Research and Innovation Digital Newsletter August 2020

From the Vice President
Welcome to the back to school edition of the Office of Research and Innovation newsletter.  We really enjoyed communicating with our community over the past few months in our virtual Town hall meetings.  The attendance was really terrific as were the questions and the feedback we received.  You can look for more of those to continue this fall in addition to this newsletter. I was most impressed by the work of our faculty in creating safe restart of research and creative scholarship plans as soon as we were able to re-initiate our work.  We were fortunate the governor allowed laboratory research to restart before many other things, but more importantly it's really impressive how many great plans we received and how effectively we maintained a safe workplace during the earliest days of returning to campus.  I especially want to thank Kay Mortellaro for her work in creating our process in InfoReady.  In fact, InfoReady did a press release on our process.  Amy Naugle, one of our faculty fellows, did extraordinary work and quickly pivoted to focusing on helping us develop our process and review the many plans we received.  She assisted so many faculty in getting back to their work.  Thanks to Lofty Durham as our fellow from the arts and humanities for helping us partner with the library in our information and include creative scholarship in our return plans.  You'll find a lot of useful information in our newsletter that we hope will help you to continue to progress.  We've seen temporary setbacks for sure, but I am confident we will continue to see progress of our faculty, students, and staff on our research and creative scholarship at WMU.  As always, myself and the team are here to help you in any way; please reach out to anyone with your questions, comments or concerns and for any help you need.  I assure you the team are excellent at virtual support but will also be available by appointment on Wednesdays starting September 3, the one day where we will be offering in person consultations with appropriate social distancing at Walwood Hall.  Be well.

Terri Kinzy

Introduction to Customer Discovery
ORI Technology and Commercialization will be hosting an Introduction to Customer Discovery (ICD) this Fall semester.  ICD is a program designed to meet the needs of entrepreneurs so they can determine what do their potential customers really need and where is the biggest market.  ICD will include training on interviewing customers without talking about your product, understanding the needs of the customer, and how to fit your product idea within the needs of the customer.   Date(s) and time of this Fall’s ICD will be announced at a later date.  

Technology and Development Fund
ORI Technology and Commercialization will be accepting proposals for the Technology Development Fund (TDF) award later this Fall Semester.  The TDF bridges the gap that often exists between research-stage technologies and technologies that are ready to be licensed by a corporation, or which may be ready for private investment as part of a new enterprise.  Proposed projects must be based on technology/intellectual property (IP) disclosed to ORI.  All proposals should reference the IP case number. The deadline for submission will be December 1, 2020, 5:00 PM Eastern.  Links for more information and the submission website will be sent at a later date      

Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization (MTRAC)
Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization (MTRAC) is sponsoring a first of its kind innovation challenge with awards up to $10,000.  The competition is designed to match the fitness of university-developed emerging technologies to validated, near-term market applications in agriculture, biomaterials, and industrial (i.e., non-medical) biotechnology.  The scope of opportunities is referred to as “AgBio”.  The purpose of the challenge is to help the MTRAC program assess technology-market risks and opportunities.  Deadline for a 3-page concept paper is August 21st. 

Fall release time for grants
Please make sure to have Planned Effort forms for fall submitted to Grants and Contracts by August 17. Please refer to Grants and Contracts website in the forms section. If the forms are not turned in by this date the department will be responsible for completing the JES for each pay period missed.

Betty McKain       

Contact ORI before contacting the sponsor
It is common for PIs to have a strong sense of ownership over their grants however it is important to keep in mind that grants and contracts are awarded to the institution not the individual. This means that WMU is ultimately responsible to ensure that the grant is carried out appropriately and follows all applicable rules, regulations, terms and conditions. For this reason, any changes to an awarded project whether it is a change in personnel, scope of work, budget, end date (no-cost extension), etc, must be reviewed and approved by the institution before a request is made to the sponsor. So before you request a change, contact your research officer and/or restricted fund accountant. We will work with you to make sure the changes are appropriate and allowable and that the request follows the sponsor’s policies and procedures. This can save a lot of miscommunication and headaches. When in doubt – contact us, we are here to help. 

Clarifications to NSF current and pending support
The new NSF Proposal & Awards Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) recently went into effect. In it, NSF clarified expectations about what information needs to be included in the Current and Pending Support document. The new language emphasizes that this document must include all resources made available in support of all research efforts. This includes in-kind contributions such as office/lab space, equipment, supplies, students made available in support of an individual’s research program. Support from all sources, whether provided through WMU or directly to the individual, must be included. NSF has also released FAQs specific to Current and Pending Support. If you have questions about what should or should not be included in your NSF Current and Pending Support, please contact your ORI research officer.

Updated research officer assignments
As a result of reorganization within ORI, one of our research officers, Rachel Zapf, has been reassigned 50% to the post-award team. This necessitated a reshuffling of research officer constituency areas. Changes have been kept to a minimum. The updated list of assignments is available on our website. Please contact your assigned research officer as soon as you know you may submit a proposal (even if you are not ready to actively work with them yet) or anytime you have a question. We are here to help!

Discovery acceleration workshops
ORI will continue to host the Discovery Acceleration Workshops via WebEx this fall, watch for more details in the future by checking our website.

IRB update
The WMU IRB will be updating “Interaction with Human Subjects During COVID-19” soon. Please review guidance at .

Waldo Library's lobby reopened August 3

Waldo Library's lobby reopened to WMU users for limited services on Aug. 3. All other areas of the library remain closed until later in August. Available services include self-service hold requests, book returns, and student laptop checkouts. To minimize transactions in the facility, library users should continue to use online and phone services whenever possible. Call or chat online with librarians and staff for help with library research or account questions. 

Additional plans are in place to reopen Waldo Library's first floor on Aug. 17. Stay up to date on the Libraries' reopening plans by visiting the library updates web page. Follow WMU Libraries on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for that latest news and updates.

Virtual library workshop for Aug. and Sept.
WMU Libraries will host several virtual workshops for faculty and graduate students in August and September. These workshops teach attendees how to use new tools, or use known tools in new ways, to make their library research more efficient and effective. View the Libraries' event calendar for full descriptions and to register for a session.

Citation Count and Journal Impact Factors for Tenure and Promotion: Learn about citation counts and journal impact factors and how they can showcase your research and professional work. Facilitated by associate professor Kate Langan.

Introduction to Mendeley Desktop and Zotero: Why do you need a reference management tool? These tools can save you time by saving your citations and annotations, creating bibliographies, and keep a record of your library research. Facilitated by associate professor Ed Eckel.

Getting the most of out Google Scholar: Learn how to use Google Scholar to showcase your scholarly work. Facilitated by associate professor Kate Langan.

Find and access scholarly materials beyond WMU Libraries' collections: Your library has access to millions of resources. But what can you do if they don't have access to something you need? Learn how to use the Libraries' global library network and open access resources to find scholarly materials. Facilitated by associate professor Kate Langan.