Research and Innovation Digital Newsletter August 2021


As an introduction in my first ORI newsletter, I'd like to begin by giving a little history about myself. I started at Western in 2012 as chair of the Department of Computer Science. I came here from Michigan Tech where I was a professor of computer science since 1993. The last two years there, I was chair. I have worked with the Department of Computer Science faculty at Western to improve research opportunities for faculty and strengthen the undergraduate and graduate programs in computer science. Last year, I took on the additional role of interim chair in the Department of Engineering Design, Manufacturing and Management Systems due to the effects of COVID-19 on the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Please join me in congratulating Zach Asher, aerospace and mechanical engineering; Alvis Fong, computer science; and Richard Meyer, mechanical and aerospace engineering, on their $2 million award from the Department of Energy for their project, "Development and Validation of Infrastructure-Enabled High-Quality Perception Data to Achieve Energy Efficient Autonomous Vehicle Operation through Computation Reductions and Offloading." Please read the press release from U.S. Rep. Fred Upton’s office about this award.

As I look forward to my time as interim vice president, I hope to help our team positively impact research and innovation at Western. Please feel free to contact me if you have any concerns regarding the Office of Research and Innovation. I look forward to hearing from you.


Steven M. Carr, Ph.D.
Interim Vice President for Research and Innovation

IDC Training available
ORI will be offering “Introduction to Customer Discovery" training, which provides entrepreneurs an opportunity to learn about the customer discovery interview process and business model design. Western-affiliated teams are eligible for up to a $2,500 mini-grant upon successful completion of the training and customer interviews. Completion will also provide the teams with eligibility for the $50,000 National Science Foundation I-Corps program.

Visit ORI’s ICD webpage for updates to the fall ICD program we’ll be hosting Oct. 1 through Nov. 5. The next application deadline is Monday, Sept. 20. Information and the application are on the website. Dr. Carr looks forward to working with faculty and staff to advance the research mission of WMU.

Workshops scheduled
Discovery Acceleration Workshops will resume virtually in the fall semester. The workshops at noon on Mondays, Sept. 20 and Oct. 25, will focus on our new Electronic Research Administration System, Cayuse. Julia Mays will share the IRB module and Sarah Pratt will be covering the pre-award system. Check back for more details.

Release time for grants upcoming
Make sure to have Planned Effort forms for fall submitted to Grants and Contracts by Saturday, Aug. 14. The Planned Effort forms need to reflect the time frame the individual is working on the grant. This should not be confused with the timing of incentive pay for anyone who qualifies for the ORI Incentive Pay for Administrators or your college incentive pay. Refer to Grants and Contracts website in the forms section. If the forms are not turned in by this date, the department will be responsible for completing the JES for each pay period missed.

Search for funding to support research, creative scholarship 
Want to find funding for your research and creative scholarship? WMU has a subscription to GrantForward, and it’s available to all faculty and staff. The Office of Research and Innovation encourages you to create a profile and search a variety of funding sources ranging from foundations and professional associations to federal grants. GrantForward makes it easy to filter for opportunities that apply to you. You can also save your searches and specific opportunities so you will never miss a deadline. When you create a researcher profile, you can send yourself automated grant recommendations and will have the option to be visible to colleagues at other institutions searching for collaborators. There are many ways to use this tool to find funding opportunities. View the Researcher Welcome Guide for detailed instructions, or contact your research officer for more information.

Cayuse eRA platform for pre-award, IRB is coming
Implementation of IRB and pre-award modules continues with rollout expected this summer and fall, respectively. Watch for more information in the coming months. Sarah Pratt and Julia Mays are overseeing this project and look forward to introducing this exciting software to you.