November 2022

Dear colleagues,

This month we are highlighting Dr. Mariam Konaté, a professor in the Institute for Intercultural and Anthropological Studies. Dr. Konaté was awarded the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship in collaboration with colleagues from other universities to examine teaching, mentorship and gender equity in STEM.

I’m excited to say that we will be highlighting our centers and institutions beginning with this month’s newsletter and in subsequent months. We are starting with University Center for Humanities.

I would also like to welcome a new staff member, Julie Boylan. Julie is one of our most recent research program officers to join the Western team, and she is excited to be supporting our research enterprise.

New information regarding internal funding programs is also in this newsletter, and more information is available on our website.

The Office of Research and Innovation is committed to supporting our students, faculty, staff and larger community. We always welcome your input on how we can better support Western’s mission and vision. I will be providing our Faculty Senate a brief update of our initiatives on Thursday, Dec. 1. I look forward to seeing you there.


Remzi Seker, Ph.D.
Vice President for Research and Innovation


Meet our researchers

 Dr. Mariam Konaté, professor at the Institute for Intercultural and Anthropological Studies, was awarded the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship with colleagues Queen Ogbomo of Tennessee Technological University and Josephine Wairimu of the University of Nairobi to examine teaching, mentorship and gender equity in STEM. The fellowship, which took place at the University of Nairobi, was multidisciplinary, allowing for collaboration with Kenyan professors across many fields including curriculum and instruction, mathematics, biology, chemistry, climate change, gender and women’s studies, education and sociology. The fellowship also allowed Dr. Konaté to mentor young women through group discussions on a variety of topics such as developing and strengthening online instruction abilities, how to make education more inclusive, training graduate students to be peer mentors and training graduate students on how to conduct research. 

The fellowship allowed Dr. Konaté, who was born in Burkina Faso and attended graduate school in the United States, to “give back to Africa by sharing my knowledge, abilities and skills with my colleagues on the continent,” she says. Additionally, she hopes that her time at the University of Nairobi has, and will continue to, strengthen the bond between that institution and Western by opening opportunities for faculty exchanges, study abroad and the development of collaborative curricula that will produce globally aware students and faculty.


Apply for grants to adopt or create open educational resources and textbooks

Faculty and instructors are invited to apply for grant funding to adopt or create open educational resources (OER) and textbooks for their courses.

University Libraries will award up to two $5,000 grants to create an original, openly licensed textbook and up to 10 $1,000 grants to adopt an existing OER for spring, summer or fall 2023 courses. Grant proposals are due Friday, Nov. 18. Apply for an OER grant


Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship Excellence Award Series proposals due

Western recognizes the contribution of hands-on research and creative scholarship performed by undergraduate students in the education process and the advancement of our discovery mission. The application for spring and summer I 2023 sessions is now open on InfoReady. Proposals are due Friday, Nov. 18. Learn about scholarship awards


Welcome to a new staff member

We would like to extend a warm welcome to ORI’s newest research program officer, Julie Boylan. Julie transferred from the College of Education and Human Development to the Office of Research and Innovation after working four years for the Office of the Dean as a budget analyst specializing in grant management. Find Research Program Officer information for a list of Julie’s constituents. We are very excited to have Julie join our team.


Highlighting the University Center for Humanities

The University Center for Humanities acts as an incubator for the exchange of ideas among faculty, emeriti, alumni, undergraduate and graduate students, and the University community.

It sponsors interdisciplinary working groups of faculty, staff and graduate students who come together to examine challenging topics and develop theoretical interest and research in new areas with the support of a knowledgeable, diverse group of colleagues. Groups have developed programs and curricula, sponsored speakers and events, and participated in collaborative research and writing.

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has sponsored two important projects at the center. The first was part of our broader Humanities for Everybody program that brings Western faculty into the community to teach short classes in the humanities. The NEH-funded project expanded this work and created a bridge program for at-risk Kalamazoo Promise scholars to successfully navigate their first years at Western. Although this program has ended, we continue to work with the Kalamazoo Promise and will be collaborating with them on a Humanities for Everybody class this winter for the community.

