Research and Innovation Digital Newsletter October 2020

From the Vice President
There is lots of good news to share in our Office of Research and Innovation October Newsletter.  First, we are excited to announce our first class of WMU Named Term-Limited Professorships.

  • Dr. Upul Attanayake, Associate Professor of Civil and Construction Engineering, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences for his proposed studies on a field diagnostic technique for detecting alkali-silica reactivity in concrete and advancements in public safety.
  • Dr. Ann Chapleau, Professor of Occupational Therapy, College of Health and Human Services, for her proposed work on asylum life before thorazine: did we throw the baby out with the bathwater?
  • Dr. Matt Reeves, Associate Professor of Geological and Environmental Sciences, College of Arts and Science for his work on innovative approaches for investigating environmental fate and transport PFAS.

Congratulations to the recipients and you can expect to see the announcement for next year’s competition soon.

Last on a fun note, ORI was excited to participate in the WMU Alumni Association Car parade.  Thanks to Steve Weber for providing his truck, which was decked out to represent all areas of research and creative scholarship at WMU.  We won “Entertainment Value” and are always excited to represent our faculty, staff and student’s work, Broncos have Big Ideas!

Image of a decorated truck with western color balloons and a sign that says "Broncos have big ideas" 

Terri Kinzy 

Summer ecrt Confirmation Period Opening Soon
The confirmation period for PI’s to confirm their project statements in ecrt opened on September 29. If your project statement remains in “ready to confirm” status please log into ecrt and complete the process before the confirmation period ends on Tuesday, October 20. Refer to Grants and Contracts website for the ecrt link and step by step instructions. Contact us at this email with any questions. 

Foreign Influence and Federal Funding
As a reminder the federal government is paying close attention to the issue of foreign influence and the protection of US intellectual property. It is important the university comply with the regulations while upholding the intellectual freedom and international collaboration that are traditional hallmarks of US science. As a reminder it is critical to disclose on grant applications ALL sources of funding  from foreign sources and disclose any conflicts of interest and affiliations with other institutions.  Also make sure to disclose outside employment by current university policy.  The team at the ORI is here to help. Please discuss any questions or concerns you have with your research officer from the Office of Research and Innovation.

Andrew Carnegie Fellows 2021 | Carnegie Corporation of New York
The Andrew Carnegie Fellows 2021 is a limited submission opportunity that can be found on InfoReady.  The internal deadline for applications is Friday, October 30th at 5:00 p.m.  The deadline for submission of materials to the sponsor is Tuesday, November 17th at 5:00 p.m.  For more information visit the Carnegie website. 

November Discovery Acceleration  
The November Discovery Acceleration Workshop will be on Monday, November 16th at noon.  This workshop will focus on resubmissions and led by Dr. Terri Goss Kinzy and Dr. Heather Petcovic. WebEx link:

Graduate Students:  Enhance Research Skills at Library Skills Week
Want to level up your research? Advanced skills and new tools can take your graduate student game to the next level. Join us on Oct. 26 – 30 for Library Skills Week, a workshop series that will help you equip your research kit with tools to make your life easier. Whether you’re a newbie or have advanced to the doctoral level, we’ve got tips and tricks to make your research more efficient and effective.

Workshop topics include: mastering the literature review, reference management software, using unique library resources, and many more.  Learn more about the event.

Graduate Student External Funding
The Graduate College maintains a list of external funding opportunities for graduate students.  This list is updated regularly and emailed to graduate students every semester.  Please encourage graduate students to take advantage of the opportunity to apply for their own funding. 

Regional Three-Minute Thesis Competition Finalist
Thomas Weinandy, Ph.D. candidate in Applied Economics, represented WMU at the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools' Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) competition. Weinandy placed in the top six out of a possible 175 participating institutions! He did a great job representing WMU and the Department of Economics. You can view his three-minute presentation describing his doctoral work at

Graduate Student Grants
The Graduate Student Research Grant and the Graduate Student Virtual Conference Grant applications are due on Oct. 28 by 5 p.m. Faculty who are asked to submit letters of recommendation in support of their students’ applications will be sent information on how to submit their LOR virtually; the deadline for faculty to submit the LOR will be in the emailed instructions.

NSF to Hold Virtual Grants Conference in November
The National Science Foundation (NSF) will be hosting its first-ever NSF Virtual Grants Conference during the weeks of November 16 and November 30, 2020. This virtual conference is designed to give new faculty, researchers and administrators key insights into a wide range of current issues at NSF. NSF program officers will be providing up-to-date information about specific funding opportunities and answering attendee questions. Registration will be free of charge and opens on Thursday, October 29 at 12 p.m. EST.

NSF Issuing Award Amendments to Add New Term and Condition
If you have an active NSF award you will be receiving (or may have already received) an award amendment. This amendment adds a new term & condition to NSF awards, implementing Section 889 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which prohibits federal grant recipients and subrecipients from using the funds to procure or obtain, or enter into a contract for  “covered telecommunication equipment or services” that are produced by Huawei, ZTE, Hytera, Hikvision, and Dahua and their subsidiaries. Our office has worked with OIT and Procurement to ensure that we are in compliance. If you have any questions, please contact ORI.

Updated ORI assignments
As a result of reorganization within ORI, some of the job duties performed by Melanie Greer have now been turned over to other staff members within ORI.  Please contact the following for assistance:

Kelli Bond with questions regarding Faculty Research Travel Fund (FTRF), Publication of Papers and Exhibition of Creative Works (PPE), Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship Awards (URE) or any general questions.
Bonnie Gabriel with questions regarding payment from Internal Funding awards.
Kay Mortellaro with questions regarding Support for Faculty Scholarship Awards (SFSA) and Faculty Research and Creative Activities Award (FRACAA).
Sarah Pratt with questions regarding grants.
Steve Weber with questions regarding Intellectual Property or Technology Development Fund (TDF).

Covid-19 Response Grants Webinar Series
Western Michigan University’s College of Arts and Sciences, in collaboration with WMUx, is launching a new webinar series surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. "College of Arts and Sciences Research Webinar Series: COVID-19 Pandemic Research at WMU" is focused on the various research projects that the college's faculty are working on to better understand the long-term effects of the current global pandemic.

The University’s Office of Research and Innovation has recently awarded five grants for research related to the pandemic. These projects cover a range of fields of study, from religion to the future of higher learning.

Listed below are the Fall 2020 webinar series, the series will continue into Spring 2021:

“Factors motivating the timing of COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders by U.S. Governors”
Dr. Matthew Mingus, professor of public administration
Thursday, Oct. 15 at noon | LINK TO WATCH

“Moderators of social isolation and mental health outcomes during COVID-19”
Dr. Brooke Smith, assistant professor of psychology, and Alex Twohy, graduate student in psychology.
Thursday, Nov. 12 at noon | LINK TO WATCH


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