Research News
August 2015


The Joint Commission Survey Readiness Brown Bag

Tuesday, August 18

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

MCHC Auditorium (F2305)


For more information, contact (734) 615-5374

or visit the Quality Improvement website.




Thursday, August 20

11:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Circle Drive
in front of Med Sci I



"Find Your Element: Traveling the Winding Road to Leadership in Health Care"

Saturday, August 29

7:45 AM - 3:30 PM

Arthur Miller Theatre

1226 Murfin Avenue

Ann Arbor, MI


Space is limited.

Register today to reserve your spot.



Finding Funding
for Your Research

Friday, September 18

9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Multi-Purpose Room

4360 Taubman Health Sciences Library



U-M Injury Center Sport Concussion Summit

Thursday, September 24

8:00 AM - 4:45 PM

Junge Family

Champions Center at Michigan Stadium


Early registration for

this event is strongly encouraged.




Effective Slides:

Design, Construction, and Use in Science

Monday, September 28

8:00 AM - 10:00 AM

BSRB Seminar Rooms



Doing Biomedical Research? There's a Map for That!

Friday, October 9

10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

BSRB Seminar Rooms



Using Science Experts Network Curriculum Vitae (SciENcv) to Create a Biosketch

Friday, October 9

9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Multi-Purpose Room

4360 Taubman Health Sciences Library



Essential Skills for Successful Leadership for Faculty

Monday, October 19

8:00 AM - 4:30 PM

BSRB Seminar Rooms


Please note that this workshop is for faculty only.



Writing Workshop

(Three-part series) 

Wednesday, November 4, Wednesday,

November 18, & Wednesday, December 9

5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Building 520, NCRC


Registration is required and closes on Monday, October 19.



U-M Orthopaedic Pathology OITE Review

Monday, November 9



Pediatric Research Symposium

Monday, November 16 - Tuesday, November 17

Towsley Center


Click here for details on how to submit an abstract for the Symposium.


Submissions must be received by Wednesday, September 9.



14th Annual U-M Depression on College Campuses Conference

Wednesday, March 9 - 

Thursday, March 10

Graduate School


Information about submitting a proposal for workshops, concurrent sessions, and poster displays at the conference can be found here


The submission deadline is Friday, September 4.



Health System Headlines Research Seminars & Events 


Fact Sheets
& Hot Topics

Find UMHS facts and figures for your next proposal!

Research Project
Route Map

MBECT Resources 


UMMS Office

of Research


U-M Medical School


Competition Space


  • Funding
  • Policies
  • Training & Professional Development
  • Announcements
  • FundingOpps
    Select Research Funding &
    Award Opportunities
    Pilot Grants
    Prostate SPORE Pilot Project CompetitionTuesday, September 1
    MICHR Pilot Grant Program - Round 19Friday, September 11

    Other Opportunities

    For additional details about funding resources, we encourage you to visit the U-M Library's Research Funding & Grants Guide
    Thank You Letter from the
    Deputy Institutional Official

    On behalf of myself, Bob Dysko, U-M Attending Veterinarian, and Dan Myers, University Committee on Use and Care of Animals (UCUCA) Chair, I want to thank you for all of the effort that you put forth to help the institution maintain its Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) accreditation. AAALAC accreditation represents the highest standards in animal care and use programs and is critically important to maintaining research funding.


    It takes everyone's commitment to the ethical standards for research involving animals and ongoing efforts to maintain our facilities and training. You should be proud of the work that you do and know that your efforts are greatly appreciated. We will continue to improve our program throughout the institution with your help, and will await the official communication from AAALAC concerning the renewal of our accreditation. 



    J. Brian Fowlkes, Ph.D.

    Associate Vice President for Research, Health Sciences 

    Deputy Institutional Official/

    Executive Director, Animal Care and Use Program

    85 Exhibitors!
    Researchpalooza on Thursday, August 20

    Bigger and better than ever, Researchpalooza will offer a record-breaking 85 organizations displaying their wares and services to the University of Michigan biomedical research community on Thursday, August 20 from 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM at Circle Drive near the Medical School.


    In addition to these organizations, and free ice cream provided by the UMHS Ice Cream Social, this year Researchpalooza also hosts three food vendors for attendee convenience -- Whips Dog Days, Petey's Donuts (pictured below), and El Manantial will be on hand to sell beverages, treats, and lunch.


    Click here for the latest list of exhibiting organizations and to learn more about Researchpalooza 2015.


