteam.com have won millions of dollars in grant funds for organizations just like yours. They are knowledgeable of every step of the grant-writing process and are eager to assist you in acquiring the funding you need to continue your success.

Black History Month 2020

Black History

What is Black History Month and Why is it Important?

Black History Month (also known as African American History Month) is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of blacks in U.S. history.

Celebrating Black History allows us to pause, acknowledge, and remember the sacrifice and suffering that Civil Rights and other Historic leaders endured for the sake of racial equality.

Educating those outside the black community was always a central focus of the celebration of Black History Month. The belief is that if the country understood the contributions and sacrifices made by black people who served in the military during the second world war, it would provide a powerful argument that would undermine the notions of black inferiority. Focusing on these contributions and sacrifices would serve to create an environment that was more conducive to combating racism.

historian Dr. Carter G. Woodson
Historian Dr. Carter G. Woodson

8 things you should know about Black History Month

  1. The story of Black History Month began in 1915, half a century after the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in the United States.
  2. Black History Month grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Dr. Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. 
  3. Negro History Week was celebrated in the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.
  4. The event inspired schools and communities nationwide to organize local celebrations, establish history clubs and host performances and lectures.
  5. In the late 1960s, thanks in part to the civil rights movement and a growing awareness of black identity, Negro History Week evolved into Black History Month on many college campuses.
  6. President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976, calling upon the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”
  7. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month.
  8. Every year there is a different theme that is endorsed by the US President. 2020’s theme is, “African Americans and the Vote,” is in honor of the centennial anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment (1920) granting women’s suffrage and the sesquicentennial of the Fifteenth Amendment (1870) giving black men the right to vote.

Featured Grant

Black History Month Celebration 2020 Award Awards to New Jersey African American Individuals in Eligible Regions for Contributions to the Community. Awards are intended to honor individuals who have made significant contributions in the areas of professional achievements, general good deeds, or community service that have impacted favorably on the citizens of Gloucester Township.

Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR)

What is the Small Business Technology Transfer?

The Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program is an initiative that is coordinated and monitored by the Small Business Administration (SBA), to provide small businesses with greater access to funding in the federal innovation research and development arena. According to the SBA, the goal

“is expansion of the public-private sector partnership to include the joint venture opportunities for small business and the nation’s premier nonprofit research institutions. STTR’s most important role is to foster the innovation necessary to meet the nation’s scientific and technological challenges in the 21st century.”

The STTR program is a cooperative research partnership between small business concerns and research institutions. It places emphasis on a company’s potential for commercial success. The program also requires that universities, federal laboratories, or nonprofit research centers team with businesses to get their product(s) into the marketplace. These research partnerships between small businesses and nonprofit institutions enable participants to combine entrepreneurial initiative and creativity with the expertise, equipment, and other assets of nonprofit research laboratories.

How can an organization qualify for STTR?

In order to be considered for the STTR program, small businesses must meet several criteria including:

  • They must be American-owned and independently operated for-profit enterprises.
  • The size of the company may not exceed 500 employees.
  • They must be principally located in the United States.
  • The organization must be a nonprofit college or university, domestic nonprofit research organization, or federally funded research and development center.

According to the rules of STTR, the Departments of Defense, Energy, and Health and Human Services, along with the National Science Foundation and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration—must reserve a portion of their research and development funds for the program. These five federal departments and agencies also designate those subjects suitable for additional Research & Development and determine whether to accept or reject STTR proposals. They make STTR awards based on the following factors:

  • Qualifications of the nonprofit research institution and its small business partner;
  • Degree of innovation;
  • Future market potential.

Once a small business secures STTR funding, they are then routed through a three-phase program.

  1. The Startup Phase: Awards of up to $100,000 are given to pay for approximately one year’s worth of study and research into the scientific, technical, and commercial feasibility of an idea or technology.
  2. The Development Phase. During this period, business/research partnerships engage in research and development work with an intention toward commercial potential.
  3. Introduction to Market. During this phase, the completed project is introduced into the commercial marketplace to succeed or fail. This phase is not supported by STTR funds. Instead, participants must secure funding from private parties or other federal agencies that do not allocate STTR monies.

Small businesses can secure alternative or additional funding by subscribing to and searching for grants at www.GrantWatch.com. As of the writing of this article, the following STTR grant was available – America’s Seed Fund – Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program Phase I.