Research News
Monthly Newsletter
September 2013

From the Honest Broker Office

Facing a grant application deadline in the New Year? The Honest Broker Office (HBO) would like to remind researchers that 8-12 weeks are needed to turn around requests for clinical data. January will be here before you know it!



National Institutes of Health Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS) and My Bibliography for NIH Progress Reports

Monday, September 30, 2013


Foundation Funding Workshop for Junior Faculty Researchers

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Using EndNote for National Institutes of Health Grant Writing

Friday, October 11, 2013


Michigan Metabolomics & Obesity Center Symposium

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


University of Michigan - Israel Partnership for Research Scientific Symposia

October 18-21, 2013


Publish or Perish - How Open Access and Fundersā€™ Mandates Impact Our Publishing Decisions

Thursday, October 24, 2013


AAMC Medical Education Research Certificate for Faculty (MERC)

Series begins Wednesday, November 6, 2013


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


MICHR Pilot Grant Program Requests Proposals for Clinical & Translational Research

Deadline: October 18, 2013


External Limited Submissions

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


National Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists

Internal Deadline:
September 30, 2013


NIH Director's Early Independence Awards

Internal Deadline:
October 11, 2013



Available through the Michigan 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


National Postdoc Appreciation Week Events

Join the UMMS Office of Research as we celebrate the hard work and dedication of U-M postdocs with the following events this week.


From Small Details to the Big Picture: MICHR Helping Researchers

Coffee & Bagels

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

9:30 - 10:30 AM

Postdoctoral Lounge, 2nd Floor Taubman Library

The Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research is here to enable and enhance clinical and translational research, by educating, funding, connecting, and supporting U-M research teams. We have a variety of programs and services for postdoctoral scholars. Talk to us about team science, collaboration, mentoring, pilot grants, grant writing, and more. We're here to help.


Research Grant Proposal Writing

Coffee & Donuts

Thursday, September 19, 2013

9:00 - 11:00 AM

M5330, Med Sci I

This two-hour presentation will cover an overview of writing research grant proposals that are well strategized and competitive. Topics will include finding funding, responding to sponsor guidelines, preparing for the review process, and using resources on campus.


Learn Over Lunch: Explore the Latest Technology and Resources from the Biomedical Research Core Facilities

Box Lunch

Friday, September 20, 2013

11:30 AM - 1:30 PM

Dining Hall, Towsley Conference Center

The Biomedical Research Core Facilities (BRCF) is a collection of centralized labs and services offering researchers access to state-of-the-art instruments, resources, and expertise. BRCF staff work closely with postdocs on a daily basis and understand how important access to top-of-the-line equipment and technology is to your work. This session is a unique opportunity to learn from the best in biomedical research as the internationally recognized Core Directors discuss the latest innovations and techniques in Bioinformatics, DNA Sequencing, Metabolomics, Flow Cytometry, Proteomics & Peptide Synthesis, Transgenic Animal Models and more.


More details and RSVP.


Update on SBIR/STTR Opportunities Featuring Special Guest Speaker Ming Zhao, Ph.D. of the NCI

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

4:00 PM - Session

5:30 PM - Networking

Research Auditorium, Building 10

North Campus Research Complex


The SBIR Program funds early-stage research and development at small businesses. And a unique feature of the STTR Program is the requirement for the small business applicant organization to formally collaborate with a research institution in Phase I and Phase II. Both programs are the NIH's engine of innovation for developing and commercializing novel technologies and products to prevent, diagnose, and treat human diseases.


At this FREE event you'll hear more about:

  • Cancer-focused federal funding for small businesses and faculty opportunities for NIH SBIR/STTR and contract funding opportunities from NCI.
  • Current and upcoming changes in NIH's SBIR/STTR programs.
  • Practical strategies for developing successful proposals.


Dr. Zhao is available for individual meetings with U-M faculty 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM, September 24, 2013. To schedule, contact Jayne Berkaw at [email protected] by September 18.


Other speakers will include:

  • Jack Miner, Director, U-M Venture Center
  • Michael Kurek, Ph.D., M.B.A., Partner, BBC Entrepreneurial Training & Consulting
  • Andrea Johanson, Ph.D., Principal Consultant, BBC Entrepreneurial Training & Consulting

"Fast forwarding" commercial projects is a key mission of the UMHS Strategic Research Initiative, and the Office of Research and its Business Development team are excited to host this unique opportunity for you learn from a panel of proven experts.


Co-sponsored by UMMS Business Development, U-M Office of the Vice President for Research, U-M Tech Transfer, and BBC Entrepreneurial Training and Consulting.


More details and RSVP.


