Research News
November 2015

Medical School
Office of Research
Seminar Series

November 11
9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Research Auditorium,
NCRC Building 10

Monday, November 16 - Tuesday, November 17
Towsley Center

Research Funding

Tuesday, November 17
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Room B001E,
NCRC Building 16

Note: Please bring your laptop for the hands-on portion of the class.

Tuesday, November 17 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM MCHC Auditorium

This event is part of
the Continuous Quality Improvement Brown Bag series.

Distinguished Faculty Lectureship Award Ceremony and Lecture Tuesday, November 17
4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Kahn Auditorium, BSRB

2015 Research
Mentoring Forum
Thursday, November 19
7:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Dining Hall,
NCRC Building 18

Fast Forward GI Innovation Fund Kickoff Friday, November 20
8:30 AM - 12:00 PM
BSRB Seminar Rooms

Tips on Partnering from the Industry Playbook Thursday, December 3 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM Rooms G063 & G064, NCRC Building 10

Tuesday, December 8
5:00 PM
Kahn Auditorium, BSRB

A reception will immediately follow the presentation in the BSRB Atrium. 

Quantitative Proteomics for Clinical Applications Thursday, December 10 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM Danto Auditorium, CVC

Maternal and
Child Health

Thursday, December 10
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Cure Room (5050),
Brehm Tower

Writing Research
Grant Proposals in the
New Era of Competition for Faculty

Tuesday, February 2
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
BSRB Seminar Rooms

Breakfast and lunch included.


Fact Sheets
& Hot Topics

Find UMHS facts and figures for your next proposal!

Research Project
Route Map

Research Funding
& Grants Guide

MBECT Resources 


UMMS Office

of Research


U-M Medical School


Competition Space


  • Funding
  • Training & Professional Development
  • Policies
  • Announcements
  • Accolades & Milestones
  • FundingOpps
    Select Research Funding &
    Award Opportunities
    Pilot Grants
    External Limited Submissions
    Other Opportunities
    Featured Foundation Grants
    Wednesday, November 11
    Fund-Harrington National Initiative
    for Fighting Blindness
    Sunday, November 15
    2016 CURE Epilepsy AwardThursday, November 19
    2016 CURE Taking Flight AwardThursday, November 19
    2016 CURE Innovator AwardThursday, November 19
    Individual Investigator
    Research Grants -
    Inherited Orphan Retinal Degenerative Diseases and Dry Age-Related
    Macular Degeneration
    Monday, November 30
    Gerber Foundation Research GrantsTuesday, December 1
    Tuesday, December 1
    Alex's Lemonade Stand
    Young Investigator Grants
    Monday, December 14
    Alex's Lemonade Stand
    Epidemiology Grants

    Tuesday, December 15
    Enhanced Research and Clinical Training for Physicians in Inherited Orphan Retinal Degenerative DiseasesSunday, January 31
    Tuesday, March 15
    Career Development Awards
    in Support of Research into Inherited Orphan Retinal Degenerative Diseases and Non-Exudative Age-Related Macular Degeneration
    Tuesday, March 1

    Visit the UMHS Corporate and Foundation Relations website for more foundation funding opportunities.

    For additional details about funding resources, we encourage you to visit the U-M Library's Research Funding & Grants Guide
    Fast Forward Clinical Trials Update
    Fast Forward Clinical Trials (FFCT) continues to make progress in the transformation of our clinical trials enterprise here at the University of Michigan. If you are interested in learning more about the latest updates and offering your feedback to the FFCT team, consider attending this upcoming event:

    Working Together to Transform Clinical Trials
    Wednesday, November 11 
    11:00 AM - 12:00 PM 
    Research Auditorium, NCRC Building 10 
    CLICK HERE to learn more and RSVP 
    In other FFCT news: 
    Clinical Trial Nodes  
    • The Clinical Trials Subcommittee approved three nodes
      with funding in October, including the Acute & Critical Care Clinical Trial Node, Heart Vessel Blood Node, and the Children's Clinical Trial Node. The nodes are actively commencing a staged operationalization of their vision to offer valuable support to study teams. More details will be forthcoming over the next few months. 
    • Each node is currently seeking an experienced lead
      clinical trial administrator to be the primary business leader to partner with the Medical Director. The job posting
      for these positions can be found at, requisition #116755. 
    Future-State Workflows
    • The Medical School Office of Research-Huron Consulting project team conducted future-state design sessions where individuals involved in clinical trials operations across the institution mapped out a first draft of the future-state processes to manage the life cycle of clinical trials from concept to closure. Representative groups of early-career and experienced investigators are reviewing these draft future-state workflows and providing valuable feedback to the project team. Under the proposed new model for operations, many of the non-clinical, administrative functions of conducting clinical trials will, ultimately, be performed by the nodes to decrease the administrative burden on study teams and to maximize their ability to focus on the research.     
    OnCore Clinical Trials Management System 
    • The project team is finalizing the Proof of Concept (POC) plan for the OnCore Clinical Trials Management System (CTMS). During the POC, faculty and staff end-users, as well as technical team members, will assess OnCore's overall usability and its ability to support our future-state workflows and the breadth of the trials conducted by U-M investigators.     
    The Clinical Trials Subcommittee and supporting staff continue to engage faculty and staff, and welcome questions and comments at [email protected].