The second NEH grant that we are currently working on is to promote the teaching of climate change in the humanities. We've recruited a cohort of nine faculty members who will engage in a yearlong project to collaborate and innovate in teaching about climate change.

Our goal for the next year or two is to create an environment that will reinvigorate and stimulate faculty and graduate student research and teaching in new, productive, collaborative and creative ways.


Join the WMed Lunch & Learn Research and Grant Writing Series

The WMed Lunch & Learn Research and Grant Writing Series continues Monday, Nov. 21, with a program officer visit from the National Science Foundation. All presentations are from noon to 1 p.m. To register, contact Angela Morris.

  • Dec. 19: State of Michigan Grant Funding for Translational Research
  • Jan. 16: Beyond the Narrative: Making Every Grant Attachment Count
  • Feb. 20: Update of WMED Research Academy at two years
  • April 10: Community-Based Grants


FRACAA Workshop is Dec. 2

Faculty who want to apply for Faculty Research and Creative Activities Award (FRACAA) are invited to join us from noon to 1 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 2, for a workshop about the requirements of the award as well as receive tips for application. Join FRACAA workshop via WebEx


Faculty research award limits increased

The Research Policy Council voted unanimously to raise the annual limits for several internal funding opportunities, including Faculty Research Travel Fund (FRTF), Support
for Faculty Scholars Award (SFSA), Final Preparation and Publication of Papers and Exhibition of Creative Works (PPP&E) and Faculty Research and Creative Activities Award (FRACAA). All increased award limits are effective for the 2022-23 academic year and include:

  • FRTF: $2,500 (can be used for multiple trips)
  • SFSA: $3,000
  • PPP&E: $2,000
  • FRACAA: $15,000

Find details about funding opportunities


Please note for Faculty Research Travel Fund (FRTF) reimbursement

The Faculty Research Travel Fund supports faculty travel to meetings of professional organizations for the purpose of reporting research results, exhibition or performance of creative works as well as other means of disseminating the results of Western’s scholarly activity. The maximum amount of funding for the 2022-23 academic year is $2,500. As of the 2022-23 FY, there are no longer any limits on the number of trips.

If a traditional in-person conference changes format to a teleconferencing conference due to COVID-19 concerns, the registration cost and required fees are eligible for FRTF reimbursement. FRTF will not cover transportation, lodging or per diem for a teleconference.

Complete and submit an application online at InfoReady. Log in with a Bronco NetID and password. 

Applications must be submitted within 30 days of the end of travel and will be processed at the end of each quarter; applicants will receive confirmation when the transfer has been initiated. 


Support for Faculty Scholars Award (SFSA) open for proposals

SFSA supports creative activities and research that may not lead to external funding but enhance and sustain the scholarly reputation of WMU and the faculty principal investigators. The competition is now open in InfoReady. Proposals are due Wednesday, Nov. 30. Find more SFSA information


Research compliance update

Research Compliance is in the process of reviewing compliance files and will destroy or shred administrative files that have met the federal regulations for data retention and retention requirements of the University. Documents to be shredded will include protocols, supplemental study documents, related correspondence and other miscellaneous files for studies that have been closed for at least three years.

Please note, Research Compliance documents that contain any datasets collected by investigators, consent documents signed by participants, etc. are the responsibility of the principal investigator to retain. The files to be shredded are only administrative files required to review, approve and provide regulatory oversight for the IACUC, IBC and IRB.


New publications announced


Keep us in the loop

ORI is very interested in hearing about the accomplishments of our faculty in the areas of research and creative activities. For example, we have a wall with copies of journal covers highlighting the work of our faculty, students and staff. If your work has been featured, please print a high-quality 8 ½ x 11-inch copy of the cover, sign it and send it to Remzi Seker or Kelli Bond for inclusion on the wall.  

In addition, we love to hear about awarded fellowships, notable awards outside of the University, honor society memberships and special activities that we can highlight. It's easy for us to know grants, but it's very important for us to highlight all of the achievements at Western. Don't forget—Interim Provost Chris Cheatham would also like copies of your books!