Research and Innovation Digital Newsletter March 2020

From the Vice President
Welcome to March, it’s hard to believe that we're getting so close to the end of the semester. There are still lots of great opportunities to advance our research here at WMU. I’d like to highlight our ability to support undergraduate students as they pursue research here at WMU. If you have not recently looked at our undergraduate research grant page, I encourage you to do so before the deadline coming up March 16.

We have greatly increased the number of faculty who are eligible to sponsor a student for these competitive grants. Please look and see if there’s a student you are currently working with or know who would be eligible to work with you summer II or fall of this year. This web page also has grant opportunities from some of our colleges and our office of sustainability. I’d also like to highlight that this spring we are running an additional competition for our technology development grant funds due in April 1. As long as you have submitted an active Intellectual property disclosure to the university you are eligible to apply for these $25,000 grants; please visit our web page for more information.

As always contact your research officer, myself or anyone in our office for assistance. We hope these opportunities help to advance your research and creative activities.

Terri Kinzy

2020 Spring Convocation, March 10
The Office of Research and Innovation along with The Office of the President is pleased to announce this year's Spring Convocation will be on Tuesday, March 10, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Fetzer Center. There are two symposiums that will be taking place from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Dr. Lofton Durham, College of Fine Arts and Dr. Ann Mills from the College of Arts and Sciences will chair “On Being Human:  Recent Work in the Humanities and the Arts”.  Dr. Mark Kelley, College of Health and Human Services and Dr. Georgiana Fisher, College of Arts and Sciences will chair “Connections to Public Health”.  This year’s Fulbright Workshop will be from 9 to 10 a.m. with individual advising sessions from 10 a.m. to noon.  WMUx, formerly known as Extended University Programs, is also part of Spring Convocation this year.  They would love for you to stop by for more information and to give your suggestions to help create the future of learning at WMU.  The Faculty Research and Creative Activity Awards Poster Presentations will be in the lobby of  the Fetzer Center from 11:30 to 12:30 p.m.  Please check our website for more details. 

WMUx and the Future of Learning
As Extended University Programs continues its transition to WMUx, it is seeking input from faculty, staff, and students, about how they can best serve the university going forward. The WMUx team will be at Spring Convocation to share information about its transformation and gather insights. Please swing by their room for more information and to share your suggestions to help create the future of learning at WMU. For more information about WMUx please visit

Increasing Federal Funding for Technician Education in Michigan
The National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program funds various activities to improve the quality of technician education, generate evidence about technician education, and increase the number of qualified technicians in the workforce. On March 31, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the WMU Evaluation Center is holding an event to spark ideas for ATE proposals and facilitate networking among faculty from WMU and 2-year colleges, which are at the forefront of technician education. The Evaluation Center, which has been funded by the ATE program since 1999, will share insights about the program, along with faculty from other WMU- and Michigan-based ATE projects, to help participants learn how to get funding to support their work related to technician education. Register by March 17.

Welcome to our newest member of the Pre-award Team: Rachel Zapf
Rachel joined ORI in January as a research program officer. Rachel comes to WMU from the Battle Creek Community Foundation where she was a Scholarship Development/Program Officer. Rachel has a BA in Social Science from the University of Michigan and an MA in Comparative Development Studies from L’École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris, France. Rachel will be working with departments in the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Education and Human Development, the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the College of Fine Arts. You can find a full list of research officer assignments by department on our website.

Graduate Research and Creative Activities Poster and Performance Day
The Graduate College is pleased to announce that the 2020 Graduate Student Research and Creative Activities Poster and Performance Day will be Thursday, March 26 from 8 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. in the East Ballroom, Bernhard Center, on main campus. This event provides an opportunity for WMU graduate students to promote university scholarship and advance our discovery mission. Students engaged in research will present visual poster displays outlining a research project of their choosing. Students engaged in creative scholarship will perform a selection of their choice. Faculty judges will critique their work, and prizes for the highest scores will be provided by the Graduate Student Association. All are invited to attend this free event to see first-hand the amazing scholarship of our graduate students.  

Participate in Community Conversations with the Libraries
WMU Libraries is hosting a series of community conversations with students, staff and faculty to learn about their experiences and how the library can make an impact. These conversations will provide direction as the library develops their strategic plan for the next three years.

Additional sessions for faculty and students have been added in March. Register for a session to share your experiences and ideas and make an impact on the future of WMU Libraries.

National Science Foundation answers questions regarding the Coronavirus Disease
Federal agencies are beginning to issue guidance related to impacts of coronavirus on federal grants, particular as it relates to travel, conferences and meetings. NSF has just issued an initial set of FAQs. We expect more guidance from other agencies in the coming days. As this situation is fluid and guidance may change frequently, please contact our office if you have any questions related to impacts on your grants or contracts.

All Human Subject Research Protocols must be emailed
Beginning March 1, all human subject research protocols submitted to the WMU IRB must be emailed to this email address .  A signed hard copy will no longer be required. 

In addition, the application, protocol outline, and consent document templates, found at this link, must be used for all IRB submissions. When submitting the application, you may use an electronic signature or sign, scan, and attached the signature page as a separate document.

Should you have questions, please contact the associate director research compliance at 269-387-8293 or via email to Julia Mays.