New Concept Submission Process in SE Michigan

As part of the role of Foundation Relations at the university, we help strategically manage the relationships between campus and foundation donors. Last week, Maureen Martin, Executive Director of Foundation Relations and Program Initiatives, and I met with Katie Brisson, the Vice President for Programs at the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan (CFSEM).

The purpose of that meeting was to learn more about a challenge that the Community Foundation has expressed in working with the university. The grantmaking board at the foundation has found deciding between multiple university proposals difficult, making us less competitive in each cycle. Ms. Brisson has asked that the university follow Wayne State and Michigan State in creating a process to limit the number of inquiries submitted to one per cycle.

Today, we are implementing a new concept submission process for CFSEM to quell the foundation’s concerns and build a stronger relationship with the foundation. At CFSEM’s request, Foundation Relations will have the opportunity to submit 1-2 page concept papers to Ms. Brisson roughly a month and a half before each deadline. She will decide which proposals have the highest likelihood of success with the grantmaking board. That project will then be invited to meet with the foundation and submit a proposal.

We are creating a Call for Proposals strategy to reach appropriate faculty, projects and programs to solicit project ideas for each quarterly proposal cycle and will work with those individuals to craft a concept paper for the foundation. Our next call for proposals will be for an internal deadline on September 3rd, 2014, in anticipation of the foundation’s November 15 cycle, at which point your faculty will be able to submit ideas for funding. At this point, it is our intention that all concepts will move forward, however if the number becomes too large, a more formal, faculty-driven limited submission process will be instituted.

(The two upcoming foundation deadlines – May 15 and August 15 – already have concepts and proposals lined up that the foundation is aware of and supports).

We would like to ask your assistance in sharing this process with your faculty and key administrators.  More information on the foundation is available at Foundations.Umich.Edu.

It is our hope, and the hope of the foundation, that this new system will save time and result in stronger proposals with higher chances of success being brought forth for the CFSEM board.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns as we move forward with this practice.

Thank you,

Joseph Sutkowi
Assistant Director | Foundation Relations
University of Michigan | 3003 South State Street
Wolverine Tower, Rm. 8017 | Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1288
(734) 272-7324 (cell) |

COI Update

Effective of April 14, 2014 the conflict of interest (COI) questions in the U-M IRB application will be updated to provide access to and display information from M-Inform, the University’s outside interest disclosure system.  One question replaces the current six questions.  This single “yes/no” question:

  • Asks the individual if he/she has an outside interest(s) related to the research proposed in the IRB application or amendment
  • Displays the individual’s current disclosure status in M-Inform
  • Contains a link to M-Inform to facilitate system navigation

This change applies to new IRB applications and to study team members added to an existing project via a new amendment.

Impact to U-M Principal Investigators (PIs) and Study Team Members

PIs and study team members are required to disclose only if they answer “yes” to the new COI question (i.e., have a related outside interest) and do not have a current disclosure in M-Inform.  The study team member cannot accept his/her role and the PI cannot submit the application/amendment in the eResearch Regulatory Management (eRRM) system until disclosure is complete.

  • If they answer “no” to the COI question, no M-Inform disclosure is needed and role acceptance/submission can be completed.
  • If they answer “yes” to the COI question and they have a current M-Inform disclosure, role acceptance/submission can be completed.  PIs and study team members should be encouraged to update their disclosure to reflect the relationship between the outside interest and the research.

Impact to Units

To assist disclosers in your unit, please complete the departmental review of outside interest disclosures prior to 04/14/14.  If your unit hasn’t finished the departmental review required as part of the annual outside interest disclosure process, faculty and staff will have to “unsign” their disclosure in M-Inform to update the outside interest related to the IRB application.  This extra step may cause confusion.

The Unit Reviewer job aid is linked here for you to distribute as applicable.  It is also available from the U-M Outside Interest Disclosure Web page.

Upcoming Communications

PIs and study team members in your unit will receive an email on 04/14/14 explaining the change to the COI questions in the IRB application.  This email will include links to resources for more information.

Action Item

Please forward this email to those in your unit who work with U-M Human Subjects (HUM) IRB applications as advanced notice of this change.


If you have questions about the eResearch changes associated with this update, contact the ITS Service Center at 734-764-4357.
If you have COI questions regarding these changes, email   

Lois Brako, Ph.D.
Assistant Vice President for Research – Regulatory and Compliance Oversight
University of Michigan
Phone:  734-615-8936



The Google Faculty Research Awards Program is accepting proposals.