    UMMS Office of Research Celebrates National Postdoc Appreciation Week
    Join us for a series of FREE events in September
    This year marks the sixth annual celebration of National Postdoc Appreciation Week, which begins on Monday, September 21 and runs through Friday, September 25.

    The U-M Medical School supports more than 700 postdoctoral fellows and consists of scholars from all of the basic science and clinical departments. Join us as we celebrate the hard work and dedication of U-M postdocs with these FREE events hosted by the Medical School Office of Research:


    Swipe Right If You're Interested in Epigenomics:
    Exploring New Epigenetic Technology
    Tuesday, September 22
    11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
    BSRB Seminar Rooms
    Lunch Session


    Stay on the cutting edge of biomedical research with Claudia Lalancette, Ph.D., Lab Manager of the Epigenomics Core. Learn what each of the Core services can do for your research, including: sample and library preparation, DNA methylation, ChIP-Seq, hydroxymethylation, and more. 


    To Infinity and Beyond!
    How Postdocs Can Get Involved in Biomedical Commercialization
    Wednesday, September 23
    4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
    Kahn Auditorium, BSRB
    Panel Session & Reception


    From biotech startups to industry licensing to seed funding and more, the commercialization landscape can be a challenge to navigate for even seasoned entrepreneur-researchers. Join the Fast Forward Medical Innovation team and a panel of guest experts for this session where you'll learn more about how postdocs can get involved in the fast-paced world of the commercialization of biomedical research here on campus, and beyond!


    With panel members:

    • Egon Ranghini, Ph.D., miLEAD
    • Stephanie Morley, D.V.M., Zomedica
    • Scott Phillips, M.B.A., CEO, SearchLite
    • Dan Rhodes, Ph.D.,
      Vice President, Thermo Fisher Scientific
    • Donna See, M.B.A., M.P.H.,
      Vice President, Allied Minds

    What's the Scoop? Strategies for Communicating About Your Lab with Colleagues and the Public
    Thursday, September 24
    12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
    Room G063, NCRC Building 10
    Lunch Session

    When it comes to publishing in scholarly journals, you know the drill. But what about when you need to publicize breaking news or an event on campus? Or when your faculty director asks "should our lab have a Facebook page?" Join a panel of U-M marketing experts as they discuss communication strategies and the various channels and resources available to the University and for the wider public audience.

    With panel members:
    Please note: Seating for this event is limited to 60 participants. RSVP today to reserve your spot!

    And these events from our colleagues across campus:

    Where to Find Funding Workshop
    Tuesday, September 8
    10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
    Forum Hall, Palmer Commons
    Coffee & Bagels

    Registration for this event is required. RSVP link to follow. This event is sponsored by the Life Sciences Institute Postdoc Association, the U-M Postdoc Association,
    and the Taubman Health Sciences Library.

    Postdoc Appreciation Picnic
    Thursday, September 24
    5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    Burns Park
    Dinner & Games

    This is a great event that all postdocs and their families are invited to! Drop in any time; dinner will start around 5:00 PM. Come out and enjoy the food and drinks, as well as fun outdoor games, provided by the Medical School Office of Postdoctoral Studies.

    Registration is required for these FREE events.

    Visit the Medical School Office of Research's National Postdoc Appreciation Week 2015 website often for new events being added to the schedule. 

    Contact Kierstin Fiscus in the Medical School Office of Postdoctoral Studies at [email protected] or (734) 647-7005.
    M-Inform Overdue?
    Don't miss out on federal dollars because you forgot to disclose!

    Did you know that National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant applications will be withdrawn 30 days after submission if key personnel's disclosures are not current? Did you know your funding cannot be released until all key personnel have completed their annual disclosures? 


    Research funding is not the only reason to keep your disclosures up to date, but it's an important one. Even if you have no outside interests, activities, or relationships, you must still complete the conflict of interest training and attest to having nothing to disclose. 


    NIH is just one of the federal and other agencies that do not allow grant submission or release of funds until all key personnel are in compliance with federal regulations that require disclosure of outside interests. Disclosures were due on Friday, July 31, but many faculty members, fellows, and house officers have still not completed their disclosures. 


    Don't risk missing grant deadlines, losing funds, or attracting the ire of your colleagues. Log-in and complete your disclosure today! 

