Research News
Monthly Newsletter
July 2013

Using Endnote for National Institutes of Health Grant Writing

Friday, July 26, 2013

9:00 - 11:30 AM


IRBMED and Chesapeake IRB

Tuesday July 30, 2013

9:00 - 10:00 AM or

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM or

1:00 - 2:00 PM What Trials Need to be Registered and Why?

Monday, August 12, 2013 or

Monday, September 16, 2013

8:30 - 10:30 AM


Other Sources for Seminars + Events


Calendars at Health System Headlines 


To find seminars throughout campus on basic, clinical and translational research, view the "Research Seminars and Events"...


Announcement Category - Subscribe to the feed for this category to receive emails containing complete information.




View additional resources.


Internal Submissions


UM Environmental Health Sciences Core Center Pilot Project Funding

Deadline: August 5, 2013 (Letter of Intent)


Global REACH Small Grants for Faculty-led International Medical Student Experiences

Deadline: August 15, 2013


UMMS Graduate Student Award for Excellence in Research  

(Word document)

Deadline: August 23, 2013


UMMS Graduate Student Award for Excellence in Teaching and Service  

(Word document)

Deadline: August 23, 2013


External Limited Submissions

(Require an internal competition because the sponsor limits the number of proposals allowed from U-M.)


Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Awards for Medical Scientists

Internal Deadline: August 1, 2013 (Intent Form)



Available through the SciVal Experts tool.


Fact Sheets & Hot Topics
Find UMHS facts & figures for your next proposal!

MBECT Tips & Tricks 


UMMS Office of Research


U-M Medical School

 Links marked with a key can only be accessed via the U-M Ann Arbor campus network or VPN.


Researchpalooza - Save the date to connect with the labs and offices here to serve YOU!

Join the UMMS Office of Research for Researchpalooza during the annual Ice Cream Social on Wednesday, August 21, 2013 from 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM, with 50+ exhibitors from labs and offices of the Medical School and across campus.


Located in the Circle Drive area near Med Sci I, there will be ice cream, popcorn, games, and fantastic prizes. Plus you'll be able to purchase lunch and soft drinks from Whip's Dog Days and San Street food carts!


Researchpalooza is the perfect opportunity for colleagues and friends to have a great time and meet, mingle, and learn more about many of the organizations that offer their stellar services to faculty, students, and staff, all at one convenient time and location. View an updated list of the exhibiting labs and offices


Hope to see you there!


A Reminder About Safeguards for Research Data Maintained on Personally Owned Electronic Devices

The Medical School Office of Regulatory Affairs wants to remind research teams of the importance of ensuring that research data (particularly protected health information) is properly encrypted and securely stored on personally owned electronic devices. When researchers leave the University, retention of research data on personally owned devices, including those that contain protected health information (PHI), is only allowed with proper permission and assurance of appropriate data security measures (UM Standard Practice Guide 601.33: Security of Personally Owned Devices That Access or Maintain Institutional Data; UMHS Policy 01-04-502: Security of Portable Electronic Devices and Removable Media). Further, all portable electronic devices that are to be used as repositories for PHI data must be encrypted in accordance with Health System Policy 01-04-502. All research teams must be cognizant of the need to have team members who are leaving UM remove PHI from portable and other electronic devices they will take with them, unless the Medical School IRB (IRBMED) is apprised of the departure of the team member and the change in plans for data storage and, in addition, approves removal of human subject data to an alternative site. IRBMED will apprise research teams of the need for additional approvals for data transfer, such as may be required from the UMHS Compliance Office.


For further information on encryption requirements and for additional direction for faculty regarding storage and electronic transmission of research data and PHI, contact Medical School Information Services (phone: 734-763-7770; email: Additional guidance and direction will be provided by the Medical School's Office of Regulatory Affairs (phone: 734-647-1576), the UMHS Compliance Office (, and the Health System's Policy, Procedures and Guidelines website.


Ray Hutchinson, M.S., M.D.