Submission Deadline:  April 15, 2014 and October 15, 2014

Award Amount:  up to $150,000 USD in eligible expenses, but actual award amounts are frequently less that the full amount requested.

Research Areas: Many.  See below.

Google has announced a Faculty Research Awards program to focus on funding world-class technical research in Computer Science, Engineering, and related fields. This funding opportunity provides unrestricted gifts to support full-time faculty members at degree granting institutions around the world.

Google Research Awards are one-year awards, structured as restriction gifts to top universities around the world in support of the work of world-class full-time faculty members. Faculty members can apply for Research Awards by submitting a proposal to one of the two 2014 funding rounds; the 2014 deadlines are April 15 and October 15.

Recipients are selected through a comprehensive internal review process and notified of their awards within 4 months of the initial submission. Faculty members can apply for up to $150,000 USD in eligible expenses, but actual award amounts are frequently less than the full amount request.  Most awards are funded at the amount needed to support basic expenses for one graduate student for one year. Please see the FAQs section of the website for details on eligibility and budgets.

The next submission deadline is October 15, 2014.

Online application form:

Research Areas of interest to Google:

  • Computational Neuroscience
  • Economics and market algorithms
  • Geo/maps
  • Human-computer interaction
  • Information retrieval, extraction, and organization
  • Machine learning and data mining
  • Machine perception
  • Machine translation
  • Mobile
  • Natural language processing
  • Networking
  • Online education at scale
  • Physical interactions with devices
  • Policy and standards
  • Privacy
  • Robotics
  • Security
  • Social networks
  • Software engineering and programming languages
  • Speech
  • Structured data and database management
  • Systems (hardware and software)

For more information please visit: for instructions on how to apply for Google Research Faculty Awards.


Gates Grand Challenges Explorations – Round 13 – The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Information Session

  • Thursday, April 3rd, 2014 – 10:00-11:00 AM
  • Boardroom 5, 6th Floor, Palmer Commons
  • RSVP:

Round 13 Topics:

Click Here for a PowerPoint Presentation concerning Round 13 Information.

Maureen Burns (moburns) is available to assist CoE researchers.



Hartwell Foundation

Title: Hartwell Foundation Individual Biomedical Research Award

Award: $100,000 per year for 3 years

Important Documents:


Title: EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Program Track-1: (RII Track-1) NSF 14-558

Award: Upper $20,000,000


Title: International Research Network Connections (IRNC) – International Opportunities; Physical Sciences & Engineering; Multidisciplinary

Award: $6,000,000




Curious about research funding from foundations? Join us to learn some basics. Special attention will be devoted to Gates, Hartwell, Packard, and Keck. Pizza and drinks will be provided.

April 10, Noon – 1:30, 1210 Lurie Engineering Center

Special guests: Maureen Martin and Joseph Sutkowi from UM Foundation Relations

~~Sponsored by ADRGE~~

US-Israel Binational Science Foundation Program

Title: Radical change in an important scientific concept, or lead to the creation of a new paradigm, or a new field of science.

Synopsis of Program: The U.S-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF) has issued two new CALLS FOR PROPOSALS in its special programs:

  1. Transformative Science – a special program for ground breaking ideas in scientific research.
  1. Prof. R. Rahamimoff Travel Grants for Young Scientists – a special program supporting short, research related, trips of young American scientists to Israel, and young Israeli scientists to the U.S.
  • ORSP Deadline: Friday, April 4
  • Sponsor Deadline: Thursday, April 10th at 10am (5pm Israel Time)


Dr. Heni Haring, Assistant Director
United States – Israel Binational Science Foundation
8 Hamarpeh Street
P.O.Box 45086
Har Hotzvim
Jerusalem 91450 Israel
Tel: 972-2-5828239, Ext 110
Fax: 972-2-5828306

NIH & HHS Program

Title: The NEI Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Program Award (K12)

Award: $5,625,000


Title: NIH Blueprint Program for Enhancing Neuroscience Diversity through Undergraduate Research Education Experiences (R25)


Non-Profit/Foundations or Industry

Title: Paul G. Allen Foundation- Request for Proposals for Artificial Intelligence


NSF Program

Title: Internal Competition for the National Science Foundation Research Traineeship Program (NRT) NSF 14-548

Title: Innovation Corps Sites Program (I-Corps Sites)

Award: $1,500,000


Title: High Performance Computing System Acquisition: Continuing the Building of a More Inclusive Computing Environment for Science and Engineering

Award: Up to $12,000,000

Solicitation: NSF 14-536

Title: Innovation Corps- Regional Node Program (I-Corps Node) National Science Foundation

Synopsis of Program: The National Science Foundation (NSF) seeks to develop and nurture a national innovation ecosystem that builds upon fundamental research to guide the output of scientific discoveries closer to the development of technologies, products and processes that benefit society.

