Research and Innovation Digital Newsletter March 2021

Dear colleagues

Welcome to our last newsletter of the spring 2021 semester. There is a lot going on between now and the end of the academic year, and lots of useful information is shared below. I’d like to highlight a few items.

First, the deadline for our ORI research equipment repair, upgrade, and replacement plan is Friday, April 16. Please be sure to check out this opportunity.

Second, we will hold our Spring Convocation Celebration of Research and Creative Scholarship also on Friday, April 16. This includes the always-popular Fulbright presentation, short talks by award winners presented virtually, our FRACAA poster session and our awards ceremony. The virtual format may make it easier for you to attend this year.

Third, I’m pleased to announce that we will name our second class of Presidential Innovation Professors at the spring convocation award ceremony. We had an amazing number of high-quality applications, and we look forward to growing this community of scholars and innovative thinkers at WMU.

Fourth, don’t forget WMU Giving Day is Wednesday, April 14. Did you know that donations to the WMU Research Innovation fund in my office support our undergraduate research grants?

Lastly, as a reminder, all research and creative scholarships still require an approved research restart plan. As it’s important to remember that unlike many other functions that remained remote due to state orders, research was allowed to restart very early. As we start to plan for an increased return to prior research and creative scholarship activities on campus, please continue to work your plans and encourage any colleagues who currently do not have a plan to submit one now.

We will reach out as soon as we have more information from the state about potentially increased occupancy levels or other changes that would impact research and creative scholarship. We all look forward to the ability to increase our time on campus, but it is important that we continue to maintain all of the safety precautions as recommended by state and federal authorities.

I want to wish everyone a successful completion of the semester, and I hope this summer gives you the opportunity to pursue experiences and opportunities much like last summer.


Terri Goss Kinzy, Ph.D.
Vice President for Research and Innovation

Spring Convocation Set
Mark your calendars for Spring Convocation 2021 on Friday, April 16. Although virtual this year, it will include the same format as previous years. The event will begin at 9 a.m. with Fulbright Scholar individual advising, followed with faculty research presentations, FRACAA poster presentation, and ending with research awards from noon until 12:30 p.m. View the webpage for more information.

Virtual proposal development workshop offered
Join us for a virtual proposal development workshop focused on writing a successful abstract or summary from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday, April 12. Join the workshop. If you would like your abstract or summary to be reviewed by the workshop facilitator, Lynda Berge with Paper Crane Funding Solutions, submit those requests to Kay Mortellaro. Submitting an abstract or summary is not required to attend the workshop, and sharing your abstract or summary during the workshop is optional.

Limited spring research equipment grants available
The WMU Office of Research and Innovation will offer limited funding for the repair, updating or, in limited cases, procurement of replacement equipment for research and creative scholarship purposes. Proposals should address that the equipment being repaired, upgraded or replaced is essential, not redundant within the college or WMU, and preferably that it is available for shared usage. Information and the application are available online and are due by Friday, April 16.

Review process for hiring on grants during hiring freeze
As a reminder, review the process document for hiring on grants during the hiring freeze that is still in place. This will help expedite any personnel forms.

Online workshop offered by University Libraries
Tips and Tricks for Finding Data, Online Workshop—Creating data can be expensive and time-consuming. However, secondary data—data that you didn't generate yourself—is a great alternative! This workshop at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, April 21, will discuss considerations for choosing and reusing data and exploring strategies for locating datasets relevant to your project. Workshop delivered online through WebEx. 

Review cost transfers on grant project policy and procedure
A cost transfer is a journal entry transferring an expense to a grant project where the expense was previously charged and recorded in another account. These transfers must be done within 90 days of the date of the original transaction. If the transfer is taking place after 90 days, the cost transfer form is required and must be approved by the Grants and Contracts Department. There are minimal circumstances that meet the criteria for approval. The cost transfer policy and procedure should be reviewed as the department would be responsible for the cost if the cost transfer form is not approved.

Review continues on Research Staff (R) positions
ORI is partnering with WMU Human Resources and national consultants from the firm Aon to review the Research Staff (R) positions at WMU. This review is part of our ongoing work to enhance research at WMU and remain competitive nationally. Aon will integrate employee-provided information with data it is gathering from the University. The R position classification structure will be reviewed and, as needed, changes will be incorporated based on job descriptions developed by the working group and benchmarked using local, regional and national market data. Our project consultants from Aon working with representatives from HR, Academic Affairs and ORI will review and make recommendations for updating the Research Staff Policy. Plans are to have the process completed by early summer, and the information will be provided in a virtual ORI town hall at 11 a.m. on Monday, June 21.