December/January 2019 Newsletter
From the Vice President
In writing my final message for this newsletter, I have reflected on my time as Vice President of Research at the University of Idaho for the past four years. Many of you know that I am leaving next month to take an appointment as the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research and Innovation, at the University of Newcastle in Australia.
From my first day at the University of Idaho, I have witnessed our students, faculty, staff and community members engaging in astonishing research, scholarship and creative activities. Every day I have seen us taking bold steps, building on our accomplishments and growing a robust, externally-funded program consistent with top-tier research universities.
Our annual research expenditures have continued to break new records each year. U of I faculty are receiving national recognition for their notable scientific, scholarly and creative achievements. We continue to train and award degrees to students, building a robust workforce for our state and region.
I take tremendous pride in the research we do and how this research broadens society’s understanding of the world and improves our quality of life. I look forward to sharing these practices with my new colleagues in Australia.
I also look forward to watching the Vandal Family to continue to elevate the University of Idaho’s research profile and provide solutions to challenges faced by our state, the nation and the world.
It has been a privilege to lead our research enterprise. Thank you!
Janet E. Nelson Ph.D.
Vice President for Research and Economic Development
ORED News and Events
Governor Little, Idaho Researchers Converge to Advance Statewide Research
On Dec. 2, Governor Brad Little kicked off the 2019 Idaho NSF EPSCoR Annual Meeting at Boise’s Riverside Hotel, where researchers from the University of Idaho, Boise State University, Idaho State University, and other institutions met to collaborate on Idaho EPSCoR’s $24 million research and education project named Genes to Environment: Modeling, Mechanisms and Mapping (GEM3). The event, titled “Collaboration, Integration, Convergence” was the second project-wide meeting of its kind. It attracted more than 100 attendees, including graduate students, postdocs, faculty and Idaho EPSCoR Committee members, who connected through networking, breakout sessions, progress reports, presentations and posters. Attendees also discussed the latest GEM3 accomplishments, planned future research collaborations, and heard feedback from an external board of project advisors from around the nation. Now in its second of five years, the U of I-led GEM3 project will help researchers explain and predict how genetic, environmental and social factors interact as plants and animals adapt to changing environments.
Office of Technology Transfer Hosts Idaho Department of Commerce Visit
Tom Kealey, Director of the Idaho Department of Commerce, visited U of I’s Moscow campus in early December. Hosted by the Office of Technology Transfer Director Jeremy Tamsen, the visit included faculty from Geology, Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, and U of I Extension. During this gathering, Tamsen briefed Kealy and his staff on the university’s most current research and economic development activities. Under Kealey’s direction, the Department of Commerce administers the Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission (IGEM) program, which supports research and commercialization partnerships between industry and Idaho’s research universities. These partnerships facilitated by the IGEM program, have been a driving force for the creation of new products, companies, high-value jobs, and other economic opportunities in our state.
ORED Makes an Impact on Public Impact Research
Since their inception, public and land-grant universities have relied upon research, scholarly and creative activities to improve lives and communities in nearly countless ways. This work has led to life-altering inventions, better food security, and the more sustainable use of our natural resources, just to name a few. At a time when national and global challenges are increasing while public trust in our institutions is diminishing, we need to address these challenges by more closely involving the publics we serve. These and other needs are expressed in a new report titled “Public Impact Research: Engaged Universities Making the Difference.” Vice President for Research and Economic Development Janet Nelson and ORED Faculty Fellow Scott Slovic played central roles in developing this new report, which was issued in November by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). The report is the result of a year of work by more than 60 university leaders, who seek to mobilize public universities and their public constituencies by adopting consistent terminology and approaches that unify efforts, engage stakeholders, and encourage policies that promote public impact research. Read the executive summary and report.
NSF-funded Broader Impacts 101 Workshop Comes to Idaho
The National Science Foundation (NSF), like the University of Idaho, sees value in not only advancing knowledge but also benefitting society with that knowledge. NSF has coined a term for this: Broader Impacts (BI). In order to help further advance BI research locally, ORED, Idaho NSF EPSCoR, and Washington State University co-sponsored Broader Impacts 101, a half-day training seminar from the NSF-funded Advancing Research Impact in Society (ARIS) center. This participatory workshop, presented by Dr. Jory Weintraub, science communication program director with the Duke University Initiative for Science and Society and BI trainer for ARIS, was held on November 6. The event drew 46 researchers from across campus. With Idaho NSF EPSCoR support, Wientraub presented two additional Broader Impacts 101 sessions to 23 researchers at Idaho State University and 22 researchers at Boise State University.
Get to Know ORED
A Model for Success
Michele Mattoon is no stranger to change. Since she began her University of Idaho career 18 years ago, she advanced through roles in accounts payable, finance, human resources, grant management and grant compliance.
Now Mattoon is a key figure in an exciting new organizational change at the Center for Modeling Complex Interactions (CMCI), which is now part of a larger, multidisciplinary level III institute under the Office of Research and Economic Development (ORED).
The name of this new entity: the Institute for Modeling, Collaboration and Innovation (IMCI).
“I was hired as CMCI’s program manager in 2015, when it was funded through a five-year Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) grant from the National Institutes of Health,” Mattoon said.
Mattoon says CMCI will continue to advance U of I’s biomedical research and infrastructure under the new IMCI institute, which will now support the university on a much broader scale.
“Think of it this way. CMCI primarily serves our COBRE grant, and IMCI is COBRE plus, allowing us to expand our modeling efforts beyond the biomedical mission of COBRE,” Mattoon explained.