Award: $2,000,000

Solicitation: NSF 12-586

Competition Requirements: If you would like to be considered as an institutional nominee, we need to receive a summary (including requirements below) by 3/14/14, combined into one PDF document emailed to

We acknowledge receipt of all electronic submissions. If you do not receive a response from us by the end of the next business day, please contact
Announcements are also posted on the Limited Submissions page of the ORSP website:

Other Federal Agencies

Title: Department of Energy- Administration of the Wave Energy Converter Prize – Physical Sciences & Engineering

Title: Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) (R25) PAR-13-082

Award: No Fixed Limit

DOE Program

Title: Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institute for Composite Materials and Structures

Award: $70,000,000

Title: Vehicles Technologies Incubator – Energy Storage R&D, Advanced Combustion Engine R&D, Materials Technology, Fuels and Lubricant Technologies

Award: $14,000,000

If you intend to submit a proposal for this opportunity, please notify by 2/13/14.

Title: Marine and Hydrokinetic Research and Development University Consortium (MHK) DE-FOA-0001098 – Renewable Energy; Energy Sciences; Ocean Energy Systems

Award: $4,000,000

NIH & HHS Program

Title: Team-Based Design in Biomedical Engineering Education (R25) – Biomedical Engineering

Award: Direct costs of up to $20,000 per year may be requested

If you intend to submit a proposal for this opportunity, please notify by 3/5/2014.


Title: Renewal Applications for Technology Development for New Affinity Reagents Against the Human Proteome (U01) – Medical-Translational, Medical-Clinical Science, Basic Science

Award: $4,000,000

If you intend to submit a proposal for this opportunity, please notify by 3/7/14.


Title: Miner Safety and Health Training Program-Western United States (U60) – Mining Engineering, Occupational Health and Safety, Safety Engineering

If you intend to submit a proposal for this opportunity, please notify by 2/21/14.


SBA Program

Title: Boots-to-Business Program (Boots to Business Training Program) (B2B) – Entrepreneurship Education, Social Sciences, Curriculum Development

Award: $9,000,000

If you intend to submit a proposal for this opportunity, please notify by 2/24/14.

Funding Opportunity! – David and Lucille Packard Foundation Limited Competition


Title: David and Lucile Packard Foundation – 2014 Packard Fellowships for Science and Engineering


Internal UMOR deadline: January 24, 2014

Foundation deadline: February 1, 2014

Institutional Limit: two per institution.


Award Amount: $875,000 distributed over five years.



Note: Not all eligibility criteria may be listed in this abstract. Before submitting an application for this internal competition, it is the applicant’s responsibility to visit the foundation website (listed below) and verify that both the applicant and their project meet all eligibility criteria.


Synopsis: In past years, the University of Michigan has been invited to nominate two faculty members for the Packard Foundation’s Fellowships for Science and Engineering. We anticipate an invitation again for the 2014 competition and will be providing an information session and support for putting together a competitive file.


“The intent of the Fellowship Program is to provide support for unusually creative researchers early in their careers” and “to emphasize support for innovative individual research.”


Current UM faculty and prior Packard Fellowship recipients:

Sarah Aciego, Assistant Professor in Earth and Environmental Science;

Carol Fierke, Jerome and Isabella Karle Collegiate Professor of Chemistry, Chair, Department of Chemistry, College of LSA and Professor of Biological Chemistry, Medical School;

Mircea Mustata, Professor of Mathematics, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.

Eligible candidates: Faculty members engaged in research in the natural and physical sciences or engineering. Candidates must be faculty members in the first three years of their faculty career, that is, whose initial faculty appointments began no earlier than May 31, 2011 and no later than May 31, 2014.


Eligible disciplines: Physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology, astronomy, computer science, earth science, ocean science, and all branches of engineering. Candidates engaged in research in the social sciences will not be considered.

Guidelines, solicitation and application requirements:


For consideration as an institutional nominee, submit the following electronically in a single file, PDF format by January 24, 2014:


1. Nomination letter from the department chair. This letter should explicitly address the impact that the Packard would have on the career of the nominee and the strength of external references.

2. A research statement responsive to the RFP, describing why the research is important and outlining the general goals for the next five years. Please follow the Packard format.

