Research and Innovation Digital Newsletter October 2019

NEW name for ORI

Welcome to the first edition of our newsletter from our renamed Office of Research and Innovation. If you haven’t had a chance before I encourage you to check out our webpage describing our goals with this new name. As always we hope the timely information we provide helps to grow your research and sponsored programs. Our team is ready to assist you in continuing your scholarly work, creative activities and innovations.

Terri Kinzy 

Monroe-Brown Foundation Donation

The Monroe-Brown Foundation has provided a donation to WMU for growing technology transfer activities at WMU, engaging Kalamazoo-area entrepreneurs and fostering job creation.  The $140,000 gift establishes the Monroe-Brown Foundation Entrepreneurship Fund.  The Fund will support four projects:

  • Community Engagement Awards for Introduction to Customer Discovery (ICD) teams in the Kalamazoo area. This funding provides awards to Kalamazoo area startup teams that complete the ICD program offered by WMU.  These successful community teams will receive an award ($2,000) that is comparable to what successful WMU student ICD teams receive from an NSF grant through Michigan Tech University. ($10,000)
  • Technology Development (TD) Fund Awards augment the on-going funding of intellectual property created at WMU. Currently, WMU provides $20,000 each for three grants to WMU inventors to further develop commercial versions of their inventions. With this supplemental funding the TD Fund awards will be increased to $25,000. ($15,000)
  • Grant Matching Program for Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) grants that fund WMU tech startups. This grant matching funding will provide WMU startups with matching funds required for obtaining MEDC startup grants from programs like: Advance and MTRAC. ($40,000)·    Pre-launch Pilot Funds for WMU tech company development. This funding will support employing leadership, obtaining space and purchasing critical supplies for startup companies establishing themselves outside of WMU. ($75,000)

ICD Program Started October 8

Introduction to Customer Discovery (ICD) training provides entrepreneurs an opportunity to learn about customer discovery interview process. This course will encompass the two main concepts that are the first step in any commercialization process, namely value proposition of the product or service and customer segmentation. There is no registration cost for a team to attend this program.

The course is a joint sponsorship with Michigan Technological University and Western Michigan University. This collaboration provides for eligibility for teams to participate in the national I-Corps program sponsored by NSF. The Next Application Deadline will be in spring of 2020. See details.

Foreign Influence and Federal Funding

Recently numerous headlines have highlighted faculty and staff at US universities that have been removed from their positions based on undisclosed associations with foreign universities especially on grant applications and awards. In addition, the federal government is continuing to pay more attention to the issue of foreign influence and the protection of US intellectual property. It is also important we uphold the intellectual freedom and international collaboration are traditional hallmarks of university science in the United States. Read the continuing dialog.

One thing is for certain, it is important to know what is required of you when you apply for or receive funding, such as disclosure of all sources of funding, conflicts of interest as well as affiliations with other institutions. The team at ORI is here to help, so please discuss any questions or concerns you have with your research officer. Some resources are available from funding agencies that answer questions or provide additional guidance. See more information.   

Common Rule Went Into Effect January 21, 2019

On January 21 changes to 45 CFR (Common Ruse) went into effect for most research involving humans. Please refer to these general requirements for the informed consent, along with new elements that are required under the revised Common Rule.

Innovation Networking Session: Technology for Social Good

This innovation networking session will focus on promoting an intra- and inter-field exchange of ideas on how technology is shaping our future. Join us for the opportunity to network, share ideas and learn about ongoing research, practicality and applications related to technology. 

Breakout Sessions: Medical and Health Application; Users Experience in Education and Social Application; Research and Ethical Challenges; Using Simulation to Develop Expert Performance.

All WMU researchers who are interested in learning about funding opportunities and meeting potential collaborators are invited to register and attend on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the Bernhard Center West Ballroom. 

NSF Makes Changes to the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences Programs

NSF has released a Dear Colleague Letter outlining changes to programs within the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences Directorate (SBE). The DCL details changes to longstanding programs in the Directorate and the creation of new initiatives to support social and behavioral sciences research in emerging SBE priorities. These changes do not affect current SBE solicitations and submission deadlines. All changes will begin to take effect with solicitation and program submission deadlines occurring after January 1, 2020. To help researchers navigate these changes, SBE Assistant Director Dr. Arthur Lupia hosted a webinar on September 30 and will hold virtual office hours on October 15 at 2p ET, and October 25 at 2p and 4p ET.  Repositioned programs include:

  • Human Networks and Data Science (HNDS)
  • Linguistics
  • Science of Learning and Augmented Intelligence (SL)
  • Law & Science (LS)
  • Ethical and Responsible Research (ER2)


WMU Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship Excellence Award applications are due November 11, 2019. Please note the eligibility for faculty to sponsor a student have changed to allow many more faculty to be eligible. Please check with your research officer to make sure you are eligible. We welcome applications from all disciplines. View details.

Upcoming events to watch for more information