    • Report disclosures at 
    • Use the "decision tree" located here to assist with disclosure reporting decisions 
    • Employees must disclose job-related outside interests as well as those of their family members (spouse, domestic partner, dependent children) 
    • Any changes to your outside interests must be reported within 30 days, including required travel disclosures 

    For general questions pertaining to the annual M-Inform Update, send an email to [email protected]


    For technical assistance (e.g., "where do I click?"), call the ITS Help Desk at (734) 764-4357. 

    2nd Annual Protein Folding Diseases Initiative Symposium

    Join us for the 2nd Annual Protein Folding Diseases (PFD) Initiative Symposium on Friday, September 18, which will focus on molecular machines and how they function in health and disease, and include keynote talks from: 

    • Judith Frydman, Ph.D.,
      Professor of Biology and Genetics, Stanford University 
    • Franz-Ulrich Hartl, Ph.D.,
      Director, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (Germany) 
    • Tom Rapoport, Ph.D.,
      Professor of Cell Biology and
      Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator,
      Harvard University

    Also featured are talks from U-M faculty: 

    • Catherine Collins, Ph.D.,
      Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology 
    • Daniel Southworth, Ph.D.,
      Life Sciences Institute, Biological Chemistry and Biophysics 
    • Billy Tsai, Ph.D.,
      Cell and Developmental Biology 
    • Kristen Verhey, Ph.D.,
      Cell and Developmental Biology 

    We are currently soliciting poster presentations from laboratories who plan to attend the Symposium. Please visit the PFD website for more information, and to register for the event. 

    Health Professions Education Day
    is Just Around the Corner
    Submit your abstracts by Saturday, August 15
    Click on image above to view and download the event flyer.

    The inaugural Health Professions Education (HPE) Day, an evolution of Med Ed Day, will take place on Wednesday, September 16 from 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM in the Michigan Union's Rogel Ballroom.


    HPE Day will bring together educational scholars, practitioners, researchers, and students from across the university to share best practices and explore opportunities for collaboration and innovation. The inaugural event will also serve as a celebration for the recently launched Michigan Center for Interprofessional Education, a new center that brings together the seven health science schools (School of Dentistry, School of Kinesiology, Medical School, School of Nursing, College of Pharmacy, School of Public Health, and School of Social Work), with a goal to prepare health professionals of the future. 


    The event will feature a poster session as well as plenary speaker Catherine DeAngelis, M.D., M.P.H., former editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association.


    All members of the Health Professions Education community are invited to submit abstracts for poster presentations at the event. 


    The submission format is a single-page abstract. A sample abstract and the online submission form are available here. Submissions are due Saturday, August 15.


    Please contact Kathleen Omollo via email or phone at (734) 615-5531 with questions about the event. 

    Looking for Funding for Your Research?
    Check out MICHR's Pilot Grant Offerings

    The Michigan Institute for Clinical

    & Health Research (MICHR) offers funding to facilitate and support innovative research across the translational spectrum. We encourage interdisciplinary collaborations that promote the development of transformative solutions for improving patient outcomes. 


    Six funding mechanisms are available to cover the T1, T2, and T3 stages of the translational research spectrum; applications for those are due Friday, September 11. Applications for several smaller grants are accepted on a continual basis. 


    All faculty (12 month and 9 month appointments) with lecturer or instructor appointments or higher from all schools and colleges at the University of Michigan are eligible to apply as Principal Investigators. This includes basic, clinical, and social scientists. (Fellows in an ACGME accredited program are not eligible.) 


    MICHR is currently accepting applications with the potential for co-funding from departments, schools, centers, institutes, and other University of Michigan entities. Applications for Round 19 are due Friday, September 11 at 12:00 PM. 


    Community and academic investigators who want to learn more about the Community University Research (CURES) partnership funding opportunity are encouraged to view an informational webinar


    Further information about MICHR's pilot grants, including application expectations and eligibility requirements, is available here. See our latest round of awardees here


    For questions, contact Kate Althouse at [email protected] or (734) 998-7626. 

    Office of Research Releases FY15 State of Research End of Year Report

    Compiled and updated quarterly by the Grant Review & Analysis Office, a unit of the Medical School Office of Research, the Medical School State of Research provides high-level metrics of financial performance and research output for the Medical School. 


