“Big 10+ Engineering Directors” share best practices
As we reported last week, DER collaborates with its closest peers and their engineering Research Administration offices to help bring the best customer service and effective Research Administrative support to our respective faculty members. As the Director here in DER, I traveled to Chicago for the first in-person meeting session held by the Big 10+ Engineering Research Director’s meeting since 2019. The sessions have been hosted virtually since that last in-person meeting.
Directors from many Big 10 schools attended the session including Michigan State University, Northwestern University, The Ohio State University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Directors from non-conference schools also contributed to the session, including those from Arizona State, Carnegie Mellon University, Duke University, University of Southern California, and Washington University in St. Louis. As members of the group continue to grow in their roles within and beyond their institutions, it’s an immeasurable benefit and resource that members and new institutions add their voices to the conversation.
When it got down to discussing workload/workflow monitoring, directors shared how they currently manage challenges in their research offices and provided many best practices that are working within their institutions. This provided an opportunity for MSU to share what innovations we have implemented into our workflow. I demonstrated the DER systems and tools we are currently using. Showing the DER Ticketing System was a proud moment for me and MSU. The DER Ticket System has been a key tool used by DER staff for years. Everyone in the room was blown away at its functionality and how innovative it is to solve many of the daily hiccups they experience. This tool has freed DER from many of these challenges and helped us to increase our effectiveness and efficiency since being implanted in DER.
I was also able to demonstrate a new pet project tool that DER staff have implemented into our workflow. Elgato first released the Stream Deck tool in 2017 as a customizable control pad for live-streamers on YouTube and other streaming platforms. In Early 2021, we piloted a project where your DER Research Administrators started integrating this LED button macro-keyboard which presented unlimited possibilities for increasing efficiency and accuracy to the proposal development process. The innovative tool puts your proposal components at the tip of their fingers able to launch the RFP, Proposal Folder, Kuali Research (KR) Proposal Development (DP) doc, and more at the push of single button. This LED macro-keyboard innovation is something that needs to be seen to be fully understood/appreciated and I’m happy to report that this best practice is now being rolled out at fellow universities.
I have two great takeaways from my first Big 10+ Engineering Directors meeting. The first is that DER, MSU, and the College of Engineering are on the forefront among our peers and are continuing to push the boundaries of innovation in the field of Research Administration to support our EGR faculty. We strive to stay ahead of the curve and promise that as long as you don’t stop innovating, neither will we.
Second, as convenient and easy as it is to see the Big 10+ Director’s in the monthly Zoom meetings, the benefits of seeing everyone face to face was an intangible benefit that had been lost in the change by necessity/convenience of going exclusively virtual. The side conversations and personal connections coming out of that day will help the group, our individual members, and MSU thrive going forward. This realization also served as an important reminder that we’re here for you, not only in emails, on Microsoft Teams, and on the phone. Though our staff members work a hybrid schedule that involves time spent both in-office and remotely, the DER office is open every single weekday.
After this amazing day spent at the Big 10 Conference Center, I am more confident than ever that DER is set up for success so we can effectively support you being successful. Please remember that you have a standing invitation to come and visit us at any time in EB room 2527.
If you have topics for me to discuss at the next Big 10+ Engineering Directors group or have questions regarding DER or regarding your upcoming proposal, please send an email to email@example.com or feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions relating to DER.
The Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Awards Program supports the research and teaching careers of talented early-career faculty in the chemical sciences at primarily undergraduate institutions. The award, which requires an institutional nomination, is based on accomplishment in scholarly research with undergraduates, as well as a compelling commitment to teaching. Institutions may submit only one nomination annually.All nominations for this award will be reviewed by the VPRI office.
The Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Awards Program is open to faculty who meet all of the following criteria:
From academic institutions in the States, Districts, and Territories of the United States of America that grant a bachelor’s or master’s degree in the chemical sciences, including chemistry, biochemistry, materials chemistry, and chemical engineering.
In departments that do not grant a doctoral degree. A potential nominee is ineligible if there is active participation or substantial research productivity in a Ph.D. program of another department or institution, or in an interdisciplinary Ph.D. program.
Hold a full-time tenure-line academic appointment focused on the chemical sciences.
Are after the fourth and not after the twelfth years of their independent academic careers and engaged in independent research and teaching primarily with undergraduates.