Kickoff! Host Microbiome Program

Launching the Host Microbiome Program of the Strategic Research Initiative, UMMS welcomes Dr. Lita Proctor, NIH Human Microbiome coordinator as she take a closer look at the human microbiome and its role in health and disease.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

3:00 PM

M5330, Med Sci I


Dr. Proctor will discuss the NIH Human Microbiome Project, an 8-year, $194M program to produce microbiome data, computational tools, and scientific approaches as community resources to support this emerging field.


Other speakers will include:

  • Harry Mobley, Ph.D.
  • Thomas Schmidt, Ph.D.
  • Vince Young, Ph.D.

Join these U-M leaders in the field as they kick off the Host Microbiome Program of the UMHS Strategic Research Initiative, working to "fast forward" innovative research at the University of Michigan.


More details and RSVP.


Symposium on FDA-Regulated Research

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Rackham Amphitheater


Don't miss this opportunity to get the "inside scoop" on the fascinating, and sometimes mysterious, world of FDA-regulated research. This symposium will feature insights from the perspectives of the clinical investigator, sponsor, IRB, and more - including a special presentation by an FDA inspector!


Attendance is free, but space is limited - email [email protected] with your interest in attending.


This symposium is presented by the University of Michigan Office of the Vice President for Research and the Medical School Office of Regulatory Affairs.


Discover How Peptides Can Impact Your Research

Join the BRCF and the Proteomics and Peptide Synthesis Core in an exploration of topics detailing how proteomics can impact research.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

10:00 AM - 1:30 PM

Forum Hall, Palmer Commons (4th Floor)


Offering FREE lunch from Zingerman's, the session will cover topics including:

  • "Triple-Helical Peptide Models for Studying Collagen-Based Diseases" by Gregg B. Fields, Ph.D., Vice President of Scientific Affairs, Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies
  • "Mass Spectrometry of Peptides" by Henriette Remmer, Ph.D., Director of the Proteomics & Peptide Synthesis Core
  • "Recent Developments in Peptide Science: The Right Peptide for Your Application" by Robert P. Hammer, Ph.D., Director of Chemical Development, New England Peptide Company

More details and RSVP.


Write Winning NIH Grant Proposals:

A Workshop by David Morrison, Ph.D.

Don't Miss This Widely Acclaimed Workshop!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

8:30 AM - 5:00 PM

Dow Auditorium, Towsley Center


Be sure to register by October 11!


Co-sponsored by the UMMS Office of Research and the MICHR Education and Mentoring Group, this widely acclaimed seminar addresses practical and conceptual aspects of the proposal writing process (with emphasis on NIH applications). The presenter, David Morrison, Ph.D., is one of the most sought after presenters of workshops on writing NIH grant proposals. Participants will learn to prepare a competitive grant proposal by:

  • incorporating knowledge of the peer review process in a persuasive research description
  • formulating a focused research plan that incorporates well-formulated hypotheses, rationales, specific objectives, and long-range research goals
  • developing and justifying a budget for the proposed research activities
  • using existing resources at the University of Michigan in research proposal development
  • avoiding many common grant writing mistakes.

This workshop is open to everyone interested in developing their NIH grant writing skills. CME credit is available.


Registration Deadline: October 11, 2013

Since course materials must be pre-ordered, we are unable to accept late / walk-in registrations.



$125 for UM Participants (payable by shortcode or credit card)

$150 for Non-UM Participants


All those registered as of October 12 will receive The Grant Application Writer's Workbook - National Institutes of Health Version (a $75.00 value) as well as other course materials.


Register and view complete information (including the agenda) at:


Download a flyer to post in your area.


Follow this event on Twitter with hashtag #MICHRWWG13. Tweet your questions to us before or during the event.


MICHR Workshop Helps Junior Faculty and Fellows Prepare K Grant

The Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research (MICHR) is pleased to offer their popular K Writing Workshop for junior faculty and fellows who are preparing competitive career development grant applications (NIH K and VA CDA) for submission in 2014. Participants will exchange drafts of sections of their proposal and will receive peer critique and feedback from senior faculty experienced in NIH study section thinking.


This structured, three-part series offered in the evening at the NCRC (with ample parking) begins November 20, 2013. Registration is required, and the registration deadline is October 15, 2013. Participants must attend all three sessions, bringing their mentor to session 1.


Learn more or register.


Facts and Fun at Researchpalooza

Researchpalooza, hosted by the UMMS Office of Research (OoR) in conjunction with the UMHS Ice Cream Social, was bigger and better than ever this year! Almost 3,000 faculty and staff mixed and mingled with team members from 68 different offices and labs who serve biomedical research across campus.


