Research and Innovation May/June 2019 Digital Newsletter

NEW Department Administrator and Staff Research Workshop -- Coming in July

OVPR will provide a workshop this summer for departmental administrators and staff who assist faculty and researchers with grant administration. The workshop is tentatively scheduled for July 23. More information will be posted to the OVPR website soon. Direct questions to Sarah Pratt.

Limited Submission Reminder

Check anytime at WMU InfoReady to view a list of funding options that are Limited Submission. Once there, you can find more information about the nature of the grant and how to apply through WMU. Current selections are:

  • Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) Program
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute Inclusive Excellence

As a reminder, if you wish to apply for a limited submission grant not listed on this site, you MUST contact your research officer as soon as you determine an opportunity is limited.

WMU is the only Michigan university among 32 finalists in the NSF 2026 Big Idea Machine Competition

Three submissions from WMU faculty and administrators, more than any other university, were selected by the National Science Foundation as contenders for the grand prize in the NSF 2026 Idea Machine.

The three WMU video pitches include: 

Please support WMU and view the videos and comment on them by June 26 in preparation for the NSF's judging of the final stage of the competition. More.

 Measuring Research Impact Important in External Funding

Researchers can measure the impact of their work on the scholarly discussion in their fields, as well as find top journals in their field using citation analysis and journal impact tools available through the WMU Libraries. Research impact is a factor used in university rankings, tenure and promotion decisions, grant applications and more. Visit WMU Libraries' Journal Impact and Citation Analysis Guide to learn how to use tools like Web of Science, Scopus, and Google Scholar in order to demonstrate the value of your research. For more information, contact LuMarie Guth with questions or to schedule an appointment.

 NSF-Approved Format for Biographical Sketches Announced 

The National Science Foundation has designated the National Institutes of Health's Science Experts Network Curriculum Vitae, or SciENcv, as the approved format for submission of biographical sketch(es) and is encouraging its use to prepare a biographical sketch for inclusion in proposals to the NSF. More information is on our website.

Do note, too, that beginning in January 2020, with the next iteration of the Proposal & Award Policies and & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), the NSF will only accept PDFs for biographical sketches that are generated through the use of an NSF-approved format. Those formats will be posted on the NSF website when the PAPPG is issued.

 Spring ecrt Confirmation Period is Open 

The spring (January 1 through May 14, 2019) ecrt pre-review period is open. Please refer to the Grants and Contracts website for step-by-step instructions. Before clicking the pre-review button, please make sure all payroll, direct or cost share, for the project is reflected. If it is not, please contact Grants and Contracts office at

Pre-review will need to be completed prior to the opening of confirmation, which is scheduled for June 25.

Fall Semester Deadline for Release Time set for August 14

Planned Effort forms (direct pay and cost share) for fall semester need to be submitted to the Grants and Contracts office by August 14. If the forms are not turned in by the deadline, the individual department will be responsible for completing the JES for each pay period missed. 

Updates on OVPR Staff

  • Jamie Baker has joined OVPR as a research program officer, bringing experience from the Navy and local government. 
  • Sarah Pratt has been promoted to associate director of sponsored programs, and will oversee all research officers and play a key role in increasing research at WMU. 
  • Nancy Burr has joined Research Compliance as an Administrative Assistant II.

 New Cost Share Procedure Outlined

While cost shares are expected to be covered by departments and colleges, OVPR has developed a new procedure for requesting adjustments to cost share on externally-funded grants. The new procedure is designed to eliminate confusion and create a single point of entry for making a request in instances in which the required cost share cannot be fully shouldered at the department and college level. In those limited instances where cost share requests cannot be fully covered by departments and colleges, and where the project elevates as one with university-wide benefits, requests for possible consideration should be made as early as possible -- but no later than 21 days prior to the submission deadline.

Again, the expectation is that cost share will be taken on at the departmental and/or college level.

WMU and OVPR continue to update policies, available here.

Congratulations on Recent Research and Creative Activity Endeavors 

  • Mutambuki, J., Fynewever, H., Douglass K., Cobern W., and Obare, S. (2019). Integrating Authentic Research Experiences into the Quantitative Analysis Chemistry Laboratory Course: STEM Majors' Self-Reported Perception and Experiences. Journal of Chemical Education, DOI: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.8b00902
  •  Pozo, S. (Ed.) (2018). The Human and Economic Implications of Twenty-First Century Immigration Policy. W.E. Upjohn Institute.
  • Collier, D., Parnther, C., Fitzpatrick, D., Brehm, C., and Beach, A. Innovative Higher Education (2019).
  • Krug, Brian G. (Ada, MI), Asumadu, Johnson A. (Kalamazoo, MI). (2019). US Patent application:Magnetic Nanoparticle-Based Gyroscopic Sensor. The Board of Trustees of Western Michigan University (Kalamazoo, MI, US) 20190170513. 

Spotlight on Undergraduate Research
The subject of this month's spotlight is Logan Ryzenga, a fifth-year undergraduate student studying Interdisciplinary Health Services with a pre-physician assistant concentration. Ryzenga currently is involved in four research projects for multiple professors in the School of Interdisciplinary Health Programs, The Bronson School of Nursing, and the Occupational Therapy Department. 

After taking Health Science Research and Statistics with Dr. Sue Caulfield, Ryzenga was asked by Caulfield to work on one of her research projects. "She has been an amazing role model and passionate educator," says Ryzenga. "Without her constant support and mentoring, I wouldn't be where I am today."

Ryzenga reports that throughout his years at WMU, his role in research has changed. At the beginning of his education, research was just something that he learned in class. However, as semesters went on, Logan moved to a leadership position within a research team. Not only has he dedicated his time to educating junior research team members, he also played a role on eight other research projects across the College of Health and Human Services and WMU. 

It was writing the protocol for the research project "Relationship of Students and Smartphones" that launched his leadership as a student researcher. The project was student designed; Ryzenga and his peers sought in this project to answer the question of whether student academic performance, stress, anxiety, sleep and other factors are affected by the sudden prevalence of smartphones in the lives of today's students. He presented the group's findings in two separate conference presentations in the past year.

“I have developed leadership skills that I know will be beneficial to me for the rest of my life,” Ryzenga says.

He hopes to use these skills as a physician assistant to provide the best care possible to his patients. 

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