    Highlights from the recently released FY15 State of Research -- End of Year Overview -- demonstrated overall growth of the research enterprise:  

    • Total budget awards for FY15 ($490.2M) exceeded FY14 
    • Industry awards are up $7M over last FY
    • Externally-funded research expenditures reached
      $311.9M in FY15, compared to $302.6M in FY14
    • Internally-funded research expenditures also rose
      to $171.6M in FY15, surpassing FY14
    • Proposal submissions of projects with funding start
      in FY15 climbed in all areas: R01s, NIH in general,
      and all sponsors, for a total of 2,724 proposals requesting support in FY15

    If you are interested in additional metrics, please visit the Medical School State of Research website (only accessible through the U-M Ann Arbor Campus network or remote log-in via VPN). On this page, you will find the overall summary as well as metrics on each of the Office of Research service units.


    Questions about this data should be directed to Heather Offhaus, Director of the Grant Review & Analysis Office, via email.


    Senior Associate Dean for Research Steven L. Kunkel, Ph.D., along with other UMMS leaders, will also provide updates on major developments in the research enterprise at a UMMS Research Town Hall this fall. Additional event details to follow. 

    Fast Forward Clinical Trials Update
    Part of the Strategic Research Initiative, Fast Forward Clinical Trials (FFCT) is engaging the entire UMHS in creating the new knowledge needed to improve clinical care, value, and health outcomes by successfully executing a diverse portfolio of high-quality clinical trials.

    Strategies for FFCT fall under two primary areas, an organizational structure of local service "nodes," collaborating with centralized work streams that are primarily managed by units of the Medical School Office of Research. Progress in those areas in the last month includes --

    • The Research Board of Directors met and approved how the $15M of startup funding for the nodes will be allocated to maintain momentum in establishing the inaugural four nodes while preserving significant funding for additional future nodes.
    • The node medical directors under the leadership of Val McLaughlin and Julie Lumeng, along with strong support and partnership with the Medical School Office of Research and Faculty Affairs, are submitting a proposal to the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to establish a Fund to Retain Clinical Scientists. The award, which will be given to 10 medical schools, provides $540,000 to each institution over a five-year period to provide supplemental, flexible funds to early career physician scientists working on clinical research projects and facing extra-professional demands on caregiving.
    Central Function Work Streams
    • FFCT has secured space on the fifth floor of UH South (old Mott) to create a physical presence for the clinical trials initiative. Designed to accommodate study coordinators coming from off-site locations, there will also be space for study team meetings and site monitors/auditors.
    • Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research team members and other collaborators have distributed the first draft of the new "Clinical Trials Operations Manual" to the Clinical Trials Subcommittee.
    • A committee of stakeholders is developing new clinical trial training avenues for study coordinators and investigators. The committee is working to establish training objectives, the curriculum, and training delivery system. 
    The Clinical Trials Subcommittee and supporting staff continue to engage faculty and staff, and welcome questions and comments at [email protected].
    IRBMED Announces Launch of New Repository Applications
    New application went live on Monday, July 27

    Repository Application (REP) is a new submission type available in eResearch Regulatory Management (eRRM) for oversight of U-M data/biospecimen research repositories. The new application went live on Monday, July 27.


    A research data or tissue bank, or research repository, stores, maintains, and distributes data and/or biospecimens to enable future research. New repositories should request IRB approval through an REP application for intake, storage, maintenance and distribution of data and/or biospecimens. In some cases, a REP replaces a Human Subject Study (HUM) application; in others, it is an adjunct to one or more HUM "collection applications." Repositories previously approved under a HUM application will in some cases be asked by IRB staff to transition to a REP, if it may simplify or clarify oversight.


    For step-by-step instructions on submitting a Repository Application, see the eRRM Training webpage ("Repository Application" fan-out arrow near bottom of page.)


    For further information on the IRB implementation of oversight through Repository Applications, on regulatory and policy background for repository oversight, and for additional U-M resources on repositories, please visit the IRBMED website Repository Overview and sub-pages (such as Responsibility for REP Oversight and Compliance and FAQ: Repository Application (REP), and others).


    Questions about this or other policies pertaining to human subjects research should be directed to IRBMED via email or phone at (734) 763-4768.
    The Search is On to Fill Two
    Biomedical Leadership Positions
    New Director of the Life Sciences Institute Sought
    Life Sciences Institute Director Alan Saltiel, Ph.D.

    An advisory committee has been appointed to launch the search for the university's next Mary Sue Coleman Director of the Life Sciences Institute (LSI), and the university is now accepting nominations and applications for the position.