Associate Dean for Regulatory Affairs


Annual Disclosures Due by July 31, 2013

This year, the M-Inform Disclosure System has moved to the eResearch platform, which has a different web address, in-box, and overall look and feel, but contains the same content as in years past. To access the new platform, visit


When you log in, you should see a tab entitled "My Disclosures" below the instructions. Within that tab, under the "Action Required" bar, a link to your disclosure should appear, e.g. "Annual Disclosure Certification for Your Name 2014." Clicking on that link will take you into the form. View full instructions.


View a helpful "decision tree" for determining what to disclose.


Contact ITS at 734-764-4357, option #3, if you encounter problems accessing the system. For general questions, send a message to


Remember, in addition to this annual disclosure, you must update your disclosure within 30 days of any addition or change.


View an IRB Presentation on Humanitarian Use Devices

Compliance Corner - Human Research

Humanitarian Use Devices (HUDs) are devices that are used to treat conditions affecting fewer than 4,000 Americans per year. This brief University of Michigan IRB Collaborative (U-MIC) PowerPoint presentation outlines the requirements for HUD use and research. Presentations on other topics are available on the U-MIC website.


New Rodent Breeding Policy

Compliance Corner - Animal Research

The University of Michigan is committed to observing Federal policies and regulations and AAALAC International standards and guidelines for humane care and use of animals. In order to maintain compliance with the new Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, a policy was developed to define standards and responsibilities for rodent breeding cages.


Mice and rats have short gestation times and large litters. Therefore, cages may quickly become overcrowded if the individual responsible for separating animals does not do so in a timely fashion. When this happens:

  • The animals become uncomfortable and stressed.
  • Pups can die from being trampled.
  • The air quality quickly deteriorates with high density of animals and may predispose them to respiratory disease.

Overcrowding of cages is an animal welfare concern and can have a deleterious effect on research. The UM Policy on Rodent Breeding assists investigators in understanding the various breeding schemes available, proper weaning ages, and the types of breeding records that need to be maintained.

For those investigators that use the ULAM Breeding Colony to breed mice, this will not require a change in your protocol.

Please review the policy on the UCUCA website and contact the UCUCA Office (734-763-8028 or if you have any questions.


U-M Medical School Biorepository

A Key Piece of the Strategic Research Initiative

As part of the Strategic Research Initiative, the U-M Medical School has started work on what will ultimately become a world-class, accredited biorepository. Providing a home for high-quality normal and diseased biosamples linked to highly annotated clinical and laboratory data, the Biorepository will serve University of Michigan investigators and beyond.


Victoria Blanc, most recently Vice President at a commercial biorepository based in Detroit called Asterand, has been hired as director of the new Biorepository. Originally from New York, Dr. Blanc received her Ph.D. in 2000 from the Biology Department here at U-M, studying genomic evolution in yeast. After earning her doctorate, Blanc worked at Genomics Solutions, an Ann Arbor company that provides robots for genomics and proteomics-based research. She then moved on to variety of roles - ultimately serving as VP and General Manager of the Asterand's biorepository business unit located at the Karmanos Cancer Institute. She was instrumental in securing a contract with the National Cancer Institute for Asterand to serve as the hub for a network of tissue source sites as part of The Cancer Genome Atlas. Dr. Blanc has also served on the College of American Pathologists Working Group to establish the requirements for that organization's Biorepository Accreditation Program, and is a current member of the BAP committee.


The U-M Medical School Biorepository is still in the earliest stages of its implementation, and will be establishing a facility later this summer in the North Campus Research Complex (NCRC). The development plan recommended by faculty experts and outside consultants involves the set up of four pilot projects for initialization of the Biorepository operation, and the establishment of procedures for onboarding new studies into the repository. While the Biorepository is not currently accepting projects, it is anticipated that the transition of the four pilots to the centralized Biorepository will be complete in mid 2014.


