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DARPA program manager provides proposal pointers

A room full of researchers looks on as Gimlett presents slides.

James Gimlett from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) held a seminar on June 6 in Naka Hall, where he discussed DARPA research interests and tips for how to submit quality research proposals. Photo by Amy Parris.

James Gimlett from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) held a seminar on June 6 in Naka Hall, where he discussed DARPA research interests and tips for how to submit quality research proposals to the organization for the benefit of the College of Engineering and fellow researchers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields.

The event was organized by the Sidney Kimmel Institute for Nuclear Renaissance, or SKINR.

DARPA’s focus is creating or supporting creation of breakthrough technologies for the benefit of U.S. national security. Gimlett, program manager for the Defense Sciences Office, centered his discussion on how MU researchers could craft research proposals for projects supporting this mission and how best to break through the sea of applications to be chosen for funding.

“We’re constantly scanning the community for new ideas that can lead to some kind of transformational capability,” he said.

Key areas on DARPA’s radar of late include early warning and sensing devices, methods of combating viral diseases, exploiting the central role of data and expanding the reach of modeling and simulation technologies, among many others.

“We’re into very use-inspired, goal-inspired research that is driven by the need to solve a specific problem,” Gimlett said.

Gimlett said that DARPA’s goal with these sessions is to expand their relationships with additional universities.

“We’d like to expand our base as best we can to get a broader sampling of the community, so we’re encouraged to do outreach wherever we can,” he explained.