Research and Innovation Digital Newsletter January 2019

The Office of Human Research Protections has set Jan. 21 for the Implementation of the Final Rule on the "Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects" (Common Rule)

The effective date for implementation of the amended regulation is Jan. 21. To help you understand the changes as it relates to IRB review, we posted information on the OVPR website, along with a link to the revised Common Rule. Please send specific questions to Julia Mays, associate director for research compliance.

Undergraduate Award for Research and Creative Scholarship Excellence Recipients Named

The 2019 spring recipients have been selected. We are excited by the diversity of disciplines represented in this round of applicants. For the Fall 2019 award cycle, for which applications are due March 11, OVPR has increased the amount of the award to $750 and made changes to broaden faculty mentor eligibility.   

Changes in FY19 to NIH Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA)/R15 Program 

The NIH has issued a notice of changes as to the way it will use the R15 activity code, beginning this month. OVPR has carefully reviewed those changes and detailed them on our website. If you have questions, please reach out to your research officer

The Center for the Study of Ethics Speaker Series to feature talks on the Opioid Crisis and Addiction Prevention  

The Spring 2019 Ethic Center lecture series includes a presentation by Dr. Ron Cisler, dean of the College of Health and Human Services. Cisler's lecture, "Does Communitywide Public Health Prevention Work? From Reducing Teen Births to Addressing Today's Opioid Epidemic," will take place at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 29, in Rooms 157-158 of the Bernhard Center.

NSF CAREER Workshop Feb. 15

OVPR will host a half-day workshop on Friday, Feb. 15 from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Fetzer Center, Room 1040. This workshop will provide interested faculty with an overview of the NSF CAREER program, information on preparing a competitive application and a Q&A session with WMU faculty who have been awarded a CAREER grant. Advanced registration is required. If you have questions about the workshop or who is eligible to apply, please contact your OVPR research officer. 

Feb. 19 Discovery Acceleration Workshop 

Join us at the next Discovery Acceleration Workshop on Strategic Paths toward Successful Grants from Foundations and Other Non-Profit Organizations. This workshop will occur on Feb. 19 from noon to 2 p.m. in Fetzer Center, Room 1040. Learn more about the workshop and register

Reminder of Internal Funding Deadlines for Spring 2019

  • The Faculty Research and Creative Activities Award (FRACAA) deadline is Jan. 18. More
  • The Support for Faculty Scholars Award deadline is Jan. 31. More
  • The Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship Excellence Award application deadline is March 11.  More  

Federal Agencies Impacted by the Partial Government Shutdown

The following federal agencies are covered by a current appropriation bill so their grants and agreements should not be impacted: 

  • Department of Defense
  • Department of Education
  • Department of Energy
  • Department of Health and Human Services (includes the National Institutes of Health) 
  • Department of Labor
  • Department of Veterans Affairs

The following agencies are NOT covered and thus are in shutdown:

  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of Commerce
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Department of Interior
  • Department of Justice
  • Department of State
  • Department of Transportation
  • Department of Treasury
  • NASA
  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • National Endowment for the Humanities
  • National Science Foundation

If you have questions or concerns about a current or future grant to any of these agencies, please contact your research officer for assistance.

Kay Mortellaro Selected as Research Development Administrator at WMU

Kay Mortellaro assumed this newly created position in OVPR on January 7. Kay's focus in her new role as research development administrator involves working to develop programming and opportunities in order to expand our research awards and expenditures.

Research Annual Report 2018 

The WMU 2018 annual report, Accelerating Discovery, is available online. This new report focuses on faculty, post doc and student stories and successes, and the impact of WMU. Copies can be provided for external use by departments and colleges.  

OVPR Announces Search for Associate Vice President for Research

The position of Associate Vice President for Research has been posted. We encourage interested people to review this position and share the opportunity with their colleagues at WMU and outside the University.

Feb. 5, 2019 Deadline Approaching for Grant Writers Workshop  

The deadline for self-nomination to participate in the April 24, 2019 all day Grant Writers Workshop, "Writing Winning Grant Proposals," is almost here. More information is available on the OVPR website. 

MTRAC Funding Opportunity - Deadline Feb. 21, 2019

The Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization's (MTRAC) "Innovation Hub for Ag & Bio" is the first in a series of specialized statewide commercialization programs focused on in-depth domain expertise in specific areas of research. Translational research funding to accelerate the commercialization of high potential Ag & Bio technology is now available to innovators at institutions of higher education, non-profit research centers, and hospital systems throughout Michigan. More

Spotlight on Undergraduate Research

Matthew Kornas is the focus of our student spotlight this month. He is a senior at WMU with a double-major in biomedical sciences and general psychology, who is planning to attend the WMU School of Medicine. His interest in research began the summer after his freshman year when he interned in the cardiology research department at his local hospital back home. That experience both cemented his passion for medicine and ignited his interest in research.

Kornas conducts research with WMU faculty member Dr. Pamela Hoppe in her molecular biology lab. He met Dr. Hoppe when he was a student in her BIOS 2300 Cell Biology course during his sophomore year. "I enjoyed her class and formed a good relationship with her over the course of that semester," says Kornas. "I eventually shared my interest in conducting research with her, and she agreed to mentor me as I worked on my research project in her lab."

Kornas' research is part of his thesis project that focuses on a specific gene called unc-82. This gene encodes for a specific protein kinase that helps maintain cytoskeletal proteins within the body wall muscle of the C. elegans organism. However, the precise location of this protein in the cell and the protein substrates it phosphorylates is still unknown, so the goal of his research is to determine where precisely the unc-82-encoded kinase is located in the cells of the C. elegans organism.

"Working in Dr. Hoppe’s lab has been an incredible opportunity for me to gain valuable research experience and to develop the critical thinking skills I will need as I transition to WMed this summer," says Kornas.

Communication Note

If you have news related to research and creative activities to share such as a book or journal article publication, awards or other events, please send to Diana Berkshire-Hearit, marketing and communications. We want to celebrate your accomplishments, so we will share these as we are able.  

Upcoming events

  • Spring Convocation is March 26. More information will be available shortly on the OVPR website with regard to the Research Symposia, the Fulbright Scholars workshop, and the Research Excellence luncheon. 
  • Graduate College's Research and Creative Activities Poster Day is April 11, 2019.
  • WMed Research Day 2019 is April 16-17. Deadlines and research submission categories are now available. Questions may be sent to    

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