    President Mark S. Schlissel has appointed an eight-member search advisory committee, which will be chaired by Dr. David Ginsburg, James V. Neel Distinguished University Professor of Internal Medicine and Human Genetics, Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis Professor of Medicine, professor of internal medicine, human genetics, and pediatrics and communicable diseases, Medical School; and research professor, Life Sciences Institute.


    The search is being undertaken to replace long-serving LSI Director Alan Saltiel, Ph.D., who is stepping down on Monday, August 31 after 13 years of service. Dr. Stephen J. Weiss, a medical researcher who has focused his efforts on understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying the ways in which cancer cells invade tissues and metastasize, will become interim director of the LSI beginning Tuesday, September 1.


    Information about the search, including a position description and how to submit nominations, can be found on the Office of the President website.


    Further inquiries regarding nominations and applications should be directed via email to [email protected].


    Search Begins for New School of Nursing Dean
    School of Nursing Dean Kathleen Potempa,
    Ph.D., RN, FAAN.
    Provost Martha Pollack has appointed an advisory committee to search for a new dean of the School of Nursing, and the search is already underway.  

    Carol Boyd, Deborah J. Oakley Collegiate Professor of Nursing and professor of nursing, School of Nursing; professor of women's studies, LSA; research professor, Psychiatry Department, Medical School; and research professor, Institute for Research on Women and Gender, is chairing the committee that has been charged with conducting a broad search and presenting a slate of recommended candidates.


    In an email to faculty and staff at the school, Pollack wrote that Dean Kathleen Potempa, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, would step down during the 2015-2016 academic year after 10 years of service. 


    To nominate prospective candidates, or ask questions of the committee chair, send an email to [email protected]


    For more information about the school, visit

    The NIH Wants to Hear From You!
    Webinars happening this week to solicit feedback on NIH-wide Strategic Plan

    The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is developing a 5-year NIH-wide Strategic Plan to advance its mission to support research in pursuit of fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems, and the application of that knowledge to extend healthy life and reduce illness and disability.


    As part of these efforts, the NIH is gathering feedback on the proposed framework through its Request for Information and a series of public webinars.


    Webinars have been scheduled for the following dates:


    Tuesday, August 11
    3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

    Thursday, August 13
    4:00 PM - 5:30 PM


    Please join these webinars to discuss the proposed strategic plan. The webinars will include a Q & A period, and participants are encouraged to submit questions during the event or in advance by emailing [email protected].


    Additional details are available here

    Learn the Basics of Budgeting for Research Grants at MICHR Workshop

    Are you proposing or managing a research grant budget? Are you unsure of how to translate your science into a budget plan? 


    Join the Michigan Institute for Clinical
    & Health Research (MICHR) for an interactive one-hour workshop presenting the basics of grant budgeting. Learn how to calculate indirect costs, determine calendar months for effort, request salary and fringe benefits, complete other budget components, and write a budget justification. Participants should bring a calculator. 


    MICHR Workshop:
    Basic Budgeting for Research Grants
    Tuesday, September 29
    3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    Room 1122, Building 520
    North Campus Research Complex

    Register for this FREE workshop

    Contact [email protected] with any questions. 

    ICD-10 Coming Soon to MiChart

    ICD-10 is a new version of codes used to identify diagnoses and procedures and replaces ICD-9, which has been in use for over 30 years. ICD-10, like ICD-9, will be used to code diagnoses for all types of patient care services.


    The new code set allows for the capture of more detail and can easily be expanded as medical understanding and technology changes. ICD-10 will provide public health benefits and can support new healthcare payment mechanisms, which are increasingly reliant on diagnosis coding to convey the patient condition.


    The use of ICD-10 is a federal mandate under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.


    When is ICD-10 effective?

    In general, ICD-10 will be used for claims with dates of service or discharge on or after Thursday, October 1, 2015.


    However, effective Wednesday, July 29, many MiChart users can now begin selecting ICD-10 compatible codes when entering diagnoses. The interval between July 29 and October 1 will allow affected MiChart users to become more comfortable with the required detail before ICD-10 codes are used in actual claims. Although the ICD-10 effective date has been delayed several times, we do not expect any further delays. 


    Is UMHS ready for ICD-10?

    Yes. Over the past few years, we have made the necessary investments in our information technology, our processes, and our people to prepare for ICD-10. We expect to make the ICD-10 transition with modest and manageable impacts. There is some risk of disruptive impacts to the healthcare industry as a whole, and we will monitor and respond to these impacts as appropriate.


    How does ICD-10 impact research?