Using the now-famous "Passport to Prizes," attendees were able to learn the latest facts and services about the various groups, while having fun and getting the chance to win great prizes offered by the OoR. Winners of this year's OoR prize drawings were:


Gyanwa Opare Addo

Sravanthi Kaza

Chao Liu

Amanda Mortensen

Cathy Van Poznak

Michelle Windom


In addition to these prizes, each year the OoR also sponsors a Spirit Award for the participating organizations. A faculty "secret shopper" wandered the event, evaluating the tables and their staff. This year, the Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine (ULAM) won the coveted trophy, with the secret shopper noting that ULAM staff were especially engaging and knowledgeable. It was a tough decision, with UCUCA, the DNA Sequencing Core, and IRBMED all receiving honorable mentions.


The entire OoR team loves research and all of the talented people who make it possible! Looking forward to 2014, if you know of a lab or organization on campus that you think would benefit from exhibiting at Researchpalooza, contact Ann Curtis ([email protected]).


A Note About Data Management and Security

Compliance Corner - Human Research

The University of Michigan IRB Collaborative (U-MIC) has developed a brief PowerPoint presentation on data management and security, including recommendations for securing electronic research data. Presentations on other topics are available on the U-MIC website.


View more information regarding working safely with electronic protected health information (ePHI). (This link can only be accessed via the U-M Ann Arbor campus network or VPN.)


Policy on Consulting for Industry and Expert Advisory Panels

The number one FAQ received by the Office of Regulatory Affairs after the announcement of the Consulting Policy was, "Can I still serve on a Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB)?" The answer is YES!


The term "Expert Advisory Panel," as used in the Policy, does not mean a committee or board composed of members with scientific or clinical expertise who meet to develop or manage clinical trials, to do FDA or NIH service, to serve on a company's Board of Directors, or similar activities.


As used in the Policy, an "Expert Advisory Panel" is a term-of-art used by companies such as the Gerson Lehrman Group, ENG, or Axon Advisors. These "Panels" are lists of experts that a company can match up with its customers, typically investment firms and hedge fund managers. Because it is neither "enhancing the individual's usefulness as a teacher and scholar" nor of a "distinctly public nature," this type of consulting is not in concert with the Regents Bylaws and is fraught with the potential to release confidential information.


Please contact the Office of Regulatory Affairs if you need assistance determining if an activity falls under the prohibition on "Expert Advisory Panels." (The Office of Regulatory Affairs website can only be accessed via the U-M Ann Arbor campus network or VPN.) 


Real-Time Research Documentation in MiChart

On September 16, the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research (MICHR) Michigan Clinical Research Unit (MCRU) went live with MiChart, allowing Research Study Teams to view electronically-entered research documentation in real-time. This documentation was previously done on paper.


"Using MiChart within MCRU will provide all of us with opportunities to better integrate clinical care and clinical research workflows, while improving our ability to steward clinical research data," said Blake Roessler, M.D., Associate Director, Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research. "Most importantly, it will clearly enhance research participant safety, which is of primary importance."


No More Imaged Research Documentation

Research documentation will no longer need to be scanned and uploaded into MiChart. As of September 16, this information is immediately available in MiChart in an easy-to-read format.


Roessler said this will help reduce transcription errors and errors due to legibility of previously hand-written documentation, "Having research documentation integrated in the MiChart system increases the efficiency of regular workflows for MRCU and benefits all of the study team members who need access to research participant orders or results."


Workflow Improvements

  • Research nurses can act on real-time orders: Providers will be able to place electronic orders for hospital services required outside of MCRU allowing research nurses to immediately act upon and result those orders.
    • Research labs and sponsor/MCRU-based EKGs will continue to be obtained per protocol.
    • Investigational medication ordering will follow the current process that requires them to be ordered outside of MiChart.
  • Research results not in patient record: Point of research results will be stored in patient flowsheets and will not become part of the patient's clinical record, maintaining research participant confidentiality.
  • Save time: Research Study Teams will not only save time by entering electronic orders, but also avoid delays in interpreting previously paper-based MCRU clinic sheet documentation.

Questions and Assistance

Introduction Document (Word)

Research Tip Sheets

View more information about MiChart.

For questions, contact: [email protected]


New ULAM Rate Decreases Mean Significant Savings

Compliance Corner - Animal Research

The new per diem rates for the Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine (ULAM) have been approved by the Office of Financial Analysis for FY2014, and they recently announced to their research customers lowered rates for many of the species/caging arrangements, some as much as 10%. These decreases were based on cost accounting from expenses in FY 2013, and while a few per diem rates did require an increase, many rate changes will have a beneficial impact for the majority of customers. For example, an investigator with 10 cages in the "Mice-Small" (non-ventilated) category now saves approximately $24/month compared to last year.