    For more information about Fast Forward Clinical Trials, including an archive of past updates, CLICK HERE
    7 Services to Improve
    Research Competitiveness
    Click on the image above
    to watch the video.
    We continue to experience an extremely tight research funding environment. To help faculty improve their competitiveness and accelerate the pace of innovative research, we have deliberately invested and built the necessary infrastructure to support their efforts.

    This challenge and the services available to faculty are summarized in a new video featuring Steven L. Kunkel, Ph.D., senior associate dean for research at UMHS.

    You can comment on this video, provide feedback for the speaker, see other videos, and suggest topics here.
    U-M Supports Adoption of Accelerated Clinical Trials Agreement
    Finalizing clinical trial agreements can be challenging and slow. University of Michigan faculty feedback confirmed this in the results of the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research's (MICHR) 2010 SACRE Survey (Strategic Assessment of the Clinical Research Enterprise) and again in 2013.

    Data from a national 2010 Contracts Processing Study among Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) also showed that an average contract negotiation time (exclusive of budget and Institutional Review Board [IRB] approval) of 55 days could be reduced to 22 days if a master agreement was used.

    The Accelerated Clinical Trial Agreement (ACTA) is a standardized clinical trial agreement -- a single agreement to be used by each participating institution and sponsor -- to reduce contract negotiations for industry-sponsored, multi-center studies, especially for Phase 2b and Phase 3 sponsor-initiated clinical trials. 

    CLICK HERE to read the full announcement, which includes details about how to use this at U-M.
    Introducing Fast Forward
    GI Innovation Fund
    Three-year program targets discovery
    and development of future technologies to help patients suffering from gastrointestinal disease
    Fast Forward Medical Innovation (FFMI) at the University of Michigan Medical School recently announced the formation of the Fast Forward Gastroenterology (GI) Innovation Fund, a three-year, $500,000+ fund supported by a donation from entrepreneur alumna Mary Petrovich and matched by the Medical School's Department of Internal Medicine and its Division of Gastroenterology as well as the College of Engineering, where Ms. Petrovich received her undergraduate degree.

    The Fund will support early-stage research that may have future impact on GI patients. It will be used for key research commercialization activities such as those related to technology validation and establishing proof-of-concept, including pilot funding support for preliminary studies or development activities that will lead to broader GI product applications. Importantly, the fund seeks to engage interdisciplinary teams of researchers that leverage ideas and technologies across medicine, engineering, public health, and other key units engaged in biomedical research.

    A Request for Proposals for the Fund will be released in early December via UMMS Competition Space, with an anticipated submission deadline of mid-January. There will be two tiers of funding available:
    • Tier I awards will be in the range of $10-$25K and fund projects that address a discrete milestone that is critical
      to the advancement of research to the point of product development.
    • Tier II awards will be $50-$75K and fund projects with specific milestones for proof-of-concept and later-stage translational studies (ranges are estimates and actual funding levels will be project-specific).
    The FFMI team is in the process of finalizing the fund details and assembling an Advisory Board of faculty, industry, and commercialization experts who will review proposals and provide mentorship for the funded teams. The fund and approach is modeled after FFMI's highly successful Kickstart and MTRAC programs.

    "The goal of the Fast Forward GI Innovation Fund is to accelerate innovative research in the important field of gastroenterology here at the U-M," notes Kevin Ward, M.D., FFMI Executive Director. "Thanks to this extremely generous donation from Mary Petrovich, we're taking a significant step toward producing the next generation of research and technology development that will revolutionize the care of GI patients."

    Interested in learning more about the GI Innovation Fund?
    Visit the website or join the FFMI team for a kickoff event:

    Fast Forward GI Innovation Fund Kickoff
    Friday, November 20
    8:30 AM - 12:00 PM
    BSRB Seminar Rooms
    President Schlissel Initiates
    Selection Process for Research VP
    S. Jack Hu,
    Interim Vice President
    for Research at U-M
    University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel has initiated the selection and appointment process to fill the position of vice president for research. S. Jack Hu (pictured right) has served as interim vice president for research since January 2014.