    Generally speaking, researchers using internal or external information sources relying on ICD-9 codes may be impacted. 


    All information sources currently using ICD-9 codes are expected to start using ICD-10 codes for new encounters starting on Thursday, October 1. References to specific ICD-9 codes to define disease selection criteria or to aggregate data, for example, would require updates to work with new encounters.


    Researchers who are also clinical practitioners will also be impacted in their roles as documenters and diagnosis assigners using applications such as MiChart.


    How do I get more information?

    • Talk with your supervisor
    • Reference related MiChart communications here
    • Visit the UMHS ICD-10 website
      for updates
    • Contact Jessica Durkin, Associate Director for Research,
      via email with additional questions or concerns
    CRAO and RCRB Work to Resolve Research Billing Discrepancies

    Research Associations and the Impact on Research Billing:

    The June 2014 EPIC release included an update that allows the Research Medical Record Number (RMRN) to be associated with appointments, visits, and orders.


    The upgrade was installed and adversely impacted the Revenue Cycle Research Billing (RCRB) workflow.


    Charges are not adjudicating correctly and our research partners may have noticed an increase in research billing discrepancies. The most common occurrences are the research discount not being applied and Standard of Care (SOC) items and services routing to the RMRN.


    What are we doing?

    Revenue Cycle is implementing an additional Work Queue to capture items and services that have a Research Association and RCRB will route the charge according to the Billing Calendar. This should be complete by mid-August. Currently, we are making corrections as reported by Study Teams and running a special report to capture the routing errors.


    We appreciate your support and patience as we work to create an error-free workflow. 

    Apply to be a UROP Research Sponsor for Great Students Today!

    Would you like help getting a new research project started, or expediting a project already in progress? Do you enjoy mentoring undergraduates through informal teaching? Do you have a project you want to start but need someone to do some preliminary exploration?


    The Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) will have over 1,200 students ready to be your research apprentice in September. If you are interested in learning more about UROP and how to engage a student in your research, please join us:


    UROP Information Session

    Wednesday, August 12

    12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

    1160, Undergraduate Science Building


    If you are unable to attend this session, you can also complete the brief online application. Applications must be submitted by Thursday, August 20. 


    About UROP

    UROP is open to first- and second-year students as well as a small cohort of community college transfer students. The program provides students with research skill-building workshops (e.g., Lab Safety, How to Keep a Lab Notebook, Research Responsibility, etc.). Supplementary research funding is available to cover research-related costs of up to $1,000 per student per year. UROP students can be supervised by graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, which also aids in future faculty development and mentorship skills.


    UROP Could Benefit Your Future Grant Submissions    

    UROP serves a diverse group of students, which can be important when applying for grants from the National Science Foundation as well as other funding agencies. Specifically, connections with UROP can provide an important outreach and broadening participation aspect to your future grant applications. The Director is happy to write a support letter for your future grant submissions and to share your experience(s) engaging diverse students in your research.


    If you would like to discuss a potential project idea, or have questions, please contact Sandy Gregerman via email or phone at (734) 615-9000.

    Don't Underestimate the Significance
    Sharpening Your Focus:
    Tips on Grant Proposal Preparation
    By Jill Jividen, Ph.D., Senior Manager
    for Research Development Support,
    U-M Medical School Office of Research


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

    The Significance section of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) R01 proposal is critical to the probability of funding -- after Approach, that section correlates highest to successful impact scores. Significance is up front; it makes your case; and it has the potential to win or lose the attention of reviewers.


    NIH uses the following questions to spur thinking about Significance: 

    • Does the project address an important problem or
      a critical barrier to progress in the field?
    • If the aims of the project are achieved, how will scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice be improved?
    • How will successful completion of the aims change the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services,
      or preventative interventions that drive this field?

    In simpler terms, Significance answers the "So What?" of your proposed work. Why is it important? What is the impact? Whom does it affect? How does it advance your field?


    For an R01 proposal, aim for 1-2 pages for this section. Describe the field as it stands; indicate that you are familiar with current research in the field, and aware of existing gaps, opportunities, and roadblocks. Include your preliminary data and long-term research plans.


    Take time to scan the roster of your study section members and customize content accordingly. Consider citing their work, when appropriate. Conversely, the further removed reviewers are from your field, the more basic (and clear) information you need to provide on the science, importance, and latest findings relevant to your research.


    Finally and importantly, strive to point out your work's significance throughout the application.


    For more information check out these helpful resources:

    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.