Mattoon says IMCI’s post-doctoral staff has expertise in mathematical modeling, molecular modeling, bioinformatics, population genetics, machine learning, geospatial modeling, and soon statistical modeling.
Mattoon also points out that IMCI’s support services go beyond modeling research.
“IMCI offers support for grant writing, research strategy, and outreach,” Mattoon said. “Anybody putting together a grant proposal that includes a modeling component, we can help them with it.”
Mattoon helps researchers develop their grant proposal budgets, enter information into VERAS, create proposal-specific checklists, communicate with sub-award contacts, and organize and collect various documents for proposal submission. Her colleague, IMCI Director Holly Wichman helps early stage investigators write successful grant proposals through her Grant Writing Working Group.
Whenever proposals are funded, Mattoon helps researchers manage grant finances, compliance with federal regulations, sub-awards, agency reporting, and personnel management, while Communications and Events Coordinator Lydia Stucki, assists IMCI funded projects with financial processing, event and meeting coordination, and communications.
Mattoon says that IMCI leadership and staff use the same collaborative, service-based model that made CMCI a vital support center for U of I, the state’s leading research entity for addressing large, complex problems. She credits IMCI’s growth and success to IMCI Director Holly Wichman, Associate Director Marty Ytreberg, Assistant Director Tanya Miura, Modeling Core Director Craig Miller, and the many other service-focused leaders and staff that make IMCI successful.
“IMCI serves as a resource for researchers, faculty, students and staff alike,” Mattoon said. “We have the people and programs in place to guide and support interdisciplinary research for U of I researchers from all colleges.”
Mattoon says she is confident that IMCI will grow even further as a level III institute.
“When we started, 25 researchers were involved,” Mattoon said. “Now there are over 70 participating researchers from nine different colleges. Our expansion in scope will create all kinds of new and exciting challenges.”
Mattoon says she is looking forward to the years ahead as a new research institute and encourages researchers to contact IMCI staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article by Phillip Bogdan, Office of Research and Economic Development
Two Idaho EPSCoR GEM3 Award Opportunities
Funding opportunities from NSF EPSCoR’s Research Infrastructure Improvement award, “Genes by Environment: Modeling, Mechanisms and Mapping” (GEM3) are now open: (1) GEM3 Seed Funding, to support research projects related to GEM3; and (2) GEM3 Vertically Integrated Project (VIP) funds to facilitate the development of courses related to GEM3 research areas. Apply by 5 p.m. Feb. 14. Read more.
Proposal Development Academy for Early-career Faculty
The Research and Faculty Development (RFD) team invites early-career faculty to attend its Spring 2020 Proposal Development Academy: What You Need to know Before You Write. This eight-session course offers a range of planned topics on select Fridays, 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., January through April. Faculty not located in Moscow can connect through Zoom. Contact RFD Director Carly Cummings by email at email@example.com to submit your name for consideration or ask questions.
Nominations Now Accepted for the Jean'ne M. Shreeve NSF EPSCoR Research Excellence Award
Idaho NSF EPSCoR is seeking nominations for the Jean'ne M. Shreeve NSF EPSCoR Research Excellence Award. Nominations of eligible faculty members can be made on an annual basis and are due by 5 p.m. May 8, 2020.
- Feb. 5 - NSF: Broader Impacts Really Do Matter!
- Feb. 12 - NIH: Funding Mechanisms Overview (R03, R21, R01)
- Feb.19 - NIH: Developing Your First RO1 Proposal
ORED Partners with Colleges, Units to Enhance Research Infrastructure
The Office of Research and Economic Development (ORED)'s fourth Research, Infrastructure and Scholarly Excellence (RISE) Equipment and Infrastructure Support (EIS) award program provided more than $130,000 in funding to enhance U of I’s research, scholarly and creative activities. For the fall 2019 semester, 12 proposals representing eight colleges and institutes received equipment ranging from a new light board for the Hartung Theatre to a high-resolution spectroradiometer that will help U of I’s breeders, agronomists, and entomologists uncover the best crop varieties and water management practices, as well as identify plant pest and disease symptoms. ORED’s EIS program supports equipment purchases, upgrades and repairs to enhance research, scholarship and creative activities at the university. Individual awards ranged from $3,709 to $24,995. A total of $296,086 was awarded. Of that amount, ORED provided $133,309, with the remainder covered by matching funds from various colleges and units across campus. Learn more.
Emeritus Professor in College of Engineering Named a 2019 NAI Fellow
This month, U of I Professor Emeritus Dean Edwards received one of the highest professional distinctions offered to innovators: a place in the fellowship circle at the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). The NAI Fellows Program recognizes academic inventors who have demonstrated “a spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.” The College of Engineering professor has had an outstanding career spanning more than four decades. Edwards is known for innovations in battery-powered electric vehicles, hybrid-electric vehicles, and autonomous vehicles—including underwater vehicles for the Office of Naval Research and robotic forest vehicles for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
ORED Tip of the Month
Have you received a notice of intent to fund your proposal, but the agreement has not yet arrived or been fully executed and you need to begin work? If so, you need to work with your college or department to submit an early setup request. For direct-federal funded grants, the Vice President for Research and Economic Development will guarantee the early setup up to 25% of the first year increment of funding, so no departmental guarantee index is required and only the PI needs to sign (or approve) the early setup request. Email the request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Office of Sponsored Programs