    The vice president for research is the chief research official responsible for:
    • Overseeing the university's
      $1 billion research portfolio,
    • Playing a leadership role in national and international activities regarding research policy, and
    • Guiding the university in defining research goals
      and identifying emerging research opportunities.
    The position is an executive officer reporting directly to the president, and also works closely with the provost to fully align research with the overall academic mission of the university.

    The vice president for research leads the U-M Office of Research, which consists of eight research units and six service units that support research and research-related activities. The President's Office is overseeing the selection and appointment process and is accepting nominations and applications for the position.

    The position description, as well as an option to submit nominations and applications online, are available here. Inquiries can also be directed to [email protected].
    Multiple Foundations Announce
    RFPs for Biomedical Research Grants
    Most deadlines in November and December
    UMHS Corporate and Foundation Relations would like to draw your attention to the following foundations who currently have open RFPs for biomedical research grants:
    Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE) awards grants for novel research projects that address finding cures for epilepsy and address the goal of "no seizures, no side-effects." 
    Specifically, they fund research that works to understand and prevent epilepsy, identify disease modifying or eliminating therapies, and reverse deficits caused by frequent seizures.
    2016 CURE Epilepsy Award
    LOI due November 19 by 9:00 PM EST
    2016 CURE Taking Flight Award
    LOI due November 19 by 9:00 PM EST
    2016 CURE Innovator Award
    LOI due November 19 by 9:00 PM EST

    The mission of the Foundation Fighting Blindness is to drive the research that will provide preventions, treatments, and cures for people affected by retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, Usher syndrome, and the entire spectrum of retinal degenerative diseases.
    Alex's Lemonade Stand funds research projects that are likely to make critical contributions to current pediatric cancer research and play a part in bringing the latest and most promising life-saving treatments to seriously ill children.
    Epidemiology Grants
    Full application
    due December 15
    by 11:59 PM EST
    Young Investigator Grants
    Full application
    due December 14
    by 11:59 PM EST

    The Gerber Foundation focuses on the nutrition, care, and development of infants and young children (up to age 3).
    The Foundation is particularly interested in fresh approaches to solving newborn or pediatric problems or emerging issues with a predictable time frame to clinical application.
    Gerber Foundation
    Research Grants
    Concept paper
    due December 1

    Questions about these award opportunities should be directed to:
    • Joe Piffaretti, UMHS Corporate and Foundation Relations
      Email: [email protected]
      Phone: (734) 763-1318
    • Greg Witbeck, UMHS Corporate and Foundation Relations
      Email: [email protected]
      Phone: (734) 763-0867
    • Colleen Sherman,
      UMHS Corporate and Foundation Relations
      Email: [email protected]
      Phone: (734) 615-0040
    Four U-M Faculty Elected
    to Prestigious National Academy
    of Medicine
    University of Michigan experts in cancer biology, emergency heart care, bone biology, and chronic disease care are among the new members of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) of the National Academies, one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine. The National Academy of Medicine was formerly known as the Institute of Medicine.
    Kathleen Cho, M.D., Laurie McCauley, DDS, Ph.D., Robert Neumar, M.D., Ph.D., and Marita Titler, Ph.D., RN, FAAN (pictured above in alphabetical order from left to right), were elected to the NAM in recognition of their major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care, and public health.
    With their election, the U-M now has 54 past and present members of the NAM on faculty. A list of living NAM members on the U-M faculty is available here.
    CLICK HERE to read the full announcement, which includes background information on each of the U-M experts.
    Storing Human Biospecimens
    Two Options to Suit Your Research Needs
    Did you know there are two different options at the U-M Medical School to consider when it comes to storing human biospecimens?
    The Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research (MICHR) provides short-to medium-term storage through its Specimen Core and Processing Lab that is a part of the Michigan Clinical Research Unit (MCRU), and the UMMS Office of Research's Central Biorepository (CBR) can provide long-term storage.
    MCRU Specimen Core and Processing Lab
    Does your study have a specific accrual target? Will you use all the samples collected? Will you be accessing stored samples over the short-term? Then the MCRU storage option may be right for you.
    MCRU has a specimen collection, processing, and shipping core laboratory that supports both extended-stay and outpatient clinical research for all MCRU performance sites. In certain circumstances, the Core provides short-term storage of human biofluids (e.g., blood, serum, plasma, saliva) collected at MCRU. Specimens are managed using a sophisticated electronic management and inventory system called Freezerworks.