3. NIH formatted biosketch.

4. Provide the following for your three (3) proposed referees: (Note that at least one reference must have had no supervisory or collaborative contact with the nominee.

· Name

· Institution

· Relationship to Candidate

· Brief Biography, which must include their employment history, and any award(s) and honor(s) received (e.g., former Packard Fellow, member of National academy, etc.)

· List letters referee has previously written for the candidate (jobs, awards) and outcome.


Submit all internal applications, via a single PDF file, by the January 24 deadline to:


Internal proposals will be evaluated based on the impact and strength of the proposed research; how well the proposal meets the Packard Foundation stated criteria; the qualifications of the named external references; and the strength of the nomination letter.


Competitive Proposals:

  • Explain clearly why the idea is out of the box, risky and innovative (i.e. the idea has breakthrough potential and is not next iterative step in your research plan).
  • Put the work and its significance in context of the larger field.
  • Are accessible to a group of very successful scientists from a diverse set of fields (i.e. stay away from field specific jargon).
  • Have high impact referees that can emphasize the significance and impact of the “big idea” and how the fellowship will make a significant impact on the nominee’s career.

Information Session: Maureen Martin, Executive Director, Foundation Relations and Program Initiatives will conduct one information session for faculty and chairs on December 19, 2013, 1:30-2:30, Palmer Commons, 6th Floor, Boardroom 1. Maureen will provide more information about the Packard Foundation, the types of projects funded in the Fellowships for Science and Engineering program, information about the Foundation review process, as well as provide best practices in preparing a competitive application.



For questions about how to prepare applications, proposals or
submissions, please contact your department’s Research Administrator.

Please direct questions regarding this process to Lisa Turek ( in the Office of Research, or Maureen Martin ( in Foundation Relations.


University’s nominees will be notified promptly of his or her selection and must then prepare and submit completed applications (after routing through U-M’s eRPM) to the Packard Foundation in April 2014. Additional information and guidelines for preparation are posted on the Foundation website:

Announcements are also posted on the Limited Submissions page of the
ORSP website:



Funding Opportunity! – Keck Foundation Limited Competition


W. M. Keck Foundation- Science & Engineering and Medical ScienceU-M Internal Deadline: January 20, 2014 by 5:00 pm. The W. M. Keck Foundation seeks high-risk/high reward projects focused on the development of pioneering instrumentation, new technologies and novel methodologies that advance and facilitate research (not medical treatment). The Foundation is particularly interested in funding basic fundamental research based on innovative ideas that lie outside the reach of traditional funding sources and encourages applications that put young investigators in positions of leadership.The University of Michigan is invited to submit concept papers for consideration to the W. M. Keck Foundation. In consultation with the Foundation, from these concept papers the University is allowed to select one to proceed to a Phase I proposal per funding cycle per program. Applications must be coordinated with the U-M Foundation Relations Office.

Information Session
Maureen Martin, Executive Director, Foundation Relations, will conduct an information session for interested faculty. She will provide information about the Keck Foundation, the types of projects funded in this program, information about the review process, and best practices in preparing a competitive concept paper. A PDF of the powerpoint is attached to this announcement.

Monday, December 16, 2013
1:00-2:00 pm
Palmer Commons, Board Room 5 (6th Floor)

How to Apply

If you are interested in submitting a concept paper, please send electronically to by January 20, 2014 by 5:00 pm.

Prepare a one-page concept paper that includes: Single-paged concepts for the Research Program and Undergraduate Education Program should be in 12 point font with 1 inch margins and should include:1.) an overview of the proposed project emphasizing any unique aspects and pilot studies (for Research Program concepts, indicate area of emphasis for project- medical research or science and engineering research);2.) a description of the methodologies and key personnel;3.) a brief justification of the need for Keck support; and

4.) an estimated budget broken down, if possible, by major areas, e.g., personnel, equipment, consumable supplies, etc. (budgets can be rough approximations at this stage). Research grants range from $500,000 to $5 million, and are typically $2 million or less.

If there’s room, the authors are free to add other details (e.g., background to put the research into perspective, description of the institution’s prominence in the field, etc.) Avoid illustrations in these single-pagers- the researchers will need all the room for text. If a reference is necessary, abbreviate it as (Science, 323, 45, ’11). DO NOT USRE (Jones et al., 2011).