"Assembling a centralized Biorepository is a key piece of the puzzle as the Strategic Research Initiative continues to support forward-thinking infrastructure investments," noted Steven Kunkel, Senior Associate Dean for Research, "and investments like this further enhance our ability to serve our investigators and advance our research mission to impact human health."


View more details about plans for the U-M Medical School Biorepository.


Are You Fuzzy About Clear Writing?

Sharpening the Focus: Tips on Grant Proposal Preparation

By Chris Black, M.L.S., Assistant Director for Research Development Support, Office of Research

(One in a series of tips published in UMMS Research News about writing proposals.)


Every grant reviewer you speak to will attest to the importance of clear writing, but what does it mean to write clearly? Most unclear writing is caused by unclear thinking. Here are some ways to enhance the clarity of your wording.

  • Visualize, describe, and then apply logic. The process of thinking may be random and pictorial, but the process of writing is linear. So begin with visualizing your study and describing it in words, then go back and apply linear logic to what you have written, including effective arguments with evidence (e.g., literature references, prior experiences, preliminary data). Headers and subheaders (from your outline) will help the reader follow the logic of your thinking.
  • Part of clear is being concise and clean. Concise writing isn't necessarily brief, but economical. We often get carried away with redundancies and verbose language.
    • While varied sentence length keeps the reader's interest, try to keep sentences under 20 words. (The average sentence size has been steadily shrinking from Elizabethan times - an extreme example is texting!)
    • Try shorter words, e.g., "use" instead of "utilization."
    • Use words precisely, e.g., "not fabricable" is too vague; the writer really means "cracks when it is cold processed."
    • Just say it, no need for metadiscourse. Cut out unnecessary words, "we would like to take this opportunity to propose" becomes "we propose."
    • Shorten those paragraphs. Lots of short paragraphs with the use of headers and subheaders are much better than long paragraphs that include multiple topics. Hint: When tight for space, edit until those one or two words dangling in the last line of a paragraph move up to the previous line on the paper, thus saving vertical space.
  • Stick to the point! Everything described in the proposal relates back to your aims or hypothesis. This gets tricky when you do a lot of cutting and pasting. Have someone else read it!
  • Think argumentative speech writing: One of the best ways I (inadvertently) prepared to write grant proposals was argumentative speech writing, which I studied as an undergraduate student. Argument is mainly about logical appeals and involves claims, evidence, warrants, backing, and counter arguments - convincing the reviewers through critical thinking that what you are proposing is logical, significant and feasible.
  • Be careful with jargon: Not all reviewers will be specialists in your field, so do not make assumptions, e.g., "Critical theory seeks to problematize the hegemonic reification of oppressed stratified social constructs." Really? Unless you were a specialist in critical theory this sentence has little meaning.
Clear, concise writing takes time and thought.


"Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts." - William Strunk, Jr. (author of Elements of Style)



Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking Is the Road to Clear Writing


Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program Seeks Research Partners

Deadline: August 15, 2013

The Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) is currently recruiting research partners for the 2013-2014 academic year. UROP students can provide you with invaluable assistance on ongoing or new projects as well as the opportunity to work with bright and enthusiastic students. Many medical school faculty, research investigators and postdoctoral fellows have formed valuable research partnerships with students who began their research experiences during their freshman and sophomore years through UROP. In many cases, students have worked in the same laboratory until they graduate, going on to pursue careers in biomedical and life sciences research. UROP is open to first and second year students and community college transfer students. Our short online application can be found by following the Sponsor Quick Links on the UROP website. Research sponsors will select and interview students in September and students will participate the entire academic year. Supplementary funding for small pieces of equipment, chemicals, or subject fee payments up to $500 per student is available.


We would like to receive as many applications as possible by August 15, 2013 but will welcome project submissions through mid-September. (Applications received through mid-September will have a smaller applicant pool.)


If you have questions or would like to discuss project ideas, please feel free to email:

Sandra Gregerman, Director

Katy Downs, Assistant Director

Office of Research
Our mission in the Office of Research is to foster an environment of innovation and efficiency that serves the U-M Medical School community and supports biomedical science from insight to impact.