    CLICK HERE to learn more about the MCRU Specimen Core and Processing Lab.
    Central Biorepository
    Are you interested in creating a shared biospecimen and data resource? Are you planning to store materials for a very long term, or indefinitely? Do you hope that your biospecimens may be used for additional research in the future? Then storing your samples with the Central Biorepository may be your best option.
    Part of the Strategic Research Initiative, the Central Biorepository provides a highly controlled and monitored environment for human biospecimen and data storage and distribution. Biospecimens stored at the CBR are collected with the expectation of distribution to multiple researchers, for multiple uses, in addition to the primary investigator.

    Governance policies encourage collaboration while ensuring that all research using CBR resources meets the highest ethical and regulatory standards. Biospecimen chain of custody, from collection through storage, and processing to distribution, is ensured through the use of LabVantage, a laboratory information management system.

    CLICK HERE to learn more about the Central Biorepository.
    Both MCRU and CBR require IRB approval for all projects that constitute human subjects research, and both can work together to support your research goals and help provide the highest quality biospecimens for translational research and personalized medicine.
    Questions about human biospecimen storage?
    Contact CBR Director Vici Blanc at [email protected] or call (734) 647-6285.
    NIH Loan Repayment Program Seeking Applicants
    Application deadline: Sunday, November 15
    The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is currently seeking applications for its Loan Repayment Program (LRP).

    The LRP aims to recruit and retain highly qualified health professionals into biomedical or biobehavioral research careers through counteracting the pressure of educational financial debt in return for a commitment to engage in NIH mission-relevant research. 

    What you'll need to know for your application:
    Application deadline:
    Sunday, November 15
    Application process and materials:
    Institutional contact:Terri Maxwell
    U-M NIH Loan Repayment Ambassador:David Pinsky, M.D.

    Dr. Pinsky has served on the NIH Peer Review Committee selecting these awards. He has successfully guided several individuals through the application process, and is willing to give individuals advice about this process. 

    Questions for Dr. Pinsky should be directed to his assistant Betty Hoss via email at [email protected]

    Click here for additional program details.
    Next Week: UMMS Office of Research Seminar Series, NCRC EXPO
    Several events on Wednesday, November 11
    In conjunction with the 3rd Annual NCRC EXPO, an opportunity for the North Campus Research Complex (NCRC) community to collaborate and learn more about NCRC service providers, the Medical School Office of Research will host a FREE seminar series highlighting how the many services offered by its units can help researchers advance their research.

    The EXPO will take place on Wednesday, November 11 from 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM in NCRC Building 18 and feature food, prizes, raffles, a photo booth, giveaways, and much more!

    The Medical School Office of Research NCRC EXPO Seminar Series will consist of four sessions held throughout the day in the Research Auditorium of NCRC Building 10 and feature:
    9:00 AM
    Transformative Technologies
    at the Cores
    Presented by Microscopy & Image Analysis Laboratory and Flow Cytometry Core
    10:00 AM
    What's Changing
    in Human Subjects Research
    Presented by IRBMED
    11:00 AM
    Working Together
    to Transform Clinical Trials
    Presented by Fast Forward Clinical Trials
    1:00 PM
    REAL: Collaborative Laboratory Studies How Animal Well-Being Relates
    to Scientific Results
    Presented by the Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine and the Refinements and Enrichment Advancements Laboratory
    Both the Seminar Series and the NCRC EXPO are open to all
    U-M faculty, staff, and students. Visit the Medical School Office of Research's website for more details on each seminar.

    Additional details about the NCRC EXPO can be found here.
    Quantitative Proteomics for
    Clinical Applications
    Join the Proteomics & Peptide Synthesis Core and MS Bioworks as they discuss clinical applications for quantitative proteomics, including data analysis, experimental design,
    and more. 
    The seminar includes: 
    12:00 PM
    by Cassandra Wong,
    Director, Biomedical Research Core Facilities
    12:10 PM
    "Experimental Design
    and Return on Investment"
    by Michael Ford, Ph.D.,
    Co-Founder, MS Bioworks
    1:00 PM
    "Data Interpretation
    in Quantitative Proteomics"

    by Henriette Remmer, Ph.D.,
    Director, Proteomics & Peptide Synthesis Core
    1:30 PM
    Meet the speakers and Q & A
    FREE LUNCH will be provided. Please RSVP to reserve your seat at the event.