"We certainly understand the budget stresses facing our researchers," noted ULAM Director Robert Dysko, D.V.M. "Now they can use these cost savings to explore other experiments or acquire other resources to further their work."


ULAM continually strives to offer the best customer service and be engaged collaborators in biomedical research at the U-M. Customer feedback allows the ULAM team to adjust to meet your needs, so don't hesitate to contact them at [email protected].


Grant Reviewing - A Look from the Inside

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.)


There is no underestimating the importance of getting to the right NIH grant review study section (i.e., group of 20-40 scientists focused on a particular research field). Applicants need to carefully examine the study section rosters to match their proposal with the section that has the closest expertise (see, and then request that specific section in the cover letter. A great way to gain great insight into the review process (what goes on in your study section) is to become a reviewer of a grant competition.


One reason to serve as a reviewer is that it's one of your responsibilities as a scientist, but there are many other advantages, e.g., exposure to the newest research; hearing discussions of science from different perspectives/fields; becoming aware of common elements of successful grants; career advancement; becoming a better mentor. One caveat: becoming a permanent member of a NIH study section is time consuming.


Here are a few ways to get involved or gain insight into the NIH grant review system short of permanent study section membership:

  1. NIH Early Career Reviewer (ECR) Program: If your ECR application is accepted, you will be assigned to a study section and will receive training on review procedures, including how to write and upload critiques. You will be assigned 2 to 4 grant applications to review. You will attend a study section meeting and participate in the discussion of and voting for all applications. You will participate in no more than one study section per year and no more than twice total. View program website.
  2. Become an ad hoc member of a study section: (a) Contact the Scientific Review Officer (SRO) of the study section where you fit and send him or her your CV, asking to be considered for service; (b) Contact your professional society or research dean and let them know you are interested in being a reviewer. Ask them to add your name to the CSR list of recommended reviewers. See: How to Be a Member of a R01 Study Section
    (Howard Hughes Medical Institute).
  3. MICHR Mock Review Study Section: The faculty member or post doc is assigned a proposal to review and meets with a mock study section led by an experienced U-M reviewer. Sign up for MICHR educational events.
And remember, the best reviewer of your proposal before you send it to NIH is an investigator who has previously been a member of your intended study section.


"Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure." - Confucius


Avoiding "Predatory" Open Access Publishers

Open Access (OA) journals have been in the news recently - and not all of the news has been good. OA is a type of access which makes peer-reviewed, scholarly literature available online for free, and with permanent access regardless of personal or institutional subscriptions. OA journals are an important addition to the peer-reviewed biomedical literature, and there are a growing number of reputable journals with respectable impact factors in fields from biology and general medicine to informatics and medical education. Unfortunately, another small but growing number of so-called "predatory" OA publishers - those who are more interested in generating revenue than contributing to the value of the scholarly record - are creating problems for authors and editors. Problems with predatory OA publishers have been documented in numerous blogs and journals, including Nature and the Chronicle of Higher Education.


Many OA journals - both reputable and predatory - charge author fees to cover the costs of publication. Generally speaking, predatory OA journals are interested in generating revenue as quickly as possible - this may mean that a journal publishes almost every article it solicits, or that plagiarized or erroneous content is published. Literature in predatory OA journals may be rushed to publication, or may skip peer-review altogether.


Predatory OA publishers employ a number of strategies to convince researchers to contribute to their journals as authors or members of editorial boards, including emailed solicitations to submit manuscripts or to serve on an editorial or advisory board. Even authors or editors who attempt to research the journal can be taken in; many predatory publishers have well-designed and official looking websites, or journal names that are close enough to other, known journals, to confuse authors. According to Jeffrey Beall, a librarian at the University of Colorado Denver who monitors open access issues, "2012 was the year of the predatory publisher."** Beall tracks identified and possible predatory journals and reports on open access issues at his blog, Scholarly Open AccessBeall's List - a regularly-updated list of predatory OA journals - contains a list of publishers, followed by a list of individual journals, which meet his criteria for likely predatory publishing.


UM has resources to assist you in avoiding predatory publishers. If you have concerns about an OA journal to which you've submitted a publication, if you have agreed to serve on an editorial board and are concerned about the journal's quality, if you have been named to an editorial board of an OA journal without your consent, or for assistance in locating reputable OA journals in which to publish your work, please contact Marisa Conte ([email protected]), Translational Research Liaison at the Taubman Health Sciences Library.


Interested in learning more? Come to "Publish or Perish: How Open Access and Funders' Mandates Impact Our Publishing Decisions" on October 24, 2013, 7:30 - 9:00 AM, BSRB Seminar Rooms. Register for this event.


** Butler D. Investigating journals: The dark side of publishing. Nature. 2013 Mar 27;495(7442):433-5.

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.