Solicitation details and requirements:

For questions regarding the review process and best practices in preparing your concept paper, please direct them to Maureen Martin in Foundation Relations at (

For questions regarding the internal competition deadline, please direct them to UMOR via Tricia McCain Ebright (

We acknowledge receipt of all electronic submissions. If you do not receive a response from us by the end of the next business day, please email

Announcements are also posted on the Limited Submissions page of the ORSP website:

GPA Conversion Announced:

The graduate programs at the College of Engineering and Rackham are inaugurating a new system for calculating grade point averages (GPA). At the recommendation of Rackham Student Government, which polled students and completed a comparison study of peer institutions, the Executive Board of the Rackham Graduate School and the Dean of the College of Engineering have approved changing the system for converting letter grades to GPA from a 9.0 grade point system to a 4.3 system, with a maximum term and cumulative GPA of 4.0. Transition to a four-point GPA system will align the College of Engineering and Rackham Graduate School programs with nearly all colleges and universities in the United States and with the University’s GPA system for undergraduates.

Letter grades submitted by instructors will be converted into numbers, or points, as follows:

Letter Grade Number Value
A+ 4.3
A 4.0
A- 3.7
B+ 3.3
B 3.0
B- 2.7
C+ 2.3
C 2.0
C- 1.7
D+ 1.3
D 1.0
D- 0.7
Number Values for Letter Grades

The Registrar will implement this system for all College of Engineering graduate students who are enrolled and active (including those on detached study, leave of absence or on extramural study status) for those students who complete their degrees in August 2013 and after. Grades for all courses completed in prior terms under Rackham, CoE or ISD registrations were converted using the new grade point system on 8/21/13. Students and faculty need not do anything for this transition. Faculty will continue to submit letter grades, which will continue to appear on transcripts. The change will affect only the grade points assigned to each grade as well as the calculation of the term and cumulative GPAs.

Persons whose degrees have been conferred before August 2013 will not have their GPA converted to the new system unless they return to pursue a new degree. Students who have withdrawn and are returning to their program, or to a new program, will have their GPA calculated under the new system when they are admitted, readmitted, or reinstated—once they are enrolled for classes.

In conformity with College of Engineering and Rackham Academic policy, students will still need to maintain a cumulative GPA equivalent to B or better. With the new system, this will be a 3.0 GPA.

For general information about the new grading scale, please go to the Rackham Policy website. For questions regarding Rackham programs, please contact Donna Huprich, For questions regarding College of Engineering programs (Integrative Systems + Designs and M Eng), please contact Felicia Becker, CoE Registrar Graduate Programs,



Visit the New Foundation Funding Website

NSF Changes Announced:

NSF has issued changes which will be effective for proposals submitted or due on or after January 14, 2013. Significant changes include:

  • In early 2013, the National Science Foundation (NSF) will completely transfer all project reporting processes from FastLane to We recommend that research faculty visit the reporting process web site.

NSF Merit Review Notes

  • All NSF projects should: a) be of the highest quality; b) have the potential to advance, if not transform, the frontiers of knowledge; and c) contribute more broadly to achieving societal goals.
  • NSF reviewers should consider what the proposers want to do, why they want to do it, how they plan to do it, how they will know if they succeed, and what benefits would accrue if the project is successful.
  • In particular, reviewers are asked to evaluate all proposals against two criteria: Intellectual Merit – the potential to advance knowledge; and Broader Impacts – the potential to benefit society and contribute to the achievement of specific, desired societal outcomes. More specifically, what is the potential for the proposed activity to: advance knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields (Intellectual Merit); and benefit society or advance desired societal outcomes (Broader Impacts)?

Other Considerations

  • To what extent does the proposal suggest and explore creative, original, or potentially transformative concepts?

– Is the plan for carrying out the proposed activities well-reasoned, well-organized, and based on a sound rationale? What is the mechanism to assess success?

– How well qualified is the individual, team, or institution to conduct proposed activities?

– Are there adequate resources available to the PI to carry out the proposed activities?

Transformative research generates ideas, discoveries, or tools that radically change our understanding an existing scientific or engineering concept or lead to the creation of a new paradigm or field of science or engineering.

Data Management Plan should address:

  • Data, samples, physical collections, software, curriculum materials, and other materials to be produced in the course of the project;
  • Standards to be used for data and metadata format and content (where existing standards are absent or deemed inadequate), along with any proposed solutions or remedies);
  • Policies for access and sharing including provisions for appropriate protection of privacy, confidentiality, security, intellectual property, or other rights or requirements;
  • Policies and provisions for re-use, re-distribution, and the production of derivatives; and
  • Plans for archiving data, samples, and other research products, and for preservation of access to them.