    For more information, contact Proteomics & Peptide Synthesis Core Director Henriette Remmer, Ph.D.
    Janus Safety Lab Now Open at NCRC
    The Janus Safety Lab, located in the North Campus Research Complex (NCRC), celebrated its grand opening in October 2015, and is now open to all visitors. The purpose of the demonstration lab is to educate and raise safety awareness of those visiting the space.
    The lab (room) has two separate entrances and is divided into two halves: the good/right/correct side vs. the bad/wrong/incorrect side. A yellow line down the center of the lab provides a visible separation of the two halves, and banners on each side display which side is "good" and "bad." 
    A variety of safety and health topics are represented in the lab, including:
    • Biological safety
    • Chemical storage and labeling
    • Electrical safety
    • Fire safety
    • Compressed gas use and handling
    • Personal protective equipment
    • Hazardous waste management
    Each right/wrong item is identified with a code, and the codes are displayed on wall banners within the lab. A retrospective survey of 14 months of lab inspection data revealed that 28 items (of 471 possible items) accounted for 58% of all items noted by the inspectors. Each of these items are reflected in the Janus Lab.     
    The lab is located in Room 126 of NCRC Building 25, and is open regularly to visitors. Guided tours can also be scheduled by emailing [email protected].
    Learn more by downloading the Janus Lab How to Guide,
    or by visiting the lab website.
    Calling All Staff Biostatisticians
    Join MICHR for Friday, December 4 Social Event
    Calling all staff biostatisticians -- kick off the holiday season with your peers! The Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research (MICHR) Biostatistics Program cordially invites staff biostatisticians to a social event on Friday, December 4. 
    Staff biostatisticians, by the nature of their work, are scattered across campus, which can be a hurdle to finding peers for collaboration, career planning, and resource sharing. The MICHR Biostatistics Program is hosting a social event to bring staff biostatisticians together.

    We will help staff biostatisticians get to know each other's expertise and research. We will also start a discussion about the group's needs for collaboration, resources and training, and how we can make the biggest impact on research.  
    Friday, December 4
    3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
    MICHR Collaboration Station
    NCRC Building 400
    Formal introduction and discussion forum from 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM
    Appetizers and beverages will be served.
    Register for the event here. Please share this information with your colleagues who may also be interested. A printable PDF flyer is available here.

    For questions and more information, contact Jing Liu at [email protected] or (734) 998-7644.
    UROP Seeking Mentors
    for Winter 2016 Semester
    Application deadline: Friday, November 20
    The Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP)
    is currently accepting project applications for the winter 2016 semester. We have a select number of motivated, dedicated students that are looking forward
    to working with you!

    Students will begin applying for projects in late November and will interview for, and commit to, projects before winter break. 
    The deadline to submit a UROP project for January 2016 is Friday, November 20. Projects can be submitted here.
    Please contact Melissa Zochowski, UROP Assistant Director, at [email protected] or (734) 615-9000 with any questions. 
    MICHR Offers
    Master of Clinical Research
    Apply by Wednesday, December 16
    Click on the image above to watch
    a video about the program.
    The Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research (MICHR) offers a Master of Clinical Research program through the Rackham Graduate School and the School of Public Health.
    It is designed specifically for University of Michigan students seeking advanced health professional degrees. Students accepted into the program will take time out to complete the intensive, year-long master's program. Those who receive full funding will have a competitive stipend, full tuition support, and limited research funds. 

    The application deadline is Wednesday, December 16. More details are available here.
    NIH Grant Application Changes -
    Phase 1
    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 National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently announced several changes to 2016 grant application policies, instructions, and forms. The changes will take place in two phases:
    • Phase I will apply to proposals submitted
      on or after January 25, 2016;
    • Phase II will apply on or after May 25, 2016. 
    The most significant Phase I changes address "Rigor and Transparency" of research strategies for NIH and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) proposals. In order to enhance reproducibility of scientific findings, investigators must augment two standard sections of the research plan as follows: 
    • Significance: "Describe the scientific premise for the proposed project, including consideration of the strengths and weaknesses of published research or preliminary data crucial to the support of your application."
    • Approach: "Describe the experimental design and methods proposed and how they will achieve robust and unbiased results. Explain how relevant biological variables, such as sex, are factored into research designs and analyses for studies in vertebrate animals and humans. For example, strong justification from the scientific literature, preliminary data, or other relevant considerations, must be provided for applications proposing to study only one sex."
    Additionally, a new PDF attachment, called Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources, will be required. Because key resources may differ between labs or over time, have qualities that influence research data, and are integral to proposed research, researchers should describe methods that identify and validate these resources (examples include, but are not limited to, cell lines, specialty chemicals, antibodies, and other biologics).
    Reviewers will be asked to assess these additional requirements after January 25, 2016. Research Performance Progress Reports submitted after that date should also "emphasize rigorous approaches taken to ensure robust and unbiased results."
    Other Phase I changes include:
    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.