Dave Stamps: Take advantage of grant funding opportunities

By Dave Stamps.  Posted March 10, 2014.

Many of UNL’s colleges offer grant funding for research, presentation, or other scholarly activities…take advantage of those resources!  However, the financial support is only one benefit of applying for these awards; you will also gain valuable practice at writing grant proposals, and your mentors, advisors, and administrators will recognize that you are serious and proactive about your endeavors.  This will play to your advantage when requesting letters of recommendation.

I have written several grant proposals within the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts and have been awarded two significant grants.  The most recent (2013) helped solidify and influence my doctoral document, while proving to be a great networking opportunity at the same time.

This past spring, I travelled to Romania to perform with Eastern European jazz artists and teach at the National University of Music-Bucharest.  Additionally, the trip gave me the opportunity to continue my research on traditional Romanian folk music, the life and music of composer George Enescu, and the dualism of Romanian culture in both Bucharest (urban) and Brasov (historically rural).  The majority of my time in Romania was spent in the city center of Bucharest, the capital city, where I enjoyed time exploring museums relating to George Enescu and photographing architecture for future inspiration.  I also travelled by train to the medieval town of Brasov, which lies at high altitude in the cross section of the Transylvanian Alps and the Carpathian Mountains.  There, I walked the ancient battlements that used to be the outer walls of the city, visited the famed Black Church, and enjoyed the contrast of 750-year-old buildings set against neon signs and Western restaurants.  This trip afforded me great insight into their cultural aesthetics and inspired a full recital of new music, which has been compiled into a collection entitled “Garden of the Carpathians” to be presented on March 14, 2014, at 7pm in Kimball Recital Hall.

This particular grant funding allowed me to strengthen my resource pool as I strive to delve deeper into my research interests.  As I begin my transition into a career in higher education, I am exceptionally grateful for the support, encouragement, and opportunistic ventures that I have garnered from the UNL community and the Hixson-Lied foundations.  I would encourage all of you to go after these same opportunities!