Indirect Cost (IDC) Waiver Request Form

The College of Engineering Indirect Cost Waiver Request form has been revised. This new form will provide more consistent tracking of the proposed project budget at the full IDC rate vs the waived IDC rate. Your request form should be emailed to Alec Gallimore (cc – Linda Forsyth



Announcing the Launch of the MCubed Website Interaction Phase

Greetings from MCubed, the University of Michigan’s revolutionary new program for funding research. MCubed expedites innovation by providing real-time seed funding to interdisciplinary teams. Get ready for great ideas!

The Interaction Phase of the MCubed website is now LIVE. You’ll find frequently-asked questions and plenty of help getting started.

Faculty who have an MCubed token: Enter by clicking “log in” on the top right. Update your profile right away by clicking on your photo. Add keywords so that others can identify your areas of expertise and invite you to collaborate. Then start creating and browsing projects. (Note: If your unit submitted your name only recently, your access may be slightly delayed.)

All faculty and staff are invited to attend an upcoming MCubed Information Session:
–Wednesday, October 10th, 9-10 a.m. (Forum Hall, Palmer Commons)
–Monday, October 15th, 10-11 a.m. (Room #1013, Herbert H. Dow Building)

Your participation in MCubed will enable path-breaking discoveries to save lives, transform institutions, and address pressing societal needs. Innovate with freedom and purpose!
Questions? Contact
For College of Engineering specific information please see the attached file.




New Financial Conflict of Interest Regulations

Public Health Service agencies implemented stricter mandatory regulations for reporting outside interests and for managing financial conflicts of interest (FCOI) as of August 24, 2012.

Key components of the regulation impact who needs to disclose, how often to disclose, the scope for FCOI review, and the public availability of FCOI data.

We recommend that research faculty and staff visit the COI project web site and review the Unit Resources. The introductory materials, including our YouTube video and newsletter, will help you become familiar with the regulation details and U-M’s compliance plan.

The university’s plans include:
  • Requiring at a minimum that all investigators with, or applying for, PHS* funding disclose outside interests related to their U-M responsibilities starting on July 1, 2012. Unit requirements may be broader.
  • Utilizes a single system, M-Inform, to enter outside interest disclosures beginning July 1, 2012.
  • Updated the eResearch Proposal Management (eRPM) system to capture and display disclosure status.
  • Implemented a new COI Administration system for committees and staff to review and manage FCOI.
  • Established a means for required public reporting of PHS-related FCOI and management plans.

*The following organizations will follow the new Public Health Services regulations for reporting outside interests and managing financial conflicts of interest (FCOI)

  • American Heart Association
  • American Cancer Society
  • Arthritis Foundation
  • Susan G. Komen Foundation
  • Alliance for Lupus Research

What does this mean for me?
If you have current funding from or pending proposals with these organizations, you need to disclose your relationships with outside entities that relate to your U-M responsibilities in order to ensure compliance with the regulations.
If you haven’t already disclosed, use M-Inform, the university’s disclosure system, to enter and/or update your outside interest disclosure(s) during the university’s annual disclosure period starting July 1. Per the regulations, you will also enter and/or update your disclosure(s) within 30 days if:

For assistance using M-Inform, contact your unit. Contact information is available on the M-Inform sign-in page.
To report technical issues with M-Inform, contact the ITS Service Center:
734-964-4357 (4-HELP)



NSF Annonces Changes to Merit Review Criteria

NSF has issued important new details about Merit Review Criteria that are pertinent to both “Intellectual Merit” and “Broader Impacts.” Please read National Science Board (NSB) 1211 very carefully to ensure that COE proposals meet these new criteria.

Merit Review Criteria

When evaluating NSF proposals, reviewers should consider what the proposers want to do, why they want to do it, how they plan to do it, how they will know if they succeed, and what benefits would accrue if the project is successful. These issues apply both to the technical aspects of the proposal and the way in which the project may make broader contributions. To that end, reviewers are asked to evaluate all proposals against two criteria:


Intellectual Merit: The intellectual Merit criterion encompasses the potential to advance knowledge; and

Broader Impacts: The Broader Impacts criterion encompasses the potential to benefit society and contribute to the achievement of specific, desired societal outcomes.

The following elements should be considered in the review for both criteria:

1. What is the potential for the proposed activity to

  • advance knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields (Intellectual Merit)
  • benefit society or advance desired societal outcomes(Broader Impacts?)

2. To what extent do the proposed activities suggest and explore creativity, original or potentially transformative concepts?