For more information, please contact Melissa Anderson email@example.com. If you are interested in learning about additional foundation funding opportunities, please visit the MSU Foundation Relations website.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) intends to release the Advancing U.S. Thin-Film Solar Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) of up to $36 million for research, development, and demonstration projects on two major thin-film photovoltaic (PV) technologies: metal halide perovskite PV and cadmium telluride (CdTe) PV. This FOA will promote American leadership in thin-film PV technology, and the domestic manufacture of thin-film PV modules. This FOA will also support SETO in meeting Congressional direction provided in fiscal year 2023 to spend no less than $25 million to support the advancement of both perovskite PV and CdTe PV technologies ($50 million in total).The FOA is expected to be released in September 2023 and is expected to be restricted to for-profit lead applicants.
Up to $20M will fund projects on industrial perovskite PV research and development to enable future commercialization by reaching specific thresholds of efficiency, long-term reliability, manufacturability, and economic viability. Quantitative guidelines within the NOI describe what a competitive application is expected to include for a given funding level. This information is being communicated through the NOI so potential applicants can take advantage of the intervening time before a FOA is released to identify and fill possible gaps in their capabilities.
Up to $16M will fund projects to advance cadmium telluride (CdTe) PV research, development, demonstration, and commercialization across the materials, equipment, installation, and performance monitoring supply chain to improve the competitiveness of the domestic CdTe PV technology industry.
SETO anticipates to award 3 or more financial assistance awards in the form of cooperative agreements. These awards will last 18-36 months, with $3 million-$20 million federal share per project and a cost share requirement of 20-50%.
The announcement states: “SETO understands that R&D of this nature, which is critical to reach the next stages of commercialization, is inherently more resource intensive and best led by industry. As such, lead applicants will be restricted to for-profit entities; however, teaming with universities,
national laboratories, and other supply chain or ecosystem partners is encouraged (additional details below).”
The NSF Convergence Accelerator, a Directorate for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships or TIP program, has issued a new funding opportunity for three new research track topics aligned to equitable water solutions, chemical sensing applications, and bio-inspired design innovations. These research track topics were selected from the program’s ideation process and are a part of the program’s 2023 cohort.
Researchers and innovators have two submission pathways to submit their proposals to this funding opportunity: Solicitation, NSF 23-590, and Broad Agency Announcement (BAA), NSFBAA-23-01.
“Since 2019, the Convergence Accelerator has brought a wide range of researchers and innovators together to develop use-inspired solutions aligned to topics of national importance,” said Douglas Maughan, head of the NSF Convergence Accelerator program. “We are excited to launch this new funding opportunity and encourage researchers and innovators from academia, industry, non-profit, government, and others to submit proposals to these three convergent research tracks or consider teaming with organizations who are going to submit.”
Convergent research track topics
(The funding opportunity research track topics include):
Track K: Equitable Water Solutions - Fresh water is critical for future ecosystems, human health, and national security. This track will converge foundational knowledge and advancements in environmental sciences, geosciences, engineering, computing, social and behavioral sciences as well as other disciplines to develop solutions for water quality, quantity, and equity issues.
Track L: Real World Chemical Sensing Applications - Society is faced with challenges related to environmental quality and monitoring, food safety, agriculture, disease diagnostics, security, and terrorism. This track builds on foundational knowledge and recent advances to transform scientific discoveries into practice for societal and economic benefits. Science advances include olfaction and chemical sensing, sensor technologies, digital olfaction, artificial intelligence, neuromorphic systems, computational modeling, biomanufacturing, and robotics.
Swedish Research Council
and Vinnova, two Sweden government agencies, are partnering with the NSF Convergence Accelerator on Track L. Swedish researchers and innovators can submit proposals to lead or be a team member on a multidisciplinary team for Track L.
Track M: Bio-Inspired Design Innovations - Bio-inspired solutions are needed to mitigate complex societal challenges, including climate change, infrastructure monitoring and resilience, food production and human health. This track capitalizes on foundational knowledge of nature to inspire the creation of innovative concepts, approaches, and technologies that build and control similar to nature to address pressing societal and economic challenges.
Who can Apply: Researchers and innovators from academia, industry, government, nonprofit, and other organizations are encouraged to submit a letter of intent (required) and full proposal.
Funding Opportunity: Submit your proposal using one of the submission pathways:
Full Proposal Deadline: August 22, 2023 (*Full proposals are due 5 p.m. submitter’s local time)
Informational Webinar for the 2023 NSF Phase 1 and 2 for 2023 Cohort | June 6, 2023
Join an NSF Convergence Accelerator webinar to learn about the program and the current funding opportunity. During the webinar, participants will learn about the program’s model and fundamentals, including the program’s phased approach and innovation processes used to accelerate basic research into practice; and the solicitation opportunity and the research track focuses, required Convergence Accelerator key components, and important submission information. The goal of this webinar is to bring awareness of this exciting opportunity to develop use-inspired solutions to have a positive impact on national and societal challenges.