3. Is the plan for carrying out the proposed activities well-reasoned, well-organized, and based on a sound rationale? Does the plan incorporate a mechanism to assess success?

4. How well qualified is the individual, team, or institution to conduct the proposed activities?

5. Are there adequate resources available to the PI (either at the home institution or through collaborations) to carry out the proposed activities.




MRI Internal Competition-NSF 11-503 Major Research Instrumentation Program: Instrument Acquisition or Development

Program Solicitation NSF 11-503

NSF DEADLINE: Full Proposal Deadline Date: January 24, 2013

Required Cost Share:Cost-sharing at the level of 30% of the total project cost is required by Ph.D.-granting academic institutions of higher education and by non-degree-granting organizations. Only non-Ph.D.-granting academic institutions of higher education are exempt from the cost-share requirement.

UM INTERNAL ABSTRACT DEADLINE—December 03, 2012 ( Monday -5:00 P. M. )
Limit on Number of Proposals: Three (3) as described below.


  • A 2-page maximum Data Management Plan, or an assertion of the absence of the need for such a Plan, is required to be provided as a supplemental document (see Section V.A.9.c). The Data Management Plan will be subject to merit-based review and FastLane will not permit submission of a proposal that is missing a Data Management Plan.
  • MRI eligible expenses now include incremental costs associated with the implementation of the Data Management Plan.
  • Cost sharing, when required, must be precisely 30% of the total project cost. Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited.
  • Guidance has been provided for proposals that request the acquisition or development of an instrument to be located at an organization other than, or away from, the submitting organization (see Sections V.A.1, V.A.3.d and V.A.9.i).
  • Categorization in Section V.A.3.a. of the requested instrument is required using codes provided in the solicitation.
  • Information requested in the organization’s commitment letter has been extended to include a list of the MRI awards made to the organization during the previous five years and a brief summary of the status of the instrumentation obtained from each award.
  • Effective for awards made on or after January 4, 2010 a new reporting requirement has been instituted which requires PIs to provide a project outcomes report for the general public within 90 days following the expiration of the grant.

Three (3) as described below.

If three proposals are submitted, at least one of the proposals must be for instrument development (i.e., no more than two proposals may be for instrument acquisition).

To ensure a balanced instrumentation award portfolio at diverse organizations, across varied research topics, and in support of a broadly inclusive science and engineering workforce across the entire Nation, the MRI program requires that an MRI-eligible organization may, as a performing organization, submit or be included as a significantly funded1 subawardee in no more than three MRI proposals. To promote instrumentation development, the program requires that if an organization submits or is included as a significantly funded1 subawardee in three MRI proposals, at least one of the three proposals must be for instrument development.

NSF reserves the right to carefully examine development proposals to ensure that they meet the requirements for this proposal type (see Section II). If a proposal submitted as development is deemed to be an acquisition proposal, the proposal will be returned without review if any of the organizations involved have already submitted two acquisition proposals.

1An unfunded collaboration does not count against the submission limit. Inclusion as a funded subawardee on a development proposal at a level in excess of 20% of the total budget request from NSF, or on any acquisition proposal, will be counted against an organization’s proposal submission limit. However, if a subaward to an organization in a development proposal is 20% or less of the proposal’s total budget request from NSF, the subawardee’s submission limit will not be affected. For subawards within a linked collaborative proposal, the 20% threshold applies to the budget request from NSF in the proposal containing the subaward(s), not to the combined budget request from NSF for the collaborative project.

Mandatory Cost Sharing is required for this solicitation :

Note: The 30% cost-sharing requirement applies to only the portion of the total project cost budgeted to non-exempt organization(s), including those participating through subawards. Cost-sharing is required for Ph.D.-granting institutions of higher education and for non-degree-granting organizations. Non-Ph.D.-granting institutions of higher education are exempt from the cost-sharing requirement. See section V.B. for specific information on cost-sharing calculations and the solicitation text for definitions of organizational types used for the MRI program.

Synopsis of Program:

The Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI) serves to increase access to shared scientific and engineering instruments for research and research training in our Nation’s institutions of higher education, museums, science centers, and not-for-profit organizations. This program especially seeks to improve the quality and expand the scope of research and research training in science and engineering, by providing shared instrumentation that fosters the integration of research and education in research-intensive learning environments. Development and acquisition of research instrumentation for shared inter- and/or intra-organizational use are encouraged, as are development efforts that leverage the strengths of private sector partners to build instrument development capacity at academic institutions.