Optional 30-minute Track Breakouts: At 4:30 p.m. EDT, join us for an optional 30-minute breakout session featuring the three track topics. Here you can ask additional questions and engage with similarly interested stakeholders and researchers to potentially assist you in forming your team and proposal.
I hope this finds you enjoying the beginning of summer and gearing up for the weekend ahead!
The Office of Foundation Relations has been asked numerous
times over the years if MSU has a website where faculty can search for
up-to-date foundation funding opportunities. Though there are
public websites that source some of these opportunities, we have
internally discussed the value of creating a platform where faculty can
search for funding that our office manages and updates on a day-to-day
basis. I am excited to share the launch of that website!
We are more than willing to present this tool to any group within
your unit that might have an interest. We will also be highlighting
this at the next Development and Alumni meeting. Please feel free to
help us spread the word to faculty and leadership within your unit!
This change is ultimately to streamline our internal processes.
Additional Information: To gain a deeper mechanistic
understanding of biological systems, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s
Imaging program aims to visualize and measure them across biological
scales and in their biological context. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
(CZI) seeks to support one-year projects in the field of
cryo-correlative light and electron microscopy (cryo-CLEM) labels to
drive development of complete, general-purpose, intracellular imaging
probes for cryo-CLEM. This grant program will advance the utility of
cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET) of cells by providing information on
specific aspects of cell function.
Additional Information: The Arnold O. Beckman
Postdoctoral Fellowship in Chemical Sciences or Chemical Instrumentation
Award Program supports advanced research by postdoctoral scholars
within the core areas of fundamental chemistry of the development and
build of chemical instrumentation.
Research must be innovative in method, speed or process, or represent
new instrument technology. This fellowship will be a catalyst from
"mentored yet independent" postdocs to outstanding, independent
researchers in academic or industry/governmental labs.
The Fellowships will be in two tracks (applicants will choose one):
Postdoctoral Fellowship in Chemical Sciences will
allow chemists to pursue advanced research within the core areas of
fundamental chemistry, such as chemical physics, chemical engineering,
and chemistry of materials research. The fellowship is not intended to
fund proposals that are supported by traditional NIH mechanisms in the
fields of chemistry, chemical biology, biochemistry.
Postdoctoral Fellowship in Chemical Instrumentation
will allow researchers in chemistry to conceptualize, develop and build
instrumentation suitable to advanced research in chemistry, chemical
physics, chemical engineering, and chemistry of materials science.
Instrumentation projects must be suitable to the two-year fellowship
timeframe, be driven by a need in the chemical sciences listed above, be
innovative in method speed or process or represent a wholly new
instrument for technical advancement in chemistry and may potentially be
used for future research in the broader scientific community.
I hope you are all having a nice summer. I also wanted to let you know that Sara Steenrod and I are happy to work with PIs who are interested in using ORI’s free editing services for their CAREER proposals. Please feel free to reach out by email if this is of interest to you.
Kind regards, Lauren Aerni-Flessner, Ph.D., MBA Outreach Specialist Office of Research and Innovation Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Description: DER has a catalog of research and funding seminars available on demand. Seminar topics range from critical instruction for new faculty through advanced training for senior research faculty. These presentations include instruction from experts regarding themes that include best practices in research, MSU policy, sponsor compliance, industry specific seminars, and more. Check them out today and utilize this incredible resource to help streamline your proposal development and promote success in your research. Watch now on demand!!!
Recent seminar presentations include:
DER is Here to Help (proposal & proposal development resources geared to promote success)
Tips for Writing a Persuasive Grant Proposal (grant writing to ‘sell’ a project to funders)
Finding Funding (tips for finding funding to support your research)
Roles and Responsibilities (tips for understanding roles and responsibilities at each stage of the project)
CAREER Award Workshop - Session 1 (best practices and strategies for producing successful NSF Career proposals)
Does effort reporting for your grants and contracts seem more cumbersome than it should be? CGA has compiled a very
helpful list of answers to Frequently Asked Questions. Topics range from reporting deadlines, to resolving errors, and everything in between!
As you peruse this list, you might notice that there is a dedicated email address for any questions or issues you may have when submitting effort reporting. Please use email@example.com to expedite service.