To accomplish these goals, the MRI program assists with the acquisition or development of shared research instrumentation that is, in general, too costly and/or not appropriate for support through other NSF programs. Instruments are expected to be operational for regular research use by the end of the award period. For the purposes of the MRI program, proposals must be for either acquisition or development of a single instrument or for equipment that, when combined, serves as an integrated research instrument (physical or virtual). The MRI program does not support the acquisition or development of a suite of instruments to outfit research laboratories/facilities or to conduct independent research activities simultaneously. Further guidance on appropriate requests can be found in the MRI Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

Instrument acquisition or development proposals that request funds from NSF in the range $100,000-$4 million will be accepted from all eligible organizations. Proposals that request funds from NSF less than $100,000 will also be accepted from all eligible organizations for the disciplines of mathematics or social, behavioral and economic sciences and from non-Ph.D.-granting institutions of higher education for all NSF-supported disciplines.

Cost-sharing at the level of 30% of the total project cost is required for Ph.D.-granting institutions of higher education and for non-degree-granting organizations. Non-Ph.D.-granting institutions of higher education are exempt from the cost-sharing requirement.

See SECTION V- B-Budgetary Information Section in the program announcement for details )
Cost Sharing: The proposed cost sharing must be shown on Line M on the proposal budget. PhD granting institutions and non-degree granting institutions are hereby required to provide 30 percent cost-sharing from non-federal government sources on all MRI proposals, both acquisition and development.

The MRI Program Purpose and Goals :

The primary purpose of the MRI program is to facilitate scientific and engineering research and research training through the acquisition or development of major research instrumentation. The MRI program does not support requests for general purpose ancillary laboratory equipment or multiple instruments that serve to outfit a laboratory or research environment. The MRI program also does not support the acquisition or development of instrumentation used primarily for science and engineering education courses (this and other uses of the instrumentation may serve to facilitate the broader impacts of the project).

An MRI proposal must conform to the program’s primary goals of:

    • Supporting the acquisition of shared major state-of-the-art instrumentation, thereby improving access to, and increased use of, modern research and research training instrumentation by scientists, engineers, and graduate and undergraduate students;


    • Fostering the development of next generation of major instrumentation, resulting in new instruments that are more widely used, and/or open up new areas of research and research training;


  • Enabling academic departments, disciplinary and cross-disciplinary units, and organizations and multi-organization collaborations to integrate research with education.

An MRI proposal may also address additional program goals which include:

  • Supporting the acquisition and development of research instrumentation that makes use of, advances, and/or expands the Nation’s cyberinfrastructure and/or high performance computing capability (while avoiding duplication of services already provided by NSF investments). MRI proposals that are aligned with the evolving NSF vision (see “Cyberinfrastructure Framework for 21st Century Science and Engineering”), including those that support development of computational and data-intensive science and engineering programs, or that provide pathways to regional and national infrastructure, are strongly encouraged.
  • Promoting substantive and meaningful partnerships for instrument development between the academic and private sectors. MRI proposals involving partnerships with applicability to NSF-supported centers, including the NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers (I/UCRCs) program are encouraged. Such proposals are expected to create innovative ideas or products with wide scientific or commercial impact.

UM INTERNAL ABSTRACT DEADLINE—December 03,2012 ( Monday -5:00 P. M. )

If you are interested in claiming one of UM’s proposal slots as a “LEAD” or NON-LEAD institution, we would like to receive a three to four page summary from you that outlines: a.) The instrumentation required and why it should be viewed as a priority for the University of Michigan; b.) How it meets the MRI program goals; The outcomes you anticipate if your proposal is successful; c.) Any peer review comments received on this application from any submission.) The estimated total cost of the project.) A list of Co-PI’s involved in the proposal. We will need to receive your four to six page summaries for the Instrument Solicitation by close of business on Monday, December 03 2012.( 5:00 P.M.).
Please indicate in your “Summary Title” whether your proposal is for “Instrument Acquisition( LEAD or NON-LEAD” or “Instrument Development( LEAD or NON-LEAD)”
The summary should be submitted to the following email address: with a copy to and Dave Plawchan ( We request that a copy of each summary submitted for review be given to the appropriate Research Dean by the Project Director / Principal Investigator.The Vice -President for Research, in consultation with others, will decide which three proposals should be developed.
The finalists for this competition will be notified of
their selection no later than Friday, December 21,2012

If you have any questions about project eligibility, or requests to receive a hard copy of the NSF Program Announcement NSF 11-503, please direct them to Dave Plawchan [] in DRDA. You can also retrieve an electronic version directly from NSF by following the directions on the NSF website.